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Too often ideas with the greatest potential to make a sustainable, tangible impact on society go overlooked.  And yet these ideas and solutions, with a bit of guidance from experts and entrepreneurs, have the ability to contribute to solving the greatest of challenges.

USAID, NASA, the Department of State, and NIKE joined together to form LAUNCH in an effort to identify, showcase and support innovative approaches to global sustainability challenges in both developing and developed countries.

LAUNCH searches for visionaries, whose world-class ideas, technologies or programs show great promise for making tangible impacts on some of the biggest challenges in international development.

  • Innovators: To address sustainability challenges, LAUNCH works to identify through an open call 10 LAUNCH innovators: world‐class ideas, technologies, or programs whose transformative potential has  great promise for achieving significant impact within the defined sustainability area.
  • Council: Concurrently, LAUNCH develops a cross disciplinary network of thought leaders to form a LAUNCH Council. These leaders are selected from business/finance, policy/government, science/technology, engineering/design, media/communications, and other areas to serve as a mentor group and high level network for the LAUNCH innovators.
  • Convene: The LAUNCH Forum brings together Council members and Innovators over an intensive 3 day program, providing a venue for a collaborative, solution-driven discussion around the innovators’ most pressing business and program challenges.
  • Accelerate: Following the forum, the LAUNCH Accelerator provides individually targeted strategic support to each innovator to help integrate LAUNCH forum recommendations and action items, and move each innovation to successful implementation. LAUNCH is a unique and compelling organization that is keenly focused on measurable progress and leveraging new ideas and innovations to create a more sustainable future.

LAUNCH has hosted three successful Forums, with a fourth planned this year.

For its unprecedented approach and early success, the USAID/NASA LAUNCH Team was selected as a finalist for the 2011 Service to America Medal in the Science & Environment category.  The Service to America Medal is administered annually by the Partnership for Public Service (a Washington-based non-profit organization).  The “Sammie” is a prestigious award that received about 400 nominations for 2011.  

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