Paradox Prize Seeks New Approaches To Entrenched Transportation Issues

The Fund for Our Economic Future launched a contest to find new ways to improve mobility for Northeast Ohioans.
The Fund for Our Economic Future launched a contest to find new ways to improve mobility for Northeast Ohioans. [Carlos Castilla / Shutterstock]

The Fund for Our Economic Future is seeking applications for pilot programs that would help solve a transportation conundrum facing some Northeast Ohioans: in order to have a job, you often need a car, but in order to have a car, you probably need a job.

The Paradox Prize is an initiative that will fund up to 15 programs that aim to help people more easily commute to their jobs. The economic development group has set aside $1 million dollars to fund these pilots.

On WCPN's The Sound of Ideas Wednesday, Bethia Burke, Vice President of The Fund for Our Economic Future, explained that winning ideas will likely go outside the traditional binary transportation assumptions.

"What we’re looking to do through The Paradox Prize is to break that paradox, and to break the mental model we have, that either you have to have individualized car ownership or take public transportation," said Burke. "Those are two options but there are other things out there that we if we could source, and find new ideas, and integrate them with public transportation and car ownership, we would move to a place where people had more options and could access more opportunity."

Submissions for the first round are due by Monday, July 15th and the winners will be announced in December.

Career and workforce development is the focus of American Graduate: Getting to Work, a public media initiative made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 

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