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Who Are the Students in the Global Social Innovation Challenge?

Get to know about the passionate USD students and teams who've entered this year's Global Social Innovation Challenge.

Last month, 76 University of San Diego students comprising 35 social innovation teams submitted their entry into The Global Social Innovation Challenge. These students were undergraduate and graduate students from disciplines as varied as mechanical engineering, finance, biological neuroscience, cyber security, political science and peace and justice.

Round one of the challenge required students to demonstrate their understanding of a social or environmental issue with an eye to identifying gaps in the existing solutions.

Janaira Quigley, a Master in Global Leadership student, says, “The main problem that we are trying to address is social isolation and its health effects in homebound seniors. In the process, we are developing a way to assist stay-at-home moms and their children, and build our sense of community.”

The Challenge supports students just getting started on their social innovation journey, as well as students who are already social entrepreneurs looking for skills and feedback to take their innovation to the next level.

Bianca Alvarado, a Master of Arts in Social Innovation student, says, “As founder of a social enterprise called Baja Urban, I have spent the last weeks learning all about my customers. I am implementing strategies that I have learned as part of the Global Social Innovation Challenge regarding empathy building and design thinking. The process has allowed me to gain insight from my customers as I design a prototype.”

The Challenge also helps students learn about themselves, how they function as part of a team, and what skills and talents they have to offer. When asked why they entered the Challenge, students gave varied, passionate answers:

• “To work in cohesion with a team to grow, develop and learn in order to ensure I am reaching my fullest potential personal and professionally."

• “To co-create something meaningful, to learn-while-doing, create, research, make mistakes and connect with other social innovators who care about our collective well-being.”

• “When my home country experienced an earthquake recently, I couldn’t get it out of my mind that I had to do something and found this the perfect opportunity to act.”

Globally, the Global Social Innovation Challenge includes 27 universities from 12 countries. USD is the convener of over 300 students worldwide who are working towards sustainable, social change.

To learn more, visit www.sandiego.edu/global-innovation