Annual Global Innovation Challenge

Photo: Global Innovation Challenge 2016.

Global Innovation Challenge 2016

The annual Global Innovation Challenge is a competition and course open to all undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and nontraditional students focused on developing solutions to some of the major, unsolved global health challenges around the world. For one week, participants engage in team-building and creative problem-solving activities with international experts and UB faculty. 

The 2020 Global Innovation Challenge focused on how we communicate complex issues, like how, and with whom, should we share new genetic and genomic research and information, how we reveal the hidden dangers of pollutants in our food, homes, and neighborhoods, and how we ethically persuade people to heed warnings of imminent threats, such as epidemics and extreme weather events. Communicating these complex issues, while separating fact from fiction, is challenging. Cultural differences, literacy levels, political motivations, and new media platforms complicate this further. The public is uncertain whom and what to believe.

The nature of the challenge called for innovative, novel ideas from UB students across all disciplines. At the 2020 Global Innovation Challenge, students:

  • earned spring course credit while having fun and making an impact
  • tackled complex issues like climate change, environmental exposure, and genomics
  • partnered with students, faculty, and international experts across disciplines
  • learned about the science of science communication
  • cultivated creative problem-solving abilities
  • competed for funding to further ideas

The GIC is co-organized by the Community for Global Health Equity, faculty fellows Drs. Katarzyna Kordas and Jennifer Surtees, Blackstone Launchpad, and UB Sustainability.

Program Materials

Many thanks to our Sponsors

Global Health Equity logo.
Blackstone Launchpad and TechStars logo.
Business and Entrepreneurship logo.

Housing Options

Returning UB students may apply for "break housing", indicating the dates they will need to move in early before spring semester begins. There is no additional cost to the students. The "break housing" application opens in December. More information and the application to apply can be found on the Campus Living website

New UB students may be eligible for "early arrival" housing. Please contact Jessica Scates for more information.

Students from other universities must make housing arrangements for their time in Buffalo. Please reach out to us if you have questions about what options are available to you.

Our Previous Winners

4/23/20
The 2020 Global Innovation Challenge focused on how we communicate complex issues, like how, and with whom, should we share new genetic and genomic research and information, how we reveal the hidden dangers of pollutants in our food, homes, and neighborhoods, and how we ethically persuade people to heed warnings of imminent threats, such as epidemics and extreme weather events. Communicating these complex issues, while separating fact from fiction, is challenging. Cultural differences, literacy levels, political motivations, and new media platforms complicate this further. The public is uncertain whom and what to believe.
10/23/19
Team JHAMN proposed leveraging existing local resources to provide a platform for members of underrepresented farming groups to achieve viable and thriving positions in the agri-food system in Kerala, India. 
1/10/19
The world is amidst the largest humanitarian refugee crisis since WWII. This affects not only refugee populations and the nations that border conflict areas but cities and countries around the world. For example, approximately 1,500 refugees arrive in Buffalo each year – making it one of the top resettlement sites in the U.S.
1/10/19
Global Innovation Challenge (GIC) 2016 participants assessed problems and developed innovative social, economic, technological, and public-policy solutions to meet the sanitation needs of one of the world's most vulnerable populations: the 360 million children and adults with disabilities worldwide.