Designing for a VUCA World Competition

Challenge yourself to innovate, impact, and build a solution to directly address one of the world’s most VOLATILE, UNCERTAIN, COMPLEX, and AMBIGUOUS (VUCA) problems!


The Designing for a VUCA World competition is a challenge where YOU will Innovate, Impact, and Build products and / or services that will directly address social problems within your community.

During this event, teams of Builders, Programmers, Creators, Project Managers and Engineers (all types welcome) along with technologists will meet virtually and create new product or service solutions to address current challenges that are specific to your geographic region. This is a great opportunity to showcase your technical skills, collaboratively work with a team in a virtual setting and get hands on experience. Are you up for the challenge?

"It really is a life-changing experience. Not only do you have the opportunity to learn and research about new world technology, but you also are able to network with all the students and professionals involved." -Aaron Tanvir, University of Houston

This competition will kick-off on March 2 at 12:00am PT when you will receive an email announcing your teammates! That day, join us for the Opening Session and Phase 1 Kick-off. See the schedule details below. This competition will empower YOU to use your STEM backgrounds to create new and innovative products and or services to help some of the world’s most VOLATILE, UNCERTAIN, COMPLEX, and AMBIGUOUS (VUCA) problems!



Prizes valued over $10,000 will be awarded as follows -

PlaceTeam PrizesIndividual Prizes
1st Place National$2,500 cash$500 each
+5 National Convention Passes
2nd Place National$1,250 cash$250 each
3rd Place National$500 cash$100 each
1st Place Regional*$2,250 Amazon gift cards$150 each
2nd Place Regional*$1,500 Amazon gift cards$100 each
3rd Place Regional*$750 Amazon gift cards$50 each

*Each RLDC (1/2/3, 4/6, 5/7) will have regional 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winning teams.



Intro Email

Problem Statements

Phase 1 PowerPoint

Phase 1 Recording

Phase 2 Kick-Off Video

Phase 2 PowerPoint

Phase 3 Instructions

Phase 4 Kick-Off Video

Stanford Design Thinking Bootleg

    FIGMA Prototype Design Tool

    FIGMA Tutorial

    "I would say my favorite memory in the competition would be bonding with my team. We were all in different backgrounds and first-timers." -Samantha Parrena, California State University, Long Beach

    Register now >

    NOTE: You must first be registered to attend one of our 2021 Regional Leadership Development Conferences (RLDC)


      • Now! - Register for the Designing for a VUCA World Competition
      • February 26 - Registration Closes
      • March 2 - Competition Starts! Opening Session & Phase 1 Kick-Off
      • March 5 - Phase 1 Deliverable Deadline
      • March 6 - Phase 2 Kick-Off
      • March 7 - Phase 2 Deliverable Deadline
      • March 8 - Phase 3 Kick-Off
      • March 10 - Phase 3 Deliverable Deadline
      • March 10 - Phase 4 Kick-Off
      • March 13 - Phase 4 Deliverable Deadline
      • March 13 - Regional Finalists Announced
      • RLDCs - Regional Final Presentations & Regional Winner Selected
      • May 1 - Final Pitch-Off


    • Who can participate?

      Everyone! This event is open to all RLDC student participants. All levels of experience are welcome! Beginner? No problem! We'll have mentors and a bootcamp to help and your team develop new skills.

    • Do I need to know how to code?

      All majors are welcome and encouraged to participate - even those without coding knowledge! We will give you all the tools you need!

    • Do I need to be online the entire time?

      Nope! We will provide you a schedule on when you need to join sessions and networking opportunities as well as a timeline for submissions. You and your team can decide on the best time to collaborate.


    Jonathan Franco is the Designing for a VUCA World competition volunteer lead. He is currently a Senior OEM Sales Engineer at Eaton in Seattle, WA. Originally from Florida, "Franco" received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of South Florida (USF), and he even served as his school's chapter president from 2015-2016. He has volunteered with SHPE for over five years, and he recently supported the SHPE Innovation Challenge as a volunteer as well.

    For questions regarding the Designing for a VUCA World competition, please contact

    "As a Latina in engineering, this is proof to myself that I am more than capable of succeeding in my field. Winning this competition has given me the self-confidence I need to succeed in interviews." -Andrea Martinez, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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