The DARPA Challenge: Motivating a Network to Act

DARPA, the government agency, is sponsoring a challenge on Saturday to test the ability of social networks to mobilize and complete a common task. The group is placing ten giant red weather balloons around the country (tied down near the ground in random locations) on Saturday. They are offering $40,000 to the individual or team that can correctly submit the locations of all ten balloons. The balloons will only be visible during daylight hours on Saturday and they will be visible from publicly accessible locations, such as roads.

Some of my students have formed a team to participate in this contest.  If they win, they will donate the proceeds to charity.  The  team is looking for help in tracking down the balloons on Saturday.  If you see a balloon and are interested in being helpful to them, you can find all of the details on their website.

3 Responses to The DARPA Challenge: Motivating a Network to Act

  1. We have a strong team (I Spy a Red Balloon) that is giving all of the prize money to charity (Red Cross). If you see a red balloon in the sky on Dec. 5th, let us know at:

    http://www.ispyaredballoon.com/
    or at facebook
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=201028633372
    or
    (text messages): (262) I-SPY-SPY (262-477-9779)

  2. Ah, my old undergrad is competition 🙂

    Well good luck, but I hope Frances’ readers help out our HBS team, since she *does* teach here!

    http://www.projectredballoon.com

  3. Just wanted to update readers — your help is paying off! Product (RED)’s twitter account just wrote about us to their 900,000 followers. Thank you!

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