From the announcement:

Seeking Nominations for the Penn State Democracy Medal

Each year, the Penn State Democracy Institute is giving a medal and $5,000 award for exceptional innovations that advance the design and practice of democracy. The medal celebrates and helps to publicize the best work being done to advance democracy in the United States or around the globe. The Institute gives medals in even-numbered years to recognize practical innovations, such as new institutions, laws, technologies, or movements that advance democracy. In odd-numbered years, the awards celebrate advances in democratic theory that provide richer philosophical or empirical conceptions of democracy.

The first medal will be given in 2014 for the best innovation in the practice of democracy. Nominations will be accepted through December 10, 2013, and the awardee will be announced in the spring of 2014. The winner will give a talk at Penn State in September, 2014, when they also receive their medal and $5,000 award. Between the spring announcement of the winner and the on-campus event in the fall, the Institute will provide the recipient with editorial assistance toward completing a short (20-25 page) essay describing the innovation for a general audience. The Institute will publish the essay electronically, possibly in collaboration with an independent press, and make it available to the general public at a very low price (e.g., $1-2), along with a similarly-affordable audio version. These print and audio distillations of the innovation are designed to aid its diffusion.

The five review criteria are as follows:

  • Novelty
  • Systemic change
  • Potential for Diffusion
  • Democratic Quality
  • Recency

Hat tip: Tiago Peixoto via Facebook.