The Challenge

Congratulations to our winners. Thank you to all our finalists and applicants, everyone who voted and the judging panel.

Through a global search for ideas, we are looking for new approaches to reef recovery.

Four entry points to address key challenges have been identified below. They ask the question: How can we see solutions through a lens of people, technology, finance, or through the unique way you approach the world?


From tourism through to commercial fishing and transport, human interaction can either be an incredibly positive force for coral reefs, or it can add to the accumulation of impacts for an ecosystem already under pressure.

The Challenge

Are you working on an idea that harnesses people as a source of positive impact on the Reef? How could you influence people to better support coral reef recovery and resilience? Ideas may consider behavioural change techniques and approaches, incentive programs and other mechanisms for human involvement that have been used in alternate contexts. Applicants should address the ways through which their program will enable a reduction in the overuse of marine assets and resources, as well as enable their sustainable use.

  • An incentive model that rewards and advertises positive behaviours.
  • A storytelling campaign that seeks to shift tourist behaviour.
  • An initiative that seeks to educate land users on approaches that may result in decreased sediment run-off into ocean waters and provide guidance on implementing these alternative approaches.


Given the immense loss of coral reefs around the world, the need for solutions that are cost-effective and that have the potential to scale will be crucial for generating long-term impact. Technology has the potential to provide these scalable and practical solutions for minimal cost.

The Challenge

Do you have a solution that harnesses the ubiquity and scalability of technology to support reef recovery? Concepts could consider how emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality and Remote Sensing could be applied to the challenges facing the Reef.

  • An automated vessel monitoring system incorporating new technologies such as Remote Sensing, that tracks movement across the Reef, identifying where possible breaches of regulation may occur.
  • An engineering solution that can act as a barrier in key rivers, preventing or reducing the flow of sediment from land run-off into the Reef.
  • A data capture system that enables faster and more accurate information on damage to the Reef following a shock that can be used to price insurance products.


New financing tools are increasingly being used to re-imagine the way we achieve environmental and social impacts. From social bonds through to peer-to-peer lending, these tools have the potential to provide innovative ways to finance the recovery of the Reef following a shock.

The Challenge

Have you created a solution that utilises innovative financing tools to support the recovery of the Reef? How could these tools be adapted to support the recovery of coral reefs globally? Applicants should consider new financing tools and concepts used in different contexts, and their potential applicability to the Reef.

  • A re-insurance scheme that enables fast access to capital following a shock to the Reef, increasing ability and speed with which repairs can be made.
  • Utilisation of blockchain to create a reef coin,

How you approach the world

Do you have a solution that could increase the Reef’s recovery following a shock (such as mass coral bleaching, cyclone, etc.) or stressor (such as water quality, impacts from land use, etc.) using an approach other than People, Technology or Finance? The above approaches represent just three ways of viewing the world, however these approaches of People, Technology and Finance are also not independent. To really strengthen the capacity for coral reefs to recovery, we need to look at the problem from multiple angles. Each of us has a different perspective so if you have a great idea that has the potential to strengthen recovery, but uses a different approach, we’d love to hear it.


You don’t need to be a Reef scientist to apply for the challenge! For more information on the Great Barrier Reef, challenges it is facing and solutions that are currently in practice, follow the links below:

Outlook 2014

Reef 2050 Plan

Blueprint for the Reef 2017

Deloitte report

Meet the winners of the People's Choice Award!

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