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 February 15 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!


  • Must be registered for a 2021 Regional Leadership Development Conference (RLDC).
  • Must be a student enrolled in a bachelor or graduate degree.
  • Active SHPE Member.


Over $8,000 in Competition Prizes!

"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


  • Now! - Register for the Designing for a VUCA World Competition
  • February 12 - Registration Closes
  • February 15 - Competition Starts! Opening Session & Phase 1 Kick-Off
  • February 19 - Phase 1 Deliverable Deadline
  • February 20 - Phase 2 Kick-Off
  • February 21 - Phase 2 Deliverable Deadline
  • February 21 - Phase 3 Kick-Off
  • February 25 - Phase 3 Deliverable Deadline
  • February 26 - Phase 4 Kick-Off
  • February 27 - Phase 4 Deliverable Deadline
  • February 28 - 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