at MIT

Annual Flagship Meeting

Schedule

Monday, May 08, 2017

03:30 pm to 05:00 pm

Does technology still create more opportunity than it destroys?

Technological advancements such as the steam engine, washing machine, and electric lighting have historically created significant global opportunities and progress for both individuals and businesses. While technological innovations have increased jobs, productivity, and incomes, they have also created negative disruptions - for example, eliminating jobs in agriculture – and many benefits have not been realized equally by all people. As the pace of innovation continues to increase with further automation, robotics and artificial intelligence, the critical question becomes whether technology today is destroying more opportunity, jobs, and livelihoods than it creates, and whether this is a temporary or permanent trend. How can businesses, governments, and individuals limit the harmful disruption caused by technological advancement and further amplify their benefits?

Join Solve for this opening plenary as our panelists debate whether technology today is creating or destroying opportunity and equality. In addition, the panel will consider:

  • How can we continue to invest in technological advancements, especially the ones that solve big, bold global challenges such as climate change and food security, without critically disrupting jobs and livelihoods?
  • How can the benefits of new technology, such as genomics and big data, be enjoyed by all?
  • How can businesses and governments encourage technological innovation and create programs that limit negative disruptions to the labor market, and even increase the employability and wages of workers – particularly for those in sectors most at risk of automation?
  • What are the ethical and moral implications that businesses, governments, and consumers need to consider for their innovations?

Featured Speakers

Ash Carter

25th Secretary of Defense; MIT Innovation Fellow; Director, Belfer Center at the Harvard Kennedy School

Yo-Yo Ma

Cellist,

L. Rafael Reif

President, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Speakers

Rodney Brooks

Professor of Robotics, Emeritus, MIT

Erik Brynjolfsson

Schussel Family Professor & Director, MIT - Sloan School of Management, MIT - Initiative on the Digital Economy

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Chairperson & Managing Director, Biocon Limited

05:00 pm to 06:30 pm

Networking Reception

Network with Solvers and Solve community members.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

08:00 am to 09:00 am

Breakfast

09:00 am to 10:30 am

Plenary Session: How can we design stronger, smarter cities globally?

From ancient Rome to present-day Nairobi, cities have served as hubs of global progress. They account for nearly 70% of the world’s current GDP, and offer opportunities to foster resource efficiency and economic development. Urbanization, however, presents significant challenges – for example, nearly 29% of city dwellers worldwide currently live in slums, typically lacking basic services such as clean water and adequate housing. If we want to eliminate urban slums while greening our skyscrapers, or reduce resource inefficiency while improving infrastructure and basic service delivery, then we must revolutionize how cities are designed, rebuilt, and planned.

Join Solve for this plenary as our panelists discuss how businesses, governments, and individuals alike can rethink conventional urban design models and increase resilient and smart city planning efforts by:

  • Leveraging technology to mitigate climate change – for example, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from buildings.
  • Improving modes of transportation for all city dwellers, and ensuring that they are clean, reliable, accessible, and affordable.
  • Increasing investment for solutions that deliver basic services to slum and informal settlements, such as clean water, sanitation, and education.

Featured Speakers

Amar Hanspal

Chief Product Officer & Interim Co-CEO, Autodesk

Speakers

Olajumoke Adenowo

Architect CEO, AD Consulting Limited

Thierry Déau

Founding Partner & CEO, Meridiam

Kent Larson

Director, City Science Initiative and Changing Places Group, MIT Media Lab

11:00 am to 12:30 pm

Working Group: Chronic Diseases

How can we help people prevent, detect, and manage chronic diseases, especially in resources-limited settings?

We are facing a chronic disease crisis. Worldwide, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are responsible for 27 million deaths annually, over 75% of which occur in low- and middle-income countries. In addition to ending millions of lives, chronic diseases have major economic costs: estimates suggest they will result in tens of trillions of dollars in lost global economic output between 2011 and 2030, and in the U.S. alone, these diseases account for over $600 billion in medical costs each year. 

The Solve community aims to help fill some of the acute gaps in thinking, implementation, and discovery, which exist in the effort to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. To jumpstart thinking, application, and innovation to mitigate chronic disease cost, morbidity, and mortality, the Solve community can: 

  • Suggest chronic disease prevention models that can both reduce cost and improve health outcomes, particularly in low-income and developing country settings.
  • Propose innovative strategies for chronic disease screening, especially to increase early detection.
  • Develop low-cost, rapidly-scalable tools and technologies to help patients and caregivers more efficiently and effectively manage chronic disease burdens.

Speakers

Dr. Jeffrey Sturchio

President & CEO, Rabin Martin

Solvers

Dr. Gavin Armstrong

Founder & CEO, Lucky Iron Fish

Nick Gogerty

Chief Technology Officer, Healthcoin

Malena Gonzalez

Co-Founder, NutriCount Inc.

Abhinav Khare

Graduate Research Assistant, University at Buffalo

Shailesh Prithani

Co-Founder & CEO, Doxper

Teemu Suna

CEO & Co-Founder, Nightingale Health Ltd.

Dr. Reza Yavari

Board Certified Endocrinologist, Founder & CEO, Beyond Care

Nirinjan Yee

CEO, BreathResearch

11:00 am to 12:30 pm

Working Group: Inclusive Innovation

How do we create a more inclusive, productive, and sustainable economic future for all?

The Inclusive Innovation Competition (IIC) spotlights innovations that address the question: "How do we create a more inclusive, productive, and sustainable economic future for all?" The IIC was born from a Make challenge at the inaugural Solve event in October 2015.

Inclusive innovations are innovations that lead to affordable access to quality goods or services for large numbers of people, creating livelihoods for excluded populations on a long-term, sustainable basis.

The IIC is an awards program identifying, supporting, and celebrating organizations that are working to invent a more sustainable and productive future for everyone. The IIC grants $1 million to organizations that improve the lives of people at the middle and base of our economy.

The goals of the IIC are (1) to discover, evaluate, and advance the best innovations that reduce inequality; (2) to build a community of Solvers who care about inclusive innovation; and (3) to deepen our understanding of how to achieve inclusive growth. IIC applicants are solutions-focused organizations that have harnessed the modern toolkit of technology to develop breakthrough approaches that raise economic prospects for middle and base-level earners. For-profit and nonprofit organizations of any size, age, or nation may apply.

Solvers

Majora Carter

Founder & CEO, Startup Box

Mariana Costa Checa

Co-Founder & CEO, Laboratoria

Brenna Nan Schneider

Founder & CEO, 99Degress

Ella Peinovich

Founder, Soko

Liisa Petrykowska

Founder & CEO, Ignitia

Augusto Ruiz-Tagle

Co-Founder, Destacame

11:00 am to 12:30 pm

Working Group: Refugee Education

How can we improve learning outcomes for refugee and displaced young people under 24?

Globally, over 50 million children are refugees or migrants, and account for over 50% of refugees worldwide. Providing children and young people under 24 with education throughout their lives as refugees and displaced people is critical: ensuring their education isn’t disrupted is a key step to mitigating the impact of a current crisis and protecting against a future one. During crises, education can provide children with life-saving survival skills and can protect them from violence, exploitation, criminal activity, and disease. In the long term, education can help manage the psychological impacts of conflict and displacement, counter ideas of radicalization and exclusion, and foster alternative social narratives. Throughout, it also improves health outcomes and increases economic development for individuals, families, and countries.

The Solve community aims to help fill some of the acute gaps in thinking, implementation, and discovery which exist in the effort to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. To help jumpstart additive solutions to guarantee refugee children and displaced youth learn to their highest potential, the Solve community can:

  • Outline solutions to help increase access to learning - for example, by scaling promising learning technologies.
  • Suggest new models, techniques, and concepts that address key barriers to education delivery for students affected by crises.
  • Propose tools and strategies to measure, monitor, and achieve quality learning, especially to overcome resource limitations, language barriers, and geographic challenges.

Solvers

Gail Anderson

Teacher, Dock Mennonite Academy High School, rPartners

Lucrezia Bisignani

Founder & CEO, Kukua

Mehemed Bougsea

Head of Strategy and Business Development, Kiron Open Higher Education

Rama Chakaki

Co-founder, VIP.fund

Jacqui Jorgeson

Associate Director, The Schoolbox Project

Mohsin Mohi Ud Din

Director of Storytelling Innovation, Ashoka’s Youth Venture

Richard R. Rowe

Chair & CEO, Open Learning Exchange, Inc.

Chrystina Russell

Vice President for Global Engagement, Southern New Hampshire University

Katie Zaniboni

Volunteer, The Refugee Project, Team Up 2 Teach

11:00 am to 12:30 pm

Working Group: Carbon Contributions

How can individuals and corporations manage and reduce their carbon contributions?

By 2050, the world must double its energy and food supply to meet demand generated in large part by a growing increasingly prosperous population. We need to act now to balance increased production and consumption with the urgent steps necessary to monitor, manage, and mitigate climate change and its associated ecological and environmental risks. The Solve community aims to help fill some of the acute gaps in thinking, implementation, and discovery which exist in the effort to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. To help jumpstart additive solutions to manage our global emissions crisis, the SOLVE community will seek to generate and implement solutions to:

  • Generate, test, and deploy carbon removal technologies that could be implemented by individuals or corporations, at point or at scale.
  • Suggest implementable ‘bottom-up’ carbon pricing approaches for communities and businesses.
  • Propose large-scale individual-level and business-level solutions to significantly reduce emissions.

Speakers

Ernest J. Moniz

MIT Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics and Engineering Systems Emeritus and Special Advisor to the MIT President; Co-chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO, Nuclear Threat Initiative

Solvers

Simon Black

Frank Knox Fellow, Harvard University

Ed Cullinan

Senior Engineer, Research and Innovation, ATCO Pipelines and Liquids

Adam Flynn

Chief Technology Officer, ForeLight Inc.

Mike Hands

Founder & Director, Inga Foundation

Kyle Kornack

Executive Director, Global Citizens Imperative

Kevin Kung

PhD Student, Engineering, MIT, Safi Organics

Mike Stanley

Founder & CEO, Transit X

12:30 pm to 02:00 pm

Networking Lunch

02:00 pm to 03:30 pm

Working Group: Chronic Diseases

How can we help people prevent, detect, and manage chronic diseases, especially in resources-limited settings?

We are facing a chronic disease crisis. Worldwide, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are responsible for 27 million deaths annually, over 75% of which occur in low- and middle-income countries. In addition to ending millions of lives, chronic diseases have major economic costs: estimates suggest they will result in tens of trillions of dollars in lost global economic output between 2011 and 2030, and in the U.S. alone, these diseases account for over $600 billion in medical costs each year. 

The Solve community aims to help fill some of the acute gaps in thinking, implementation, and discovery, which exist in the effort to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. To jumpstart thinking, application, and innovation to mitigate chronic disease cost, morbidity, and mortality, the Solve community can: 

  • Suggest chronic disease prevention models that can both reduce cost and improve health outcomes, particularly in low-income and developing country settings.
  • Propose innovative strategies for chronic disease screening, especially to increase early detection.
  • Develop low-cost, rapidly-scalable tools and technologies to help patients and caregivers more efficiently and effectively manage chronic disease burdens.

Solvers

Dr. Gavin Armstrong

Founder & CEO, Lucky Iron Fish

Nick Gogerty

Chief Technology Officer, Healthcoin

Malena Gonzalez

Co-Founder, NutriCount Inc.

Abhinav Khare

Graduate Research Assistant, University at Buffalo

Shailesh Prithani

Co-Founder & CEO, Doxper

Teemu Suna

CEO & Co-Founder, Nightingale Health Ltd.

Dr. Reza Yavari

Board Certified Endocrinologist, Founder & CEO, Beyond Care

Nirinjan Yee

CEO, BreathResearch

02:00 pm to 03:30 pm

Working Group: Inclusive Innovation

How do we create a more inclusive, productive, and sustainable economic future for all?

The Inclusive Innovation Competition (IIC) spotlights innovations that address the question: "How do we create a more inclusive, productive, and sustainable economic future for all?" The IIC was born from a Make challenge at the inaugural Solve event in October 2015.

Inclusive innovations are innovations that lead to affordable access to quality goods or services for large numbers of people, creating livelihoods for excluded populations on a long-term, sustainable basis.

The IIC is an awards program identifying, supporting, and celebrating organizations that are working to invent a more sustainable and productive future for everyone. The IIC grants $1 million to organizations that improve the lives of people at the middle and base of our economy.

The goals of the IIC are (1) to discover, evaluate, and advance the best innovations that reduce inequality; (2) to build a community of Solvers who care about inclusive innovation; and (3) to deepen our understanding of how to achieve inclusive growth. IIC applicants are solutions-focused organizations that have harnessed the modern toolkit of technology to develop breakthrough approaches that raise economic prospects for middle and base-level earners. For-profit and nonprofit organizations of any size, age, or nation may apply.

Solvers

Majora Carter

Founder & CEO, Startup Box

Mariana Costa Checa

Co-Founder & CEO, Laboratoria

Brenna Nan Schneider

Founder & CEO, 99Degress

Ella Peinovich

Founder, Soko

Liisa Petrykowska

Founder & CEO, Ignitia

Augusto Ruiz-Tagle

Co-Founder, Destacame

02:00 pm to 03:30 pm

Working Group: Refugee Education

How can we improve learning outcomes for refugee and displaced young people under 24?

Globally, over 50 million children are refugees or migrants, and account for over 50% of refugees worldwide. Providing children and young people under 24 with education throughout their lives as refugees and displaced people is critical: ensuring their education isn’t disrupted is a key step to mitigating the impact of a current crisis and protecting against a future one. During crises, education can provide children with life-saving survival skills and can protect them from violence, exploitation, criminal activity, and disease. In the long term, education can help manage the psychological impacts of conflict and displacement, counter ideas of radicalization and exclusion, and foster alternative social narratives. Throughout, it also improves health outcomes and increases economic development for individuals, families, and countries.

The Solve community aims to help fill some of the acute gaps in thinking, implementation, and discovery which exist in the effort to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. To help jumpstart additive solutions to guarantee refugee children and displaced youth learn to their highest potential, the Solve community can:

  • Outline solutions to help increase access to learning - for example, by scaling promising learning technologies.
  • Suggest new models, techniques, and concepts that address key barriers to education delivery for students affected by crises.
  • Propose tools and strategies to measure, monitor, and achieve quality learning, especially to overcome resource limitations, language barriers, and geographic challenges.

Solvers

Gail Anderson

Teacher, Dock Mennonite Academy High School, rPartners

Lucrezia Bisignani

Founder & CEO, Kukua

Mehemed Bougsea

Head of Strategy and Business Development, Kiron Open Higher Education

Rama Chakaki

Co-founder, VIP.fund

Jacqui Jorgeson

Associate Director, The Schoolbox Project

Mohsin Mohi Ud Din

Director of Storytelling Innovation, Ashoka’s Youth Venture

Richard R. Rowe

Chair & CEO, Open Learning Exchange, Inc.

Chrystina Russell

Vice President for Global Engagement, Southern New Hampshire University

Katie Zaniboni

Volunteer, The Refugee Project, Team Up 2 Teach

02:00 pm to 03:30 pm

Working Group: Carbon Contributions

How can individuals and corporations manage and reduce their carbon contributions?

By 2050, the world must double its energy and food supply to meet demand generated in large part by a growing increasingly prosperous population. We need to act now to balance increased production and consumption with the urgent steps necessary to monitor, manage, and mitigate climate change and its associated ecological and environmental risks. The Solve community aims to help fill some of the acute gaps in thinking, implementation, and discovery which exist in the effort to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. To help jumpstart additive solutions to manage our global emissions crisis, the SOLVE community will seek to generate and implement solutions to:

  • Generate, test, and deploy carbon removal technologies that could be implemented by individuals or corporations, at point or at scale.
  • Suggest implementable ‘bottom-up’ carbon pricing approaches for communities and businesses.
  • Propose large-scale individual-level and business-level solutions to significantly reduce emissions.

Solvers

Simon Black

Frank Knox Fellow, Harvard University

Ed Cullinan

Senior Engineer, Research and Innovation, ATCO Pipelines and Liquids

Adam Flynn

Chief Technology Officer, ForeLight Inc.

Mike Hands

Founder & Director, Inga Foundation

Kyle Kornack

Executive Director, Global Citizens Imperative

Kevin Kung

PhD Student, Engineering, MIT, Safi Organics

Mike Stanley

Founder & CEO, Transit X

04:00 pm to 05:30 pm

Plenary Session: How can we get rural communities connected for opportunity?

Approximately 3.4 billion people globally live in rural communities, the majority in developing and emerging countries. Rural communities account for 75% of the world’s poor, with limited access to basic services including education, health, and finance. Many lack reliable mobile and internet connectivity, and therefore critical access to information services. Despite this, rural markets have steadily flourished in countries such as Mexico and South Africa, and many rural parts of Asia have experienced rising wages and increased purchasing power. Further, investing in and boosting the yields and incomes of the 500 million smallholder farmers in the world – the majority of whom are women – is essential to ensure we can feed the growing population, estimated at 10 billion people by 2050. Rural populations are incredibly resilient and resourceful, and by enabling their talent and ingenuity to flourish, they can themselves create the solutions needed for greater prosperity.

For this plenary our speakers will explore how businesses, governments, and individuals alike can support innovation in rural communities by exploring how to:

  • Invest in connectivity – boosting mobile and high speed internet coverage to allow rural communities to access information, financial services, and global markets.
  • Support smallholder farmers to increase both the yield and nutritional value of their crops, as well as fair market access.

Featured Speakers

Ursula M. Burns

Chairman, Xerox Corporation

Speakers

Pablo Borquez Schwarzbeck

CEO & Founder, ProducePay Inc.

Anurudh Ganesan

Co-Founder & CEO, Vaccine Innovations Inc.

05:30 pm to 07:00 pm

Networking Reception

Network with Solvers and Solve community members

07:00 pm to 09:30 pm

Jeffersonian Dinner: Now What? Connecting with Audiences in an Uncertain Age

We live and work in increasingly uncertain and tumultuous times. At the same time, it’s harder than ever for organizations to get their ideas across in a crowded content environment. This dinner will discuss how to break through and make an impact in uncertain landscape, sharing case studies from today's content leaders. This dinner will explore what’s new, what’s next, and what’s unknown in 2017.

07:00 pm to 09:30 pm

Jeffersonian Dinner: The Journey from Ideas to Impact: Harnessing Robotic Technology to Solve Our Greatest Environmental Challenges

Solving the world’s largest and most pressing environmental challenges will require innovative, science-driven interventions that can be easily scaled to maximize impact. New technologies—such as underwater robots that can protect coral reef systems—and mass manufacturing techniques hold the potential to reshape the way scientists and non-profits approach conservation. Hosts Erika and Colin Angle will discuss how we can leverage robotic technology to develop, fund, and enhance environmental non-profits and inspire the next generation of engineers and conservation scientists.

07:00 pm to 09:30 pm

Jeffersonian Dinner: ​Planning for Success: The Future of Aging Populations

The global population is aging at an unprecedented pace. By 2050, the number of people over the age of 60 is projected to double, reaching over 2 billion globally and posing serious implications for nearly all sectors of society. As aging populations continue to grow, how can philanthropies cooperate with NGOs, businesses, and governments to design innovative tools and services to address cognitive decline, loneliness, intergenerational relations, free time management and mobility, and related demands?

07:00 pm to 09:30 pm

Jeffersonian Dinner: The Future of Healthcare

Rapid advances in connectivity, artificial intelligence, and deep learning promise to transform the way we prevent, detect, and manage chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer. How can businesses, governments, researchers, and other innovators come together to leverage these technologies and improve healthcare quality and access globally?

07:00 pm to 09:30 pm

Jeffersonian Dinner: Funding Unfundable Research

As traditional research funding sources shrink and become more short term focused, a wide variety of potentially ground breaking research falls outside today’s funding parameters. Researchers without a track record in a given field find it difficult to attract funding, and new ideas without initial results often fail to gain traction.

The Bose Fellows program, now in its fourth year, funds research at MIT that is unable to attract conventional funding. Host Vanu Bose and the Bose fellows will discuss research and approaches to rethink research funding.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

08:00 am to 09:00 am

Breakfast

09:00 am to 10:30 am

Plenary Session: How can we harness talent and ingenuity everywhere to solve global challenges?

Our planet is full of bold thinkers and even bolder ideas. Humans today are more inter-connected than ever before, and yet, the ideas and talent of the 7 billion people living on this Earth have far from been utilized to their full potential. Solving the world’s seemingly intractable challenges, requires the participation of all humankind – from high school students, one of whom has developed a potential method for detecting the early stages of pancreatic cancer, to a refugee who has created a school that educates hundreds of girls in a refugee camp. To unearth the next Einstein, we must reach out to all talent globally and give them the resources to participate in solving the challenges of their communities and the challenges of the world. 

For this plenary, our speakers will explore how businesses, governments, and individuals alike can:

  • Support inclusive approaches to innovation - such as open innovation, co-creation, and crowd-sourcing – and democratize the ways in which solutions are developed to tackle global problems.
  • Enable those living in resource-limited settings to access education and information, to develop their talents and participate in solutions-building.
  • Ensure the equal participation of women and underserved populations in inclusive innovation, breaking down the barriers that prevent full participation and access to technology.

Speakers

Besan Abu-Joudeh

Co-Founder & CEO, BuildPalestine

Mbwana Alliy

Managing Partner, Savannah Fund

Deborah Berebichez

Chief Data Scientist, Discovery Channel TV Host, Metis, Outrageous Acts of Science

Deogratias (Deo) Niyizonkiza

Founder & CEO, Village Health Works

Abe Nouk

Spoken Word Performer, Author, Founder & Director , Creative Rebellion Youth

11:00 am to 12:30 pm

Working Group: Youth, Skills, and the Workforce of the Future

How can disadvantaged youth learn the skills they need to prepare them for the workforce of the future and thrive in the 21st century?

The beginning of the 21st century has been marked by rapid advances in technological innovation—from smartphones and big data to artificial intelligence and machine learning. While new technology can generate jobs and increase labor productivity, it also creates job displacement and widens the skills gap. Today’s generation of young people now face a world in which nearly half of today’s jobs globally—around 2 billion—are at risk of becoming obsolete due to automation and technological advancement in the coming decades.

A job for life is now a thing of the past. According to the World Bank, 4 out of 5 children entering primary school today will eventually hold jobs that do not currently exist. These fast-changing realities leave ripple effects on communities worldwide, but the world’s poorest are likely to be the most adversely affected by these market shifts.

The ability to acquire new skills throughout life, to adapt, and to work flexibly will be of particular importance. So too will be technical, social, and critical thinking skills. Quality learning opportunities must be deployed by governments, cross-sector industry leaders, and local communities alike in order to encourage learning experiences to adapt to today’s world, drive income generation, prevent worsening inequality, and provide a prosperous future for all. Building on the Sustainable Development Goal 4 to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, how can disadvantaged children and young people develop the skills they need to participate in the workforce of the future and thrive in the 21st century? 

The Solve community aims to unearth and support innovative solutions to guarantee disadvantaged young people under 24 from low socio-economic (income, wealth, and education) backgrounds are equipped with 21st century skills and prepared for the workforce of the future. To do so, the Solve community can:

  • Suggest innovative learning technologies to help increase skills development for disadvantaged youth around the world
  • Present new educational models and concepts to improve quality of learning for young people in the 21st century
  • Propose tools and strategies to teach skills that will drive entrepreneurship, critical thinking, and adaptability
  • Identify innovative solutions to ensure equal access and inclusion of boys, girls, and people with disabilities to quality education and skills development.

11:00 am to 12:30 pm

Working Group: Brain Health

How can people around the world, including in resource-limited areas, achieve optimal brain health?

Fourteen percent of the global burden of disease is attributed to disorders of the brain: mental, neurological, and substance use disorders. Depression affects about 4.4% of the world’s population, or 322 million people; another 45 million people live with neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and dementia, and about 3.3 million people die yearly due to alcohol abuse. Treatment for many, especially in low-income countries, can be difficult or impossible to access.

Technology can provide a pathway for introducing more effective, accessible, and scalable treatments for these afflictions, and—perhaps even more importantly—for solutions that empower people to improve their overall brain wellness, which is integral to preventing brain disorders, enhancing brain functionality, and enabling people to live happy and productive lives.

The Solve community aims to unearth and support innovative solutions to improve brain health and fitness for all. To do so, the Solve community can:

  • Enhance brain fitness, mental wellbeing, and resiliency.
  • Enable earlier, more accurate diagnosis of problems.
  • Increase access to and efficacy of treatments.

11:00 am to 12:30 pm

Working Group: Women and Technology

How can women and girls of all socio-economic backgrounds succeed and prosper in the digital economy?

Today, limited access to finance, low connectivity, and cultural limitations are some of the enduring barriers preventing women from taking their rightful place in the digital economy. While current statistics paint a picture of persistent inequality, technology holds significant potential to close the gender gap and create new and innovative pathways for women to generate income, access financial resources, and connect to the global community. For women and girls to fully reap the benefits of the ‘digital dividend’, we need to find ways to break the barriers, and amplify what works.

The Solve community aims to unearth and support innovative solutions to ensure women can succeed and prosper in the digital economy. To do so, the Solve community can:

  • Improve connectivity and technology access for women, particularly in underserved areas.
  • Increase women’s financial inclusion through fin-tech solutions to credit, savings, investment, and insurance.
  • Increase opportunities for dignified income generation in nontraditional sectors such as the gig economy, sharing economy, or through supply chain innovations.
  • Correct for bias and heuristics whether self-inflicted among women and girls, employers, or within communities.

11:00 am to 12:30 pm

Working Group: Sustainable Urban Communities

How can urban communities increase their access to sustainable and resilient food and water sources?

Over half the world’s people now live in cities, and 90% of population growth in the future will be urban, whether through migration from rural areas or through natural growth. Cities put communities and ideas near each other, generating a large portion of a country’s GDP and innovations. Cities also promote efficient lifestyles, and increasing the number of residents with low-carbon lives is a key part of responding to climate change, as cities currently account for 70% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, a number only set to grow.

Sustainable food and water use is a key factor in ensuring the sustainability and long-term resiliency of urban communities. Further, one third of urban residents still lack access to key infrastructure. Many residents live in informal settlements—slums, favelas, zopadpattis, etc.—which lack land tenure along with water, sanitation, food, or permanent housing. Other communities in more developed countries face unmaintained infrastructure and a history of racial, economic, or other bias in access to fresh food and adequate housing. Thus, in addition to promoting lower carbon lives and avoiding droughts and stress, access to high-quality food water is key to community health and economic prosperity, whether in Flint, Michigan or in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro.

The Solve community aims to unearth and support innovative solutions to support marginalized urban communities’ ability to access sustainable and resilient food and water sources. To do so, the Solve community can:

  • Produce drinkable water or healthy food near the point of consumption in resource- and cost-efficient manners.
  • Extend, monitor, and maintain infrastructure for supplying water to urban neighborhoods.
  • Improve urban supply chains and equitable market access for nutritious low-carbon food.

12:30 pm to 02:00 pm

Networking Lunch

02:00 pm to 03:30 pm

Working Group: Youth, Skills, and the Workforce of the Future

How can disadvantaged youth learn the skills they need to prepare them for the workforce of the future and thrive in the 21st century?

The beginning of the 21st century has been marked by rapid advances in technological innovation—from smartphones and big data to artificial intelligence and machine learning. While new technology can generate jobs and increase labor productivity, it also creates job displacement and widens the skills gap. Today’s generation of young people now face a world in which nearly half of today’s jobs globally—around 2 billion—are at risk of becoming obsolete due to automation and technological advancement in the coming decades.

A job for life is now a thing of the past. According to the World Bank, 4 out of 5 children entering primary school today will eventually hold jobs that do not currently exist. These fast-changing realities leave ripple effects on communities worldwide, but the world’s poorest are likely to be the most adversely affected by these market shifts.

The ability to acquire new skills throughout life, to adapt, and to work flexibly will be of particular importance. So too will be technical, social, and critical thinking skills. Quality learning opportunities must be deployed by governments, cross-sector industry leaders, and local communities alike in order to encourage learning experiences to adapt to today’s world, drive income generation, prevent worsening inequality, and provide a prosperous future for all. Building on the Sustainable Development Goal 4 to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, how can disadvantaged children and young people develop the skills they need to participate in the workforce of the future and thrive in the 21st century? 

The Solve community aims to unearth and support innovative solutions to guarantee disadvantaged young people under 24 from low socio-economic (income, wealth, and education) backgrounds are equipped with 21st century skills and prepared for the workforce of the future. To do so, the Solve community can:

  • Suggest innovative learning technologies to help increase skills development for disadvantaged youth around the world
  • Present new educational models and concepts to improve quality of learning for young people in the 21st century
  • Propose tools and strategies to teach skills that will drive entrepreneurship, critical thinking, and adaptability
  • Identify innovative solutions to ensure equal access and inclusion of boys, girls, and people with disabilities to quality education and skills development.

02:00 pm to 03:30 pm

Working Group: Brain Health

How can people around the world, including in resource-limited areas, achieve optimal brain health?

Fourteen percent of the global burden of disease is attributed to disorders of the brain: mental, neurological, and substance use disorders. Depression affects about 4.4% of the world’s population, or 322 million people; another 45 million people live with neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and dementia, and about 3.3 million people die yearly due to alcohol abuse. Treatment for many, especially in low-income countries, can be difficult or impossible to access.

Technology can provide a pathway for introducing more effective, accessible, and scalable treatments for these afflictions, and—perhaps even more importantly—for solutions that empower people to improve their overall brain wellness, which is integral to preventing brain disorders, enhancing brain functionality, and enabling people to live happy and productive lives.

The Solve community aims to unearth and support innovative solutions to improve brain health and fitness for all. To do so, the Solve community can:

  • Enhance brain fitness, mental wellbeing, and resiliency.
  • Enable earlier, more accurate diagnosis of problems.
  • Increase access to and efficacy of treatments.

02:00 pm to 03:30 pm

Working Group: Women and Technology

How can women and girls of all socio-economic backgrounds succeed and prosper in the digital economy?

Today, limited access to finance, low connectivity, and cultural limitations are some of the enduring barriers preventing women from taking their rightful place in the digital economy. While current statistics paint a picture of persistent inequality, technology holds significant potential to close the gender gap and create new and innovative pathways for women to generate income, access financial resources, and connect to the global community. For women and girls to fully reap the benefits of the ‘digital dividend’, we need to find ways to break the barriers, and amplify what works.

The Solve community aims to unearth and support innovative solutions to ensure women can succeed and prosper in the digital economy. To do so, the Solve community can:

  • Improve connectivity and technology access for women, particularly in underserved areas.
  • Increase women’s financial inclusion through fin-tech solutions to credit, savings, investment, and insurance.
  • Increase opportunities for dignified income generation in nontraditional sectors such as the gig economy, sharing economy, or through supply chain innovations.
  • Correct for bias and heuristics whether self-inflicted among women and girls, employers, or within communities.

02:00 pm to 03:30 pm

Working Group: Sustainable Urban Communities

How can urban communities increase their access to sustainable and resilient food and water sources?

Over half the world’s people now live in cities, and 90% of population growth in the future will be urban, whether through migration from rural areas or through natural growth. Cities put communities and ideas near each other, generating a large portion of a country’s GDP and innovations. Cities also promote efficient lifestyles, and increasing the number of residents with low-carbon lives is a key part of responding to climate change, as cities currently account for 70% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, a number only set to grow.

Sustainable food and water use is a key factor in ensuring the sustainability and long-term resiliency of urban communities. Further, one third of urban residents still lack access to key infrastructure. Many residents live in informal settlements—slums, favelas, zopadpattis, etc.—which lack land tenure along with water, sanitation, food, or permanent housing. Other communities in more developed countries face unmaintained infrastructure and a history of racial, economic, or other bias in access to fresh food and adequate housing. Thus, in addition to promoting lower carbon lives and avoiding droughts and stress, access to high-quality food water is key to community health and economic prosperity, whether in Flint, Michigan or in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro.

The Solve community aims to unearth and support innovative solutions to support marginalized urban communities’ ability to access sustainable and resilient food and water sources. To do so, the Solve community can:

  • Produce drinkable water or healthy food near the point of consumption in resource- and cost-efficient manners.
  • Extend, monitor, and maintain infrastructure for supplying water to urban neighborhoods.
  • Improve urban supply chains and equitable market access for nutritious low-carbon food.

04:00 pm to 05:30 pm

Closing Plenary: Fast-forward, what might the world look like in 2050?

Mahatma Gandhi once said that “the future depends on what you do today.” Our current ideas and innovations will shape the world of tomorrow. Technology in particular will drastically alter the lives of the expected 10 billion people on Earth by 2050: for example, it is predicted that 90% of the global population will be covered by mobile broadband networks by 2020, and that renewable energy sources could adequately supply up to 80% of total U.S. energy generation by 2050. With promising developments on the horizon, how can we seize the opportunities present and leverage the accelerating power of technology to address remaining challenges and achieve a more equitable, sustainable, healthy, and prosperous Earth by 2050?

For this plenary our speakers will discuss how businesses, governments, and individuals alike can:

  • Imagine the world of tomorrow, and make the right investments today to support its promise.
  • Support interventions that reflect long-term thinking, prevention, and greater risk-taking in solution-building across all sectors, rather than focusing on short-term election cycles, profitability and impact.
  • Increase R&D for technologies that will redefine health, education, and resource use as we know it – from robotics in telehealth services to distance learning tools for rural communities.

Speakers

Jack Andraka

Researcher, Stanford University

Ken Mulvany

Director & Founder, BenevolentAI

Jason Pontin

CEO, Editor in Chief, and Publisher, MIT Technology Review

Mariela G. Shaker

Syrian Violinist and Advocate,

Megan J. Smith

3rd U.S. Chief Technology Officer, Entrepreneur, Engineer, U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy

Marjorie Yang

Chairman, Esquel Group

06:00 pm to 08:30 pm

Jeffersonian Dinner: Innovation in the New Era

In the coming years, conventional sources of funding for research and innovation may change dramatically as the government alters its spending priorities. Yet, innovations—in sectors like energy and healthcare—are expensive, potentially long, and difficult endeavors.

Will and can the private sector effectively partner with government to move research forward on important innovations like energy, pharmaceuticals, and other deeply scientific areas?