The Disobedience Award

A social search tool for crowdsourcing nominations for the inaugural MIT Media Lab "Disobedience Award", tracking viral recruitment of nominators along social network links, so that prolific ones and ones who recruited the nominator of the winner could be rewarded

I prototyped the tech, led development of the tool, and participated in design. The 2017 viral Disobedience Award online campaign accumulated a total of 7,826 submissions from every continent except Antarctica, with some chains of nomination as long as 3 links. I also designed and led development of an adaptation of the tool for the Lab to find mould-breaking scientists for its more narrow-focus “Adventurous Science” fellowship program.

Lab staff cleaned and pruned the submissions down to a list of 220 finalists, who were assessed by a panel of 12 judges from diverse backgrounds. The winners were Michigan pediatrician Mona Hanna-Attisha and Virginia Tech engineering professor Marc Edwards, whose investigation of lead-tainted water in Flint, Michigan, USA exposed official misconduct in the crisis.

Typeform + Zapier API + HTML/CSS + JavaScript (designed, tested tech, managed development by contractor)

MIT Media Lab, 2017

Read award supporter and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman's post on the award here; our background/explainer article on the award here; and the MIT Media Lab's announcement/explainer of the Adventurous Science fellowship here.

Find media coverage of the award at The Tech, the New York Times, Boston Magazine, Reuters, the New York Post, and CNN.

Incentive mechanism

Preliminary recruitment network visualization