Social Innovation Solution Competition

The Social Innovation Solution Case Competition (SISC) brings together BYU students from all across campus to give them the opportunity to put their skills to the test in solving a real-world social innovation problem.

Put your skills to the test while helping a renowned social innovator!

The Social Innovation Solution Competition (SISC) offers BYU students from all disciplines the opportunity to come together in the spring and apply their skills to help solve a real-time problem for one of the Ballard Center’s partner organizations.

  • Work in a team of 3-5 students over the course of two weeks
  • Compete against, learn from, and network with top BYU students
  • Network with and learn from successful social entrepreneurs
  • Focus on a real-time, real-life issue facing a global entrepreneur's organization
  • Win up to $3000 cash, prizes, and TEDxBYU tickets

Partner organizations work with the competition staff to identify a problem that they are currently facing.  Staff typically travel to the organization and gather data and research to build a comprehensive summary of the organization, its history, and the issue to be addressed in the competition.  This allows the staff members to become content experts on the issue and serve as mentors to the teams ensuring quality competition submissions that will hopefully contribute to the eventual solution for the partner. 


2015 Competition Details

The problem:

This year’s case competition featured Skoll Foundation awardee, Fundación Paraguaya. Since 1985, this organization has grown to include a highly successful microfinance program, a self-sustainable agricultural school, and many other programs to support its clients. In spite of establishing a strong track record for increasing incomes and having a 98% repayment rate on all microloans, people were not getting out of poverty.

In order to make getting out of poverty more manageable and measurable, Fundación Paragyaya created the Poverty Stoplight. This program is both a metric and methodology, breaking poverty down into 50 indicators that clients self-assess as being red, yellow, or green. Now that the organization had a way to track and define poverty, it needed to figure out how to motivate people to take action and begin to transition their indicators to green one by one. 

The competition:

About 100 students from 12 different majors across campus came together to learn about Fundación Paraguaya and apply their skill set to this problem. Undergraduate students competed alongside graduate students in the semifinal round, which included ideas ranging from bike rental and lottery programs to a poverty stoplight Olympic program, which gamified the process to leverage the positive social capital and competitive spirit of the people.

Regardless of which teams made it to the semifinal presentations, all students from the 20 teams contributed to a possible solution since all submitted video presentations were provided to Fundación Paraguaya, from which the organization can draw additional inspiration.    





Get Involved

To get involved with next year's competition, please contact to learn more information.