Hacking Health is a new program, comprised of a design charrette and a follow-up, cross-disciplinary product development course in Winter 2019.

The aim of the VentureWell Kids Design Charrette 2019 is to bring together a diverse range of participants—students, faculty, children, and researchers across the design, health, business, and engineering community—to gain greater understanding of today’s challenges in pediatric populations, and to begin exploring preventative health solutions to those problems. The students can then leverage the course to further develop the ideas, utilize U-M’s larger entrepreneurial ecosystem, and work to move their ideas to market.

Interested in Participating? Apply here by December 15. We are planning to have kids participate between 11:00 am – 12:30 pm. If you have a child who is interested, please fill out the RSVP, indicating the child’s age. We will contact you with accepted participation by December 20, 2018.

Why Design?

Raising kids and caring for their wellbeing is important, with recent research showing that the modern world has created many new challenges for kids—some of these include growing up in diverse families and cultures, technology integration, and management of physical and mental well-being. Design and technology can play an active role in enabling parents and children to manage their personal wellbeing and safety, and this event will begin an interdisciplinary dialogue that hopes to address some of these challenges.

Why a charrette?

A charrette is an intensive, multi-disciplinary design workshop among major stakeholders collaborating to explore, share a vision and exchange ideas. Working with teams across multiple disciplines, the group’s skills and knowledge can be used to generate creative responses to these challenges. As members of a public university we have a particular interest in engaging the UM community in collaborative problem solving for population health.

How will it work?

The VentureWell Kids program (design charrette and follow up course) will focus on developing ideas to lower barriers of effective personal care self-management in pediatric populations with a focus on pre-teens (ages 9-12). The aim is to generate ideas, and ultimately solutions, for challenges within physical health, mental and social well-being, obesity, nutrition, physical activity, safety and technology use. On the day of the charrette, participants will work in interdisciplinary teams to develop a fuller understanding of the challenges and opportunities within this space (see schedule below).


  1. Empathy map and user profiles: Frameworks to understand characteristics and needs of target population which help in making effective design decisions.
  2. Scenarios: Storyboards of ideas for effective self-management of personal care in the pediatric population.
  3. Ideation: Collaboratively exploring potential interventions.

Interested in Participating? Apply here by December 15. We will contact you for accepted participation by December 20, 2018.