Applications invited for The Disobedience Award

Applications invited for The Disobedience Award

Organization: The MIT Media Lab

Event Duration: 21 Jul. 2019 - 21 Jul. 2019

Apply By: 21 Jul 2019

About the organization

The MIT Media Lab is an antidisciplinary research laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, growing out of MIT's Architecture Machine Group in the School of Architecture. Its research does not restrict to fixed academic disciplines, but draws from technology, media, science, art and design.

Event description

The Disobedience Award—a $250,000, no-strings-attached prize—recognizes individuals and groups who engage in responsible, ethical disobedience aimed at challenging norms, rules, or laws that sustain society’s injustices.  This award honors work that is focused on positive impact and is consistent with a set of key principles, including:

  • nonviolence
  • creativity
  • courage
  • personal responsibility

Research Topics

  • Civic medias
  • Systems
  • Ethics
  • Social change
  • History


  • The award is open to people and groups working in any discipline, including, but not limited to, scientific research, civil rights, freedom of speech, human rights, and the freedom to innovate. By rewarding thoughtful, nonviolent acts of disobedience, they hope to raise the public profile of these activities and ultimately inspire new agents of change.
  • Recipient must be living at the time of nomination.
  • If an organization, they must be currently operational at the time of nomination.
  • Individuals, groups, or organizations cannot nominate themselves.
  • Recipient must have taken personal risk in order to effect positive change.
  • If a group of people or an organization is awarded the prize, they will receive one $250,000 check to distribute at their own discretion.
  • This award is open to any person or group in the world as long as they follow the principles of nonviolent disobedience to impact society in positive ways. All disciplines are eligible.

Selection Process

The organization has gathered a diverse selection committee from the MIT Media Lab network—activists, scientists, designers, artists, and engineers—to review the nominations and select the award recipient(s). 

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