Archive for the 'IDEAS2011' Category

Recap of a Launch

Its been a remarkable six months. Here’s a recap including links to some fun background and outcomes. Thanks to every at MIT and beyond who helped make this year a success, in particular our partners at the MIT150, the MIT Alumni Association, and Idea Couture along with our many sponsors. Download a copy of the interim report here.

Overall Visitor Traffic for the Period

visitor_traffic_google

And the Winners Are…
(Browse teams here: http://globalchallenge.mit.edu/teams)

$5000 Community Choice Awards

  1. LOW COST CURRICULUM FOR THE BLIND
  2. AQUA
  3. INNOBOX SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING TOOLKIT
  4. INDIAN MOBILE INITIATIVE
  5. EYECATRA

$5000, $7500 and $10,000 IDEAS Juried Awards

  1. BIODIESEL – $5000
  2. EYECATRA – $5000
  3. HYDROHARVEST – $5000
  4. LOW-COST CURRICULUM FOR THE BLIND – $5000
  5. SAFE WATER WORLD – $5000
  6. INDIAN MOBILE INITIATIVE – $7500
  7. SOLAR AUTOCLAVE – $7500
  8. INNOBOX – $10,000
  9. LOW-COST AUTOCLAVE – $10,000
  10. ASSISTIVE TECH – $10,000

$10,000 Global Challenge Juried Awards

  1. KOSIM WATER KEG
  2. SOLAR AUTOCLAVE
  3. PRACTICAL ENERGY NETWORK – winner of the School of Engineering’s Global Villages Challenge
  4. INDIAN MOBILE INITIATIVE – congratulations on your sweep in all three award categories!
  5. MAA-BARA – Winner of the Mohammad Yunus Challenge to Alleviate Poverty through Improved Agricultural Processes

Community Choice Voting Participation – Vote Sources

visitor_geolocation

Community Choice Voting Results

communitychoice_results

Continue reading ‘Recap of a Launch’

Ideas: Unleashing Creativity through Competitions

Dr Akhtar Badshah, Senior Director of Global Community Initiatives at Microsoft (and recent interviewee of our own Sneha Kannan!) has some insights into student innovation, development, and social change in today’s Huffington Post!

On May 2 as part of MIT’s 150 year anniversary celebrations I will be speaking to students who have entered the MIT IDEAS Competition and Global Challenge — which support innovation and entrepreneurship as a public service. This year more than 80 teams have entered ideas that address barriers to well-being in communities in 24 countries. 46 of them have qualified to enter final proposals.

What is unique about this is that the competition is sparking collaboration among students at MIT and the worldwide MIT alumni network, as well as communities around the world. Opening up the participation to the larger community is interesting and an innovative way for a university to engage a much larger audience. Over the last decade we’ve seen more and more universities and companies launching competitions to develop ‘ideas’ to solve some of the most intractable social problems that we face.

Read the full article here.

Pitch Kitchen at MIT

AQUA PitchThere is a growing ecology of resources at MIT that support student ventures – from grounded ideation in programs like D-Lab to launch mechanisms like the $100k business plan competition. The idea behind Pitch Kitchen is to create an informal environment where students can trial their venture pitches in from of a mixed audience – representatives across these resources – and receive helpful feedback that sets them up for success down the road.

We had our first Pitch Kitchen in February 16. Peter Kang of Team AQUA presented the idea and business model for his project – an online game that is one part education tool and another part charity platform. In the room were representatives from $100k Emerging Markets Track, the Entrepreneurship Center, a communications expert from CSAIL, and yours truly from IDEAS/GC.

Kudos to Peter for his stamina – after presenting his 8-minute pitch he endured nearly a solid hour of intense questioning from panelists – all with the intent of helping Peter and team AQUA sharpen their message around a few key areas:

  • Community connection and impact
  • Transparency and accountability in income and expenditures
  • Representing communities without exploiting ie “gamifying” communities
  • Business and sustainability model
  • Translation of online income into on-the-ground impact

Interested in experiencing the crucible? Join us for the next Pitch Kitchen on Wednesday, 3/16 from 5:00-7:00pm in 4-145. Questions? Email lhtorres at mit dot edu.

Farmhack@MIT

Hey there’s a great event coming up at MIT in early March. Its called Farmhack, and the purpose is to bring together New England small-scale farmers and MIT engineers to identify projects for collaboration. There seems to be a consensus that the equipment available is costly, or simply does not respond well to the needs, constraints, and conditions of America’s small acreage farmers. Some of the areas that have come up include seeding technologies, soil monitoring systems, lifestock monitoring systems, irrigation systems. And more! So, if you are a New England farmer or an MIT engineer interested in using small-scale farms as laboratories for innovation, join us! Here are the details.

Farmers -

Do you come away from visits to other farms inspired by a tool or system that you just saw?  Have you invented things on your farm?  Can you describe some challenges on your farm that a team of farmers and engineers might be able to address with a new tool?


Engineers and Designers -

Do you have technical skills that you want to apply to the real world in real time? Are you interested in a direct relationship with the solutions our society needs? Have you considered applying your skill-set to sustainable agriculture?

Continue reading ‘Farmhack@MIT’

The MIT Global Challenge Journey Begins…

Almost 4 years ago, the MIT150 planning committee requested ideas about a significant way to mark the Institute’s 150 years of service to the world with characteristics that include a focus on doing, was distinctively MIT, was participatory, and that communicated to the world.

Sally Susnowitz, the Director of the MIT Public Service Center, responded enthusiastically to that call with a vision to create a high-profile IDEAS Competition that involves the whole MIT community worldwide in innovative, multidisciplinary problem-solving in partnership with communities from Central Square to central Africa.  The MIT IDEAS “Global Challenge,” Susnowitz offered, “will activate the entire MIT community to apply their problem-solving skills to tackle the world’s problems for the next 150 years.  The collective mind-and-hand power of students and their families, faculty, alumni, affiliates, spouses, and others will traverse the globe, as alumni team members and mentors on-site in distant regions use new communications resources to work with students and faculty teammates located at MIT.”

Today, as the Institutes celebrates its 150th anniversary with the launch of MIT150, it is exciting to reflect that much of the MIT150 charge – and Sally’s vision – has been realized with the simultaneous launch of the MIT Global Challenge to the worldwide MIT community. What a thrill!

Of course, this vision would not be realized without the untethered enthusiasm and support from so many quarters, including the MIT alumni who have backed this effort from day one (you know who you are!), MIT students who have patiently and with encouragement kicked the tires and helped us fine tune the site, the countless community partners who have defined student service opportunities and welcomed their passion and problem-solving skills – and so many others including the remarkable faculty at MIT and the staff who have guided and influenced this effort from the start. Thank you all!

Continue reading ‘The MIT Global Challenge Journey Begins…’

6 MIT Ventures Among 2011 Echoing Green Semifinalists

It is always inspiring to see the transformation of nascent ideas into growing ventures, and this year’s Echoing Green Finalists are no exception. Among some of the exciting ideas – including a vehicle designed and produced in Africa called Mobius – are six ventures that began at, or have been advanced at, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Here’s a quick summary of these outstanding young initiatives:

  • Community Water Solutions. Community Water Solutions is a non-for-profit social enterprise that partners with rural communities in developing countries to establish sustainable water treatment businesses. These businesses are owned and operated by the communities that they serve, and use simple, affordable technologies to enable the treatment, distribution, and storage of clean, safe drinking water. The maintenance and operation of these water treatment businesses is funded by revenue from the sale of drinking water, while the capital necessary to establish them is generated from CWS fundraising activities. Learn more at: www.communitywatersolutions.org.

Press Release: MIT Global Challenge will Launch to Worldwide Community January 7, 2011

Contact: Lars Hasselblad Torres
617-999-5294
lhtorres@mit.edu

Be A Part of ItCambridge, MA — The MIT Global Challenge, a new initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Public Service Center, will launch on January 7, 2011 as the Institute celebrates 150 years of service to the world. It is anticipated that more than 30 MIT-based teams will compete for a total of $150,000 in awards with up to $25,000 per team that enable winning teams to implement novel solutions to some of the world’s urgent challenges.

The MIT Global Challenge is an online platform that connects and awards teams of public service innovators led by full-time MIT students. The website will unite students, the worldwide MIT community, and their collaborators in identifying barriers to well being in communities around the world, encouraging teams to work together to develop and pilot innovative solutions to those problems.

Sally Susnowitz, Director of the MIT Public Service Center, has described the MIT community as, “a community of ingenious problem solvers who enjoy solving challenging problems.” The MIT Global Challenge, she says, “invites and supports the entire MIT community worldwide in applying their creativity and knowledge to help people in need throughout the world by working with them to create innovative and effective solutions to their problems.”

Continue reading ‘Press Release: MIT Global Challenge will Launch to Worldwide Community January 7, 2011′

Seasons Greetings, Friends of Innovation!

Dear friends of innovation,

globalchallenge_ppt_holidayAs we round the corner on a year filled with challenges large and small, one thing we can count on is that 2011 will bring many more. Its why the world needs people like you more than ever – to take on the problems of our time, to wrestle with them, and to mold solutions to them that work.

There are few more exciting places to see that contest play out than in the classrooms, laboratories, and field sites where MIT faculty and students are at work.

MIT President Susan Hockfield said in her most recent message to the community, “The world has never needed MIT as much as it does now. The major challenges of our age are increasingly shaped by science and technology, and by daunting problems of quantitative analysis and complex synthesis.”

The MIT Global Challenge is one of an ever-growing constellation of resources at MIT that support student problem solving around these challenges. When we launch on January 7, 2011 to the worldwide MIT community, we’ll be doing so with at least 16 new teams and a community of members like you – faculty, students, alumni, and friends – that is more than 2,300 strong.

Its going to be an exciting run-up to the May 2, 2011 awards ceremony, and I hope you will find ways to engage with us and support these incredible young innovators who have the passion, talent, and ethos of service to apply their gifts to the urgent challenges of our time.

Thank you for being a part of it.

Please help us by promoting the MIT Global Challenge to people and networks you think should know about it – those willing to define innovation opportunities, mentor teams, and underwrite awards. Click here to download a recent press release that can help! Questions? Please don’t hesitate to reach out by phone or email.

Until 2011, wishing you and yours warm holiday greetings.

Marketplace Update | December 9, 2010

Hello Challengers! Lots of good things happening as we plan for launch exactly one month from today! Here are a couple of ways you can help:

  • Host a local alumni launch event! Celebrate MIT150 and the launch of the Global Challenge as a platform for local engagement. Email your ideas and inquiries to lhtorres@mit.edu
  • Spread the word! Reach out to fellow alumni and potential collaborators who can contribute by defining problems, identifying community partners, and supporting teams. Encourage them to register at http://globalchallenge.mit.edu
  • Entrants, a special request: Please create your team, complete your profile! Launch of the MIT150 and the MIT Global Challenge is right around the corner. When we go live at the beginning of January, we’ll have one of the largest visibility opportunities this year. Please help us maximize community engagement by ensuring your team is visible and “Help Wanted” requests are live.

Now the news…

In the Marketplace: 17 teams

  1. Alumni, friends, collaborators: there are 15 help requests from teams, including designers, nutrition experts and more. Browse here:
    http://globalchallenge.mit.edu/help/wanted
  1. Teams: there are 15 help offers including experienced grant writing, team members with design and management experience, and more. Browse help and connect with potential collaborators here:
    http://globalchallenge.mit.edu/help/offered

(And, don’t forget: please “Close” your ad if it has been filled!)

Continue reading ‘Marketplace Update | December 9, 2010′

And the winner is…

Congratulations to IDEAS 2010 team Sanergy for your winning entry into the IDEAS and Global Challenge video pitch contest! Judges voted Sanergy’s pitch the best for the clear connection between your team’s accomplishment and the resources offered through IDEAS and the Global Challenge. Most importantly, the video did a wonderful job emphasizing a multidisciplinary team drawn from across the MIT community and a deep connection to community and MIT resources on the ground, like FabLab. Here’s the vid:

Sanergy from Ani Vallabhaneni on Vimeo.

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Thanks so much to all of the teams that entered a video into the pitch contest – the range of projects represented is amazing, and I hope that through the MIT Public Service Center we’ll continue to find ways to support your work. View all of the entries here.