Teenage years are often equated with troublemaking, and the Troublemaker Award’s mission is to challenge teenagers to channel their creative energy, passion, and unconventional ideas into making the kind of trouble that is the catalyst of all great movements, transformative actions and leaps of progress.

What kind of trouble? The good kind – when you are not afraid to speak your mind on important matters even when everyone around you disagrees, when you take a risk and bend social norms for a greater good, when you pick a direction and go for it, even if others tell you to turn around.

The troublemakers that the award seeks are young women and men from around the globe, who demonstrate inspiration, original thinking, leadership and outstanding commitment to their troublemaking cause. Their activism not only turns heads, but also delivers tangible positive impact on their local community, home town, country, or perhaps the entire planet Earth.

The winner will be named Troublemaker of the Year and will receive a $10,000 cash prize as seed money to further their troublemaking activity.

Application Rules

  • This is an award for troublemaking, so read the application rules and bend them.
  • Applicants must be individuals or groups of people under the age of 20.
  • An application is whatever you want it to be. Any format, any content, anything goes. The judges however have a notoriously short attention span.
  • Applicants should consider submitting materials that demonstrate their troublemaking activity, explain why it matters, and how they would use the $10,000 cash prize to make more trouble.
  • All applications are public on the Internet. Applicants can compete, collaborate, copy and comment on each other’s submissions.
  • Applicants can modify and resubmit their proposals based on the feedback they receive from Semyon Dukach, the AdHoc Troublemaker Award Committee, other applicants, and anyone else who cares to comment.
  • Life isn’t fair, and the judges are not either. The criteria for winning are subjective and ill defined.
  • The winner must promise to join the AdHoc Troublemaker Award Committee and help judge applications for the next 10 years.