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NineSigma's Non-Profit Guide to The Grand Challenge Empowers Non-Profit Leaders to Achieve their Mission while Amplifying Awareness of their Cause

CLEVELAND, Sept. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- NineSigma, Inc., of Cleveland, the leading innovation partner to organizations worldwide, today published The Foundation and Non-Profit Leader's Guide to the Grand Challenge. Philanthropists, endowment managers, non-profit executives and boards of trustees want to be associated with success as much as CEOs of large companies. But the challenges they face are often more complex and cannot be solved with traditional corporate best practices alone.

This new guide addresses issues unique to non-profits in their quest to solve the world's biggest challenges, both by rallying internal resources around a shared vision, and collaborating with the world's leading experts and scientists. Through a Grand Challenge, a non-profit organization can realize bigger ambitions than other giving-back programs can deliver, while dramatically heightening visibility of the causes that drive them.

The origin of Grand Challenges began with early programs like offering rewards and recognition to those who could solve long-standing issues like mapping longitudinal locations before modern mapping technologies existed. These programs evolved into contemporary challenges like reversing global warming, ending malnutrition and curing pandemic diseases like HIV/AIDS. These challenges capture the world's imagination and have the power to unify the global innovator community. 

Andy Zynga, CEO of NineSigma says, "We are experts in facilitating the most high-value partnerships and collaborations in the world – and often they're not obvious matches. As we've seen in creating and executing a myriad of Grand Challenges for non-profits, there are a world of potential partners and solution providers who can collaborate to create a new level of global impact."

A successful Grand Challenge depends on several factors such as articulating a major issue, engaging the right technical audiences, and keeping the program top of mind for the general public. The guide maps out all key considerations, including:

  • Challenge definition
  • Identifying the right Grand Challenge
  • Program design
  • Interactions with technical communities
  • Establishing and communicating the timeline
  • Prize strategy
  • When to partner
  • How to market a Grand Challenge

NineSigma has run Grand Challenges for foundations, non-profits and corporations alike. Recently these have included the first phase of the CCEMC Grand Challenge for the Climate Change and Emissions Management (CCEMC) Corporation to convert carbon from a liability to an asset, the GE NFL Head Health Challenge to diagnose mild traumatic brain injury, and GE for a new 3D Printing Production Quest.  "The response to the first round of the CCEMC Grand Challenge surpassed our expectations with 344 submissions from 37 countries," says CCEMC Chair Eric Newell. "We are pleased to be leveraging NineSigma's expertise and are optimistic that this open innovation competition will foster multiple technologies that can be deployed in Alberta to convert carbon into useful products and complement other greenhouse gas reduction strategies currently in development in the province."

NineSigma has also crafted and executed Grand Challenges on behalf of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and LAUNCH, a joint initiative of NASA, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of State, and NIKE. These initiatives, along with other prize-based challenges are hosted on NineSigma's social media and open innovation platform, NineSights.

The Foundation and Non-Profit Leader's Guide to The Grand Challenge is available for download free at

About NineSigma

NineSigma connects organizations with external innovation resources to accelerate innovation in private, public and social sectors. The company provides open innovation services to organizations worldwide, including Mondelez, Philips, Siemens, and Unilever, to solve immediate challenges, integrate new knowledge, fill product pipelines, and stay ahead of the competition. Named to the 2012 Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private U.S. companies, NineSigma's proprietary process has produced billions of dollars in value for its clients. NineSigma has the largest open global network of solution providers and an extensive database of existing solutions spanning numerous industries and technical disciplines. NineSigma's online innovation community, NineSights®, is the world's first open innovation social media destination, connecting innovators of all sizes with resources and relationships to drive growth. Learn more at and

Media Contact: 
Jackie Lucas, Warner Communications –, (978) 255-1159 

SOURCE NineSigma, Inc.
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