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Why Prime Minister Trudeau is Coming to Solve at MIT

We’re less than 3 weeks away from Solve at MIT, and there’s a buzz around MIT’s campus about our most recent addition to the list of speakers. On Friday, May 18, we will welcome Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to MIT to address the Solve community.

Here’s why we are thrilled to have Prime Minister Trudeau and many other brilliant innovators and leaders join us at Solve at MIT in a few weeks:

Shared commitment to build a better world

Solve and Prime Minister Trudeau share the value of making a better world together.

Solve is an initiative of MIT that advances lasting solutions from tech entrepreneurs to address the world's most pressing problems. Solve issues Challenges each year to find the most promising Solver class to drive transformational change. We then deploy our global community to form partnerships these Solver teams need to scale their impact.

The Prime Minister highlighted these values in his recent address to the French National Assembly. He urged delegates to build a world that is: “more diverse, more green, more inclusive, more open, more democratic; a world with more freedom, equality, and kindness; a world in our likeness.”

Here are two amazing examples of Solver impact:

  • Angel Adelaja and Fresh Direct Nigeria build stackable container farms to bring fresh produce closer to market and encourage urban farming.

  • David Sweeting and Kolorob Jobs are creating an open-source web and mobile app that enables young people to transition out of dangerous and exploitative job and into careers in the formal sector.

These Solver teams have launched solutions that make the world a greener, more inclusive, more equitable place.

Together with Solve, MIT’s mission has always been about solving world problems and build a better world.

A community focused on innovation, technology, and action

Solve at MIT goes far beyond a traditional conference.

There are inspirational speakers like Eric Schmidt, Ursula Burns, Yo-Yo Ma, or Luis Alberto Moreno. There are incredible innovators that you might not have heard of until now, but you will remember after their session -- our Solver teams like Autism Detection at Birth and ScriptEd.

But, the event is really focused on building connections and partnerships between our Solver teams, Solve members and partners, and the MIT community. We will be hosting working groups and networking opportunities around our Global Challenges. We will be announcing announcing partnerships and new resources available for Solver teams.

Solve has been working flat out getting everything ready, and we’re beyond excited to get to meet and connect the Solver teams, our Solve members, and our whole community.

It’s all about open innovation

We’re trying something quite new here. MIT has always been an engine for innovation, like playing a key role in putting a man on the moon or training the next generation of leaders in STEM.

But, we also recognize that there are incredible innovators all around the world, with great solutions to problems in their community and in the world. They may not carry MIT ID cards, and they may not have access to the incredible innovation ecosystem around Kendall Square.

That’s why we want to blow open the doors of innovation at MIT by finding and supporting these innovators, by creating a global marketplace for social impact innovation that connects these incredible innovators no matter where they are.

Our four new Challenges on Coastal Communities, Frontlines of Health, Teachers and Educators, and Work of the Future are open until July 1. We encourage everyone, everywhere to apply. That’s the whole point of open innovation. And if you don't have a solution, you can comment, vote, join a Solveathon, and participate in this fast-growing, optimistic, and solutions-oriented community.

We’re still just starting so it’s early days, and we won’t get it all right the first time. After all, this is about innovation, and innovation means iteration and learning.

But, it means a lot to us that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and many other awesome innovators think we’re on the right track.

For members of the MIT community: Trudeau’s speech will be open to the MIT community on a lottery basis. Please register using your Kerberos by May 9 here.

The event is also open to Solve members, leaders from the private, public, and non-profit sectors that come together to drive social and environmental impact and support our Solver teams. For more information on membership, please see here.

Everyone can watch the Solve at MIT plenary sessions online here.

And sign up for the CrowdSolve here for more Solve updates!


The podium during the Opening Plenary of Solve at MIT, May 8, 2017. (Photo by Adam Schultz / MIT Solve)

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