Digital Promise, Ciena Launch Global Design Challenge


Digital Promise and Ciena are excited to announce the launch of the Ciena Solutions Challenge, a new global design challenge where educators around the world can submit student-led projects for funding and exhibition.

The Ciena Solutions Challenge invites middle and high school students globally (i.e. education level equivalent to ages 11-19) to design solutions that address the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals within their communities.

Digital Promise and Ciena will provide professional learning and mentoring opportunities to educators and students participating in the Challenge. Starting on September 15, educators can apply for a Sustainability Award of $2,500 USD to sustain and scale student projects. If selected, the funding will be granted to the educator’s educational institution.

“The next generation of problem-solvers need opportunities to design solutions that tackle real world challenges in their local communities. The Ciena Solutions Challenge aims to engage and inspire students to reimagine a better world while gaining critical hands-on experience with digital skills and advanced technologies.” said Gary Smith, president and CEO of Ciena. “This collaborative partnership with Digital Promise is a key part of our Digital Inclusion program and we look forward to seeing the creativity and innovation that students bring to this initiative.”

“The Ciena Solutions Challenge offers learners opportunities to connect to their learning in ways that are authentic and personal, to learn through inquiry, collaborate with their community and take positive action to make a difference in their local communities,” said Jean-Claude Brizard, president and CEO of Digital Promise. “The Ciena Solutions Challenge exemplifies what Powerful Learning experiences can look like, and offers educators and students support and recognition for making a positive impact in their communities.”

Digital Promise is a nonprofit organization that builds powerful networks and takes on grand challenges by working at the intersection of researchers, entrepreneurs, and educators.

Its vision is that all people, at every stage of their lives, have access to learning experiences that help them acquire the knowledge and skills they need to thrive and continuously learn in an ever-changing world.