Submission Examples

Round 1 of the Global Social Innovation Challenge requires students to apprentice with the problem1 that they are trying to solve and map the issue2 prior to proposing a solution. 

Bellow are four examples of students mapping the issue in an infographic presentation. 

1 The term "apprenticing with a problem" comes from Jessamyn Shams-Lau, Executive Director of the Peery Foundation, who teaches a course with Todd Manwaring at Brigham Young University. They encourage their students to apprentice with a problem as they pursue their social change goals (
2 “Mapping the issue” as a first step for social entrepreneurship began as part of the “Oxford Global Challenge” hosted by the Skoll Center for Social Entrepreneurship at the Said Business School at the University of Oxford (


Round 1

USD students Mei Li Hey and Harrison Schmachtenberger (Mechanical Engineering '17) based their project on landmine survivors and handicapped individuals unable to use use a pit-latrine independently, resulting in marginalization of these individuals. Inspired by Margaret Orech, a Ugandan landmine survivor and the founder of the Uganda Landmine Survivors Association, Simple Seat, Better Lives team focused on understanding and alleviating this issue. The Simple Seat submission won second place in the Oxford Global Challenge 2017. Click here to find more information about their submission.

USD students Andrea Calderón and Kait Dugan(MAPJ, '18) and Michael Lettieri from the Trans-border Institute based their project on feminicides (defined as the killing of a woman for reasons related to her gender). Feminicide is an issue of global concern and affects not just the victims but the society as a whole. The team focused on understanding this problem in the context of Mexico.

USD students Patricio Keegan and Shannon Winchell (MBA, '18) based their research on sex trafficking in the U.S.-Mexico border. This issue presents a distinctive set of challenges for combating human trafficking, but the policy responses necessary to counteract the human trade have been slow to emerge. One team focused on understanding the drivers of this issue with the hopes of identifying potential levers for change!

An estimated 1.2 billion people worldwide live without access to electricity. Of these, 300 million live in rural communities in India, where lack of electricity causes a loss of economic productivity and costs to health, quality of life and the environment. One team focused on mapping this issue to identify gaps in the current solution landscape.

Round 2

Rice Pollution Solution, a project by Abdalla Almulla, Miluska Garcia, Chase Mcquarrie and Clay Mosolino, strive for reduction of heavy metals in rice to lower the potential of cancer and to improve food quality throughout the world by implementing a retention pool on the top terrace of rice paddies.

Trash Tracker, a project by Jordan Schultz, is developing an innovation that can increase residential recycling rates using cloud database and behavioral analysis.

IR-Sonic, a project by Khoa Vu and Michael Girard, is developing a device to supplement or replace the traditional cane, and enhance a blind person's mobility.

Fundación Gaia, a project by Antonio Irastorza, Darinka Carballo, Frank Ortiz, Madison Coronado and David H. Lopez-Sandoval, aims to curb the vicious cycle of homelessness and substance abuse in the people deported from the USA to Tijuana, Mexico.