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-long 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.

Teams are encouraged to attend all live events together. The live events will be recorded and archived for team members. The Nexus Innovation Challenge kicks off in January 2021 and includes: 

January 27

3:00 - 5:00 p.m. CT

Program Kick Off

Building on our Foundation: Applying NCICLE Principles for an Interprofessional Future

2 hour virtual workshop
January 28 Introduction to Design Thinking Four 15 minute self-paced modules for the team

February 10

12:00 - 1:30 p.m. CT

Flipping IPE and Working in the Nexus 1.5 hour virtual workshop
February Initial Team Check Ins with Coaches Teams set up an initial meeting with coach 

February 24 

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. CT

Setting the Stage for Design Thinking 1.5 hour virtual workshop

March 10

11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. CT

Innovation Challenge, Part 1: Ideation and Prototyping 3 hour virtual workshop
March 22 Goal Statements and Implementation Timelines Due for Feedback  

Week of April 12

Date and Time TBD

Innovation Challenge, Part 2: Presentation and Feedback 2 hour virtual workshop
April – August Team-based Implementation in Local Settings Teams meet individually with coaches, twice

May 26 

August 11

12:00 - 1:30 p.m. CT

National Center Office Hours: Tackling Emerging Themes in IPE two 1.5 hour virtual workshops


Date and Time TBD

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.