Looking for Dents in Unforeseen Places

possibleIn a recent Grand Challenge – a contest of sorts, where a grant is promised to all comers for a promising new approach to a problem – an auto mechanic came up with a method of saving the lives of mothers and babies during complicated births:

Mechanic Jorge Odon came up with an invention using a folded plastic sleeve pumped up with air to pop the baby out — an idea inspired by a party trick Odon saw onYouTube for getting a cork out of an empty wine bottle with a plastic bag.

As with Odon, solutions sometimes come from unlikely places. In another Grand Challenge, a Columbia University Astrophysicist received a grant to work on a promising new method for protecting human being from mosquito-borne diseases. 

USAID has recently issued a $5 Million Grand Challenge to help combat Ebola in West Africa: more breathable hazmat suits. The current models get so hot that they can only be worn for 20-30 minutes at a stretch in the tropical heat. They will begin accepting ideas immediately.


Dent the Future is a conference series that tackles the art and discipline of visionary leadership. The next Dent The Future conference is coming up March 22-25, 2015. Register here.