Opening Plenary Session

What's the Big Idea?: Powering Innovation on Campus and Beyond


From soccer balls that generate energy to maps that use crowdsourced crisis data, countless out-of-the-box student ideas are addressing global challenges in ways that never seemed imaginable. What may begin as a brainstorm in a lecture hall can one day become a new world-changing product, policy, or technology. Yet all too often, young changemakers face significant hurdles when trying to translate their big ideas into concrete action. How can students work with universities, NGOs, and the private sector to support innovation on and off campus? How can universities provide the tools and resources that foster a culture of creative problem solving? This panel of serial entrepreneurs will detail their own paths from idea to implementation, and will describe how to harness innovation in a world where good ideas can spread faster than ever before.