Introducing the 2019 Lead Team

Three weeks before the semester started, six students came to campus to begin the optiMize Leadership pre-season. These six students were selected from last year’s Core Organizing Team to help lead this semester’s team to put on the eighth Social Innovation Challenge. Introducing Alec, Kirsten, Lilly, Ponette, Steve, and Valerie.

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An optiMize Farewell from Jeff Pituch

Jeff Pituch has been with us from the beginning of optiMize seven years ago, and he worked full-time for the last four years. As he leaves the organization and moves to his next adventure, we couldn't be more grateful for JP's unmatched dedication to servant leadership that has changed so many of our lives for the better. We asked him to share some parting reflections below.

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The optiMize Detroit Track

This year, optiMize launched the Social Innovation Challenge Detroit Track with support from the University of Michigan Provost’s Office. Read reflections on the track by some of our Fellows.

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optiMize Community Book List

We collected book recommendations from the members of our community. Here is a selection of nonfiction, fiction, and more reading recommended by mentors, fellows, and organizers!

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Cohort VI: Where Are They Now?

Last May, Fellows from optiMize Cohort 6 began to work full time on their projects for the summer. Now, one year later, we check back to see the amazing work some of the teams have done!

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How optiMize helped me turn my passion into impact: an interview with Parisa Soraya, co-founder of Find Your Ditto

Parisa Soraya and her co-founder Brianna Wolin had no idea what they were going to create when they joined optiMize — they just knew they wanted to make life better for people with chronic illnesses. Through the Challenge, they created a social venture called Find Your Ditto that’s now been called one of the “coolest college startups” in the country by Inc magazine.

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Announcing the Summer 2017 Fellows Cohort

“If you could change one thing, what would you change?”

This past October, we asked that question to our peers here at the University of Michigan. We spent eight hours on the Diag asking people to dream big. They shared the things they wished to change about the world. Then, we asked them to come and work on solving that problem with us through the Social Innovation Challenge.

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