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Find Promising Solutions in Your Community: Host a Solveathon!

Interested in hosting a Solveathon? Fill out this brief form.

MIT Solve’s 2020 Global Challenges are now open through June 18. If you have a tech-based solution to one of these Challenges, we want to hear from you!

  1. Sustainable Food Systems: How can we produce and consume low-carbon, resilient, and nutritious food?
  2. Learning for Girls & Women: How can marginalized girls and young women access quality learning opportunities to succeed?
  3. Maternal & Newborn Health: How can every woman, new mother, and newborn access the care they need to survive and thrive?
  4. Good Jobs & Inclusive Entrepreneurship: How can marginalized populations access and create good jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for themselves?
  5. Health Security & Pandemics: How can communities around the world prepare for, detect, and respond to emerging pandemics and health security threats?

But what if you’re still brainstorming ideas? Tackling these complex issues will require diverse skill sets and backgrounds. If you’re passionate about one of these themes—and you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and take action—we invite you to host a Solveathon. 

Now through June 2020, apply to host a Solveathon to help your community create, refine, and submit impactful solutions to Solve’s 2020 Global Challenges. Please note that you must apply and be approved by the Solve team in order to host a Solveathon.

What is a Solveathon?

A Solveathon is a high-energy workshop focused on rapid ideation, refinement, and prototyping of solutions to one or more open Solve Global Challenges. It is a space to generate, iterate on, and test ideas for social impact, foster a culture of innovation through experimentation and collaboration, and expand a community of social impact innovators.

In 2019, solution applications to our Global Challenges came from 100 countries, and many of these solutions were sourced from 22 Solveathon workshops in 19 cities around the world. Now we’re looking to find more promising ideas and innovations to solve this year’s Challenges, and we invite you to help us discover them.

Examples of Solveathon Workshops

You can apply to host a Solveathon in different environments and with a diverse range of participants, for example:

  • A session at a conference, helping passionate professionals apply their expertise and ideas for innovating to any (or all) of our four Challenges.
  • A half-day workshop with local citizens, engineers, and city planners to design new solutions to a local problem related to our Challenges.
  • An office-wide volunteer day, in which the entire company collaborates on our Challenges, bringing in both experts and local community leaders.

What do I need to host?

Any organization can volunteer to host a Solveathon, regardless of location, demographics, or internet connection. Solve’s open innovation platform will accept submissions until June 18, 2020. Solveathon workshops expand our reach, helping us find phenomenal innovators whose ideas might not otherwise become widely available.

You’ll need:

  • A room where 25 to 100 participants can work in small groups, sketch out or build models of what you’re developing, and present the final ideas.

  • Facilitators to keep participants on track and keep the room active. Facilitators help maximize creativity among groups.
  • Subject matter experts for the selected Challenge(s)—these can be local professors, on-the-ground experts, or people in between.
  • Food and materials throughout the day. People run on snacks (and coffee), and ideas are workshopped with sticky notes, easel pads, and markers.
  • Content, a schedule, and best practices from Solve. We do this part for you! We’ll provide a toolkit that covers different event lengths, audiences, facilitator tips and tricks, and much more.

How do I sign up to host?

A Solveathon is free to host and must be free to attend. We encourage hosts from anywhere in the world to apply: talent and ingenuity exist everywhere, and we believe we must find and support those with big ideas.

If you would like to host a Solveathon, please fill out this form. Or if you would like to have a Solve staff member facilitate a Solveathon with you, please reach out here.


Participants workshop new solution ideas at Solve at MIT in May 2018. (Photo: Adam Schultz / MIT Solve)

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