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MIT Solve Announces; Noubar Afeyan, Co-Founder and Chairman of Moderna; and Gitanjali Rao, TIME’s Kid of the Year to Speak at Virtual Solve at MIT on May 3-4

Afeyan and MIT President L. Rafael Reif to discuss the latest in Covid-19 vaccine developments; additional speakers include Zoom Founder and CEO Eric S. Yuan, Wanjira Mathai of the World Resources Institute, and Jean Case of the Case Foundation

Plenary sessions are available to media; register here.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 26, 2021—Solve, an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, today announced that, creative innovator and tech entrepreneur and Noubar Afeyan, Co-Founder and Chairman of Moderna will speak on May 3 during its annual flagship event, Solve at MIT, hosted virtually on May 3-4. 

During the event, Solver teams, social entrepreneurs solving world challenges, will connect with Members of the Solve community, a diverse group of private, public, and nonprofit leaders, with the aim of creating partnerships to scale innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. The event will also highlight Solve’s 2021 Global Challenges—Antiracist Technology in the US, Digital Inclusion, Equitable Classrooms, Health Security & Pandemics and Resilient Ecosystems—for which nearly $2 million of funding will be available. Innovators who wish to be considered for the 2021 Solver class must apply before June 16, 2021. 

In a fireside chat during the afternoon plenary from 2:15-3:15pm ET, Noubar Afeyan and L. Rafael Reif, President of MIT, will discuss Moderna’s vast contributions to a post-pandemic world and what innovation looks like during a crisis. 

The afternoon plenary session will also include a conversation on “Where Creativity Meets Action” between and Vilas Dhar, President and Trustee of the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation.

Participants at this year's Solve at MIT also include:

  • Gitanjali Rao, inventor and Time’s Kid of the Year, in conversation with 2017 Solver Emma Yang, Founder, Timeless 

  • Eric S. Yuan, Founder and CEO, Zoom 

  • Jean Case, CEO, Case Impact Network and Case Foundation, and Chairman, the National Geographic Society, in conversation with 2019 Solver Dr. Garry Cooper Jr., Co-Founder and CEO, Rheaply, and 2018 Solver Priya Lakhani OBE, Founder and CEO, CENTURY

  • Wanjira Mathai, Vice President and Regional Director For Africa, World Resources Institute, in conversation with Terence Mauri, Founder, Hack Future Lab, and 2020 Solver Talash Huijbers, Founder and CEO, InsectiPro

“Despite difficult circumstances, our Solver teams and Members are doing extraordinary work and Solve at MIT is a moment to come together to continue these critical efforts to solve world challenges,” said Solve’s Executive Director, Alex Amouyel. “The pandemic is the primary issue on everyone’s minds, and no one is better suited to share insights on the latest vaccine developments than Moderna Co-Founder and Chairman, Noubar Afeyan, and MIT President L. Rafael Reif. We’re also excited to dive into our 2021 Global Challenges, including Antiracist Technology in the US and Health Security & Pandemics.” 

Solver teams and Members of the Solve community will join working groups throughout May 3 and 4 to focus on the 2020 and 2021 Global Challenges; the launch of Solve’s new initiative for young people under 24, Solv[ED]; and a new round of investments of Solve Innovation Future, Solve’s philanthropic venture fund.

Solve at MIT is made possible thanks to our Partners: General Motors, Comcast NBCUniversal, Morgridge Family Foundation, Vodafone Americas Foundation, HP, and Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Read more about the nearly $2 million in prize funding available thanks to our prize funders here.

The event program can be found here. If you’re interested in joining Solve as a Member to partner with Solver teams, shape Solve’s Global Challenges, and attend the full Solve at MIT event, see here.

About MIT Solve: 

Solve is an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a mission to solve world challenges. Solve is a marketplace for social impact innovation. Through open innovation Challenges, Solve finds incredible tech-based social entrepreneurs all around the world. Solve then brings together MIT’s innovation ecosystem and a community of Members to fund and support these entrepreneurs to help them drive lasting, transformational impact. Join Solve on this journey at

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