Projects

Fast Fashion Textile Tech

Fast Fashion/Textile Technology is an interdisciplinary project with the Corcoran School of Art and Design and the office ice of Sustainability to support sustainable practices and to develop wearable devices. The GWIC works on an initiative in Fast Fashion and Textile Technology with a sustainable and socially responsible foundation. Though the fashion and textile industry is interdisciplinary, spanning business, design, engineering, international affairs and policy, it is also known to be the second most polluting industry in the world. As such, recent years have seen a growing global movement towards responsible textile production and consumption. Our focus is to provide the grounds for the exploration of these key issues in today's fashion industry. With course development, makertools, community-oriented resources, and external partnerships, we hope to join the conversation and reduce our own footprint both in our local community and on the global, fashion industry stage. Putting our ideas into practice, we've partnered with GW's Textile Museum. We will contribute to their upcoming Fall 2019 exhibit, Fast Fashion, Slow Art. The exhibition introduces and invites the community to a broad scope conversation about textile production and distribution in today's industrialized and globally interconnected world. We're looking to address the often construed intricacies of global fashion and textile consumer culture. The combined works by the artists and filmmakers in this show ask us to slow down and consider the complexity of these and other questions.

Project Lead, Sarah Shavin: “I fell in love with the industry at a young age--completely in awe of the creativity, strategy and culture meaning behind clothing. At this age, I’m concerned by the effects of fast fashion on our people and planet, but also committed to the opportunity at hand."

George Hacks

George Hacks is a student org design to aid students in planning social impact competitions. Our first ever innovation challenge took place on March 24, 2018 and drew in over 40 student participants. This event was based on medical devices and collected a total of 15 pitches, presented by organizations such as HelpAge, NCR-SHE, AdvaMed, and the GW Cancer Center. With HelpAge's assistance, our first-placing team is taking their project further to develop crutches for Tananzian refugees. Currently, George Hacks has a permanent presence at George Washington and George Mason. Our student organization has grown to over one hundred students since our first event; however, we're looking to expand even more. The DC innovation ecosystem welcomes student involvement, and George Hacks offers students access to social innovation, barrier free.

Project Lead, Michael Ready: "George Hacks represents a divergence from traditional 'hackathon' organizations. Rather than relying on technical experience for success, we put an emphasis on innovating in interdisciplinary teams, where input is based more on the validity of ideas rather than technical know-how. We provide students with the ability to innovate and, as a student organization, our student members are given the responsibility to plan and execute their own innovation challenge - something that makes George Hacks completely unique."

Innovate Puerto Rico

Working to strengthen Puerto Rico's innovation ecosystem. Following the 2018 GW SEAS Innovation Challenge iViva Puerto Rico!, the GWIC is partnering with Friends of Puerto Rico, a DC-based non profit, and the University of Puerto Rico., Mayaguez to create a community hub for making iaeation and entrepreneurship. Engaging local artisans and entrepreneur., we hope to create an environment where 1cleas ana innovation can be shared freely and developed with the technologY. and materials needed to produce marketable skills or products.

Project Lead, Connor West: “Innovate Puerto Rico will work to facilitate and develop a community hub to foster innovation, making, and teach human centered and sustainable design. By involving local craftspeople and nearby universities, we hope to harness the power of the Puerto Rican culture and create an innovative community hub on the western side of the island.”

Maker Clinic

The Maker Clinic provides inexpensive, affordable assistive devices to children in need nationally. The Maker Clinic is a group of students operating through the GWIC to harness their passion for assistive devices and social impact innovation. Through their network of makers, healthcare professionals, and engineers, the "Maker Clinic" tackles the issue of safety standards in the open source medical device community. Utilizing experience gained through establishing the GW E-Nable Project Branch, The Maker Clinic Team aims to make an impact in the growing open source medical device industry toward setting the precedent for safety and testing without negatively effecting accessiblity. As a community, we are looking to bring together students from all backgrounds and challenge them to think of ways to create an improved supply chain so that people in need are connected to the prosthetic printing community and to think creatively about how to overcome some of the bureaucratic obstacles associated with conventional FDA-type regulations and assistive devices in general.

Project Lead, Konstantin Mitic: "In my home country of Serbia, healthcare is free but medical devices are far too expensive and scarce. I envision a global source for accessible assistive devices from a socially innovative standpoint. Recent developments in 3D printing technologies have allowed us to affordably create and produce assistive devices to meet this need."

Nordic Ways

The Innovation Center is exploring new partnerships and initiatives to globalize our socially innovation paradigm. According to the 2018 Bloomberg Innovation Index, the U.S. is no longer listed in the top 10 most innovative countries, while three of the five Nordic countries have been in the top ten list for several years running. Our focus on creating opportunities for collaboration by providing exposure and skills to the GWU community to co-create, innovate and apply knowledge to socially responsible, technology driven projects has inspired a collaboration with leading innovators in Scandinavia. In 2018-2019, the GWIC is partnering with The the Nordic Ways project, lead by Former Ambassador Andras Simonyi. Simonyi’s long standing interest in positioning the Nordic approach as a possible source of inspiration and experience for the U.S. culminated in 2013 with the “Nordic Ways” project. The edited volume of the same name brings together a collection of 50 essays by prominent subject matter experts from each Nordic country that unpack the Nordic approach to design, business, innovation, environmental stewardship and education (Simonyi and Cagan, 2016). The GWIC-Nordic Ways collaboration is interested investigating the impact technology acceleration on society, with an critical emphasis on the role of engineers, scientists and artists in steering technology toward positive social impact.

Virtual Jane

Virtual Jane invites Jane Goodall's expansive audience to partake in a highly immersive and interactive educational and recreational experience. The Virtual Jane initiative is a front-end focused, immersive, educational VR/ AR platform intended to showcase Jane Goodall's life and work to raise conservation science awareness and empower youth science and civil engagement. GWIC is prototyping Virtual Jane, an experience that will immerse visitors into her story, and invite them to play a role in preserving and promoting her legacy. Through interactive storytelling and cutting edge visual, virtual and augmented reality technology, diverse audiences can learn directly from Dr. Goodall's impact-driven, civic and scientific life's work. Virtual Jane will catalyze the next generation of compassionate decision-makers and global activists.

Project Leads, Kaitlin Santiago, Ryan Steed: “The Virtual Jane project combines two of my favorite things: youth education and innovative product design. We have the chance to turn the legacy of Jane Goodall, a conservationist icon, into a groundbreaking platform that inspires the next generation of ambitious, creative minds to advance conservation. Not too long ago, I was a high schooler hoping to use STEM to make a difference; I can't wait to empower others to do the same."

Women in STEM

Women in STEM will expose high school girls to the myriad of opportunities that are available to them in STEM. Within this project, girls will engage in workshops from problem solving to 3D printing. They will learn from students, faculty as well women currently in Industry. As of November 2017, according to the Economics and Statistics Administration Women filled 47% of all U.S. jobs but held only 24% of STEM positions. STEM, particularly engineering, has historically always been male-dominated discipline and although strides are being made, it is still primarily male. The goal of Women in STEM is to create a program in which once a week a group of high school girls from different local high schools will come in to work on projects and learn new skills. In addition, we will create a network of Women in STEM from different corporations to both run workshops and act as mentors to girls in the program.

Project Lead, Erin Flynn: “Mechanical Engineering? Are you sure that’s what you really want to do? That’s so hard and are you sure that you want to always be surrounded by guys all the time?’ That’s the most common response I receive when telling anyone my major. My goal is to change that.”