The grand prize winner from the pilot year of CommUnity, the Georgia Institute of Technology, developed a natural herbicide to replace the toxic chemicals that were used on campus.
CommUnity is a national design competition and program that unites teams of students with local organizations to forge innovative solutions to local resilience needs. Registered teams compete in a seven-month program of monthly webinars and regular mentorship. Webinars cover everything from community-based learning to problem scoping. Students submit a Phase 1 Deliverable assess their partnership with a community organization and a Phase 2 Deliverable that introduces their proposed solutions.
Selected teams are flown to the ESW Annual Conference to present their solutions to a panel of judges. The top three designs are given financial support and further mentorship to implement their ideas in their community,
The individual programs support ESW’s “Big Idea” of resilient and sustainable communities. Students can put to use their technical skills while also learning throughout the process in an authentic and hands-on way, thereby gaining valuable experiences.
The initiative is made up of two programs, the Resilient CommUnity Design Challenge and GreatChina CommUnity Challenge.