Mental Model Makeover Challenge

Let's work together to develop better mental models. Enter the challenge below to earn raffle tickets for the grand prize.

Reality is complicated. Mental models simplify it. A “mental model” is a representation used to understand or reason about the world. An example of a mental model is when reserves or rainy-day funds are likened to a savings account. This takes the complicated reality of fund balances and reduces it to a concept that people are familiar with in their personal lives.

Everyone uses mental models. However, those models may not be explicitly recognized. And just like some maps are better for navigating roadways than others, some mental models are better for navigating reality than others.

Public finance professionals often wish their audiences were better informed about public finance. Providing people with better mental models is a shortcut to help them become better informed and make better decisions. The Mental Model Makeover Challenge encourages the GFOA community to work together to develop better mental models.

Read our new report on creating better mental models.

The Divisions You Can Compete in

We’ve offered a description of each division below, but feel free to interpret the description in a way that makes the most sense for your situation. This will help you develop a model that is most useful for your audience.

Rules and Challenge Info...

  1. You can only submit one entry per division (six categories above), but you can compete in as many divisions as you like.
  2. Each division can have multiple winners. You win by submitting a great idea.
  3. If your entry is named a winner in a division, you get a virtual raffle ticket to become the Grand Prize Winner. (We'll let you know if you are a winner and we'll track the raffle tickets.)
  4. You can win a bonus raffle ticket if you have tested your idea with a live audience.
  5. We'll hold a drawing of all the virtual raffle tickets on March 3, 2025.
  6. The grand prize winner will receive an all-expenses paid trip to GFOA's 119th Annual Conference, in Washington, D.C., June 29-July 2.
  7. The use of generative artificial intelligence is completely acceptable.

View official contest rules.

Contest Update

Entries Submitted: 0

Raffle Tickets in Play: 0

As of May 16, 2024