Daily Archive for January 7th, 2011

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!

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