The Indigo Prize

The Indigo Prize is a new economics prize that challenges entrants to consider how to measure economic activity in a 21st century economy. We want to catalyse a debate about how and what factors are currently measured given our evolving economies, technology and skill bases, and what should now be taken into consideration in official economic statistics that measure the health, size and growth of a modern economy.

Applicants are invited to submit an essay of up to 5,000 words, with the shortlisted candidates going on to present their concept to our eminent Judging Panel to compete for the £100,000 first prize. Second and third place will be awarded £25,000 and £10,000, respectively.


We want to explore new dynamic means of measurement for a 21st century economy, that take into account additional new factors in national output that capture an economy’s innovation and improvements, such as new products and services, socio-economic factors, entrepreneurial activity, the sharing economy, inequality and broader measures of growth or societal progress.

While we are not seeking to create a perfect replacement for GDP, we believe attempts to provide additional new ideas that contribute to the debate about the reformation of GDP are important. We want to consider how we measure the impact that advances in artificial intelligence, robotics and technology are having, and increasingly will have, on our economy.  We want to explore which types of economy provide the best economic conditions for innovation to thrive, and that enable a country to grow sustainably.

Conceptual work has begun in this area – through benchmarking dimensions of eco-systems using a basket of recognised measures with the creation of an initial Indigo Index. The Indigo Prize challenges applicants to use their creativity to develop new measures for the future economic success of global nations.


Entrants are invited to submit an answer to the following question:

“How would you design a new economic measure for global economies that fully acknowledges not only social and economic factors but the impact of creativity, entrepreneurship and digital skills? How should your new measure be used to improve the way we measure GDP in official statistics?”


The contest is now open for applications, with the deadline for submissions 18:00 GMT on Friday 15th September 2017.

The shortlisted entries will be invited to present their submission to the Judging Panel in October 2017.

Applicants are invited to submit an essay of up to 5,000 words, supplemented by up to 10 charts. A shortlist of entries candidates will be asked to present their concept to the Judging Panel, and answer questions they may have.


Submissions are welcomed from both individuals and groups over the age of 16 years old. We encourage entries from those based at academic institutions, businesses, charities, think tanks, consultancies or other organisations across the world.


The philosophy behind the Indigo Era encourages the examination of social and economic factors that contribute to the success and wealth of global nations, beyond the economic measures recognised by GDP.

Submissions should examine these other factors, such as human capital, and eco-systems, and how they contribute to the economic success of a nation. Entries should examine what constitutes a successful nation in our modern economy.

Submissions should be in the form of an essay that outline the various factors and measures in the proposed alternative, why they are important, and how this new measure could be embedded into a global framework for measuring and understanding national economies.

Visual aids, charts and infographics are strongly encouraged.

Successful entrants who make it through to the final judging round will be expected to deliver a presentation, providing a visual and verbal explanation of their essay.

Submissions will be judged based on creativity and innovation as well as the ability to convey an understanding of the important relationship between human capital, socio-economic factors and economic success within nations worldwide.


The prize for the winning submission will be monetary:

  • First Prize: £100,000
  • Second Prize: £25,000
  • Third Prize: £10,000

The funds will be allocated directly to the winner. If teams are made up of more than one entrant, team members must be stipulated at point of submission and the team must explicitly delineate how they would split the prize should they win.

*Click here for working GDP definition