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Solve This!: EPAM Continuum and MIT Solve Invite Social Innovators to Challenge Design Workshop

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Are you up for a challenge? Want to innovate for the greater good? Then you’re in luck! On January 28, 2020, EPAM Continuum will host MIT Solve, a marketplace for social impact innovation, for a Challenge Design Workshop to help shape Solve’s 2020 Global Challenges.

In 2015, Solve launched as an initiative of MIT’s President’s Office to leverage its convening power, passion for technology and resources to support innovators around the world. The organization’s 2020 Global Challenge will call on nonprofits, startups and individual innovators—or as Solve puts it, “anybody, anywhere”—to brainstorm and submit tech-based solutions to Challenges in the following four areas: Economic Prosperity, Health, Learning, and Sustainability.

Attendees of the workshop—which will be held in Boston—will include Members of Solve’s community, EPAM employees and invited representatives from EPAM’s network of clients. During the workshop, participants will share their experiences and perspectives on using open innovation to solve global issues and shape what will ultimately become the four 2020 Global Challenges that Solve will release to the public on February 25, 2020.

Once the Challenges are released, entrepreneurs and innovators will have the opportunity to participate in a Solveathon, where they will fine-tune their solutions before submitting final versions to the Challenges for consideration. Solve forms one panel of judges per Challenge, and these judges will select 32 innovators as “Solver teams” to receive funding and support from the Solve network.

“These issues are complex, and there are many different directions we could go in. These important workshops bring together industry experts and business communities to gather the input needed to form our 2020 Global Challenges,” said Sharon Bort, Sustainability Community Officer at Solve. Anyone who feels optimistic about change and finding new ways to partner is invited—whether you have expertise in legal or financial services. We need everyone to come together to address these Challenges and support our Solver teams.”

Working with Solve exemplifies EPAM employees’ commitment to sharing knowledge and talent to advance local programs that have a global impact. In particular, EPAM Continuum’s history of bringing human-centered design to business and consumer problems alike uniquely matches Solve’s own mission of driving lasting, transformational impact.

“EPAM Continuum provides a space for continuous innovation—I couldn’t think of a more perfect location to start and launch something like this,” said Shamilka Samarasinha, Global Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at EPAM.

Bort is also particularly excited to see the ideas and feedback that the EPAM Continuum community and its partners bring to the workshop.

“No one can solve these Challenges alone, so having the opportunity to hear diverse perspectives will be really helpful,” said Bort. “We’re lucky to have partners, like EPAM Continuum, who bring groups together in an inspiring space and give them the chance to build meaningful relationships centered on open innovation.”

After the Global Challenges officially launch on February 25, EPAM Continuum will host a Solveathon in spring 2020. This workshop will encourage participants to generate new ideas and will invite entrepreneurs to receive feedback on their solutions before they submit them to a Global Challenge.

At a previous Solveathon, one entrepreneur who attended ultimately submitted a proposed solution and was selected as a Solver. “That was a really exciting outcome, and I look forward to seeing something similar happen in the EPAM community,” Bort said.

The Challenge Design Workshop is free, and participants should register here first.

Want to dig a little deeper? Listen to EPAM Continuum’s podcast with MIT Solve’s Executive Director Alex Amouyel.

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