Since 2010, the Blum Center has been proud to support “Idea Labs.” Idea Labs are student-led groups that help students investigate complex problems through a multidisciplinary lens, share knowledge, brainstorm solutions, and identify opportunities for action. In partnership with the Blum Center, these organizations unite students from diverse disciplines to collaborate on broad issues of global significance related to poverty and inequality, the environment, digital transformation, health, national security, human rights, and more.
Each IdeaLab is unique — reflecting the goals and passions of the students who launch, participate and lead it. Idea Labs set their own agenda, hosting regular discussions and events where students gain new perspectives, share ideas, and work together with peers they might never meet in a classroom. Members hail from a wide variety of disciplines, in fields such as economics, environmental science, literature, history, political science, social welfare, engineering, business, and international affairs. IdeaLabs are geared toward connecting student leaders who can explore interdisciplinary solutions to critical challenges.
The Blum Center provides space, seed funding, mentorship and guidance — but an IdeaLab’s theme and program, and indeed its very existence, is determined by the students themselves.
To date, students have launched IdeaLabs that focus on a wide range of topics, including safe water, rural energy, climate change, human trafficking, biofuels, and point-of-care diagnostics. While broad in scope and diverse in character, these student-led organizations have the following attributes:
The Blum Center supports IdeaLabs with:
Students can submit IdeaLab applications on a rolling basis. Applications are reviewed by a committee of Blum staff and faculty. Apply here.
Supplemental Application Materials: