On the 26th of last month, I announced the launch of The Solutionist Contest, a rigorous intellectual competition for autodidacts and undergraduates resident in Nigeria, with the core being a 4-week intense virtual workshop-style tournament for a share in the ₦1,000,000 (one million-naira) prize and a 3-month internship. It was met with a highly enthusiastic response from students and professionals. A lot has happened since, and we’re trying to manage the beautiful mess. Here’s a hodgepodge of information to help you cope with the chaos.

Firstly, you can keep up with news and actionable information as the Contest evolves, by joining our information network here: https://bit.ly/tscnotify

We have developed a classification of three specializations of The Solutionist:

– The Logician: Complex abstract-logical problem-solving
– The Thinker: Novelty and original ideation
– The Innovator: Research-driven, fact-based design of practical solutions

The Ultimate Solutionist is highly competent in all three factions, and participants will encounter problems in all the factions.

We kicked off applications with the application challenge series, which involves increasingly simplified problems, all of which are difficult (the rationale is explained under MORE INFORMATION). Top scorers are granted a special pathway to the 4-week tournament workshop. The standard application, open to all eligible applicants, starts at the end of the application challenge and will test all 3 specialization factions.

The first application challenge problem was the SDARCXIS – LEVEL X. It is the most difficult level, so one should not be discouraged for not figuring it out. One is encouraged to keep attempting all levels until the standard application begins.

The next level in the application challenge series will be published by Saturday 10/12/22, at 12 noon WAT (you can get an email update via the information network: https://bit.ly/tscnotify). Find a breakdown of the program procedure under MORE INFORMATION.

We have also launched a very low-key student ambassadorship program, to help us interface with student communities more deeply. Interested candidates can earn a spot here: https://bit.ly/tscstudentowner

Finally, I announced my role as the Director of Innovation and Community at ImpactLabs on LinkedIn, which is building knowledge and community infrastructure for emerging innovators globally. The community website will be launched soon. The Solutionist Contest will leverage the platform for sharing projects and publications from the program. Please note that ImpactLabs is neither the organizer nor an official partner of the Contest, and anyone could use these resources. You can sign-up for early access to ImpactLabs here: https://bit.ly/waitlister

I appreciate your interest in our project to architect Nigeria’s new intellectual culture. A wise man once said that since not all desirable outcomes are obvious from their first moves, reality itself commands us to transcend what’s apparent. Okay, I think that was me 😀

See more information below.


This section includes more information about the Contest, including data from the information network.


The application challenge is useful for the following reasons:

1. We get to test the program before it begins, and the feedback helps us calibrate the problems to fit the population’s sentiment and ability level.
2. We offer a chance for exceptional candidates to be identified early on.
3. We spend more time working on the standard application, based on what we learn about our emerging community.
4. We can grow the public awareness level ahead of the applications.


Currently, the entire procedure looks like this:

– Public announcement
– Information campaign
– Waitlisting / Information Network
– Application challenge series
– Standard application
– Application Campaign (a zipped package of activities)
– Challenge Workshop (4 weeks, starting in January 2023)


Our information network consists of about 300 subscribers as on 9/11/2022, and it’s a pretty good representation of our reach so far. Snapshots of some response distributions are shown below:

Forms response chart. Question title: "I am...". Number of responses: 285 responses.
Forms response chart. Question title: What is your state of residence?. Number of responses: 285 responses.

The data from the first 250 registrants are broken down below:


These are the percentages for the reported state of residence, grouped according to geopolitical zones.

South West (73.60%):

Ekiti 0.80%
Lagos 44.00%
Ogun 6.00%
Ondo 4.40%
Osun 7.20%
Oyo 11.20%

South East (4.80%):

Abia 0.40%
Anambra 0.00%
Ebonyi 0.00%
Enugu 3.20%
Imo 1.20%

South-South (6.00%):

Akwa Ibom 0.80%
Bayelsa 0.80%
Cross River 0.80%
Delta 0.80%
Edo 1.20%
Rivers 1.60%

North West (2.40%):

Jigawa 0.00%
Kaduna 2.00%
Kano 0.00%
Katsina 0.00%
Kebbi 0.00%
Sokoto 0.40%
Zamfara 0.00%

North East  (0.80%):

Adamawa 0.00%
Bauchi 0.40%
Borno 0.40%
Gombe 0.00%
Taraba 0.00%
Yobe 0.00%

North Central (12.40%):

Benue 0.40%
Kogi 0.40%
Kwara 4.40%
Nasarawa 0.40%
Niger 0.40%
Plateau 0.80%
FCT 5.60


The reported educational statuses are shown below:

Graduate 21.60%
Pre-University 1.20%
Autodidact* 0.80%
Autodidact (Exclusively)* 2.00%
Undergraduate 74.40%
Total 100.00%
*The option “Autodidact” was updated to “Autodidact (Exclusively)”.