“We are all about trying to solve the world’s most pressing issues. And we are all about using STEM and technology to make that happen,” said Ken Kelzer, GM Vice President for Global Hardware, Components and Subsystems, at the kickoff of the 2019 MIT Solve event.
Solve is a social innovation marketplace created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Each year, Solve issues four challenges across its four pillars of Economic Prosperity, Health, Learning and Sustainability to find the most promising Solver teams who will drive transformational change. Solve then acts as a marketplace, brokering partnerships between the Solver class and its global community of private, public and nonprofit leaders to accelerate positive impact.
GM sponsored Solve for the second year, pledging $100,000 to the top innovators in two 2019 challenge categories. In the first, we sought solutions that help communities shift toward a more circular economy through zero waste and zero carbon, including through STEM education for new design and manufacturing techniques. One winner was recognized for an innovative process for capturing carbon in air pollution to produce inks and pigments. For the Community-Driven Innovation challenge, we looked for solutions that foster prosperity and social mobility for underrepresented community members, which could also include STEM education. As in 2018, a team of GM employees representing multiple functions worked with Solve teams as thought partners. Over the next year, finalist teams will work with Solve to scale their solutions through funding, networking, mentorship and other support.
“There are innovations happening around us that are lacking access to the capital and expertise they need to reach their full potential and be scaled,” Kelzer says. “Solve is a platform to help make these innovations a reality.”