New Challenge

Taking Student Ideas to the Next Level

The New School launched a school-wide ideas competition, New Challenge, in Spring 2012. New Challenge expands opportunities for students to realize their ideas and to take them to the next level of implementation.  Building on The New School’s commitment to learning through action, New Challenge helps students develop as changemakers and lead real change in the world.  As a campus-wide platform, New Challenge strengthens community across the university, enriching learning and opportunities for creative collaborations.

New Challenge is an annual ideas competition for students who are committed to working on social and environmental challenges on a local or global scale in innovative ways. Reflecting The New School’s diverse and creative community, New Challenge encourages students to submit entries of all types, including ideas for new products or services, social ventures, policy-oriented initiatives, performance projects, documentary films, technology apps, game design,  etc. New Challenge winners’ endeavors have spanned a wide range of issues, including prison reform, food justice, gentrification, eco-transportation, domestic violence, education, and infectious diseases.  New Challenge projects have been implemented in various locations including, the South Bronx and Williamsburg in NYC, as well as eastern Europe, Liberia, Cambodia, Colombia, and Honduras.


Michele Kahane, Professor of Professional Practice and Associate Dean for Social Engagement and Educational Innovation 

Cynthia Lawson, Associate Provost, Distributed and Global Education and Associate Professor of Integrated Design

Mary Watson, Executive Dean, Schools of Public Engagement

Elizabeth Werbe, Associate Director, New Challenge

Student Project Managers: Dana Martens, Jonathan Williams, Erika Nonken, Ally Dommu, Jeff Bailey, Nicole Messier, Amanda Drozer, Ally Chandler, Courtney Locus, and Syambra Moitozo


Schools of Public Engagement


 Social Impact, Entrepreneurship and Design



New Challenge Report 2016