More than 60 teams are competing in the 2012 MIT IDEAS Global Challenge, an annual competition that supports innovation and entrepreneurship in public service. Student-led teams work with communities around the world to develop new technologies, systems, and methods that tackle pressing challenges such as access to energy, water, education, and employment. Read about this year’s teams and vote on the MIT IDEAS site—by April 29—for the most deserving group. The three winning teams receive a $1,500 community choice award.
Guest blogger: Bina Choi ’11, IDI project assistant, IDI and IDEAS Global Challenge
I graduated in 2011 and I’m now the project assistant for the IDEAS Global Challenge, which encourages MIT students to take and apply what they do best–examining problems, tinkering, innovating, experimenting, collaborating, reiterating–to serve needs beyond themselves. As opposed to formal classes or lab-led projects, IDEAS team members have the flexibility and freedom to make each project their own.
I sometimes miss the academic stimulation of being a student and the creative and challenging spheres of MIT. The Global Challenge reminds me what can be achieved through innovation in the face of challenge. As alumni, its important to remember that we can still use the skills and knowledge honed at MIT to make an impact.
Over the past year, I’ve seen first-hand how MIT IDEAS teams continually test and improve their projects and witnessed how individual students have matured throughout the competition. For the students, it’s an exciting, rewarding, and difficult process.
One simple way to make an impact is to vote in the competition’s public voting option, the IDEAS Global Challenge Community Choice. Browse the projects developed by this year’s student teams and cast your vote (You can vote for up to three teams.). Teams working on healthcare, education, energy, water and sanitation entrepreneurship, agriculture, mobile devices, housing and transportation, disaster relief, and waste. Three teams will win $1,500 to make a difference and empower their communities.
Beyond voting, the diverse professional and personal experiences of MIT alumni can help teams achieve their solutions. Alumni assistance is always welcome. Many teams are looking for mentors and business advice, and past alumni have connected groups with disaster relief organizations and offered their expertise in computer programing, healthcare, and supply chains.
Read about this year’s teams and vote on the MIT IDEAS site—by April 29—for the most deserving group.