The CEO's Guide to The Grand Challenge Offers Companies a Systematic Approach to Doing Global Good While Advancing their Vision

NineSigma Unlocks the Secrets to a Successful Grand Challenge with New Guide

CLEVELAND, Aug. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- NineSigma, Inc., of Cleveland, the leading innovation partner to organizations worldwide, today published The CEO's Guide to the Grand Challenge: Focusing a Visionary Organization with a Grand Challenge Contest. It delivers a practical guide to help organizations solve the world's biggest issues by rallying a company's resources around a common vision in collaboration with the world's foremost experts and scientists. Through a Grand Challenge, a company can convey visionary strength while making a positive, societal impact. 

Innovation Grand Challenges have existed in various forms for centuries, from challenges to identify a ship's longitudinal location during transoceanic voyages in the early 1700's, to contemporary challenges such as eradicating malaria or making solar energy economical. They capture the imagination of the world and galvanize the innovator community. This guide delivers executive insights from NineSigma's years of experience in designing and managing all aspects of Grand Challenges for their clients.

It is easy to see the public side of a Grand Challenge, but CEOs need to understand the many moving parts and how they work together to create success from a business perspective. Grand Challenges take an extremely complex ambition that aligns with what a company or organization stands for, and solves it - to deliver a major positive impact on behalf of the organization. Andy Zynga, CEO of NineSigma said, "It is often difficult for CEO's to take a step back from the daily demands of running a company to achieve the kind of breakthrough innovation that is needed to support a visionary and memorable brand. The Grand Challenge is one way to accomplish this."  

The success of a Grand Challenge depends on two critical factors - identifying and articulating a major industry obstacle that when resolved, will positively impact society at large; and developing and executing a well-crafted plan to solicit legitimate submissions of solutions, and to keep the Grand Challenge top of mind across the sponsor's industry, its stakeholders and the general public. The guide maps out the key considerations for a Grand Challenge, including:

  • Selecting the right topic  
  • Program design
  • Outreach to the global technical community
  • Project timeline and its impact on success 
  • Prize strategy
  • When to partner with another sponsor
  • Creating global awareness for the Grand Challenge

Recent Grand Challenges that NineSigma has designed and executed on behalf of its clients include the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation Grand Challenge to convert carbon from a liability to an asset, the NFL GE Head Health Challenge to diagnose mild traumatic brain injury, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative on protein stabilization, and the LAUNCH: Energy Challenge for NASA, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of State, and NIKE, to identify game-changing solutions to transform current energy systems.

The CEO's Guide to The Grand Challenge is available for download free here,

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 Kraft Foods, 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 — [email protected], (978) 255-1159 

SOURCE NineSigma