Nexus Maximus 2017

Innovation for Refugees and Displaced Populations
September 8-11, 2017


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The GenH Challenge is a global social venture competition seeking new ideas to address enduring health challenges. The Challenge will award six teams up to $250,000 USD from a $1 million USD prize purse, including capacity building and support from experts in the Johnson & Johnson network.

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PROJECT SUBMISSION: Teams should submit their projects here.

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Nexus Maximus 2017

The 2017 event will take place from September 8th-11th. As in the previous years, students will be broken into teams blending from first year to graduate level, with diverse disciplines on each team, and tasked with tackling a challenging global problem. This year the students will address the problems of Refugees and Displaced Populations, seeking to evaluate and innovate on their challenges faced.

Challenge: Innovation for Refugees and Displaced Populations.

One of the great challenges of our time is how to help refugees and displaced populations, and how to prevent the causes in the first place. Every minute, 24 people around the world are forced to flee their homes. That’s 34,000 people a day who leave everything behind in the hope of finding safety and a better tomorrow. The impact of war, political, racial and religious conflict, and environmental crises of famine and climate change, have caused great suffering and there is great opportunity to do better.

The issues these populations and the countries who receive them face are diverse and complex. They include public health, housing/built environment, cultural integration, public safety, employment/economic and more.

How can innovation address these challenges? How do we create the social systems and products to support a healthy, safe and integrated program for refugees? How do we address the physical, emotional, and social needs of refugees to restore hope and opportunity? The solutions may be as far ranging as the challenges, exploring the acute needs during a crisis, as well as the chronic needs of the permanently displaced; looking at immigration and adjustments to new cultures. We encourage participants to draw upon all disciplines, from health professions to architecture, engineering to design, ethics, communication and every way of thinking we have, to find better ways to innovate on physical solutions, processes, policies, systems, and more.

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Potential Areas of Exploration:

  • Causes
  • Communication Barriers
  • Culture
  • Employment
  • Access to Services
  • Transportation
  • Deportation/Obtaining Admission into Protected Country
  • Challenges in Transit (Death, arrests, starvation, violence, abduction, trafficking, blackmail, extortion)
  • Challenges after admission to protected country
  • Policy
  • Health(Physical/Mental)
  • Behavior
  • Climate/Weather

Teams will explore opportunities to leverage that data in meaningful ways that benefit and protect individuals and society. The team project work will be supplemented with workshops on innovation, entrepreneurship, and content relevant to the theme, delivered by experts.

Participating Universities



Jefferson University,Lawrence N. Field DEC Center
4201 Henry Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19144
Contact for questions