Friday 19 July 2024
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Wond’ry launches first Coffee Equity Design Challenge, applications now open

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NASHVILLE, Tennessee – In the spring 2022 semester, the Vanderbilt’s Wond’ry Social Innovation Practice and the Coffee Equity Lab will launch the Coffee Equity Design Challenge. The 12-week program will give participants a chance to develop solutions to nuanced, interconnected global issues with an eye toward equity and systems thinking.

Through the Coffee Equity Design Challenge students, faculty and staff and a diverse global network of coffee professionals will work together to develop ideas that resolve specific equity or sustainability challenges affecting the global coffee industry.

Many of the coffee industry’s current challenges are the result of injustices and inequalities that span time and place. Finding meaningful resolutions requires people to collaborate—sharing knowledge and thinking differently, to create solutions—all while rigorously assessing the industry’s progress.

In its inaugural year, the CEDC will ask participating students and coffee professionals to respond to this challenge statement:

How might we standardize and advance industry understandings of key social, economic and environmental sustainability priorities in the global coffee sector—and the interconnectedness between those priorities—through the creation of visually compelling, easy-to-understand infographics or other visual educational resources?

Selected students will participate in weekly workshops taught by leading coffee sustainability professionals from across the global supply chain and in human- and equity-centered design workshops. Participants will gain experience in problem-solving approaches that ensure approaches are meaningful, relevant and responsive to the needs of diverse communities. Student teams also may interact with coffee industry mentors to co-create prototypes of their ideas.

Interested students may apply here to participate. Applications are due Nov. 19, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. CT.

Perks of participation include weekly coffee, exposure to a collaborative problem-solving environment, leadership development, professional networking and the chance to see your ideas make a difference in the global coffee industry.

The CEDC will start on Jan. 19, 2021, at 4:30 p.m. CT. For more information, email Hanes Motsinger at

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