2021 Nexus Innovation Challenge - Program Overview

Nexus Innovation Challenge 2021 Nexus Innovation Challenge - Program Overview

2021 Nexus Innovation Challenge  - Program Overview

The 2021 Nexus Innovation Challenge is an opportunity for teams interested in applying design thinking principles to address critical challenges related to a clinical learning environment (any environment where individuals are learning and have an opportunity to influence patients and health outcomes) within their local community.

The nine-month longitudinal program provides a structured experience for teams to learn and apply design thinking principles to real-world situations and challenges in their own settings. Teams will be invited to identify an issue within their system (network, clinical unit, partnership) and develop a challenge statement that will be the focus of their design work and action plan over the course of the nine-month experience.

The Nexus Innovation Challenge kicks off in January 2021 and includes: 

January   Introduction to the Innovation Challenge   Four 15 minute self-paced modules for the team
  Building on our Foundation: Applying NCICLE Principles for an Interprofessional Future 2 hour virtual workshop
February Getting Started: Setting the Stage for Design Thinking 1.5 hour virtual workshop
  Innovation Challenge, Part 1: Ideation and Prototyping 3 hour virtual workshop
March Innovation Challenge, Part 2: Presentation and Feedback 2 hour virtual workshop
April – August Team-based Implementation in Local Settings  
August Team-based Debrief Sessions with Design Coaches  
September Innovation Challenge Team Check In and Progress Reports 2 hour virtual workshop


To ensure the outcomes of the Nexus Innovation Challenge experience are meaningful for teams, the following criteria will also be underscored throughout the Innovation Challenge experience. All teams will be asked to define an actionable outcome and share a progress report as part of the experience:

  • Importance to the team

  • Actionable

  • Ease of Implementation

  • Patient Family Engagement

  • Measurable Impact


Program Resources

Achieving the Optimal Interprofessional Clinical Learning Environment, symposium proceedings of the National Collaborative for Improving Clinical Environments (NCICLE), outlines the value and characteristics of high-functioning clinical learning environments from the perspectives of patients, learners, health systems and academic medical centers.

The 2019 Clinical Learning Environment Innovation Challenge was a dynamic, team-based, design thinking experience at the Nexus Summit 2019. This summary document provides an overview of the Innovation Challenge experience, including NCICLE's work on the interprofessional clinical learning environment, an introduction to the theory and use of design thinking to rapidly prototype solutions to complex problems, and case studies featuring the outcomes of the interprofessional team’s application to real-world challenges.