Welcome to the cyborg era. With dating apps, sexting, user-generated explicit media, and sex toys powered by artificial intelligence, technology today is baked into sexuality itself. For this year’s design challenge, we ask: How might we equip young people to develop healthy sexualities and have pleasurable sexual lives in the cyborg era?

Educators and students, thinkers and doers, creators and practitioners of all ages are invited to join us in answering this thought-provoking question.

For no extra cost, youth and adults are eligible to sign up for #HealthyTeen19 Design Challenge with full conference registration. Additionally, youth age 24 and under not attending the full conference may sign up for just $24.

You’ll receive:

  • A free full day, hands-on pre-conference workshop training on human-centered design. Workshop attendees will explore innovative ways to understand and emphasize with the sexual health needs of a tech-immersed generation, learn to identify opportunities for design, and generate ideas of solutions covering a range of topics, including sexting, user-generated explicit media, and dating apps.
  • An additional, invite-only, 150-minute prototyping workshop held during the main conference. Workshop attendees will bring ideas to life with rapid prototyping, gain skills in soliciting feedback, and build a pitch for potential funders, partners, and consumers.
  • Access to one-on-one coaching during office hours to refine concepts and pitches.
  • The chance to perform your pitch in front of a live conference audience, with the winning team receiving a $1000 cash prize.

Are you ready to create the sex education of the cyborg era? Sign up for the #HealthyTeen19 Design Challenge. Hurry—space is limited!

Thanks to funding from our generous #HealthyTeen19 sponsors, we have a limited number of partial conference scholarships for #HealthyTeen19 Design Challenge participants. Scholarship awardees will be able to register at a 50% discount of the early bird registration rate.

Apply for a scholarship no later than 11:59 PM ET, Friday, August 16, 2019. Scholarship awardees will be notified on Tuesday, August 20, 2019. Awardees are responsible for their own travel and accommodations.

Where Do I Have to Be, and When?

Monday, October 28

  • Be registered for the Design Challenge.
  • Attend the part 1 of 3 of the Design Challenge series, Think! Sparking Sexual Health Innovation with Human-Centered Design, 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM (exact time may change).

Tuesday, October 29

  • Attend part 2 of 3 of the Design Challenge series, Make!: Creating Lo-Fi Prototypes for a High-Tech World, 2:00 – 4:30 PM.
  • Submit your team’s final slide deck by 11:59 PM.

Wednesday, October 30

  • Attend part 3 of 3 of the Design Challenge series, Do! The Sexual Health Revolution is Here!, 12:00 – 1:30 PM.
  • Anxiously wait for the results to find out which team wins the grand prize of $1,000!
I'm In! What's Next?
  1. Register: If you are registered to attend the 2019, conference then you are already ahead of the game. However, adult/professional participants must be registered for both the full main conference AND the Design Challenge. Register online for the main conference and Design Challenge. Young people ages 24 and under may register for the Design Challenge for $24.
  2. Form your team: Participants will form teams of three. Teams may be formed ahead of time, or you may form teams on site, during the first design workshop on Monday, October 28. Whenever possible, include a young person as part of your team.
  3. Attend the design workshops: Attend parts 1 and 2 of the Design Challenge series.
  4. Develop your prototype and pitch: After parts 1 and 2 of the Design Challenge series, each team will work on their own to further develop their prototype and develop pitch slides. All teams are required to submit their prototype and pitch slides to the Design Challenge staff by 11:59 PM, Tuesday, October 29, 2019.
  5. Be ready to pitch (and win!): Attend part 3 of the Design Challenge series on Wednesday, October 30. Here, up to 4 teams will be selected to present their pitch to the live conference audience. Selected teams will not be notified beforehand. Selection will be based on creativity, use of design-thinking principles, responsiveness to the challenge question, feasibility, and youth-friendliness. Each of the finalist teams will get 5 minutes to pitch their idea/prototype and respond to questions from the judges. After the pitches, the judges will select the winner and runners-up.
How Do I Sign Up?

Adult/professional participants must be registered as participants for the main conference. Young people ages 24 and under are eligible to participate in the Design Challenge for $24.

Interested participants are encouraged to take advantage of early bird registration rates and register ahead of time. Registration for the Design Challenge will be open for last-minute registration until 1:00 PM ET Monday, October 28.

Teams of 3 may be formed prior to the challenge or on site.

Can Youth Participate?

Not only can youth participate, but we welcome and encourage it!

Young people may participate in the #HealthyTeen19 Design Challenge.

Youth ages 24 and under may participate in the Design Challenge for $24; this price does not include registration for the main conference. (Registration for the main conference is not required for youth ages 24 and under.)

(If the cost of registration is a barrier, please contact Gina Desiderio to inquire about other opportunities for youth scholarships. We also welcome youth to reach out to us if they are interested in serving on the Design Challenge Judges Panel.)

Can I participate as an individual?

Only teams of 3 are eligible to participate in the Design Challenge. During the part 1 of the Design Challenge series, registered individuals will be given the opportunity to form teams. Alternatively, teams can be formed ahead of time, if desired.

What If We Win?

The winning idea/prototype receives $1,000, plus the chance to partner with Healthy Teen Network and YTH to pursue the winning ideas to development.

Who Are the Judges for the Design Challenge?

Judges may be representatives from Healthy Teen Network and YTH, as well as colleagues from the field, funders, and youth leaders.

What Happens After the Design Challenge?

After the conference and design challenge, Healthy Teen Network and YTH may coordinate with any of the winning teams and runners-up.