Announcing: 2013 Social Innovation Contest!

The Delaware Design Institute Social Innovation Contest

Be creative.        Make a difference.        Win $$$

“Social innovation is “a novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than existing solutions and for which the value created accrues primarily to society as a whole rather than private individuals”

-Phills, J. A., Deiglmeier, K., & Miller, D. T. (2008). Rediscovering social innovation. Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Design a Social Innovation

Design a “product”/solution that effectively addresses a specific social problem! Your solution must be:

  1. Unique
  2. Solve the problem (achieve the goal/s)
  3. Sustainable—economic, social, environmental
  4. Integrative—striving for feasibility, viability, desirability
  5. Make a positive difference for people (that is the social part!)

The contest rules:

  • Multidisciplinary teams– minimum 3, maximum 6- must formally represent (employed, declared major, etc.) at least 3 disciplines
  • Identified, focused “problem” within a broader “wicked” problem
  • One “free” consulting session with a design judge:-)

With additional bonus points for:

  1. A real world client
  2. A detailed implementation plan and budget
  3. Some actual activities toward implementation

Teams are encouraged to utilize the many valuable facets of design thinking and design processes, including:

  1. Gathering user-centered data and perspectives
  2. Collaboration (and perhaps co-design)
  3. Iteration (i.e. prototyping, piloting, etc.)
  4. Clearly incorporating divergent and convergent thinking—through all phases
  5. Utilizing multi- and/or cross-disciplinary perspectives

Contest begins TODAY! Final products and presentations due Wednesday, May 15, 2013 (Reading Day)

Register your team today by emailing Tony Middlebrooks at
Please include full names and affiliations of all team members.


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