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Innovation in Action…is Running Virtually!

As we look ahead toward a new year, and the potential of a virtual Winter semester, we’re mindful that the things that have made Innovation in Action an incredible community of learners and innovators is not bound by campus walls or academic calendars.

So, we are excited to apply our own design process to this year’s program and re-design IiA to meet students where they are: online

This year, we’ll begin with a kick-off event in January after classes begin and continue with modules through March, culminating in a Final Showcase at the beginning of April. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top teams:

  • 1st Prize: $10,000
  • 2nd Prize: $7,5000
  • 3rd Prize: $5,000

You can learn more about last year’s winning teams and their work here,

Participants of the 2019-2020 IiA finals meet virtually to give their final presentations.

While this will be our first time running an entirely virtual program, the Innovation in Action team is excited for the challenge. Using a combination of digital tools (Zoom, MURAL, Canvas, Slack, etc.), our goal is to reshape the IiA modules for the virtual world.

The module topics we’ll cover are:

  • Socially Engaged Design Thinking & Team Foundations
  • Ecosystem Mapping: Getting the Lay of the Land
  • Putting People at the Center: Interviews & Information Gathering
  • Problem Definition: Synthesizing Stakeholder Insights
  • Creative Problem Solving: How Might We
  • Storytelling: Finding Your Voice
  • Team Dynamics: Using Your Voice
  • Prototyping: Drafting Your Blueprint
  • Sustainable Impact Model Design: Putting the Pieces Together
  • Reflective Innovation: Looking Back & Moving Forward

If you’re interested in participating, learning more, building a team, or applying please visit innovationinaction.umich.edu. We look forward to welcoming you into the eighth cohort of Innovation in Action!

— The Innovation in Action Team

Frequently Asked Questions

DO I NEED A TEAM TO APPLY?
No, please feel free to apply as an individual! While Innovation in Action is best experienced as a team, we know building a team this year is a difficult task. So we will help you build your team throughout our sessions in January.

WHEN ARE APPLICATIONS DUE?
Applications are due by 11:59 PM ET on Sunday, January 10, 2021. All applications will be reviewed for adherence to eligibility requirements.

DO I NEED TO HAVE A FULLY-DEVELOPED PROJECT OR IDEA BEFORE APPLYING?
No, not at all! You’re welcome to bring a project from a class or student org into Innovation in Action, but it’s absolutely not required. We ask that you identify a challenge area you’re interested in focusing on aligning with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and we’ll walk you through the process of deeply understanding that challenge.

I STILL HAVE QUESTIONS, WHO CAN HELP?
Please feel free to email or book Open Office Hours with Erin Moore to get your questions answered or an overview of the program.

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