(617) 258-7609 makeimpact@mit.edu

Make Impact Consortium Sustainability Design Challenge

The theme of the next Make Impact Consortium Student Design Challenge is Sustainability, with special focus on three of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.


We’re asking Make Impact Consortium school students, on campuses around the world, to find ways to apply the UN Sustainable Development Goals to problems and opportunities they see on their campuses. 

Students will select one of the three goals and identify SDG-related challenges that affect their campus communities.

We provide training in relevant design tools (hardware and software), in entrepreneurial thinking, and innovation processes, plus background on the UN SDG’s. Then, student teams will apply their skills, knowledge, academic training, and passion to solve the challenge. 

The Make Impact Challenge provides opportunities for students to work in a global context to share, learn, and inspire one another. And participant students will Make Impact on their campuses.


  • Work (while having fun) to solve a sustainability challenge on your campus
  • Connect (and collaborate) with students on campuses around the world
  • Receive a certificate for learning, and contributing to Make Impact
  • Monetary prizes to be awarded in Part 2 

Making Innovators & Innovators Making!

The Make Impact Sustainability Challenge is presented in two parts. 

Part 1: November 15 – December 10, 2021

In Part 1 of the Challenge (Making Innovators), students from participating Make Impact Consortium schools select from one of the three SDG’s and use it as the focus for concept development. As they learn about innovation, entrepreneurship, and basic design principles (learning modules delivered by MIT faculty and staff), students arrive at solutions to significant, real-world problems.

With successful completion of Part 1, students receive certificates to share on social media (and other publicly accessible channels) acknowledging skill acquisition in early phase product development

Part 2: Dates TBD – Q1 2022

In Part 2 of the Challenge (Innovators Making) student teams continue the work begun in Part 1, or they may choose to pursue new ideas for the design, prototype-make activity. They develop concepts, create CAD files (and, possibly, produce physical prototypes) that address, and solve, their chosen Sustainability theme.

Part 2 of the challenge concludes with a solution pitch competition: A panel of judges will award monetary prizes to the top three teams.

Lists of the training module subjects and schedules for Part 1 will be announced soon. Sign up for the challenge to receive updates!

Subjects and schedules will be confirmed during the Make Impact Sustainability Challenge student information session: Week of 8 November: Date and time TBD.


Part 1 – Making Innovators


  • Program Orientation Meeting

Innovation Apprenticeship

  • Introduction & Overview
  • The truth about Innovation & debunking the myths
  • Problem, passion, planning, process, and practice
  • Perspectives on Innovation – Inventors and problems
  • Learning by doing – Selecting a project
  • Mentor meetings

Innovation & Entrepreneurship

  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship principles applied to sustainability


  • Scheduling for initial learning sessions will be posted soon. All sessions to be recorded for asynchronous and multiple viewing.
  • Students from Make Impact Consortium Schools qualify to participate, as determined by their home-school’s rules and regulations.

  • For Part 1 of the Make Impact Sustainability Challenge (November – December 2021) students participate as individuals.
    • Certificates will be awarded to participants after successful completion of all modules, including submission of quizzes, surveys, and evaluations.
  • In Part 2 of the Make Impact Sustainability Challenge (TBD first quarter, 2022), students form teams to address additional requirements.
    • Individual participants qualify for stipends, and prizes, after successfully completing Part 2
    • Prizes are awarded to the teams finishing in the top three positions in the Make Impact Sustainability Challenge Pitch Competition.



Join the Make Impact Consortium today!

The Make Impact Consortium is a global organization delivering Design, Innovation, Makerspace and Entrepreneurial programs. Organized by MIT, Consortium member universities partner with businesses and public sector organizations to create opportunities that help students Make Impact.