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The future is bright! Bright Spark Invention Challenge highlights young innovators around the world

Innovation happens when we ask, “What if...” and “How might we...” And when we bring diverse perspectives – sometimes from unexpected sources.

Shaw Industries

As Shaw strives to promote innovation and principles of Design Thinking in future generations, Shaw proudly partnered with Bridge Innovate, Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), and the Design Foundation to sponsor the 2021 Bright Spark Virtual Invention Challenge focused on The Future of Home.  

Design Thinking helps spur innovation by encouraging participants to: 

  • Identify / define a challenge or problem where new ideas are needed 

  • Seek inspiration and exercise empathy to build a human-centered solution 

  • Frame opportunities and construct a point of view based on needs 

  • Brainstorm to come up with as many creative ideas as possible 

  • Develop prototypes and experiences to iterate the solution. 

This year’s challenge encouraged students from around the world to explore and concept the Future of Home by posing the question: “How might we enable the homes of the future to be smarter and more sustainable to meet the ever-changing needs of families?” 

On November 18, 2021, Bridge Innovate held an award ceremony during which several students were honored for their creative inventions. Members of Shaw’s innovation team, including Jay Henry, Katelyn Marianetti and Tracy Cook, served on a panel of judges for the competition.  

“The Bright Spark Invention Challenge was a great opportunity to promote innovative thinking in students all over the world,” said Jay Henry, director of corporate innovation. “Judging these submissions was both rewarding and challenging because I was excited about how these students imagined the future but had difficulty narrowing it down to just a few inventions. I was impressed by how some of the most creative ideas came from the youngest participants, which reminded me that some of our best thought leadership comes from atypical sources. Embracing diversity is a key to innovation!” 

To view students’ winning submissions visit https://www.bridgeinnovate.com/invention-challenge