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PRESS RELEASE: MIT Solve Announces GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra and Cellist Yo-Yo Ma to Speak at Annual Solve at MIT Meeting on May 12

Barra and L. Rafael Reif, President of MIT, to share insights on tackling big challenges including the Covid-19 crisis, work of the future, and climate change

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 4, 2020—Solve, an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, today announced that Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO of General Motors, will speak on May 12 during its annual flagship event, Solve at MIT, hosted virtually. During the event, Solver teams—entrepreneurs driving social and environmental impact—will connect with Members of the Solve community to celebrate their progress and continue to build robust partnerships to help scale their solutions. The event will also highlight Solve’s 2020 Global Challenges with over $1.5 million of funding available to innovators.

In an informal fireside chat, Mary Barra and L. Rafael Reif, President of MIT, will discuss leadership in the face of the global Covid-19 crisis—notably highlighting GM’s partnership with Ventec Life Systems to produce critical care ventilators, and MIT’s swift actions to accelerate frontier research and innovation—and solving world challenges like climate change.

“We are thrilled to welcome Mary Barra to the MIT Solve Community—and we’re grateful for General Motors’ long-lasting support of our Solver teams’ innovative work,” said Solve’s Executive Director, Alex Amouyel. “As the pandemic impacts the lives and livelihoods of millions, it’s now more important than ever for leaders to collaborate across sectors to find and support solutions to pressing global challenges.” 

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

  • Yo-Yo Ma, world-renowned cellist, who will explore how to find inspiration and connection while physically apart and discuss the link between art, culture and technology—and perform for the Solve community.

  • Cady Coleman, a former NASA Astronaut and a veteran of two Space Shuttle missions and a six-month trip aboard the International Space Station (ISS), who will share insights about her experience living isolated in space—and how they relate to current social distancing practices. 

  • Solver teams and Members of the Solve community, who will join working groups throughout the day on Solve’s Global Challenges as well as the Solve Investor Showcase, which will include Solver pitches and an announcement of the first investments of Solve Innovation Future, a groundbreaking philanthropic venture fund.

The event program can be found here. If you’re interested in joining Solve as a Member, including attending Solve at MIT, click here.

Media interested in viewing the fireside chat between Mary Barra and L. Rafael Reif, Yo-Yo Ma’s remarks and performance, and the Solve Investor Showcase may join the closing plenary from 2:45-4:30pm ET and can register 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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