The Improve Life Challenge

Calling all passionate nerds of any ilk – all artists, all scientists, all public health specialists, all agricultural students, all business students, and more – if you have a desire to improve life, we are looking for you! The 2019 Improve Life Challenge (ILC) is quickly approaching, and it’s going to be incredible.

Last year, the Improve Life Challenge was borne following the successful GuelphHacks for Mental Health hackathon. The organizing committee figured the name change was necessary because it better captured the aim of our events – to bring students together, connect them with community partners who provide broad social challenges, and then spend a weekend understanding the root of the problem before hammering out a potential solution.

What is different about this year’s ILC?

  • This year, we’ve scrapped the typical three day (weekend) long hackathon/design jam in favour of a more intense twelve hour event on Friday, March 29th,
  • We’ve moved the ILC to the Arboretum Centre,
  • The ILC team has specifically selected several different community partners, each of which have developed a unique challenge that you and a team of students will work to solve,
  • The community partners will work with you for the duration of the event; helping to frame and formalize the problem you are trying to solve, and working with you to develop the solution. In short, the community partner is part of your team, and
  • Students need to apply to take part in the challenge.

For those curious, you don’t have to be a coder or software designer to take part (although you can be if you want to be). We’re looking for students of all stripes: visual arts, agricultural studies, international development, environmental science, physics, political science, public health, veterinarians, and more.

If you are curious whether or not you belong at the ILC, ask yourself – am I a student at the University of Guelph?

If the answer is yes, then you belong!

Not sure what a solution might look like, or worried that you will need to create a new piece of tech or physical prototype to compete? Stop worrying. Solutions could be any of those things, but they can also come in the form of a media campaign, a policy document, or a course (re-)design. Your solution is only limited by your imagination.

The ILC promises to be a lot of fun. The organizing team has been working diligently to ensure that the event is one that you won’t forget.

The ILC is open to all University of Guelph students, and yes, there will be food and snacks to keep everyone going strong throughout the day. 

For more information about the 2019 Improve Life Challenge, or to apply to participate, click here. And don’t forget to follow our Twitter account: @UofG_ILC.

We hope to see you there.

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