About the Design Challenge

The question for the #HealthyTeen19 Design Challenge has not been finalized yet. But for reference, last year’s question was:

How might we center pleasure in adolescent sex ed to foster authentic conversations about sexuality and promote positive sexual experiences?

At the #HealthyTeen18 Design Challenge, creators and practitioners, educators and students, advocates and youth alike from across the United States will come together to answer a provoking question, diving into an immersive, design school-inspired process that is at once challenging, rewarding, and exhilarating.

Healthy Teen Network is interested in engaging with Design Challenge participants to address critical challenges faced by the community and utilize the human-centered design process to develop rapid, innovative solutions.

Participants will receive training in the human-centered design process and how to develop a rapid, innovative solution, in a two-part workshop series to be held at the annual national conference. As part of the training, participants will form teams and receive support throughout the process as they create their solution. Teams will then share their solutions within a general session for all conference attendees. A diverse panel of judges will assess the solutions for creativity, use of design-thinking principles, responsiveness to the challenge question, feasibility, and youth-friendliness.

The winning team will receive a grand prize of $1000!

Where Do I Have to Be, and When?

Monday, October 28

  • Attend the part one of the Design Challenge workshop, 1:00 -4:00 PM (exact time may change).
  • Be registered for the Design Challenge.
  • Form your team (either beforehand, or during/after the first Design Challenge workshop session).
  • Decide when/where to work with your team on your solution.

Tuesday, October 29

  • Attend the part two of the Design Challenge workshop, time TBD.
  • Decide when/where to work with your team on your solution.
  • Submit your team’s final slide deck by 11:59 PM.

Wednesday, October 30

  • Attend the Design Challenge general session, time TBD.
  • 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. Whenever possible, include a young person as part of your team. Teams may be formed ahead of time, or you may form teams on site, during the first design workshop on Monday, October 28.
  3. Attend the design workshops: Attend the first design workshop session on Monday, October 28 at the conference venue. This will provide you with skills and tools on implementing a design process and specifically incorporate developing insights. After this workshop, participants must solidify their teams. Each team is expected to work on their own to develop insights. The second workshop session on Tuesday, October 29 is when you will learn rapid prototyping.
  4. Develop your prototype: After the design sessions, each team will work on their own to brainstorm and develop a prototype of their solution. All teams are required to submit their prototype, along with presentation slides, to the design staff by 11:59 PM, Tuesday, October 29, 2019. (Slides will also be used later for sharing prototypes.)
  5. Wait for 1st round results: On the morning of Wednesday, October 30, we will select up to 4 teams based on creativity, use of design-thinking principles, responsiveness to the challenge question, feasibility, and youth-friendliness their solution. All Design Challenge participants must come to the general session on Wednesday, October 30 (time TBD; design challenge participants must plan to attend the conference for the full day on Wednesday), ready to pitch their idea to a panel of judges. The finalists (up to 4 teams) will be announced Wednesday morning, and only they will be asked to pitch their idea to the judges on stage.
  6. Finalist teams pitch the prototype: 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 the runner-up and present the award.
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, either as members of teams or informing their own teams.

Youth ages 24 and under may participate in the Design Challenge for $24. Youth registration in the Design Challenge does not include registration for the main conference. However, registration for the main conference is not required for youth ages 24 and under, in order to participate in the Design Challenge.

(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.)

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.

What Do I Need to Attend As Part of the Challenge?

All participants must attend design workshops on Monday, October 28, and Tuesday, October 29, to gain the tools and skills to implement the youth-centered design process. Registration to these design workshops is included, at no additional cost, to design challenge participants. Attendance at the design workshops is a requirement to compete in the design challenge.

Participants must be present through the end of the conference on Wednesday, October 30 to present their solution.

Who Are the Judges for the Design Challenge?

Judges are TBD, but they 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 will coordinate next steps with each of the winning and runners-up teams to plan and structure follow-up.

How Do We Use Innovative Practices or Develop Innovative Programs?

Innovation is a critical component of a comprehensive strategy to respond to the dynamic lives of adolescents and young adults. But innovation can be hard…it can be expensive and time intensive, not to mention a daunting task to take on. Yet, we must develop solutions for today’s youth, to meet their unique needs and for today’s changing world.

So how do we do it? How do we use innovative practices or develop innovative programs? Healthy Teen Network is committed to leading the use of evidence and innovation to support and empower young people to lead healthy, sexual lives. As a capacity-building organization, we support professionals and organizations in developing innovative solutions that are responsive to young people’s needs (or, use a human-centered approach).

In 2017, in response to the continued federal attacks on adolescent health, Healthy Teen Network announced our Center for Evidence and Innovation to provide critical training and resources. The #HealthyTeen19 Design Challenge is part of this initiative. The conference is the ideal opportunity to host a design challenge to foster innovative approaches for supporting and empowering youth.

How Do Design Challenges Support Innovation?

Design challenges support rapid, inexpensive innovation to address public health challenges. Design challenges provide an opportunity to develop multidisciplinary partnerships and involve the end user—an ideal opportunity for youth engagement. These challenges bring together people who are passionate about innovation or are interested in learning more about a particular topic, as well as subject matter experts, and ideally, the end users as well—youth.

Diverse teams collaborate to design a prototype solution focused on a goal (e.g., effective use of condoms, engaging youth and parents in conversations, etc.). The design phase is constrained by location and time frame (e.g., the Healthy Teen Network conference, October 28-30). Ideally, the winning prototype will eventually be refined and launched, though this will take place in a development phase after the initial on-site design at the conference.

Design challenges also support innovation because most often, as is the case for this challenge, the prototype solutions offered become open and available for use by the field at-large. All solutions created as part of this Design Challenge will be shared online under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.