GCIL India: Grand Challenges Impact Lab


GCIL: Grand Challenges Impact Lab

Grand Challenges (GCs) are the big problems facing humanity -- things like food security, clean water, and climate change. The Grand Challenge Impact Lab (GCIL) is a new UW study abroad program in Bangalore, India that empowers students to address GCs.

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About GCIL

Through the Grand Challenges Impact Lab, you will learn about Grand Challenges and be challenged to propose and test solutions to them. GCIL is a quarter-long program that will be offered during Winter Quarter 2018 in Bangalore, India. The program offers an active, hands-on learning laboratory and is open to graduate students and undergraduate junior and senior students from any department.

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Program Overview

The GCIL course (Winter 2018) is divided into two parts:

  • Weeks 1-­4: You learn about GCs such as food security, earthquake safety, clean water, clean energy, and public health. Local professionals share insights into how communities in Bangalore experience GCs and the approaches that have succeeded and failed in addressing them. You will also learn entrepreneurship skills such as design thinking and lean startup, which can help in designing effective strategies for GCs.
  • Weeks 5­-10: You work in interdisciplinary teams to understand and address a GC. Teams identify a population or community experiencing the GC, define the GC problem facing that population, consider potential solutions, and design a solution to meet the population’s needs. You will be placed in a local organization with experience with that GC, and will work with local mentors and UW faculty members.

In addition, to help prepare for the program, you will also enroll in a 1-credit on-campus pre-departure course during Autumn Quarter 2017. This course will introduce a range of topics from development theory to Indian culture; the goal is to help prepare you to hit the ground running when you arrive in Bangalore. You will meet with your project group and a UW faculty mentor to develop your knowledge of your GC and its impact on the local communities in Bangalore.

Program Details

  • Dates: Winter Quarter 2018 (approximately January 3 - March 15, 2018), plus a 1-credit introductory course during Fall 2017.
  • Students will receive 15 academic credits.
  • The cost of the trip is being determined (approximately $7,000).
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