Changemaker Challenge 2014-2015

The Changemaker Challenge invites students, faculty and staff to employ imagination, hard work and passion to generate ideas for addressing a current social challenge proposed to us by leaders from the San Diego/Tijuana region.

We are excited to begin our second year of “Food for Life” as the theme for the Changemaker Challenge. Everyone is invited to a year-long process of thinking about the role that food plays in our daily lives and to develop new ideas addressing issues around food production and consumption. It seems to be a moment of contradictions when some people confront food deserts while others experience over abundance, challenging us to learn, to dialogue and to develop proposals for our communities, locally and abroad, to have positive food experiences, to increase access to healthy food and to produce less food waste This year our community is invited to submit videos, graphic visual representations, or other info-graphic designs to showcase their idea. These video entries will compete for a $6,000 more in awards. People are invited to vote online for their favorite idea, and the number of votes each idea receives will determine its share of the pool. All awards will be given at our Earth Day Celebration on April 23 12:15-2pm at SLP Plaza Mayor.

Download the list of events scheduled for Spring 2014. Download the Rules and Eligibility for the Challenge. Take a look at last year’s Judges Award winning video and see how Shannon Schumacher’s idea became a reality.



Fall 2014
Tuesday, October 21 

Field Trip: Urban Agriculture at Bayside Community Center  RSVP here
In partnership with Sustainability

Thursday, November 20
Field Trip PL Waste Water Treatment Plant
In partnership with Sustainability

Spring 2015
Thursday, March 12
Field Trip Farm Trip
In partnership with CASA/CSL

April 8
Deadline for Submissions
April 15
Finalists announced; Public voting begins
April 23
Awards Ceremony

important dates



speakers, workshops, and events

Fall 2014
Thursday, October 2

Inspire Idea Lab:
Tiffany Persons Founder of Shine on Sierra Leone
In partnership with Center for Peace and Justice
Tuesday, November 4
Film Screening- Fed Up Documentary
This is a USD Just Read! sponsored event
Tuesday, November 11
“Food For Life, Examples from the Field”
Speaker: Bemmy Maharramov ’02
12:30pm Shiley Science and TEchnology, Room 232 Learn more
“How to Move beyond a world that is Stuffed and Starved”
Speaker: Raj Patel- Speaker Raj Patel author of Stuffed and Starved. This is a USD Just Read! sponsored event
Tuesday, November 18
Idea Lab: Ideas Meet Reality
In partnership with Center for Peace and Justice

how to enter

The deadline for submission is April 8, 2015.
To submit your idea you must prepare a two minute video, graphic visual representation or an info-graphic design to showcase your  idea including the following:
1. What is the idea to address the challenge?
2. How does the idea contribute to address the challenge?
3. How is the idea feasible? Is it actionable?
4. What is the expected impact of the idea? How will it make a difference?
In the spring there will be a series of seminars on how to produce a video. There will be sessions where an expert will work with you on the video.





  • A panel of judges that includes USD faculty/staff, Changemaker Challenge Council members, and community innovators will select the 10 best proposals to compete for a $6,000 pool of prize money.
  • The USD community will vote online for their favorite ideas, and the number of votes each idea receives will determine its share of the pool.
  • $6000 more in awards.

A selected group of leaders in deep social engagement from the non-profit and for profit sectors proposed this year’s social issues for our community.

Elisa Sabatini, Via International
Haney Hong, HDH & Associates, LLC
Janine Schooley, Project Concern International
Jeremy Pearl, Jewish Community Foundation
Joon Han, Better San Diego
Josephine Bennet ’81, U.S. Bank
Lynn Sharpe-Underwood, Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention SD
Rasto Ivanic, Oliver’s Planet
Sonny Thadani, USD Parent Corps
Tara Ceranic, USD Assistant Professor of Social and Legal Research
Yogesh Sayanaka, USD Net Impact Club President






Ready to submit your idea? Register here.