NDSU students are working on many fascinating projects! In 2022, we had 34 students working on 14 different social challenges. We challenged them to dig deep into the issue, explore the system holding it in place, the other actors working to solve the challenge, and consider who might be collaborators rather than competitors.
Problems to possibilities
From Problems to Possibilities is an initiative designed to change the conversation in social impact education — moving from an overemphasis on the ‘heropreneur’ and new ‘solutions’ — toward a focus on deep understanding of complex problems as the foundation for driving transformational change. Unlike business plan or pitch competitions, where participants are rewarded for their solution ideas, this program promotes students developing an in-depth understanding of a challenge, their understanding of what solution efforts are already being tried, and their identification of gaps or opportunities for increased impact. The competition challenges participants to use systems-thinking as a guiding approach to understanding some of the most complex issues the world faces today. This program works with the Skoll Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford and uses their Map the System programming and materials.
2022 Problems to Possibilities Entries
Water Access on the Navajo Nation
First place winners of the 2022 Problems to Possibilities competition were students from North Dakota State University:
Sex Trafficking in North Dakota: Out of Sight, Out of Mind?
Worsening Water Crisis in Burkina Faso
Broken System Broken Hearts: How Systemic Racism through Racial Covenants and Redlining in Minneapolis Impacts Cardiovascular Health
Life on the Prairie: Evaluating the Viability of rural Communities in North Dakota
Good for You – Good for the Earth
Breaking the Poverty Cycle of Agriculture in Ethiopia
Coming Out, Losing Out, Moving Out: The Exodus of the LGBTQ+ Community from Rural Americ
Vaping in America’s Youth: The Nicotine Epidemic
Differential Impacts of Disasters based on Economic Resources