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MIT President Reif’s Vision: “Everybody Should Have a Place at the Problem-Solving Table”


As a marketplace for social impact, Solve finds tech entrepreneurs from around the world and brokers partnerships across our community to scale their innovative work—driving lasting, transformational change.

In 2018, Solve selected 33 new Solver teams, expanding our marketplace to include 99 inspiring tech entrepreneurs. The 2018 teams are 61 percent women-led and come from 15 different countries—our most diverse class yet. Our Solver portfolio now includes solutions as varied as a coding bootcamp for human trafficking survivors, to an AI-driven diagnosis tool for community health workers, to a flower-based fiber that absorbs oil spills.

Since Solve’s inception in 2015, we’ve brokered dozens of partnerships for Solver teams, helped them gain media and conference exposure, and moved $5.5 billion in funding to scale their work.

Solve, an initiative of MIT President L. Rafael Reif, was founded on the belief that the world’s most pressing problems can be solved through open innovation and partnership. At Solve’s 2018 flagship event Solve at MIT, President Reif reminded the Solve community of this vision.

These partnerships, Reif explained, connect “scientists to social entrepreneurs, artists to activists, business leaders to leaders in the business of hope.” All these actors play a part in solving the challenges of tomorrow.

“MIT is a community that wants to do good for the world,” said Reif. “That may sound pretty idealistic, but it’s right there in our mission statement: advance knowledge, educate students, and bring knowledge to bear on the world's great challenges for the betterment of humankind.”

And yet even at MIT, “the most brilliant technology and scientist cannot make progress against serious global challenges alone,” said Reif. To truly make a difference, “everybody should have a place at the problem-solving table.”

It is through partnership that we make progress. As we head into 2019, Solve will continue convening its community of Solver teams, Members, and sponsors to drive lasting, transformational change.

Hear President Reif’s full Solve at MIT speech. If you’re interested in joining the Solve community in 2019, learn more about membership.


MIT President L. Rafael Reif welcomes the audience to Solve at MIT during the Opening Plenary session on May 16, 2018. (Photo: Adam Schultz/MIT Solve)

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