February 7, 2019
An illustration of four people with human sized puzzle pieces working together to put them together.

In February 2019, the Innovation Next judges panel selected five teams for the third cohort of innovators. Below are descriptions of the teams, including the “How might we…?” questions that will guide their work:

Project Name: Hellooo America

A photo of the original team of Helllooo America.

Team: Rihana Nesrudin (Oakhurst Medical Centers, Inc.), Grace Paulsen (International Rescue Committee Atlanta), and Heli Tuomi Carlile (PWLabs, Inc.)

How Might We create culturally and linguistically relevant opportunities and materials for young refugee women age 18-24 in the US to access and engage with sexual and reproductive health information in a way that equips, empowers, and protects their sexual and reproductive health experiences? 

Description: The Helloo America project began by examining how the team could provide culturally-appropriate, evidence-based sexual and reproductive health information for young refugee women age 18-24 from diverse ethnic, educational, and religious backgrounds and with limited health literacy. The first prototype included a mobile app that provided health education and social engagement and could be used on young refugee women's phones. The team learned that refugee young women prefer anonymity and watch YouTube videos for entertainment and education. The HelloooAmerica YouTube playlist aims to harness the power of digital media with and for young refugee women age 16-24 living in the US. The YouTube video series delivers medically-accurate, culturally-appropriate, affirming sexual health information, free instructional resources, and referrals, which can be accessed anytime, anywhere.  

Project Name: #Love Unfiltered

A photo of the original team of #Love Unfiltered.

The Original Team: Vaishnavi Siripurapu (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Kasiemobi Udo-okoye (The Try Guys), and Anna Gabriella Casalme (Novelly), 

The Current Team: Anna Gabriella Casalme (Novelly) and Amanda Beadlescomb (Novelly) 

How Might We use digital media to thoughtfully engage adolescents in experiences of teenage pregnancy and resources for the prevention of teen and unplanned pregnancy? 

Description: #Love Unfiltered started as a single interactive webcomic where users got to guide the story. Seventeen-year-old Layla has to juggle her job at the Chicken Shack, school drama, her wild Southern family, and the complications of a sex life with her first boyfriend, all while pursuing her dream of becoming a vet, but when she finds out that she might be pregnant, everything changes. Will she be able to get through high school? Today, the #Love Unfiltered Collection includes four webcomics highlighting the intersectional lived experiences of young people. The team has plans to move the webcomic from a web app to a mobile app platform to increase interactivity. They are creating a curriculum and discussion guide for the webcomics that can be used by peer educators and adult mentors along with a journaling feature that empowers young readers to reflect on what they are reading in the comics.


Project Name: NObility

A photo of the original team of NObility.

The Original Team: Nikki Mayeux (Academy of Career and Community Education), Jason Foster (Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies), and Sheryl-Amber Edmondson (Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies)

How Might We employ digital learning tools to expand and enrich access to sexual and reproductive health education for adolescents and young adults with diverse learning needs?

Description: Starting in New Orleans, NObility aimed to build online tools and videos to provide youth with diverse learning needs access to information and resources on sexual and reproductive health. By co-creating with young adults, this dynamic team is amplifying voices that resonate with youth and helping youth navigate the complexities of sex, love, and relationships.

Project Name: Wingman

A photo of the original team of Wingman.

Team: Genevieve Martinez-Garcia (Healthy Teen Network), Nick Sufrinko (Healthy Teen Network), and Mila Garrido (Healthy Teen Network)

How Might We leverage existing entertainment preferences to engage young men in sexual health education?

Description: The Design Vagabonds team launched Wingman, a mobile keyboard that suggests words and phrases to text to your partner during intimate conversations. Users can set the tone intensity so that the suggested words match their sexting style, from cool to hot. The system takes clues from the conversation and deploys "wingtips," short sexual health messages that range in content from addressing condom use, to consent, and STI testing. The messages are short, timely, and relevant to the content being texted by the user. The team is in the process of coding these messages and improving the machine learning capability of the application. 


Project Name: Sexpert

A photo of the original team of Sexpert.

The Original Team: Marianne Pantalon (Marianne S. Pantalon, PhD, LLC), Aileen Gariepy (Yale University School of Medicine), and Sharae Gibbs (She Design's Creative Agency)

How Might We increase dual method use and subsequently decrease teen pregnancy among 15-18 year-old Black and Latinx adolescents?

Description: Sexpert explored the development of an immersive video game that answers the question so many of us have, “Why isn’t there a do over in life?” With this game, teens navigate the complexities of sex, love, and relationships, while seeing the consequences of their actions with the perk of having unlimited do overs. The team hopes this will increase teens’ awareness of dual method use and improve decision-making skills.