Equity in Education Challenge

Meet the 2022 Fellow cohort tackling how to reimagine support systems for students

Meet the fellows

Join A Community of Changemakers

About the Challenge

Each year Steelcase hosts an open innovation challenge in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We connect global changemakers and ideas through collaborative virtual workshops. Up to 10 teams are selected for a 5-month Fellowship Program and awarded $5,000 to accelerate their idea’s development.


Phase 1: Open Innovation Workshops
In a series of three interactive virtual workshops you’ll foster meaningful connections with an international group of changemakers. These workshops blend Steelcase wellbeing research with design thinking tools and frameworks to help your team develop new ideas.

Phase 2: Fellowship Program
Up to 10 teams from participating organizations will be selected for a 5-month fellowship. Throughout this program, teams will be supported with capital, tools and frameworks, and a curated weekly program designed to bring their ideas to life and boost their organization’s culture of innovation.

Who’s invited to join

Educational Institutions: Teams or individuals from preschool to post-secondary educational institutions.

Social Enterprises, NGOs and Government: Teams or individuals from organizations focused on supporting students, teachers, and/or schools facing inequities.


Open Innovation Workshops

The 2021 workshop registration is now closed. Sign up to receive updates for our next Open Innovation Workshops.

Prioritizing wellbeing is especially important during pivotal transitions for students. This year’s challenge is focused on systems of student support during the transition from secondary school to university or a career. Through a series of three 90-minute virtual workshops exploring this issue you will:

  • Connect with other changemakers addressing this critical issue.
  • Hear the latest Steelcase research about wellbeing and its impact on teaching and learning environments.
  • Develop an idea for consideration for the Fellowship Program
  • Contribute to a greater understanding of issues related to wellbeing and equity during pivotal transitions for students

This commitment will take 10-12 hours over a period of three weeks. All content will be delivered in English. This phase concludes with the opportunity to submit your idea to be considered for the Fellowship Program.


You can register either individually or as part of a team from one organization. If participating as a team, please make sure each member registers separately.

Open innovation workshop dates

Workshop Dates: Tuesday, October 5, 12 + 19 from 9:00-10:30am EST (15:00-16:30 Central European Time, 9:00pm-10:30pm Hong Kong Time)

Optional Support for Fellowship Application: Tuesday, October 26, from 9:00-10:30am EST (15:00-16:30 Central European Time, 9:00pm-10:30pm Hong Kong Time)

Terms and Conditions


Sign Up for Updates

Fellowship Program

What to Expect

The Fellowship Program was designed to support teams and address the challenges that arise in early-stage development (from concept to prototype to pilot). Up to 10 organizations will be selected to receive $5,000, tools, training, and support to accelerate the development of their idea addressing equity in education.

To allow ease of access for an international audience, this year’s program will be virtual and will consist of a kick-off session followed by weekly workshops, guest lectures, and ad-hoc support. The Fellowship Program begins Tuesday, February 1, and will meet weekly through June 21, 2021.

Important dates

Fellowship Applications Due: Friday, November 12, 2021 at 11:59pm EST

Organizations Notified of Selection: Week of December 13, 2021

Fellowship Program: Tuesdays from February 1 - June 21, 2022

About Steelcase Social Innovation


Steelcase’s Social Innovation Lab was born out of the belief that breakthrough ideas are possible when organizations foster a culture of innovation. We bring new ideas to life through hosting open innovation challenges and supporting changemakers as they as they build, test and grow new ideas.