Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is offering a $250,000 cash prize to an extraordinary rule-breaker, no strings attached.
The prestigious American university announced on 6 March that it will award the money to a "person or group engaged in what we believe is an extraordinary example of disobedience for the benefit of society."
The Disobedience Award, the first of its kind and the largest cash prize offered by MIT, is funded by Linkedin founder Reid Hoffman.
"You don't change the world by doing what you're told," said Jo Ito, the director of MIT's media lab, the department offering the award.
"With this award, we honor work that impacts society in positive ways, and is consistent with a set of key principles," the department's website states. "These principles include non-violence, creativity, courage, and taking responsibility for one's actions."
A spokesperson for MIT's media lab explained that the idea for the award stemmed from "a realisation that there's a widespread frustration from people trying to figure out how can we effectively harness responsible, ethical disobedience aimed at challenging our norms, rules or laws to benefit society."
"Specifically, we'd like to call out action that seeks to change society in positive ways and is consistent with a set of key principles. These principles include non-violence, creativity, courage, and taking responsibility for one's actions," she wrote on the department's website.
There are only two eligibility requirements: the recipient must be living and must have taken a great personal risk to affect positive change in society.
Applicants must submit their proposals by the start of May. The winner will be announced in July.