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Deadline: December 6, 2019 00:00 (CET)| Apply here
Eligibility: All university students around the world

Stanford Design Challenge 2019

The Stanford Center on Longevity Design Challenge offers cash prizes and free entrepreneur mentorship in a competition open to all university students around the world who want to design products and services which optimize long life for us all.

This year’s challenge focuses on building longevity solutions with cross-generational teams. $17,000 in cash prizes will be awarded, and finalists will receive paid travel to Stanford, where they will present their designs to renowned industry, academic, and government leaders.

Reducing the inequity gap

The Stanford Center on Longevity Design Challenge is a global competition that encourages students to design products and services to improve well-being across the lifespan.

In its seventh year, the Challenge is focused on ideas that support long, healthy, and happy lives for everyone by focusing on designing affordable solutions.

Challenge goals

  • 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

Why Design for Affordability?

The rising level of inequity in societies around the world is one of the key challenges of this century. In 2015, the World Economic Forum reported that for the first time in recent history, the richest 1% of individuals held more global wealth than the remaining 99% combined.

While design and technology are increasingly being deployed to help individuals reach old age mentally sharp, physically fit, and financially secure; innovations far too often only reach people at the upper levels of socioeconomic status.

The 2020 Stanford Center on Longevity (SCL) Design Challenge will target this issue by asking young designers around the world to identify and design for opportunities to significantly reduce the cost of innovations that help people at all ages do the things needed to increase their odds ofalong and healthy life.

The Challenge will be informed by the SCL’s New Map of Life project, which has identified areas for improvement in the quest for helping people live healthy and productive 100-year lives. Designers will be asked to identify and address an opportunity and propose a low-cost solution.

What is “low cost?”

The terms “low-cost” and “solution” can mean quite different things in various parts of the world. As a result, part of the challenge will be that teams will need to identify both the context in which the solution will be deployed and analysis of affordability in the target user. This approach is rooted in Stanford’s “Design for Extreme Affordability” program, which has successfully created very low-cost and practical solutions for developing countries.

What kinds of designs are included?

Any design significantly reducing the cost of an existing solution that contributes to longer and healthier lives will be accepted for consideration. New solutions are also welcome but should include justification that they are affordable to the majority of the target population.

Building on SCL’s New Map of Life, the following are a few examples of categories that could be targeted:

  • Solutions that contribute to the health and well-being of young people in ways that eventually lead to better long life outcomes
  • Solutions that allow individuals to remain in their homes. Retrofitting solutions that increase safety and ease of use are an especially rich source of potential design opportunities
  • Solutions that bring nutritious food to individuals at lower cost
  • Solutions that help individuals monitor health and manage chronic disease at lower cost levels than currently available
  • Solutions that encourage higher levels of activity and engagement at the community level
  • Solutions that reduce the cost of improving literacy

Interested in applying for the Stanford Design Challenge 2019? Register your participation by following the registration link and taking the suggested steps.


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