Big Ideas Judge Ryan Shaening Pokrasso: A Commitment to Social Impact and the Law

Big Ideas Judge Ryan Shaening Pokrasso: A Commitment to Social Impact and the Law

Oct 16, 2018

By Francis Gonzales Ryan Shaening Pokrasso (JD ’13), a San Francisco Bay Area attorney who specializes in assisting social entrepreneurs, has been a longtime judge and advisor for the Big Ideas student innovation competition. Ryan entered the legal profession by way of nonprofit policy advocacy. He served as program director for New Energy Economy, a […]

VIDI—Another Way to See Surgery

VIDI—Another Way to See Surgery

Oct 15, 2018

By Veena Narashiman ’20 Basic surgeries are far from basic. They require approximately 50 tools, which take about 2 minutes each for an experienced technician to clean. Operations in a trauma unit require as many as 400 tools. And in both environments, surgical tools can be easily misplaced, thrown away, or misassembled. In fact in […]

MarHub: A Technology to Help Refugees Navigate Asylum

MarHub: A Technology to Help Refugees Navigate Asylum

Oct 2, 2018

Veena Narashiman ’2020 In 2016, as Sarrah Nomanbhoy was starting her MBA at the Haas School of Business, the refugee crisis in Europe was in its second peak year and over a million applicants applied for asylum to the EU. Nomanbhoy, a native Californian, had been watching the refugee crisis unfold since her undergraduate days […]

3 UC Berkeley graduate students named finalists in 2018 Collegiate Inventors Competition

3 UC Berkeley graduate students named finalists in 2018 Collegiate Inventors Competition

Sep 27, 2018

2018 Big Ideas Contest winner VIDI, a team that includes three UC Berkeley graduate students, was named a finalist in the 2018 Collegiate Inventors Competition, an annual contest that rewards innovation and research conducted by college students and faculty advisers.

The Lemelson Foundation and the Blum Center Partner to Equip Students to Deliver on Big Ideas with a Small Environmental Footprint

The Lemelson Foundation and the Blum Center Partner to Equip Students to Deliver on Big Ideas with a Small Environmental Footprint

Sep 24, 2018

The Lemelson Foundation, the world’s leading funder of invention in service of social and economic change, and the Blum Center for Developing Economies are embarking on a yearlong collaboration to enable students participating in the University of California Big Ideas Contest to increase their expertise in developing environmentally responsible inventions and innovations. The initiative exposes […]

Big Ideas Winner Ricult Advancing Machine Learning for Improved Smallholder Farming

Big Ideas Winner Ricult Advancing Machine Learning for Improved Smallholder Farming

Sep 21, 2018

By Lisa Bauer Globally, 1.5 billion people depend on small farms, which produce roughly 80 percent of the developing world’s food. Yet smallholder farmers remain some of the world’s most impoverished and food insecure people. Aukrit Unahalekhaka, a co-founder of Ricult, a 2017 Big Ideas winner, knew this implicitly. He had grown up in a […]

Hey UC Students—What’s YOUR Big Idea?

Hey UC Students—What’s YOUR Big Idea?

Sep 5, 2018

Big Ideas Contest Launches with New Video Overviews With the start of the University of California year, comes the start of the Big Ideas student innovation Contest. Big Ideas is not just big in aspiration, it’s big in social and entrepreneurial impact. Since 2006, the Contest—open to undergraduate and graduate students at all 10 UC […]

How WhatsApp and SMS are being used to save the lives of babies in Africa

How WhatsApp and SMS are being used to save the lives of babies in Africa

Aug 21, 2018

To date, 2012 Big Ideas winner Jacaranda Health has provided maternal care to 30,000+ women and delivered 3,000+ babies, transforming childbirth survival rates in Kenya. Most recently they have begun leveraging technologies such SMS to make progress towards improving maternal health of even more low-income mothers and their newborns.

Aiming to be the “Uber” of Fecal Sludge

Aiming to be the “Uber” of Fecal Sludge

Aug 16, 2018

By Lisa Bauer By 2050, more than two-thirds of the world’s population will live in urban areas, with 40 percent of this growth occurring in slums. One critical development challenge is the lack of adequate sewer systems–currently, one in every five city dwellers lacks access to adequate sanitation, including toilets. Without proper management of human […]

Berkeley: 150 years and 150 big, world-changing ideas

Berkeley: 150 years and 150 big, world-changing ideas

Jul 18, 2018

To celebrate UC Berkeley’s 150th anniversary, the Blum Center for Developing Economies created an interactive graphic showcasing 150 Big Ideas winners. Big Ideas is the Blum Center’s annual student innovation contest, which since 2006 has provided funding, support, and mentoring to over 6,000 students seeking to have real-world impact in the areas of clean energy, […]