Shape The Future – Call for Challenges

We call all the 15,000 Alumni and Alumnae of the MIP Graduate School of Business of Politecnico di Milano to join a global challenge to shape the future of innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainability.

In the current times of crisis and change, the world needs more than ever new ideas and inspirations that address the grand challenges of our society, shaping a better future for all.

Governments, institutions, and firms around the world are preparing recovery and development plans for the post-pandemic world. We want to contribute to this debate and make a mark, by harnessing the power of our Alumni Community and bringing their insights to the spotlight to address three global priorities: innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainability.


  • NEW Deadline for submissions: September 22, 2021
  • Notification of Acceptance: September 30, 2021
  • Deadline for conference speaker registration: October 15, 2021
  • Deadline for video-pitch submission: October 25, 2021
  • Conference website: live from September


For this contest, a challenge is defined as a specific problem, with an industrial, business, or societal impact, which can be solved by leveraging the professional experiences and accomplishments of MIP Alumni Community in a way that is replicable in other realms.


By joining this challenge, you can be a protagonist in the first MIP Alumni Conference “Shape the Future”, a 3-days virtual event involving all the MIP community and external audiences taking place in November-December 2021, placing your ideas and experience in the spotlight, within our School’s network and beyond:

  • Be recognized as a THOUGHT LEADER by broadcasting your ideas and experiences across the MIP and Media Partners’ networks
  • Join the debate as a PANEL SPEAKER in the Conference Program
  • Get access to a PROFESSIONAL TRAINING workshop where to learn how to present ideas effectively, at the MIP Alumni Conference as well as in professional life
  • Meet recruiters and managers at EXCLUSIVE NETWORKING AND CAREER SESSIONS

The best challenges for each category will receive an Award with a prize of € 5.000 worth of executive education at MIP. Specifically, we will grant a


Above all, the selected Alumni and Alumnae will actively join the community of MIP Politecnico di Milano and contribute with us to shape a better future for all.


To address the challenge, we are looking for proposals in the form of points of view and use cases that relate to one of the following 3 topics:

  • The Future of Innovation
  • The Future of Entrepreneurship
  • The Future of Sustainability

Each proposal should aim to help firms and the public institutions to run their business and activities efficiently or to deliver value to their customers, stakeholders, and citizens. Challenges with impact on the post-pandemic social and economic scenarios will be prioritized by scoring extra points in the expert evaluation.


The call for challenges is addressed to all the 15,000 Alumni and Alumnae of MIP Graduate School of Business of Politecnico di Milano who have graduated / will graduate by October 2021. Proposals that have been incubated at MIP (graduations theses, project works, …) will be prioritized by scoring extra points in the expert evaluation.


The Future of Innovation The Future of Entrepreneurship The Future of Sustainability
  • Design and meaning innovations
  • Innovation-oriented organizations
  • New business models
  • Technological innovations
  • Corporate Venturing
  • Digital entrepreneurship
  • Entrepreneurial ecosystems
  • From business idea to startup
  • Business impact on UN SDGs
  • Diversity & inclusion
  • Social innovations
  • Sustainable global value chains
  • POINT OF VIEW: A bold new idea for the future of the field
    It can be an idea, an unspotted trend, an upcoming opportunity or threat, a new angle on what you believe will be central in shaping the future.
  • USE CASE: An exceptional experience from which to learn
    It can be successful or not, it can outline a completely new initiative, or the same old project done in a completely new way.

Answer 4 questions in maximum 500 words:

Point of view
Use case
Introduce yourself – what is your background and current occupation? Introduce yourself – what is your background and current occupation?
Describe the idea you want to talk about. What have you discovered that is new? Why is your thinking different from common wisdom? Provide examples Tell us about your experience, project, or initiative. What is special or insightful about it? Why did you take part in it and what was your role?
What is important, useful, new, or counterintuitive about your idea? What added value does your idea have comparing to the current state of the art? What should change from the status-quo? What obstacles have you faced? What did you come up with to deal with them? What did you learn that you did not know before?
What evidence do you have to support your idea? Can you measure or estimate the impact it will generate? What impact have you generated? What evidence to you have to show it?

Please, note that for privacy reasons, any potential reference to other persons in your proposal must be in an anonymous form.


We strongly recommend you to read carefully the Shape the Future CALL FOR CHALLENGES GUIDE FOR APPLICANTS before starting to prepare your challenge proposal and fill in the Submission Form. If you have any questions, send them to

Only proposals in English will be accepted.

REMEMBER that you CANNOT EDIT your application after submission.

Finally, be aware that all information provided will be verified during the evaluation process. If any false information is detected, the proposal will be immediately rejected.

Questions marked with (*) are mandatory.

Review process

All proposals will be reviewed by an expert panel involving MIP senior Alumni and Alumnae and Faculty members. The proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Readability: How clear and compelling is this proposal?
  • Relevance: How relevant and important is this proposal in relation to the chosen topic
  • Originality: Will conference attendees learn something that they do not already know from this proposal?
  • Impact depth: How profound is the change that this proposal can trigger in business practices and, more generally, in society?
  • Impact breadth: To what extend does this proposal impact diverse realms of business and societies?
  • Credibility: Does this proposal offer enough evidence about the project and its impact?
  • Potential to Shape the Future: Ultimately, how powerful is the message emanating from this proposal?

Extra points will be assigned to the proposals that:

  • Have an important impact on the post-pandemic social and economic scenarios
  • Have been originated at MIP (e.g., graduations theses, project works, …)
The pitch

All the Alumni and Alumnae with an accepted proposals will be invited to join the conference as speakers. Accepting to join the conference as a speaker implies a commitment to:

  • Record a 3-minutes pitch of the proposed challenge and solution (full guidelines and professional mandatory training will be provided in due time)
  • Join and discuss your proposal during a live virtual conference session
  • Register to the conference (speakers fee: € 90)