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Wednesday, October 23 • 8:30am - 9:30am
Running Innovation Challenges to Advance Institutional Goals and Community Engagement

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Running Innovation Challenges to Advance Institutional Goals and Community Engagement

Social change institutions are increasingly using "challenges" to incubate innovative ideas to address campus and community issues. In 2018, Schmidt Futures created the Alliance for the American Dream, a collective of 4 large, public research universities that leverage their anchor institution role to run grand challenges focused on strengthening America's middle class.

The University of Utah, a member of the Alliance, strategically designed a community-based, statewide challenge to engage a broad spectrum of perspectives and ideas from the nonprofit, government, business, and entrepreneurial communities. This challenge process garnered new partnerships and deep engagement that has enhanced the university's anchor role in its community.

As universities expand their entrepreneurial footprint, it is critical that more members of a campus and the larger community learn how to leverage the grand challenge format to incubate and develop ideas. Using the experiences of running two challenges at the University of Utah, this session will outline the strategies and outcomes of a statewide, community challenge focused on income disparity and an on-campus degree completion challenge. Attendees will have the opportunity to brainstorm issues facing their campus communities and explore how a challenge model could engage various stakeholders to partner for positive social change.


Courtney McBeth

Special Assistant to the President, University of Utah

Cassie Slattery

Administrative Manager, University of Utah

Wednesday October 23, 2019 8:30am - 9:30am EDT
Washington B