Skip to main content

College of Engineering, Venture College Partner on ‘Invent for the Planet’ Event

Boise State University’s College of Engineering and Venture College will join with Texas A and M, Arizona State University and more for Invent for the Planet.

The Invent for the Planet event is an interdisciplinary team opportunity for Boise State students to collaborate with other student teams worldwide in addressing compelling global challenges.

JoAnn Lighty, dean of the College of Engineering, calls it a great example of the opportunities the college is interested in providing students.

“It is a great first step in providing distinctive, interdisciplinary/multi-level opportunities for students. It allows them to push their creativity, innovation, team building and communication skills in an inclusive, fun and globally impactful way,” said Lighty. “I am particularly enthusiastic about partnering with Venture College and having students from all academic disciplines involved.”

Invent for the Planet is a 48-hour intensive design experience that engages student teams at different universities around the world on a single weekend to solve high-impact, global problems. New groups will join the race to innovation as time travels across the world. Locally, student teams will work on provided design challenges and will be encouraged to connect with teams across the globe as they come online.  

According to Gordon Jones, dean of the College of Innovation and Design, “This great collaboration illustrates the Venture College’s potential as a campus-wide aggregator of interdisciplinary resources that deliver impactful student experiences. We’re eager to get started and also excited to see how far, together, we can grow the program. I encourage any interested faculty or staff to consider joining us for this important student-centered event.”

The event provides unique and compelling experiential outcomes for students, including:

  • Challenges students to develop unique solutions to impactful problems
  • Connects universities into a network focused on providing intensive design experience
  • Encourages collaboration on best practices, mechanics and student outcomes within a network of universities 

  • Produces a number of promising ideas worthy of further development 

  • Offers solutions that encourage entrepreneurship and commercialization 

  • Engages students in the full design process that includes global collaboration 

  • Teams will work locally, with local mentors, but collaborate with teams worldwide
  • Students will be provided access to advanced collaboration software platforms and support to aid distributed development 

  • Students will enjoy global attention and visibility for participation in the program 

Who else is participating? Here is a partial list of other participating universities:

  • University of New South Wales in Sydney
  • University of Liege from Belgium
  • University of Cape Town
  • Wichita State University
  • Purdue University
  • University of Mass at Lowell
  • New Mexico State University
  • Arizona State University
  • Texas A and M University
  • Swansea University Swansea, Wales
  • Bandung Institute of Technology  Bandung, West Java
  • Texas A and M Qatar
  • State University of Pernambuco  Recite, Pemambuco
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • University of Technology Yatanarpon Cyber City  Myanmar
  • Institute of Technology of Cambodia Phnom Penh
  • Mahidol University Bangkok

The competition, scheduled for the weekend of Feb. 16-18, 2018, will be hosted by the Boise State Venture College. The event leadership team currently consists of Crystal Han, assistant professor, Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning; Mike Sumpter, director of the Venture College; and Marilyn Bickle, director of events at the Venture College.

Interested in learning more? Stop by a student info mixer from 6-7:30 p.m Nov. 15 at the Venture College, following the idea pitch event from 5-6 p.m. Refreshments will be provided. Or contact Bickle at or (208) 426-5540.