MIT Announces Solve Program Activities | MIT News

MIT’s Solve program today announced its preliminary schedule of activities for fall 2016 and spring 2017.

Solve is a series of live meetings whose mission is to cultivate a community to discover, assess and advance technological solutions to global problems.

MIT President L. Rafael Reif announced Solve in 2014, and the series first met last fall. “At MIT, we want to do good for the world,” Reif said in his opening speech, adding, “With Solve, we want to accelerate positive change.

At its first major event, Solve brought together technologists, philanthropists, business leaders, policy makers and change agents from around the world to examine and solve the problems where technology, business innovation and smart policy can be harnessed to bring about real and lasting change. Since then, the teams have taken action on a number of issues, such as funding an inclusive innovation competition, removing barriers to building a safe and inexpensive new nuclear reactor design, and planning of various projects in schools in Johannesburg, South Africa; Haiti; and Seattle, Washington.

The Solve program is organized around four “pillars”: Fuel, Learn, Cure and Do. This year’s program poses five “challenges” within these pillars:

  • Fuel
    • Carbon Price: How can new technologies (including digital currencies like Bitcoin) be used to put a price on carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases?
    • Negative carbon emissions: how to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in a scalable, economical and ethical way?
  • To learn
    • Refugee education: How can we improve learning in refugee camps to provide quality education for children there?
  • To cure
    • Harnessing innovation: How can we use tools, including mobile devices, to help people with mental disorders such as dementia, schizophrenia and autism?
  • Make
    • Inclusive innovation: How to create a more inclusive, productive and sustainable economic future for all?

These challenges were created by professors at MIT in consultation with various subject matter experts and thought leaders. In the years to come, the challenges will be generated by a large community, including universities, external advisers, crowdsourcing, industry leaders and non-governmental organizations; and expert advice will select the challenges where progress seems most likely.

Solve invites participants from all over the world to participate in the process by joining its community. The program actively seeks proposals to meet the challenges. Individuals and organizations are encouraged to connect to the Solve CoLab platform to offer solutions.

Solve will feature selected challenges and explore possible solutions at events throughout the year, starting with Solve at HUBweek, a city-wide festival in Boston held the last week of September. 2016, where participants can offer their solutions. In the spring of 2017, MIT will bring together a group of guests at its Cambridge campus to explore the challenges more in depth in small interactive sessions, with the aim of creating and implementing the next concrete steps.

Other regional resolution activities will be announced on an ongoing basis throughout the year.

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