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For the past few years, a large number of students, faculty and staff at the University of San Diego have been fervently working on a single goal: creating the ultimate culture of innovation.

A 2015 USD alumnus with a dual (BS/BA) degree in Mechanical Engineering, Cohn is an innovator by nature. He cleaned up at the 2015 Social Innovation Challenge with his team’s H2g0 design for a mobile water purification system, earning the top amount of $18,000.

Entrepreneurship is a mindset. It’s about the big idea. It’s about the networking, the investment funding, the late nights of frustration and concentration.

Do you believe one pair of pants can change the world? Recent University of San Diego School of Business alumna Brittany Becker BA ’15 does.

Engineering students Harrison Schmachtenberger ’17, Shannon Bailey ’17, and Mei-Li Hey ’17 teamed up with Naugler to construct a latrine aid made out of local Ugandan materials.

“Students in the Hansen Summer Institute were chosen because of the commitment they have to creating positive change in the communities they come from,” said Grace Michel, CPC assistant director.

For three weeks this summer, 22 fellows from around the world have convened at the University of San Diego to develop their leadership skills and work together for a more peaceful future at the Hansen Summer Institute.

A proposal for an off-grid water purification system to sustain small communities with drinking water during disasters and emergencies was the big winner in the University of San Diego’s fifth annual Social Innovation Challenge.

After grueling months of working in teams, one-on-one coaching sessions, pitching workshops and elimination rounds that winnowed the top 15 contenders from more than 100 applicants in the competition.

As the world continues to change, so too is the necessity to be innovative in our thinking and doing. Solving problems through new student ideas can improve our quality of life. Taking new knowledge or a new approach to something and putting it to the best possible use, is vital.

Proposals for an off-grid water purification system, an app to connect socially conscious organizations and a low-cost device for HIV testing were among the winners at this week’s Social Innovation Challenge at the University of San Diego.

Students from USD, San Diego State University and UC San Diego pitched ideas that could improve communities Tuesday, and winners were announced Friday afternoon. Each team asked for seed money from a pool of $75,000 to take their proposals to the next stage of development.

Students from USD, UCSD, and SDSU pitch their social venture ideas for seed funding.

There are only 16 total teams left in the running for the University of San Diego’s Social Innovation Challenge and the remaining teams have been divided into two tracks: USD and San Diego-wide.

So, imagine the challenge of pitching a business idea in sign language. That's what the first prize winner of the University of San Diego's Social Innovation Challenge did.

Contact Information

Center for Peace and Commerce
Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice 121
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110

Phone: (619) 260-4857
Fax: (619) 260-4891
cpc@sandiego.edu

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