What kind of innovations could help refugees and other displaced communities?
That was the driving question behind the Nexus Maximus Challenge, the annual competition from Jefferson University, which every year brings together students around a specific topic through collaboration and innovation.
Nexus Maximus is a legacy event from Philadelphia University which officially merged with Jefferson earlier this year. A total of 36 teams from five universities joined the weeklong competition. It wrapped up Monday at the university’s East Falls campus.
Here’s a quick explainer vid:
The team behind Amicus, a communication system for refugees, took the first prize. It’s a group of easily-recognizable icons that can be printed on T-shirts, blankets and other textiles. The fabric helps refugees stay comfortable, while the communication system lets aid workers who don’t speak a language identify needs like food, water and bathroom.
Nexus Maximus winner: Amicus, a visual communication protocol worn as a t-shirt in refugee camps. Simple, cost efficient & highly effective! pic.twitter.com/RcigB78XDz
— Stephen Spinelli (@SpinelliS) September 12, 2017
“It’s amazing what these students have come up with,” D.R. Widder, Jefferson’s vice president of innovation and Steve Blank Innovation Chair, said in an article posted by the university. “All these teams just met each other on Friday and are able to work together to create amazing concepts.”
Last year, the challenge focused on creating solutions for the personal health space.