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Don’t Miss Feb. 5 Deadline: Sign Up Now for Invent for the Planet

An entrepreneurial mindset, a willingness to risks, a team-player sensibility, and creativity.

If you possess one, or some of those skills, they may serve you well during Invent for the Planet, a “48-hour intensive design experience” that takes place in the College of Innovation and Design on the second floor of Albertsons Library Feb. 16-18.

During Invent for the Planet, hosted by the College of Engineering and the Venture College, students at Boise State and at universities around the world will compete in teams to brainstorm solutions for global problems — all during the course of a single weekend. This is the first time Boise State has participated.

“It is a great first step in providing distinctive, interdisciplinary/multi-level opportunities for students,” said JoAnn Lighty, dean of the College of Engineering. “It allows them to push their creativity, innovation, team building and communication skills in an inclusive, fun and globally impactful way.”

Lighty said she also relishes the chance to partner with the Venture College and engage students from a wide range of academic disciplines.

During Invent for the Planet, organizers will present problems. Teams will brainstorm (with local mentors and fellow teams across the globe) to come up with solutions, then develop and refine them. Teams will have work space and materials, including 3D printers, clay, duct tape, sensors, and more, to make models. Finally, each team will write and deliver a 90-second “elevator pitch,” then give a five- to seven-minute presentation to a panel of judges.

Soo Jeoung (Crystal) Han, assistant professor, Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning, first proposed bringing Invent for the Planet to Boise State.

“As I continue to study interdisciplinary team dynamics, I have realized that to develop effective team skills, it is critical that students supplement their classroom learning through hands-on practice,” said Han. “By participating in Invent for the Planet, our students will have the opportunity to collaborate with students from diverse academic disciplines and explore a variety of ways to solve the most challenging issues facing our world today.”

Challenge themes from the past have included waste management, food security, the environment, education, digital technology, agriculture and medicine.

Meals and snacks will be provided throughout the weekend. Winners will receive cash prizes. Boise State’s top team will advance to an international competition.

In addition, said Michael Sumpter, executive director of the Venture College, teams with great ideas will have the opportunity to keep developing them through programs in the Venture College and other academic programs at Boise State.

Other participating universities include the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, The University of Cape Town in Cape Town, South Africa, Swansea University in Swansea, Wales, Texas A and M Qatar in Doha, Qatar, Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand, and many more.

All current students at Boise State are eligible to apply. The deadline is Feb. 5, and space is limited. Apply online.

For more information, contact Marilyn Bickle, Venture College event manager, at