Deadline: October 10th 2020
Longevity Design Challenge 2020 for Students Worldwide
The Stanford Center on Longevity Design Challenge 2020 is a global competition that encourages students to design products and services to improve well-being across the lifespan. In its eighth year, the Challenge is focused on ideas inspired by the cultural shift that has occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic that support long, healthy, and happy lives for everyone.
The challenge is open to teams of 2-5 students enrolled during the 2020-2021 academic year, attending any accredited university or college globally. Each team must have at least one full-time student and if the team is selected as a Finalist, only students may present.
- Create well-designed, practical solutions that improve well-being across the lifespan
- Encourage a new generation of students to become knowledgeable about issues associated with long lives
- Provide promising designers with a path to drive change in the world.
The COVID-19 pandemic is bringing into sharper focus the cultural norms that guide us through life and is providing insights about what a new future might look like. The suddenness of this transformation is allowing us to examine daily practices, social norms, and institutions from perspectives that are rarely possible. For a short window of time, before new routines and practices replace familiar old ones, we will see with greater clarity how our lives might be improved, how current shifts could become enduring changes, what new norms might emerge, and how a new future might look.
This year, we are challenging students to design solutions for this new post-pandemic future, keeping in mind both how these solutions affect people throughout the life span, and how they can be designed in ways that are accessible to all. They should take into account what we are learning during the pandemic and how it is changing our lives.
Cash prizes: $10,000 (1st place), $5,000 (2nd place), $2,000 (3rd place).
- Finalists receive mentorship and personalized coaching from industry experts and researchers.
- Finalists receive airfare and hotel reimbursement (limited max value) for a student to attend the Finals at Stanford University to present their idea to investors and potential customers.
- Finalists attend an entrepreneurial workshop at Stanford and learn how to create a business plan to take their concept into execution.
How is the pandemic changing our lives?
In parallel to this Challenge, the Center on Longevity has launched an online project, called A New Map of Life – After the Pandemic, to gather expert opinions and perspectives about how our social and cultural norms might change as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These perspectives are available to designers as a source of inspiration and ideas.
What kinds of designs are included?
Solutions for remote or virtual access will be included in the scope of the challenge, but we encourage participants to think more broadly. These products, programs, or services can be for work, school, healthcare, fitness, personal relationships, or any other aspect of life. Here are a few examples of questions raised by the pandemic that could be addressed:
- If remote work is to become more common, are there ways in which we can re-invigorate local community connections as people spend more time at home?
- How can more people of any age access quality education from anywhere?
- How can healthcare be administered equitably with limited resources?
- What are the best ways for different generations to connect when they live apart?
- How can we maintain our health and fitness without going to the gym?
- What have we learned from our change in activity about how we can reduce our impact on the environment, and how can we apply those lessons going forward?
The challenge is organized into two phases that are synchronized with the academic year.
Phase I: September – December 2020
Phase I is the open call portion of the challenge. During this time, teams will learn about the topic and create their solution concept. The Challenge organizing team will be available during this time for questions and to provide contacts for mentoring when possible. Solutions may be submitted at any time during this period, but no judging feedback will be available until January.
Judging Period: December 2020 – January 2021
During this period, our judging panel will select a small number of finalists. Finalists will be announced in mid-January.
Phase II: January 2021 – April 2021
During Phase II, finalists will be asked to further develop their idea and to prepare a presentation to be given at the Awards Ceremony at Stanford University in April of 2021. Mentors from corporate partners and industry experts will be available during this period. At the Awards, one team representative will present their idea to the judges who will then pick the First, Second and Third place winners.
- Kick-off: September 14, 2020
- Phase I submissions due: December 10, 2020
- Finalists (5-8 teams) announced: January 2021
- Finals: April 2021 (exact date TBA)
The Challenge will be judged by experts in design and technology including carefully selected academics with expertise on the topic; executives from technology and consumer goods firms; venture capitalists; and senior representatives from related mission-driven organizations.
- 40% Impact – will the design improve long life outcomes?
- 30% Originality – has this idea been seen before? Is there something similar to it on the market?
- 20% Feasibility – will the design work? Can it be produced at scale?
- 10% Affordability – teams must identify their target population for the design. Would the cost of the design at scale make it a viable product for that population?
A separate score reflecting alignment of the design to the topic will be added as a weight to the overall score. For example, if a design were to score 90% on the judging criteria above but only 50% on alignment, the overall score would be 45% (.90 X .50).