Engage in Innovation

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 Competition

Registration Open! Map the System is a global competition that allows you to deeply explore an issue that matters to you and share your findings with the world by thinking differently about social and environmental change. No experience in systems mapping is necessary. This competition is a great chance to show your passion for social change and to learn more about systems mapping... because solving the world's most complex problems doesn't have to be complicated. A finalist will be chosen amongst teams competing at UNC. The UNC winning team will win a trip to compete at Oxford University for a chance to win cash prizes in the Map the System Global Finals. A travel stipend will be funded by Innovate Carolina.

Map the System

 

 

Past Events and Competitions

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

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

This flyer advertises a “Virtual Discussion with Entrepreneurs of Color at the Gillings School.” Event details are at the link.

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.

Map the System

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.


Participants during Unleash Your Innovation Lunch and Learn.

Participants during Unleash Your Innovation Lunch and Learn.

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.
Event Goals:

  • 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)

At the 2020 Makethon, mPower won Best Early-Stage Digital Product.

At the 2020 Makethon, mPower won Best Early-Stage Digital Product.

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.