America is in a crisis of trust and truth. Bad information has become as prevalent, persuasive, and persistent as good information, creating a chain reaction of harm. It makes any health crisis more deadly. It slows down response time on climate change. It undermines democracy.
The Aspen Institute’s Commission on Information Disorder was created to address these conditions. Co-chaired by award-winning journalist Katie Couric, cybersecurity expert Chris Krebs, and civil rights leader Rashad Robinson, the Commission is composed of a diverse group from across the political spectrum, representing academia, government, philanthropy, and civil society. Over the course of six months, commissioners held internal discussions and heard from experts, community leaders, academics, researchers, tech industry representatives, and lawmakers to understand and explore the multidimensional attributes of information disorder.
The Commission’s Final Report is the culmination of that in-depth investigation. Offering a viable framework for action, it makes 15 recommendations for how government, private industry, and civil society can help to increase transparency and understanding, build trust, and reduce harms.
The commissioners welcome partnerships to advance this effort. To that end, the West Coast incubator Aspen Tech Policy Hub has launched the Information Disorder Prize Competition, which seeks to fund projects that work toward one or more of the Commission’s 15 recommendations. Up to 5 semi-finalists will be awarded $5,000 each to develop prototypes of their deliverables over an 8-week period, after which one team will be awarded a $75,000 grand prize to execute their idea.