About the Nine Dots Prize


The name of the Prize references a lateral thinking puzzle that can only be solved by drawing outside of a box of nine dots arranged in three rows of three.


About the Nine Dots Prize

35-year-old James Williams, a doctoral candidate researching design ethics at Oxford University, has just been announced the winner of the inaugural US$100,000 Nine Dots Prize, a new prize for creative thinking that tackles contemporary societal issues. Its heartland is the social sciences, but it welcomes entrants from all disciplines and cross-discipline thinking. Entrants are challenged to submit 3,000 word responses to a question set by the Board every other year. The inaugural question was ‘Are digital technologies making politics impossible?’ The Prize is worth US$100,000, which will support the winner to write a short book expanding on their ideas to be published by Cambridge University Press in a variety of formats, including open access, meaning the book can be downloaded free of charge. The Prize is judged anonymously in line with its aim of seeking answers from unexpected places – whether from new voices or from experienced authors.  

The Prize is funded by the Kadas Prize Foundation, an English registered charity established to fund research into significant but neglected questions relevant to today’s world. It is supported by Cambridge University Press and the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), both departments of the University of Cambridge. Its name references a lateral thinking puzzle that can only be solved by drawing outside of a box of nine dots arranged in three rows of three.


Further information can be found at www.ninedotsprize.org. Follow the Prize on Twitter @ninedotsprize.

About the Kadas Prize Foundation

The Kadas Prize Foundation was established to fund research into significant but neglected questions relevant to today’s world. Its main charitable activity is as a prize-awarding body, enabling Prize winners to further their work in the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences to the benefit of the public. The Foundation was established by Peter Kadas, who has worked around the world for a number of financial institutions. Originally from Hungary, he holds Canadian and UK citizenship. He is a Senior Adviser at BXR Partners, which is an adviser to investment group BXR Group.

About the Board

The Board is composed of ten internationally recognised and distinguished academics, authors, journalists and thinkers. They are:

Professor Diane Coyle – Professor of Economics at Manchester University, former Vice Chair of the BBC Trust and Economics Editor of the Independent

Professor Paul Gilroy – currently Professor of English at Kings College London, previously Giddens Professor of Social Theory at the London School of Economics

Professor Simon Goldhill (Chair) – Director of the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), Professor in Greek Literature and Culture and Fellow of King's College, Cambridge

EJ Graff – Managing Editor of the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog and Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University

Professor Alcinda Honwana – visiting Professor of Anthropology and International Development at the Open University and formerly was a program officer at the United Nations Office of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict

Peter Kadas – Director of the Kadas Prize Foundation

Professor Ira Katznelson – President of the Social Science Research Council and former President of the American Political Science Association

Professor Roger Martin – Institute Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute and the Michael Lee-Chin Family Institute for Corporate Citizenship at the Rotman School of Management and the Premier’s Chair in Productivity & Competitiveness

Professor Riccardo Rebonato – Professor of Finance at EDHEC Business School, formerly Global Head of Rates and FX Research at PIMCO

Professor David Runciman – Professor of Politics and Head of the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge

Posted: Wednesday 31 May 2017

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