This years competition

7 October 2022

Question revealed

We launch our fourth cycle with a brand new question and start accepting submissions

23 January 2023

Submission deadline

We need a 3,000-word response, an outline structure and a justification statement via our submission form

What is the Nine Dots Prize?

The Nine Dots Prize is a prize for creative thinking that tackles contemporary societal issues. Entrants are asked to respond to a question in 3,000 words, with the winner receiving US$100,000 to write a short book expanding on their ideas.

The aim of the Prize is to promote, encourage and engage innovative thinking to address problems facing the modern world. The name of the Prize references the nine dots puzzle – a lateral thinking puzzle which can only be solved by thinking outside the box.

The Prize was established in 2016 and is now onto its fourth cycle. Previous questions have considered issues around how politics is influenced by digital technologies, what home is, and how the relationships between young and old affect the world.

Latest from the Nine Dots Prize

Nine Dots Prize 2022/23 question announced: ‘Why has the rule of law become so fragile?’

The Nine Dots Prize has now revealed the question it will pose as part of a global problem-solving competition, offering US$100,000 and a book deal with Cambridge University Press for the winning response. The question for the 2023/2024 cycle is: ‘Why has the rule of law become so fragile?’ First launched in 2016 and now […]

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Welcoming our new Board members

As we prepare to launch our fourth cycle, the Nine Dots Prize welcomes four new members to its Board. Together this group of internationally recognised and distinguished academics, authors, journalists and thinkers will help select our next winner. Joining the group are: Associate Professor of Political Science at Howard University, Professor J. Jarpa Dawuni; President […]

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Soro Soke cover: Q&A with Cambridge University Press Designer Lauren Downing

Soro Soke: The Young Disruptors of an African Megacity, developed from Trish Lorenz’ 2021/2022 winning entry, is published by Cambridge University Press on 26th May. Designer Lauren Downing describes the process behind the cover for the book, its inspiration and some of the factors the team considered along the way. What was the inspiration behind […]

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Previous Winners

    Trish Lorenz

    Soro Soke: The Young Disruptors of an African Megacity

    Berlin-based journalist Trish Lorenz has been announced as the winner of the 2020/2021 Nine Dots Prize for her ‘compelling and well-evidenced’ response.View profile

    Annie Zaidi

    Bread, Cement, Cactus: A Memoir of Belonging and Dislocation

    Annie Zaidi, a freelance writer whose work includes reportage, essays, short stories, poetry and plays, has been announced as the winner of the Nine Dots Prize 2018/19.View profile

    James Williams

    Stand Out of Our Light: Freedom and Resistance in the Attention Economy

    35-year-old James Williams, a doctoral candidate researching design ethics at Oxford University, has been announced as the inaugural winner of the US$100,000 Nine Dots Prize. View profile

Proudly sponsored by the Kadas Prize Foundation, with support from: