Harvard Innovation Challenge


Qualifier Round

November 2023 - March 2024
Turn Innovative ideas into proposal & video, Online submission & evaluation

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Harvard Innovation Challenge

August 2024,Shanghai China

Innovative Thinking Camp

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Harvard Innovation Challenge

2025, Harvard University

Experience Harvard Innovation Week

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Welcome letter

《Invitation Letter》

Esha Ahmad
co-Presidnets of HGEM

Dear Delegates,

Last year, we were so inspired by all of the ideas and excitement that all the participants brought and we can’t wait to host the conference again this year!

By participating in one of eight tracks—Biology &Medicine, Business & Entrepreneurship,Urban Economics,EnvironmentalEngineering,Architectural Design, Engineering, Psychology & Behavioral Economics, and Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence-you will have ample opportunities to dive deep into a knowledge area that interests you..Our conference also aims to provide our participants with networking opportunitiesthrough virtual meals with Harvard alumni, Harvard-led college panels, information on Harvard graduate and professional schools, and virtual social events.

Please be on the lookout for additional information from ASDAN regarding how to apply and deadlines. In fact, you will all get the opportunity to start exploring innovation a little earlier this year!.

We look forward to meeting and innovating with you next summer


About Harvard Global Education Movement (HGEM)

Harvard Innovation Challenge is held by the Harvard Global Education Movement (HGEM) , a Harvard student organization that enables Harvard students to host an global programs that help shape the innovators of tomorrow. This event has been successfully held in China, Singapore, Dubai, India, Southeast Asia and many countries in Europe.

HGEM official website:https://hugemovement.org
HIC(China) official website:https://hugemovement.org

Harvard Innovation Challenge

About HIC

The Harvard Innovation Challenge aims to shape the innovative thinking of the future in all fields. Also encouraging students around the world to find inspiration in everyday life and social issues, exploring relevant areas of knowledge, and developing practical skills for their future careers are purposes of the HIC. At the Harvard Innovation Challenge, you will learn from the best minds around the world, form networks with experts from Harvard, and transform your knowledge into concrete impact.

HGEM and ASDAN China is devoted to work together to run an in person HGEM Harvard Innovation Challenge (HIC) conference in China, inviting middle school students keen at innovation to participate. The best innovation proposals at the conference would be shared with wider community and make bigger impact. Learn to use "Design Thinking" as a tool to innovate in different fields and become a Thinker of Tomorrow!

Advancement Harvard Innovation Challenge

Student Interviews & Moments

Student Interview and Moments


Why HIC?

Global Innovation Event
The Harvard Innovation Challenge is held by the Harvard Global Education Movement (HGEM) for solving real problems and challenges in the real world. HIC has been successfully held in over eight countries around the world and one thousand participants.
Chairs from Harvard
All the chairs of each track will be responsible for evaluating in the qualifier round and providing academic guidance at the Harvard Innovation Challenge (China) and the Harvard Innovation Challenge (Global).
Self-driven Exploration of tracks
HIC provide eight different tracks for students. This is the rare opportunity for middle school students to explore the academic interests and prepare for the future study planning.
Official certificates of completion
The Harvard Innovation Challenge allows middle school students (Grade 6-9) to show their intellectual creativity. Students who submit the proposal and video as required will receive a electronic certificate of completion.
Study Guide
Each student will receive a study guide as "a coach" for the challenge after the application of HIC qualifier round. Study guide will provide innovation examples in each track, how to search for materials, how to prepare proposal and video,etc.
Publication of top proposals
The top 75% students of the qualifier round will be invited to participate in the Harvard Innovation Challenge (China) in Shanghai in August 2024. Top proposals will be published in HIC monograph and displayed on the global website.
Meet you in the Harvard
Students who win the individual awards and team awards of the HIC(China) will be invited to participate in the HIC(Global). They will communicate and interact with global innovators in the Harvard university.

Eight Major Academic Fields

Optional Tracks

01 Biology & Medicine

01 Biology & Medicine

Medicine | Biology | Life science
02 Business & Entrepreneurship

02 Business & Entrepreneurship

Business | Entrepreneurship | Business management
03 Urban Economics

03 Urban Economics

Economics | Urban planning | Regional economics
04 Environmental Sciences& Engineering

04 Environmental Sciences& Engineering

Geography | Physics | Chemistry | Biology
05 Architectural Design

05 Architectural Design

Design | Architecture | Sociology
06  Engineering


Physics | Mathematics | Science
07 Psychology & Behavioral Economics

07 Psychology & Behavioral Economics

Behavioral psychology | Social science
08 Computer Science & Arifcial Intelligence

08 Computer Science & Arifcial Intelligence

Algorithms and programming | Computer Programming | Computer science

Timeline of the Harvard Innovation Challenge Rounds

01.Select Your Track

You can select one or more tracks(maximum three selection).

02.Apply for Harvard Innovation Challenge(Qualifier Round)

November 2023, students apply to participate in the Harvard Innovation Challenge qualifier round and receive the submission channel.

03.Submit innovative video & proposals

You would finish the academic research, topic selection, follow the study guide to submit innovative video and proposals as required.The deadline is March 31st, 2024.

04.Evaluating by the chairs

March 2024, Chairs from Harvard Global Education Movement will evaluate video and innovative proposals and selected the top participants.

05.Join the HIC(China) & HIC(Global)

The top 75% participants of the qualifier round will travel to Shanghai to join the Harvard Innovation Challenge(China).Students who have won individual or team awards in Harvard Innovation Challenge (China) will be invited to participate in Harvard Innovation Challenge (Global).

Application Information

Harvard Innovation Challenge(Qualifier Round)

Application Information:

  • Grades:6-9 (Middle school students)
  • Participating format:Participating format: Participate as an individual, online submission
  • Promotion rules:Top75% students of the qualifier round will be invited to participate in the Harvard Innovation
  • Challenge (China).

Participation process:

  • 1.Scan the QR code to sign up
  • Students will recieve the HIC study guide and submission channel through e-mail.
  • Deadline of application & submiting proposals and video is March 31, 2024
  • Proposals and video will be evaluated by the Harvard Innovation Challenge chiars.The final list of awards will be published by email.

* Judging will take place after submission of innovative proposals and video. It is expected to take 1 month. The actual judging time will be based on the number of proposals and videos received.

Qualifer round submission requirements

  • Students are required to complete the conception and production of videos and proposals independently. Plagiarism, handling, AI writing and other cheating behaviors are not allowed;
  • The documents must include two parts: video and proposals. The specific requirements are as follows:


(1)350 words limit

  • video shoud include three parts:
    1. Explore the real problems around the selected innovation track;
    2. ✓Use innovative thinking to propose unique and feasible solutions;
    3. ✓a brief overview of the implementation of the solution steps;
  • Appropriate words, clear logic, fluent sentences, no grammatical errors and relevant literature citations must be attached (this part is not included in the words count);

(3)Please submit in pdf format.


(1)1 minute
(2)Language: English

  • Use persuasive language to explain the importance of the real problem you have identified and where innovative thinking has been applied to your proposed solution;
  • There is no requirements of Screen scale and video presentation formats. If you choose to record the speaking by yourself, you should expose half or the whole body in the screen. Also keep the recording space full of light and the quiet surrounding; If you choose to record from the third person perspective, such as drawing, slide presentation, real scene shooting, etc., you must keep the picture clear and stable;
  • Please use your own voice, do not use other people's voice (except dialogue and interview) or system to generate voice.


  • (4)Please submit in mp4, mov and other commonly used video formats. The size limit is controlled within 50MB. If your video is too large, it is recommended to use compression software to upload.

Special note

  • Participating students can choose one or more tracks to participate in the challenge. Each track can only be submitted once. In the case of multiple submissions, the chairs will only evaluate the first version submitted;
  • Please complete the submission of the video and proposals on time. The documents submitted after the deadline will not be allowed to enter the evaluation process;
  • If the documents submitted by the student cannot be opened, Asdan will contact the student to make up the submission. Please make up the submission within the required time, otherwise, it will be regarded as an abstention.

Awards Setting

Individual Awards

• The First Prize (top 20%)
• The Second Prize (top 35%)
• The Third Prize (Top 50%)
• The Excellence Prize (Top 75%)
* Top75% students of the qualifier round will be invited to participate in the Harvard Innovation Challenge (China).

Participating Awards

•Official participation certificate
*Students who complted and submitted proposal and video as required on time can obtain the completion certificate.

Harvard Innovation Challenge(China)

The Top75% students in the qualifier roundwill be invited to participate in the Harvard Innovation Challenge (China) in Shanghai in August 2024. At that time,The chairs from the Harvard Global Education Movement will lead students to learn more about innovative thinking. Through case studies and other activities,students are trained to use innovative thinking models to solve real-world problems in their tracks.

Students will take advantage of innovation as the tool used by the world's top innovators in real industry challenges.In addition, students will be inspired by different challenges, expand thinking skills, and enhance their critical thinking and problem solving skills. Top students will have the opportunity to win admission to the Harvard Innovation Challenge (Global). They will visit Harvard campus and communicate with outstanding innovator from all over the world.

Application Information:

  • Location: Shanghai,China
  • Grades:6-9 (Middle school students).Top75% students of the qualifier round will be invited to participate in the Harvard Innovation Challenge (China).
  • Language: English
  • Optional Tracks:Biology & Medicine, Business & Entrepreneurship, Urban Economic, Environmental Sciences & Engineering, Architectural Design, Engineering, Psychology & Behavioral Economics, Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence

*Students need to select the same track as the Harvard Innovation Challenge(Qualifier Round).

Awards Setting

Individual awards: The percentage of winners is about 30%

• Outstanding Delegates
• Distinguished Delegates
• Honorable Mention

Group Awards:TOP1 team for each track

• Outstanding Proposal

Participating Awards:

• Paricipation Awards

* Students who complete all schedules of the Harvard Innovation Challenge (China) and participate in the final presentation of the final proposal will be awarded.The final award setting and award results are determined by the track leaders from Harvard Global Education Movement.

Sample Schedule

Morning Afternoon Evening
DAY1 Arrival Registration 
DAY2 Opening ceremony Design thinking Workshop Welcome night
Keynote Speaker
Experience about innovation challenges
DAY3 Committee session Case Study
Case Study Group Project
DAY4 Committee session Group Project Preparation and College Readiness
Presentation of the Proposal
DAY5 Committee session Group Project

Track leaders provide academic guidance

Group Project
Case Study 
DAY6 Group Final Presentation and Q&A  Group Final Presentation and Q&A Talent Show
Awarding ceremony 
DAY7 Students leave

*Schedule may change at the discretion of HEGM.


*The faculty is subject to change.


Maria Fabal is a Kirkland House resident and third-year student at Harvard College concentrating in Neuroscience with a secondary in Global Health and Health Policy. On campus, she is involved in Engineers Without Borders where she designs hand and solar powered water pumps for a remote community in Kenya of 800 members who lack access to clean water and electricity.


Desiree is a junior at Harvard College studying Economics with a minor in Government and citation in Spanish. Alongside HGEM, Desiree works with various other organizations on campus focusing on education, cultural exchange, politics, foreign policy, business, law, and international relations.


As one of the co-Presidnets of HGEM,Esha Ahmad is a Winthrop House resident at Harvard College concentrating in Neuroscience with a secondary in Global Health and Health Policy with a Spanish citation.At the college, she is an ambassador for the pre-health community on campus. In the realm of medicine, her passion lies in health equity and empathy-driven patient care.


Marwan Uwaydah (he/him) is an Eliot House resident at Harvard College concentrating in Economics with a secondary in Environmental Science and Public Policy. Back home, he is involved in projects that promote economic development and quality education in refugee camps. Alongside like-minded individuals, Marwan teaches at some schools in the camps, and has been actively soliciting directed donations to provide scholarships for refugee children interested in pursuing higher education after high school.


Saaim Khan (he/him) is a Mather House resident at Harvard College concentrating in Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology with a secondary in Global Health and Health Policy and a citation in American Sign Language. He has spent over 4 years in numerous prestigious research labs across the United States investigating avenues to ameliorate hearing loss through various biological and clinical approaches.


As one of the co-Presidnets of HGEM,Clarire Yuan is a junior in Dunster House studying Chemistry & Physics and History of Science. Also, she is the member of the Harvard Crimson and faculty of the Harvard Crimson Jouralism Camp in 2023. She is interested in health and education equity around the world.

Key Session Descriptions

In the Harvard Innovation Challenge (China), chairs will bring both of academic and social sessions for students.Students will experience the original Harvard innovative curriculum and a variety of exploration activitiesto enhance independent thinking skills, problem solving skills and teamwork which can help students develop the skills they need for the future.



Marshmallow tower, drkness escape battle... Whether you are outging or super shy, here are hundreds of interesting social activities to meet the chairs from Harvard Global Education Movement and outstanding peers. Let's join us!
Case Study

Case Study

The chair will pick cases of the fields and take the student teams to co-create an innovation proposal. This would allow students to practice their understanding of design thinking in the field, which would arm students to generate their own innovation proposal. The chairs can choose different activities, such as discussion, debate, team presentation etc. to deliver the session.


Do you know your own leadership color? Do you know your potential talent? What type of innovator are you? Getting rid of stereotypes and exploring yourself are crucial for everyone. You will find your unknown potential and passion in this session.
Presentation of the Proposal

Presentation of the Proposal

A joint session training given by a chair about how to write a good English proposal, what would be the suggested structure. This would enable students to generate a high quality proposal which we can publish our journal.
 Design Thinking Workshop

Design Thinking Workshop

The design thinking session would be in joint session (all students are participating in one big conference room). One of the chair will be running the session of teaching students the key principles of Design Thinking and how they can use at innovation. For example, an interesting practice can be idea hackathon: 30 min with 100 ideas.
Group Project

Group Project

These are the two sessions that students would work in teams to generate their own proposal using the skills and inspiration they got at the Design thinking session and committee session. The chair will just be there to support the students if they are stuck.
Committee Session

Committee Session

The chair can prepare a lecture/workshop about this field and cutting-edge research and innovation in the field, which would allow students to have a basic understanding of field they choose. The field that we chose is very big, the chair can choose a narrow topic within this filed.
Preparation and CollegeReadiness

Preparation and CollegeReadiness

Another joint session having chairs to share how they have successfully applied for Harvard university and suggestions to students. This can be done in a panel discussion format that students/host can ask questions.

Harvard Innovation Challenge(Global)

Location:Harvard University
Participants:Individual and Team Award winners of the 2024 Harvard Innovation Challenge (China)
* Please follow Asdan official account for follow-up information.

 Student Works 

Business and Entrepreneurship Track

Sustainable Fashion — Ecopia

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Student Works

Environmental Sciences & Engineering Track

Designing the green house

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Student Works

Engineering Track

Automated Drone Delivery

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Student Works

Social Science Track

Helping Elders Stay Connected by using convenient electronic devices

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Student Works

Urban Economics Track

Urban sprawl

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Student Works

Biology & Medicine Track

Reducing Medication Non-Adherence in the Elderly Population

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Student Works


 Messages from 2023 HIC(China)” 





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