You can change the world!

Submit your idea to MIT Solve

Maybe it’s an idea that’s been rattling around your head or maybe you’re about to have an epiphany that can dramatically improve the lives of hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people.

Now is your chance to make your idea become a reality.

Solve, an initiative of MIT, has launched three new challenges on its open innovation platform and is seeking submissions which could be pitched at the United Nations on March 7th.

Aimed at developing and implementing solutions to major global issues, the current Solve challenges seek innovative solutions that address: 

  • Refugee Education: How can we improve learning outcomes for refugee and displaced young people under 24? Click here to view the challenge.
  • Carbon Contributions: How can individuals and corporations manage and reduce their carbon contributions? Click here to view the challenge.
  • Chronic Diseases: How can we help people prevent, detect and manage chronic diseases, especially in resources-limited settings? Click here to view the challenge.

Challenges are active and open for applications until January 20, 2017. Anyone with innovative ideas and a passion for finding affordable, far-reaching, and implementable solutions is encouraged to apply.

You can find out more information about MIT Solve at http://solve.mit.edu/

Public Domain Jam! (Creative Commons blog)

The Wizard of Oz; Moby Dick; Alice in Wonderland. These characters (and many, many others) are in the public domain, and are free to be remixed and remade… into videogames. Creative Commons blogged about the Public Domain Jam, a cool videogame design contest with a $1000 prize for the best game released into the public domain:

If you’re a videogame designer and you have nothing to do over the next week (or if making cool games is more fun than your day job), why not spend the week developing a public domain game?

The idea of The Public Domain Jam is to encourage developers to create games based on public domain assets and stories, and optionally give the games themselves back to the public domain via the CC0 waiver. The game trailer encourages designers to think about the amazing wealth of public domain source material. Read more

 

The contest ends on Saturday, so hurry! And don’t forget to check out our list of game-related courses on OCW.

MIT’s Freaky Non-Stick Coating Keeps Ketchup Flowing (Fast Company)

And while you are over at Fast Company reading the article from the previous post, check out this gem:

MIT’s Freaky Non-Stick Coating Keeps Ketchup Flowing

Watch never-before-seen videos of an amazing new condiment lubricant that makes the inside of bottles so slippery, nothing is left inside. This means no more pounding on the bottom of your ketchup containers–and a lot less wasted food.

When it comes to those last globs of ketchup inevitably stuck to every bottle of Heinz, most people either violently shake the container in hopes of eking out another drop or two, or perform the “secret” trick: smacking the “57” logo on the bottle’s neck. But not MIT PhD candidate Dave Smith. He and a team of mechanical engineers and nano-technologists at the Varanasi Research Group have been held up in an MIT lab for the last two months addressing this common dining problem.
Screen Shot 2013-08-08 at 7.45.39 PM
The result? LiquiGlide, a “super slippery” coating made up of nontoxic materials that can be applied to all sorts of food packaging–though ketchup and mayonnaise bottles might just be the substance’s first targets. Condiments may sound like a narrow focus for a group of MIT engineers, but not when you consider the impact it could have on food waste and the packaging industry. “It’s funny: Everyone is always like, ‘Why bottles? What’s the big deal?’ But then you tell them the market for bottles–just the sauces alone is a $17 billion market,” Smith says. “And if all those bottles had our coating, we estimate that we could save about one million tons of food from being thrown out every year.”
Read more.

LiquiGlide came in second place, out of 215 teams, in MIT’s most recent $100k Entrepreneurship Competition. To learn more about entrepreneurship at MIT, check out MIT OpenCourseWare’s Entrepreneurship Course List.

Reclaim Open Learning innovation contest announced

Education writer Anya Kamenetz is announcing in the Huffington Post today a new contest to surface the best examples of innovative open education projects:

Open learning can mean many things to many people. It can mean learning that takes advantage of Creative Commons-licensed open educational resources or OER (of the major MOOC platforms, EDx is open-source, but none have open content). It can mean learning that is self-organized, experimental, peer-to-peer, DIY, badged or otherwise nontraditionally accredited. It takes place where theory meets practice, in communities of practice, in bar camps, hackathons, hacker spaces, Maker Faires, chat rooms, virtual worlds, archaeological digs, libraries, on Twitter, on Vine, on Instructables, on Vimeo, at the after-afterparty to the conference, at the Occupy encampment, in abandoned churches in Pittsburgh, coworking spaces in Nairobi or the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

But what are the best examples?

Here’s some of the explanation from the contest site:

Innovation Contest

The open learning innovation contest invites innovators whose work embodies the principles of connected learning to submit their stories and experiences for consideration. They might be running online or offline courses, activities, learning programs, study groups, or hybrid classes or out-of-school (extra-institutional) activities having to do with independent learning and volunteer work.

The contest focuses on independent learners and those who work with them mostly at the postsecondary level (though this doesn’t rule out those who work with people under 20). We’ll be seeking to highlight projects that:

* Align with connected learning principles.
* Make use of open-access and open-license technologies and business models.
* Involve students as leaders and partners in innovative learning: learner-created courses, majors, and special projects.
* Incorporate digital resources and practices in novel ways.
* Present an example to inspire others.
* Place a special emphasis on people underserved in some way by traditional higher education.
* Are works in progress, adapting to the emergent practices of learners as they go.