12/06/2011 11:28 am ET Updated Feb 05, 2012

An Idea Takes the TED Prize....

This year, the TED Prize is going in an exciting and different direction. Rather than granting the Prize to a single person, we're giving it to an idea: the City 2.0.

Last year we challenged the artist JR to make a wish to change the world, and with his Inside Out Project he's doing just that.

This year, we're challenging everyone in the TED Community to embrace radical collaboration on one of the most pressing issues we face: how to build sustainable, vibrant, working cities.

Why the new direction for the TED Prize, and how can you help?

When we launched our search for the next TED Prize winner, we kept running into the same question over and again: how do we build our future cities in a way that reduces energy use, grows the global economy, protects the environment, and improves the quality of life for people around the world?

By tapping the brain trust of the remarkable TED community, we can engage the world in identifying new and innovative platforms around urbanization.

The TED Prize winner, the City 2.0, to us means the city of the future - one in which more than ten billion people must somehow live sustainably.

It is not a utopian dream, but a real-world upgrade that harnesses the globe's collective wisdom. We're looking to you to help the TED Prize promote innovation, education, culture, and economic opportunity.

How? You'll have to wait until February 29, 2012 for the TED Conference in Long Beach, California when the TED Prize winner - the City 2.0 - makes its wish live from the stage.

Intrigued? Baffled? Eager to help? Mark your calendars for leap year to watch the TED Prize session, and we'll tell you how to engage.