Peacebuilding Big Idea Challenge

The Purdue Peace Project (PPP) and the Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP) are co-sponsoring a challenge funded by Milt Lauenstein to encourage innovative ideas on peacebuilding. The winner of this competition will earn a prize of $10,000 in recognition of the big idea, and will have his or her idea widely publicized.

So what’s the big idea?

PPP and AfP are looking for novel approaches and strategies for peacebuilding, in particular ways to reduce armed conflict. A strong submission will be inclusive of various stakeholders, experts, etc., which will bring each party’s strengths to bear and provide a holistic, well-rounded approach. A great idea will be ambitious and impactful, able to have measureable success.

How to submit your peacebuilding idea

There are two rounds of participation. In the first round, participants are asked to submit a 1-page summary of their big, new idea for how to reduce armed conflict. It is due by November 4, 2019 no later than 11:59 PM ET via the Submission Form. Review of these first-round proposals will be conducted by a committee of Purdue scholars chaired by the Director of the Purdue Peace Project.

Round two participation will be by invitation only. Participants will be notified by December 13, 2019 if they are invited to submit a detailed proposal. The detailed description will address why the big idea is novel and a better way to reduce armed conflict; how the idea would be put into practice; how much impact the big idea is likely to have; the anticipated cost, who pays, obstacles, etc. To aid in a blind review of submissions, please refrain from including information by which you could be identified. Detailed descriptions will be due by February 10, 2020 no later than 11:59 PM ET via the Submission Form. Application requirements are posted on the Challenge website.


The Peacebuilding Big Idea Challenge is open to all, far and wide. Submissions will be accepted from individuals (at least 18 years of age at time of idea submission), teams, and organizations, and can come from anywhere around the globe. Teams and organizations submitting an idea must identify one representative to serve as the contact, and identify to whom payment of the prize shall be made (either an individual’s name or an organization’s name), if awarded.

Review criteria

The big idea’s potential for reducing armed conflict

  • Is the proposal a multidisciplinary approach? Especially strong proposals may include expertise from Science/Technology/Engineering/Mathematics and Humanities/Social Sciences. It may also include engagement with various stakeholders.
  • Is the proposed idea evidence-based and innovative?
  • Benchmarks, timeline, and success metrics will be considered in the second round.

The likelihood of the idea’s being widely used

  • Does the proposal include feasible ideas on communication and implementation? Does it identify appropriate stakeholders for communication and implementation?
  • Is the budget realistic for the proposed idea? Estimated figure should be given for the first round, specific budget required for the second round.

The nature of the big idea

  • Is the proposal novel? Has this been done before? What makes this new?
  • Is the proposal ambitious? How impactful will the implementation of this new, big idea be?

Review committee

The review committee is comprised of members of academia, not-for-profit organization representatives, and others.


November 4, 2019 Big Idea 1-page summary is due by 11:59 PM ET.
December 13, 2019 Invitations to submit a detailed description of the big idea will be sent to selected participants. All other participants will be notified of the selection status.
February 10, 2020 Detailed description of the big idea is due by 11:59 PM ET.
April 2020 Winner will be announced.