What’s New With Innovation Next?


What’s New With Innovation Next?

April 27, 2020
Three women gather around a computer in an office

Now in its fifth year, Power to Decide’s Innovation Next program recently selected its fourth cohort of awardees. With support from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Population Affairs, participants are continuing their work to ensure that young people have the information and access to services they need through novel, technology-based ideas.

Each of the nine teams selected have previously participated in Innovation Next. With this funding they plan to bring their existing innovations fully to market, to scale, or to prepare for a randomized control trial. Of course, the selected teams will continue to apply the design thinking approach in their projects.

Composed of three individuals, each group aims to answer one “How might we…” question. The teams and their questions are:

  • HelloooAmerica: … create culturally and linguistically relevant opportunities and materials for young refugee women aged 18-24 in the U.S. to access and engage with sexual and reproductive health information in a way that equips, empowers, and protects their sexual and reproductive health experiences?
  • Layla’s Last Week: … use digital media to thoughtfully engage adolescents in experiences of teenage pregnancy and resources for the prevention of teen and unplanned pregnancy?
  • Design Vagabonds: … leverage existing entertainment preferences to engage young men in sexual health education?
  • Okayso: … meet teens where they are to answer their questions about sex, love, relationships, and stress in an anonymous way? 
  • Real Talk: meet young people where they are and help them connect with the experiences of other young people navigating the complexities of growing up?
  • ME. Project: … increase teens’ sense of agency and efficacy over their sexual/reproductive health and mental health, thus reducing STIs and teen pregnancy in under-served communities of color?
  • Miss Morning After: … better increase accessibility to emergency contraception for low-income teens in urban areas?
  • Bloom Science: … provide age-appropriate sex education during the grade school years? How might we enable parents to customize their child's sexual health curriculum to meet family needs and aspirations? 
  • Young Parents United: … use technology to create a holistic health and wellness program to support and empower teen parents?

If you want to learn more about the amazing work that some of these teams are doing, check out these blogs on ME. Project and Design Vagabonds, and check back on our blog in coming weeks to see more team interviews. To learn about the challenge every team is addressing, please visit our Innovation Next website and read the team profiles.