loader image


Design X Social

Global Innovation Challenge 2021

Solve an urgent problem

Become A Mentor

Become A Partner

Become A Volunteer


Global Innovation Challenge 2021

In 2020 UMO united the global design community to tackle the COVID crisis with Design X Social “Life in the Lockdown Challenge 2020”. It raised the question “What if the lockdown is here to stay?” to identify and address some of the pressing social issues. Now a year later, even with the vaccination drives, we are still on our toes. While countries like India and Brazil are in a much deeper crisis.


Are we ready for the next wave??

The 2nd wave has inflicted such widespread pain and exposed the vulnerability of nations like India and Brazil. Whatever measures were taken during the first wave proved to be stopgap lacking foresight.
The Big Question

Are the current measures for our healthcare and wellbeing sustainable?

From making people follow simple protocols to taking self-care. From handling the crisis efficiently to taking remediation efforts at scale. How can we ensure that these efforts are sustainable? Can they serve us well if we face another such catastrophe, a 3rd wave in the near future?
The Short Answer

Explore measures to prevent, manage, and remediate such catastrophes.

We call all designers, students, and everyone inspired to take part in the Design X Social Innovation Challenge 2021. Explore solutions to promote sustainable health and well-being by exploring changes at the personal, systems, and planet levels.

Here are a few ideas to trigger your mind

Explore solutions to promote sustainable health and well-being by exploring changes at the personal, systems, and planet levels.

Can we change human behavior through design?

It all starts from within. How can we influence positive behavioral change at a personal level to promote health and well-being in various settings i.e., work, home, or a social setting? Think of products like a Fitness App or an Energy Usage tracking App that are designed to transform behavior. Don’t just limit yourself to just software apps.

Can we reimagine our healthcare systems and processes?

Of all the infections and deaths we are seeing, several of them could have been avoided with quick access to help. This would have been possible with better organization and management at scale. How can we address this through products, services, and processes to ensure healthcare and wellbeing?

Can we be more responsible towards our planet?

How can we ensure affordable, reliable, accessible, and sustainable infrastructure in the healthcare sector? Think about all the bio/chemical/material waste adding to the carbon footprint during the pandemic.


A Call to Action

In today’s connected world, everyone is empowered to influence a positive change. People from any domain and from any walk of life, passionate about bringing social change are encouraged to take part in this challenge. Select your category to participate and win awards.


Some of the most inspiring and innovative ideas come from students. Demonstrate your social responsibility by encouraging your students to take part.


Some of the most creative and technologically exciting ideas come from non-design students. Take part in this unique challenge and inspire change.

Businesses & Enterprises

Demonstrate your corporate social responsibility by encouraging your employees to take part in this challenge. They could be designers, technologists, or anyone inspired.

Professionals & Citizens

Non-Design Citizens and professionals from any background who care and who are keen to bring change, your ideas are gold. All you need is an ability to write and express your ideas in a simple way.


Recognition & Rewards

UMO Design Foundation will be honoring the winners with the following awards.
(online & verifiable) All members of the winning teams will be given certificates. All the participants who submit the solution will be given participation certificates
70% discount on UX Design Course Worth $2106
(online at UMO Design School) All the participants who submit the solution will be given a 70% discount for the Certification course in User Experience Design.

Evaluation Criteria & Process

A winning design positively meets most of these criteria. Note: UMO Design Mentors will be available to teams that need help with the design process and general project guidance

Problem Identified

Why is it an urgent/important problem?

Design Innovation

How is this design unique or innovative?

User Experience

Does it deliver a simple, intuitive, and delightful UX?

Design Process

Did it follow a proper design process?

Impact On The Society

How does it positively change the life of the target users?


Is your solution long-lasting? Is it good for the planet?

Practicality & Business Viability

How can your solution be executed and successful?

Video (not more than 3 minutes)

Does it capture your problem and solution effectively?

Here are more reasons to be part

Here’s Why You Should Take Part

Let’s unite to re-imagine the new normal, new scenarios, identify problems, and propose solutions.

Show That You Care

It’s your platform to showcase your idea and bring change.

Win Awards & Get Recognized

What better way to celebrate the potential impact you could create.

Learn From Mentors

Learn design firsthand with expert design mentors & Exclusive sessions with Jury

Showcase At Design XPO

Showcase your innovation at online Design XPO and Win a chance to work on a real project backed by our partners.

Get 70% discount at UMO Design School

All the participants receive 70% discount for the Certification course in User Experience Design worth $2106.

Gain entry to UMO Design Conference

Get discounted entry to UMO Design Conference 2021.

Process & Timeline

Here’s what we need to do to make this challenge a success.
9th July

Form Teams and Register

Whether you are from academia, from the industry, or a citizen, you should participate in teams. If you don’t have team members, please let us know ([email protected]) we will pair you up with other team members.

  • The minimum team size is 3 and the maximum size is 5.
  • We encourage diversity in your teams. Diversity in expertise, industry domain, gender, etc.,
  • Brownie points for including a common man/ citizen in your teams.
  • There are no Entry Fees
  • Teams will be assigned a mentor (optional)An expert design mentor from the industry will help you, guide you from the beginning to the end of the process.


23rd July

Identify A Problem You Want To Solve

You have to complete all sections in the Google Slide template and share the completed Google slide deck with [email protected]

  • Describe the scenario.
  • Capture the problem.
  • Explain why it is an urgent problem for the “Lockdown” theme.
  • Who is the target user?
  • When solved how it will positively impact the target user?
  • You will be provided with feedback from our Design X Social challenge team incase the problem identified is needs a bit more rethinking.

Get The Google Slide Template

Presentation Link Submissions & Visibility

1st Aug

Submit Your Proposed Solution.

Your proposal could be a digital/ software, a service, or a physical product. Update the solution section in Google Slide deck with:

  • How does your solution address the problem identified? (Use sketches, photos, video, etc.,).
  • Any alternatives you’ve considered – up to 2.
  • How does it impact the target user(s)?
  • Submit a video (max 3 minutes) which explains the problem and solution. You can share the drive link to access the video.
  • The video will be uploaded on UMO. Design Youtube channel for public voting.

Submit Your Final Entry

15th Aug

Get Shortlisted

Shortlisted entries will be announced in each category. These teams will have a chance to present to the final award jury online.

  • You will receive feedback to polish your entries.
  • Optionally, you can work with a mentor to prepare for the final jury.
21st Aug

Pitch Your Solution

22nd Aug

Win Awards

Present to the jury online. Winners will be presented with the Design X Social Innovation Awards in the following categories:

  • Best in the Academia
  • Best in the Enterprise
  • Best in the Open Category
  • Design X Social Special Jury Award
  • Design X Social People Choice Award


What the previous participants have to say.

Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you need to know to participate.
What is Design x Social?
The Design X Social, Global Innovation Challenge 2021, is an annual global innovation challenge initiated by UMO Design Foundation. It has been UMO’s core event which reflects its founding philosophy of ‘good design for better living’. This social innovation challenge aims to create a positive impact in the lives of people by identifying social issues, solving urgent problems, and addressing them by design.
How much do I have to pay for Design X Social?
There is NO entry fee to participate in Design X social challenge.
Can I send my individual entry for the Design X Social challenge?
Yes, you can. To participate in DXS, the minimum team size is 3 and the maximum is 5. However, we are here to help you, email your interest to [email protected] and we will pair you with team members like you.
If I am an individual, what should I email you?
Whether you are from academia, from the industry, or Professional & citizen, mention which category you belong to and say, I am looking to be part of a team. we shall pair you up with other team members.
I don’t have any design background, can I still participate in this contest?
Yes, you can. We believe some of the most creative and technologically exciting ideas come from people of all backgrounds. We encourage you to participate and share your ideas. And.. we will assign a mentor to your team who will guide you through the process.
I have not been assigned a mentor yet, what shall I do?
Please drop an email to [email protected] and we will pair you with a mentor. Please note mentors are assigned when you opt during your application submission. .
What shall I do if the assigned mentor is not responding?
Please reach out to the mentor and team UMO, we will help you connect with the mentor. If your mentor is unavailable, we will assign a new mentor,
What are the tools I can use to work on this project? Do you provide any free tools?
You can use any tool that suits you. We don’t recommend any specific tools.
Will I get any certificate for participating in DXS?
Yes, all the participants who submit the solution to their identified problems will be given verifiable participation certificates. And many more goodies from our partners.

Be The Change You Want To See

We hope you are inspired & excited about this challenge. Make a difference by playing a part in securing a sustainable future for all.

Join us as a Volunteer

Become a Mentor

Partner with Us

Find A Job