Act 5. Hold an Innovation Contest
The desire of reward is one of the strongest incentives of human conduct. - Alexander Hamilton
Hamilton’s observation of human nature is as true today as when he wrote it in 1788. The quest for reward and recognition has fueled creativity, innovation, and imagination in the American marketplace with a vigor unmatched anywhere else in the world. Why not similarly unleash the ingenuity of the American people on the political challenges of the nation?
It's simple. Whether for immigration, healthcare, energy, or job creation, a member of Congress could hold an "innovation contest" offering cash prizes for the best solutions to these political challenges.
The internet has sparked the explosive growth of these crowdsourcing tools. Companies are using innovation contests to create new products and make research breakthroughs. Philanthropies use them to solve pressing social issues. Even some federal agencies have embraced the concept. But the Congress—the place where we really need new ideas—has yet to utilize this 21st century tool. "Crowd-legislating" would bring the best minds of America into the legislative process itself.
Over 80 federal agencies have used Challenge.gov with over 800 online competitions held since the website's launch in 2010. Crowd-legislating would take the same approach to unleash American ingenuity for Congressional problem-solving!