We recently named the winners of our Mechanism Design for Social Good research awards. Inspired by an independent organization, the Mechanism Design for Social Good, this award targets the unique opportunities to design new mechanisms on top of mobile devices and social networks — mechanisms that lead to meaningful connections that otherwise would not have occurred.
To enter, we asked researchers to consider the following scenario: Suppose there are (1) an existing online platform that is actively used by the population, and (2) an existing set of social ills (e.g., unemployment, disease, poverty, divisiveness, loneliness). How should one design mechanisms on top of such an online platform to build community in a way that alleviates these social ills?
We received 58 submissions, all containing exciting research directions. We reviewed inspiring research proposals on topics such as refugee resettlement, health care, civic engagement, and agricultural markets. We wish all participants luck with their future research.