STEAM Challenge Kickoff: Design Thinking for Social Ventures

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Date: October 29, 2019
Time: 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Student Center #285 | Map
5221 Gullen Mall
Detroit, MI 48202
Category: Special Event

RSVP is closed.


Do you have an idea that can improve the lives of Detroiters? Is it worth $12,000?

Come join us for refreshments!

Students from all disciplines are invited to attend the 2019-20 STEAM Kickoff event and learn how they can Innovate Change and Developing Solutions towards a Just Society. The Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business and School of Social Work have partnered with the Provost Office to present this year’s STEAM Challenge, which brings together interdisciplinary teams of students to tackle real problems in our city and compete in a competition offering $25,000 in cash prizes.

At this event STEAM Challenge Lead, Marijo Upshaw, will discuss the STEAM Challenge and how students will be guided through this competition using the principles of business and entrepreneurship to solve pressing social challenges facing area Detroiters.

Ideation, the process of generating, developing and communicating new ideas, is a critical component of the STEAM Challenge. To help participants start this process, student attendees will engage in an experiential learning workshop with a local design thinking expert, Sarah Gallimore, Senior Design Strategist of the Innovation Team at the City of Detroit. Students will gain a greater understanding of the consumer they hope to target, what to make or do next, why it's important and how to communicate their ideas.

Albert Einstein once said "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." In this workshop, participants will learn how to think differently about some of the worlds most complex problems by exploring the basics of the design thinking process: learn, design, test, evaluate. Through hands-on activities we will learn more about several methods and techniques for human-centered research and how to apply them "in the wild". The workshop will end with a discussion on how to ensure your learnings are baked into your venture's business model. 

PRESENTER: Sarah is the Sr. Design Strategist within the Mayor's Office for the City of Detroit. After nearly a decade in the commercial/corporate design world, Sarah transitioned to local government two years ago with a brief stint with the City of Durham’s Innovation Team before transitioning back to Detroit where her and her partner have lived for more than 5 years. A lateral thinker and committed learner - she thrives at the intersection of design thinking and business strategy - helping people deeply understand the people they serve, how to figure out what to make or do next, why it's important and how to communicate that - innovating contextually through social research.

Get the latest news and information on the STEAM Challenge at

Registration preferred but not required.


Katie Alfonsi




Academic Staff, Alumni, Community, Current Graduate Students, Current Undergraduate Students, Faculty, Staff

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