In its first five years, Johns Hopkins’ crowd-sourcing website has collected over 42,000 votes on 308 ideas submitted by faculty, staff and students from across the institution. Twenty groups have received funding to implement their ideas to support the university’s Ten by Twenty vision, promote diversity and inclusion, and increase sustainability. You can read about the winners under Past Challenges.

Please continue to check this site for updates about future Idea Lab cycles.


All Past Challenges


The 2019 Ten by Twenty Challenge seeks ideas to meaningfully advance any one of the Ten by Twenty goals by the end of 2020.


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    Biology is becoming more accessible than ever before. The breadth of information available on the internet, the diminishing costs of DNA sequencing, and the open-sourcing of laboratory equipment have all changed the ways people engage in biology and are raising important questions on who ‘gets’ to engage in biology.
  • The Human Aging Project

    Let's transform the way we provide health care for older adults by developing a new, more precise way to detect signs of future problems.
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  • Establishing the Johns Hopkins Disability Health Coalition

    Approximately 26% of American adults have one or more disability, and this estimate is projected to increase over the next decade. Disabilities are any condition or impairment that limits one or more life activity or impacts societal participation, and includes disabilities that affect vision, hearing, movement, learning, remembering, communicating, and mental health.
  • Books and Brunch

    There is a revolution burgeoning in our nation to ensure that every child receives the best education possible
  • Career Development For People Experiencing Homelessness

    With homelessness as a large public health issue in the city of Baltimore, there have been efforts in providing better access to health care, affordable housing and career development to end homelessness. This project will focus on providing career opportunities and workshops at Health Care for the Homeless, which is located in downtown Baltimore and is often a hub for those experiencing homelessness due its location and provision of healthcare resources.

2019 Diversity Innovation Grants

Funding to support fresh, innovative programming ideas that foster diversity and inclusion among the kaleidoscope of communities at Johns Hopkins.This year, our theme is Collaborating across Divisions. Projects must have at least two co-leads, and they must be from different divisions at Johns Hopkins.


  • nord

    This project aims to create an on-campus Gender Closet which will help raise gender awareness on campus and provide an essential resource to students on-campus.
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    “There is No Hierarchy of Oppressions … I cannot afford to believe that freedom from intolerance is the right of only one particular group. And I cannot afford to choose between the fronts upon which I must battle these forces of discrimination, wherever they appear to destroy me. And when they appear to destroy me, it will not be long before they appear to destroy you.“ Audre Lorde
  • Homewood Facilities Operations Staff Yearbook 2019-2020

    This project aims to celebrate the JHU - Homewood operations staff for appreciation, inclusivity & diversity. Each year JHU operations members work very hard behind the scenes to keep the building system running and all interior/exterior space well-maintained for the faculty/students/staff members and the visitors.

2019 Sustainability Grants

Sustainability brings enormous value to Johns Hopkins and the region through environmental, economic, and social benefits. We’re always looking at ways to improve this value and be better environmental stewards. This year we are looking for ideas around sustainability, our greenhouse gas emissions, water use, waste generation, impact on Baltimore,…


  • The New Norm: Red Solo Cup Project

    We are The New Norm, a start-up of 15 undergraduate students. We have created a machine that processes plastic into filament that can be woven into fabric. Our mission as a start-up is to redirect plastic from landfills and give it a new purpose through sustainably made textiles.
  • GreenHacks

    GreenHacks is a sustainability hackathon that seeks to offer a platform for competitive ideation and creativity to spark innovative and sustainable solution design.

2018 Hopkins Eco-Smart Acorn Grants

This year we are looking for unique ideas that when implemented, showcase a topic, opportunity, or solution that increases consciousness and constructive conversation, in turn positively impacting our campus and community.


  • Wings. Supporting Sustainable Menstrual Health in Homeless Women

    All in all, by bridging environmental sustainability with meaningful community outreach, we hope to educate our local and greater community about an important feminine health issue, serve the needs of a uniquely disadvantaged subgroup within Baltimore, and simultaneously provide one effective solution to a large-scale, global environmental problem.


The 2018 Ten by Twenty Challenge seeks ideas for programs and activities that will spark dialogue across difference and encourage innovative ways to support civil discourse.


  • Ars Medica

    Our platform will serve simultaneously as an interactive virtual gallery to exhibit the artwork of our community, while providing guidelines and online support to enhance the implementation of our medical humanities and arts programs around the world.
  • IDEAL JHU’s Hear & Now: Civic Education and Community Engagement

    Hear & Now is a program designed to show students the power and value of their voices, and the importance of listening and contributing to civic discourse.
  • Bridging Divides through Personal Storytelling

    We can bridge ideological, political, and cultural divides by sharing the stories of our lives with each other, but only if we are prepared to listen.
  • Discourse Presents: Growing Up in Baltimore

    We believe that incorporating art in our events would help us foster this free, individual expression to an even greater degree and to reach an entirely new sector of our campus and community.