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What You Missed at Solve at MIT

On May 16-18, more than 400 leaders convened on MIT’s campus for Solve at MIT, Solve’s annual flagship meeting. Attendees traveled from 38 countries to meet and advise the Solver class and hear remarks from luminaries such as Justin Trudeau, Ursula Burns, Yo-Yo Ma, and Eric Schmidt.

To those who attended, thank you for such a productive and inspiring meeting. If couldn’t attend this year, here’s what you missed:

New prizes and partnerships for the 2018 Challenges

During the meeting, Solve announced $650,000 in prize funding will be available to the 2018 Solver class. This pool includes funding from General Motors, the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, and a new $10,000 grant for each Solver provided by Solve.

The four new 2018 Challenges are open for solutions: Work of the Future, Frontlines of Health, Coastal Communities, and Teachers and Educators. The deadline to apply is July 1.

On building humane technology

In the opening plenary session, “The Heart of the Machine: Bringing Humanity Back into Technology,” panelists and speakers debated the current state of technology, the rapid speed at which it advances, and how we can use it for good.

“Solve for the planet to thrive. Get to the biggest picture and then solve individual problems without forgetting how everybody will be affected.”

—Yo-Yo Ma, Cellist, Curator of the MIT Solve Arts and Culture Mentorship Prize

"Solve cultivates inventive answers to humanity's great challenges... by connecting people with insight, ideas, and influence from around the world." —L. Rafael Reif, President, MIT standing with the Solver and Fellow Class, May 16, 2018. (Photo by Adam Schultz/MIT Solve)

Connecting human and environmental health

In the “Healthy Planet, Healthy People” session, panelists and speakers examined the interrelation of human and environmental health and offered ideas to improve both.

“You’re never too young to do something; you’re never too young to change the world.”

—Brianna Fruean, Climate Activist, Pacific Climate Warriors, 350 Samoa

Empowering women in technology

During the “Connecting through Tech” session, panelists talked about ways to engage and empower all people through technology.

“We need to be thoughtful about what we can do as individuals in committing ourselves to diversifying [the entrepreneurs] we see.”

—Reshma Saujani, Founder and CEO, Girls Who Code

Join us here. Become a part of Solve's global community. (Photo by Adam Schultz/MIT Solve)
Join us here. Become a part of Solve's global community. (Photo by Adam Schultz/MIT Solve)

Insights on launching new ventures

In the “True Stories of Starting Up” session, insightful speakers reflected on the realities of reaching both personal and professional goals.

“Diversity is a source of strength, not of weakness. Having someone alongside you with different perspectives helps you solve a problem.”

—The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister, Canada

Diversity is a source of strength, not of weakness. Having someone alongside you with different perspectives helps you solve a problem.
Diversity is a source of strength, not of weakness. Having someone alongside you with different perspectives helps you solve a problem." —The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister, Canada, May 18, 2018. (Photo by Adam Schultz/MIT Solve)

The importance of teamwork

During the “Design for Mars, Solve for Earth” session, panelists discussed how technology and tools designed for space can support life in extreme environments on earth.

“As the crew of MIT Solve, there’s only us for these three days. The ideas we’ve gotten here—we’re the ones that must carry them forward.”

—Cady Coleman, Astronaut  


MIT President L. Rafael Reif stands with the Solver and Fellow Class, May 16, 2018. (Photo by Adam Schultz/MIT Solve)

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