Upon reflection, I’d see two positive steps that we could consider for the future :
1. Assuming that there might be good reasons to have nationality-limited challenges, HeroX could make sure that such restrictions are clearly mentioned right at the start of the challenge. This avoids people starting to spend time on things they cannot participate in. The Visioneers challenge was pretty clear upfront, for example: https://herox.com/XPRIZEvisioneers2017US/guidelines
2. For the National Geographic challenge in particular, perhaps HeroX could champion opening up the challenge to international participation for next year. I think that would be a legitimate role for the HeroX organisation.
Even if the name is *National* Geographic, a geographical restriction for a magazine that takes its inspiration from the entire planet and spreads its content across the planet through nearly 40 local-language editions is a tad ironic, if not totally incongruous as also illustrated by @Alberto’s quote.
It has certainly changed my perception of the brand and its sponsor (GlaxoSmithKline – headquartered in the UK...).
My hunch would be the geographical restriction is in there mainly for practical reasons, but I’m confident that with a bit of coaching from HeroX, NatGeo and GSK can make the 2018 challenge so much more inclusive…