Project Management

Bringing Ideas to Life with the PMI Make Reality Challenge: Winners Announced

29 Mar 2022
Michael DePrisco
The PMI Make Reality Challenge aims to bring young people and future project professionals together through a fun, collaborative learning experience. PMI’s Michael DePrisco shares how PMI helped students develop creative solutions to global challenges and why solving problems in innovative ways is important.

two pairs of feet wearing sneakers standing on a side walk that has passion led us here written on itImage by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

Creating positive social change is a driving force for many people—especially young people—around the world. And as changemakers re-imagine how to drive social impact, we, at PMI, want to provide tomorrow’s leaders the tools and insights they need to drive transformation and help solve society’s biggest challenges. 

That’s where the PMI Make Reality Challenge comes in. We launched the challenge—our inaugural virtual global hackathon competition—for college and university students to develop creative solutions to challenges related to the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).  

Under the theme, Disruption for Social Impact, nearly 10,000 students came together, formed their own teams and worked to develop an innovative project management solution for COVID-19, the climate crisis, smart infrastructure or education using project management skills. The teams not only had to propose a creative solution but were also asked to build a prototype for an app of their solution using low-code/no-code tools. 

Globally, we see daily how, as the world’s problems become more complex, the ability to problem-solve is becoming an increasingly valuable skill for project professionals. There is no single best answer to these unprecedented challenges; they require a more creative, innovative and robust approach.  

Project professionals must utilize all the resources in their toolbelt to bring their boldest ideas to life. One way to do this: hackathons. Hackathons, like the Make Reality Challenge, spur innovation through competition, while also involving various team members in the innovation process. 

Through the challenge, all teams demonstrated extraordinary creativity and innovation over the course of several months. Looking at the variety of solutions proposed and the societal issues that resonate most with tomorrow’s changemakers, I feel more optimistic than ever about the future—and I’m excited to be able to share the global winners of the Make Reality Challenge.  

In first place is Team Tech Era from African Leadership University in Rwanda for the development of their app called, UbuzimaPrivacy. Studies show that electronic medical records play a significant role in reducing medication errors that can lead to death or pose a significant health risk to patients. In Rwanda, there is only one such platform, Kirisimbi, which helps hospitals record patient data online—but it only serves 12 hospitals. Team Tech Era developed UbuzimaPrivacy, an innovative platform to help hospitals record patient data online including testing, results, prescriptions and illness trajectory, while maintaining the privacy of medical records. 

In second place is Haobo JIANG Team EmEducation from Emlyon Business School in France for the development of a massive online open course (MOOC). Students at primary and secondary schools in underserved countries regularly face educational disadvantages, so the Haobo JIANG Team EmEducation team created MOOC to help governmental bodies select skilled educators, monitor efficiency levels and provide training resources to students in these communities.  

In third place is Sport Sharks from University of Mumbai and Institute of Chemical Technology in India. According to the Research Center of the Institute of Management Technology (IMT), only 5.56 percent of the Indian population is sports literate. Sport Sharks developed an app that connects youth with mentors and coaches focused on the sport of their choice, while supporting health and well-being and quality education, helping to reduce inequality in India. 

To hear from all the winners of the PMI Make Reality Challenge, watch PMXPO 2022 on-demand here.

For more information on the PMI Make Reality Challenge, visit makerealitychallenge.com

Michael DePrisco Michael DePrisco

As Chief Operating Officer (COO), Michael (Mike) DePrisco provides executive leadership to the Global Operations Group, supporting more than 1.4M active certification holders, 680,000 members, and 300 chapters from over 200 countries. He is responsible for the Product Portfolio, EPMO, Culture & Change Management, Digital Group, and Customer Care teams. His team's focus is on excellence in the execution of all major change initiatives at the Institute, digital product delivery and customer support, and optimization of ways of working, culture and change management.