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Guide: Your Judging Panel

Goals for Judges Engagement:

  • Selection of Finalists and/or Winner: Engagement of 5-7 judges to help select the top 15 finalists and/or overall winner from the field of competitors.
  • Strengthening global innovation community: Development of partnerships and investment opportunities between judges and other members of your community, with a focus on the competitors.
  • Organizational engagement: Opportunity to further engage judges in your organization, as potential advisors, investors, or continued collaboration.

 

Value for the Judge

  • Global media promotion and recognition as an expert innovator to the innovation community.
  • Exposure and relationship-building opportunities with the competition sponsor and other partners.
  • Facilitated connections to new investment opportunities (i.e. potential investees, partners, etc.)
  • Online marketing and outreach opportunities and tools to reach out to respective networks and communities.

 

Value for Crowdsourcing Sponsor

  • Judges bestow external visibility and credibility to the competition and drive web traffic.
  • Judges provide high level expertise and experience in a competition’s subject matter to evaluate innovation, social impact, and sustainability of entrants.
  • Judges inspire potential entrants, commentators, and partners.
  • Judges motivate additional financial, marketing, and partnership engagements for you.

 

Profiles of Judges:

The judges selected to participate on the judges’ panel represent one of the most important aspects of a collaborative competition.

Topic Relevance: Judges should have significant experience and expertise in the competition’s area of focus. They should be well-versed in the issue both from a theoretical and pragmatic angle and be able to speak to overarching issues for the sector.

Diversity: The judges panel should be representative of the global innovation community and of the many people and organizations who would have a stake in the competition. Judges are ideally a slate of individuals with high profiles and/or financial and marketing resources (or who represent organizations with high profiles/resources). All efforts should be made to consider the panel as a whole and ensure it represents a diverse range of the following characteristics:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Nationality
  • Sector of work (i.e. business entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, thought leaders, policy-makers, academics, philanthropists/investors, etc)
  • Thematic field of work (range of expertise specific to the topic and the niche sectors)

Innovation: The best evaluators of innovation are themselves innovators; therefore, judges should be not only familiar with and committed to the topic, but also leaders/innovators in their own work and sector.

Engagement opportunity: Careful selection of judges should take into account additional engagement opportunities. These may include investment or marketing partnerships, experts for the knowledge/learning process, prize/funding for entrants, media promotion, etc.

The ideal number of judges on the panel is five. This number allows for a tie breaker and provides an important balance between representing a range of experiences and perspectives while also allowing ample time for each judge to contribute to the panel. Four judges are often too few when considering diversity of opinion and experience on the panel; six judges is too many. Given that at least one judge often is unable to participate on the judges panel due to last-minute scheduling difficulties, six judges should be invited and selected for participation. Each submission will get three judges randomly assigned to it for scoring. This helps normalize the scores for judges who tend to grade on the higher or lower ends.