Events and Competitions
The Gillings School and the broader campus offer a variety of social innovation events and competitions throughout the academic year.
Upcoming Events and Competitions
Map The System – UNC Regional Finals May 10
Map the System is a global competition that allows students and recen
t graduates to deeply explore issues that matter most to them. The UNC Final Competition first place and Viewer’s Choice award went to The Whole Student with Deborah Shoola, Aaron Carpenter, Lily Goldberg, Riley Harper, Rachel Smith, and Hanqi Xiao. Second place went to Interface of Nutrition Insecurity and Healthcare with Blanche Covington Brown. The Whole Student team will now prepare for the Virtual Regional Semi-Finals on May 10 to earn the chance to represent UNC-Chapel Hill at the prestigious Map the System Global Finals held by Oxford University in London in July.
Past Events and Competitions
Workshop: Design-Thinking in Global Public Health
Facilitated by Design Thinking Lead and Assistant Professor Liz Chen, the workshop offered faculty the opportunity to learn about the design thinking approach and strengthened faculty members’ ability to understand real-world challenges from the perspective of their population of interest, encourage transdisciplinary collaboration, foster creativity and assess the sustainability of their proposed projects.
The 2022 Gillings School Pitch Competition
The Gillings Pitch Competition centered around a service or product which addresses a public health need with a viable solution. Student teams were paired with an entrepreneurial coach to help them refine their pitches. The competition was held November 17, 2022.Watch the video
Design Thinking in Global Public Health Panel Discussion
Sponsored by Gillings Global Health and Gillings Innovating Public Health Series, the Design Thinking in Global Public Health Panel Discussion features Gillings students Zach Witkin, Chloe Coletta, and faculty member Dr. Joe Brown with moderator Dr. Liz Chen.Watch the video
Map the System 2022 Global Final Competition
In the UNC Map the System 2022 Final, 40 teams with 91 students (32% Gillings students) competed. The UNC Team finalist was the Gillings Team “Illuminating SPARCS for Maternal Health Equity in NC” including Hiba F., PhD candidate in the Department of Maternal and Child Health, Doyoung Kim, PhD candidate in the Department of Health Policy and Management, and Sharita R. Thomas, PhD candidate in the Department of Health Policy and Management. The UNC Gillings Team was one of 46 teams competing at the Map the System 2022 Global Final at the University of Oxford.Watch the video
The Private Sector's Role in Public Health
In this seminar, Dr. Joe Brown, innovator and faculty member in environmental sciences and engineering, and Tom Outlaw, share their experience with innovation in water treatment, especially in low- and middle-income countries. In this talk, they discuss the importance of engaging the private sector to solve public health's most pressing issues. Dr. Brown also shares other impactful innovation examples from his engineering work.Watch the video
Infusing Creativity into Science with Dr. Nabarun Dasgupta
Innovation Fellow Dr. Nab Dasgupta (EPID 2013), a scientist, innovator and social entrepreneur with a passion for telling true stories about health with numbers, discusses how to effectively merge the visually creative process with science communications.Watch the video
Journey of Gillings Student Innovators with Newman Carpenter
In this discussion on entrepreneurship, Newman Carpenter, a public health organization created by Gillings School alumni, talk about their journey as Gillings students and how they navigated the UNC innovation ecosystem to successfully start their public health business.Watch the video
Design Thinking in Public Health: A Panel Discussion with Recent Gillings MPH Alumni
In this one-hour virtual panel, Design Thinking Lead, Liz Chen, PhD, MPH, speaks with four recent Master of Public Health (MPH) alumni who are using design thinking in their public health work.Watch the video
Gillings SGA Student Research and Entrepreneurship Showcase (April 2022)
The 4th Annual Student Research and Entrepreneurship Showcase was held on April 7, 2022. The event was organized by the Gillings Student Government and two prizes were sponsored by the Gillings Office of Research, Innovation, and Global Solutions. Both undergraduate and graduate students presented posters showcasing their public health innovative research and entrepreneurial ventures. Held in Michael Hooker Auditorium, Gillings students and faculty were able to view and discuss posters with participants and vote for winners. 2022 winners were: Ta’jalik Morgan and Kaki McNeel.
Gillings SGA Student Research and Entrepreneurship Showcase (April 2021)
The Third Annual Student Research & Entrepreneurship Showcase was held on April 8th, 2021. The event was organized by the Gillings Student Government and prizes were sponsored by the Gillings Research, Innovation, and Global Solutions office. Both residential and online students presented video recordings of their research or entrepreneurship ventures. Gillings students and faculty were able to view the videos and vote for winners in each category. 2021 winners were: Best Presenters Award: Aayush Bhatt and Samvit Nangali, Themis; Most Innovative Award: Marcellos Allison, Novel; Most Equity Focused Award: Samantha Rea, Adolescent Telehealth Use
Entrepreneurship Panel: A Virtual Discussion with Entrepreneurs of Color at the Gillings School
The panel discussion focused on the successes and systemic barriers experienced by entrepreneurs of color. Panelists shared their experiences starting public health consultancies, empowering girls, and building resilience in rural communities. Please support their ventures: Pillar Consulting Group, ScitoVation, Health Girls Save the World, Rural Opportunity Institute and initiatives like Not a Host. This event was co-sponsored by the Alumni Inclusive Excellence Committee. A recording of the webinar can be found here.
Gillings School Virtual Pitch Competition (November 2020)
Gillings students and recent alums with an innovative idea to solve a critical public health problem competed in an all-virtual competition to win awards to further advance their ventures. Teams were paired with entrepreneur coaches to learn from real-world experts. Read more about the winners and participants.
Faculty Entrepreneurship Panel (October 2020)
Sponsored by the Gillings Research, Innovation & Global Solutions unit, the Faculty Entrepreneurship Panel convened on October 2nd, 2020. Moderator Don Holzworth, the Gillings Entrepreneur in Residence, engaged 3 faculty panelists (Deborah Stroman, Michael Fisher, and Steven Zeisel) in conversation with an assorted mixture of faculty, students, and alumni. The discussion centered around navigating the journey of building a successful non-profit or for-profit venture.
NIH SBIR/STTR Faculty Workshop (June 2020)
NC Small Business Technology Development Center presented the strategy and proposal-writing event for faculty interested in applying for this federal funding opportunity. The event was sponsored by Innovate Carolina and facilitated by Gillings Research, Innovation & Global Solutions.
Map the System (June 2020)
With 50 teams representing universities across the globe, the 3rd place prize was awarded to a Gillings School of Global Public Health team.
Paige Logan, a Gillings Alumni who worked as part of the 2020 Health Equity and Tobacco Control Team describes her experience with Map the System: “By integrating an equity prioritization lens with systems science, this competition provided the opportunity for me to apply the skills that I learned in my graduate program. It also demonstrated the considerations and implications that academics and practitioners need to discuss and work on together in order to promote systems change.”
Check out the Health Equity and Tobacco Control Team Presentation here.
Gillings SGA Student Research & Entrepreneurship Showcase (February 2020)
The Second Annual Student Research & Entrepreneurship Showcase was held on February 10th, 2020. The event was organized by the Gillings Student Government and prizes were sponsored by the Gillings Research, Innovation, and Global Solutions office. Both residential and online students presented posters showcasing their public health research and entrepreneurial ventures. Held in Michael Hooker Auditorium, Gillings students and faculty were able to view and discuss posters with participants and vote for winners in each category. 2020 winners were: Best Student Venture Award: Snigdha Peddireddy and Gretchen Mason, mPower, a social venture designed to address the problems faced by community members with multiple chronic illnesses; Best Student Research Poster Award: Caroline Chandler and Maura Drewry, The Bold Ones: A Qualitative Assessment of Youth Mental Health Needs in Southeast Raleigh.
Unleash Your Innovation: Gillings Faculty Lunch-n-Learn (February 2020)
Faculty came together to learn about resources available to extend their work beyond the traditional academic path of grants and publications to make an impact.
- Foster the innovation community at Gillings and inspire innovative impact that creates economic, social, and environmental value, and promotes public health
- Increase awareness among Gillings faculty and staff and demystify the support and resources for making an impact beyond the traditional academic path of grants and publications, including intellectual property (IP) and licensing funding mechanisms such as SBIR/STTR, social innovations via start-ups, policy change, partnerships, and/or scale
- Hear experiences of successful Gillings innovators, representing both non- and for-profit ventures, sharing their stories
2020 Makeathon (January 2020)
Hosted by Kenan-Flagler Business School and various partners including Innovate Carolina and Be A Maker (BeAM), this 2 week-long event brought together student innovators across campus to meet, learn, collaborate and showcase their socially driven creations. Gillings student venture mPower (Snigdha Peddireddy and Gretchen Mason) won Best Early-Stage Digital Product.