FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 18, 2007 — 12:00 p.m. EDT
Redwood City, Calif., September 18, 2007 — How can we begin to reverse the devastating effects of childhood obesity? Start a movement. HopeLab today announced the launch of Ruckus Nation, an international online idea competition to get kids moving. People of all ages are invited to submit ideas for new products that will increase physical activity in kids. More than $300,000 in prizes will be awarded, including a grand prize of more than $75,000.
Why Raise a Ruckus?
Research shows that physical activity can help address poor health outcomes associated with childhood obesity. In addition, physical activity is associated with better mental and physical health. With this in mind, the goal of Ruckus Nation is to find great ideas for fun, engaging new products that will increase physical activity among middle school-aged kids (ages 11 to 14).
Can a Competition Make a Difference?
“Ruckus Nation is catalytic. Great ideas will be transformed into real products that get kids moving,” said HopeLab President Pat Christen. “Experience tells us that combining great ideas with top-notch research leads to innovative solutions.”
HopeLab will develop one or more of the winning ideas from Ruckus Nation into prototypes that can be tested to determine their effectiveness. Successful prototypes will be turned into real products and distributed broadly.
Chinwe Onyekere, Program Officer of the Pioneer Portfolio of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which is co-sponsoring Ruckus Nation, explained, “The Pioneer Portfolio supports innovative ideas and projects like Ruckus Nation that may lead to important breakthroughs in health and health care. This online competition throws the search wide open for dynamic new products that kids will like and use to be more physically active.”
Competition entry requirements, rules and judging criteria are available at www.ruckusnation.com. Prizes will be awarded to contestants in four categories — middle school, high school, college and other. Participants (teams of one to six individuals) must register and submit their ideas online no later than November 20; registration is limited to 1,000 teams. Entries must be submitted in English. Semifinalists will be announced in February 2008; category winners and one grand prize winner will be announced at an event in March 2008.
HopeLab, founded in 2001 by Pamela Omidyar, is a non-profit organization committed to combining rigorous research with innovative solutions to improve the health and quality of life of young people with chronic illness. HopeLab introduced its first product, the Re-Mission video game for adolescents and young adults with cancer, in 2006. Re-Mission was developed with the input of young people with cancer and was shown in a randomized, controlled research trial to improve key health outcomes among young people with cancer who played the game. HopeLab is now applying its customer-focused, research-based approach to develop new interventions for young people suffering from chronic illness. For more information, visit www.hopelab.org.
About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. The Foundation’s Pioneer Portfolio supports innovative ideas and projects that may trigger important breakthroughs in health and health care. Projects in the Pioneer Portfolio are typically future-oriented and look beyond conventional thinking to explore solutions at the cutting edge of health and health care. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org.