The Stanford Center on Longevity Design Challenge offers cash prizes and free entrepreneur mentorship in a competition open to all university students around the world who want to design products and services which optimize long life for us all. This year’s challenge will focus on designs that promote habits that improve the quality of life for individuals across the lifespan. $17,000 in cash prizes will be awarded, and finalists will receive paid travel to Stanford, where they will present their designs to renowned industry, academic, and government leaders.


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Stanford Center on Longevity Announces 2017-2018 Longevity Design Challenge Finalists

The Stanford Center on Longevity today announced eight Finalists for its 2017-18 Design Challenge “Promoting Lifelong Healthy Habits through Design.” Now in its fifth year, the Challenge’s primary goal is to encourage a new generation of designers to become engaged in finding creative solutions that support well-being across the life span.

Announcing the 2017 - 2018 Challenge: Promoting Lifelong Healthy Habits through Design

This year’s challenge will focus on designs that promote habits that improve the quality of life for individuals across the lifespan. $17,000 in cash prizes will be awarded, and finalists will receive paid travel to Stanford, where they will present their designs to renowned industry, academic, and government leaders.

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“Promoting Lifelong Healthy Habits Through Design”

The Stanford Center on Longevity Design Challenge is a global competition that encourages students to design products and services to improve well-being across the lifespan. In its fifth year, the Challenge is focused on ideas that create and support healthy habits –including financial, physical, and social behaviors—which are shown to improve quality of life.

Why habits matter: 
The extension of average life expectancy around the globe over the past 100 years is unprecedented in human history. People living in the developed world can now regularly expect to live into their 80’s and beyond. According to the Sightlines Project of the Stanford Center on Longevity, there are key factors in the realm of healthy living, financial security, and social engagement that impact the quality of life at every age. “Effective actions to address these issues via policies, awareness and innovation can improve individual and national well-being as we enable and prepare for living well and living long in 21st century America.” The 2017-2018 Challenge focuses on promoting habits that maximize physical, mental, and financial resources for individuals and families of any age.

What “Quality of Life” means:
Three out of four Americans surveyed in 2016 indicated that they want to live to 100 if they can do so in good health. But quality of life includes much more than just physical wellbeing. Compelling scientific evidence indicates that living long and living well is most realistic for those who are socially engaged, adopt healthy living behaviors, and are able to build financial security.

Optimizing for quality of life therefore includes actions and behaviors at all ages. For example, financial security begins with practices and attitudes that individuals engage in from their 20s and onward. Additionally, regular community and social engagement are positive indicators of future health and life satisfaction.

The Challenge: 
The Stanford Center on Longevity is looking for design ideas which promote habits that improve quality of life across the age spectrum. The best designs are innovative, engaging, practical, and readily understood. User testing of designs has been a critical step for past winners and novel, scalable, and inexpensive design solutions tend to be favored by judges. We invite submissions that meet these criteria and that promise to help people everywhere who wish to become mentally sharp, physically fit, and financially secure.







Sunanda Agarwal
Managing Director, Patriva

Marsha Vande Berg
Former Chief Executive Officer, Pacific Pension Institute

Dawn Carr
Assistant Professor, Florida State University

Steven Charlap
CEO, GeneYes

Mark Clapper
Emeritus, Kaiser San Diego Orthopaedic Department

Mike Dorsey
Investor and Advisor, Dorsey Capital Partners

Aishetu Dozie
Founder, African HERstory Inc.

Jeannine English
Former President, AARP

Amy Gerstein
Executive Director, John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities, Stanford University

Robert Haddock
Retired Chief Executive Officer, Aztar Corporation

Mary Hulme
Founder, Moonstone Geriatrics

Carol Hymowitz
Author; Journalist; Visiting Scholar, Stanford Center on Longevity

Pradeep Jotwani
Former President, Consumer Business and SVP, LaserJet Business, Hewlett Packard Company

Glenn Kaplan
Executive Creative Director, Advertising, Branding, Omni-channel Marketing Communications

Barry Katz
Professor of Industrial and Interaction Design, California College of the Arts; Fellow, IDEO, Inc.

Julia Randell Khan
Lawyer and former head of Global Markets Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Surya Kolluri
Manager of Policy and Market Planning, Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Wealth and Retirement Solutions

Jean-Jacques L’Hénaff
Vice President of Design, Lixil, American Standard Brands

Dianne Millner
Special Advisor to Executive Director of Minority Television Project, Inc.; Head of Real Estate and Economic Development for the Oakland (CA) City Attorney’s Office

Colin Milner
CEO, International Council on Active Aging

Dana Muriello
Entrepreneur in Residence, Ulu Ventures

Nag Odekar
Vice President and Head of Marketing for individual markets, Great-West Financial

Abhijit Patwardhan
Founder Director, The 3rd Dimension PTE Ltd.

Sheri Peifer
Chief Strategy Officer, Eskaton

Goran Puljic
Senior Advisor, Strategic Value Partners; former Partner, Oak Hill Advisors , L.P.

Joan Salwen
Educator; Former Managing Director, Accenture

Greg Shaw
Director of International and Corporate Relations, International Federation on Ageing

Naoko Shirota
Director of Business Intelligence, Home Care Assistance

Donna Slade
Entrepreneur, Heidi’s Home Design, LLC

Liz Snowden
Co-Founder and Senior Vice President, Access Health

Reece Soltani
Social Entrepreneur, Food Security, AARP Foundation

Yvonne Sonsino
Partner at Mercer, Innovation Leader Europac

Ned Spieker
Founder and former Chairman and CEO, Spieker Properties

Dan Trigub
Healthcare Partnerships, Lyft

Barbara Yaeger
Research Program Manager, The Davis Phinney Foundation

Austin Yoder
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Curriculum, Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, Stanford Graduate School of Business


banner_12016-2017 | “Aging in Place”

The challenge invited submissions to address the factors that allow individuals and families to remain in their homes throughout the lifespan and into old age.


  • First Place – “TAME” by  Hooriya Anam, Awais Shafique, and Arsalan Javed  from the  National University of Sciences and Technology in Islamabad, Pakistan
  • Second Place – “Rendever” by Charles Lin and Kyle Rand at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Third Place – “UPPO” by Lane Hering, Emma Lee, Charlene Lertlumprasert, Genesis Solano, and Gerrold Walker from Virginia Tech

Skipso_graphic_22015-2016 | “Using Happiness to Optimize Longevity”

The challenge invited submissions to address three tracks: Mind, Mobility, and Financial Security, reflective of the Center on Longevity’s mission to enable people to reach old age Mentally Sharp, Physically Fit, and Financially Secure.


“Delight the Mind” (Mind Challenge)

  • First Place – “Memoir Monopoly” from Cho Szu-Yang and Cheng Ya-Fang of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology
  • Second Place – “Bath Chair” from National Yunlin University of Science (Taiwan)
  • Third Place – “Echo” from National University of Singapore

“Discover the Motion” (Mobility Challenge)

  • First Place – “City Cart” from Brandon Lopez and Eric Renard of San Francisco State University
  • Second Place – “Yedi70” from Koc University at Istanbul
  • Third Place – “POTALK” from National Chiao-Tung University (Taiwan)

Note: Insufficient entries were received to select finalists and make awards in the financial track.

Home_22014-2015 | “Enabling Personal Mobility Across the Life Span”

The 2014-2015 Challenge invited designer to create solutions for empowering mobility among older adults at a personal level by: (1) reducing sedentary lifestyles, (2) encouraging and enabling physical movement and exercise, and (3) reducing barriers and increasing facilitators to mobility in the home and community.

  • First Place – Nicholas Steigmann and Maiya Jensen from the California College of the Arts and their project “SPAN
  • Second Place – “HandleBar” from the University of California, Berkeley
  • Third Place – “Luna Lights” from Northwestern University
  • Stanford Longevity Technology Prize – “Flipod” from National University of Singapore

design_challenge_home32013-2014 | “Maximizing Independence for those with Cognitive Impairment”

This 2013-2014 challenge focused on designing new solutions to keep individuals with cognitive impairment independent for as long as possible. The challenge asked designer to identify issues around quality of life, personal independence, and helping people experience the best parts of life for as long as possible.

  • First Place – “EatWell” by Sha Yao from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco
  • Second Place – “Taste+” from the KEIO-NUS CUTE center at the National University of Singapore
  • Third Place – “Memory Maps” from the Copenhagen Institute of Design

Read more about the winners >

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