‘Agents of Change’ Atopic Dermatitis Challenge: Navigating Uncertainty

How might we help people living with atopic dermatitis and those around them navigate the daily uncertainty of their condition, including its unpredictable and often severe symptoms?

Let’s work together to find solutions that help navigate the uncertainty of daily life with atopic dermatitis.
Let’s work together to find solutions that help navigate the uncertainty of daily life with atopic dermatitis.
Who Can Participate

We firmly believe that a good idea can come from anyone, and from anywhere around the world. However, we’re unable to provide grant funding to individuals and believe that the power of community can make ideas even stronger.

Submissions are welcome from non-profit organizations, including (but not limited to) patient and professional organizations, as well as advocacy groups. We ask that individuals or groups of individuals submit their proposal in partnership with a non-profit organization of any kind, so if you have an idea, make sure to reach out to a local group so that you can co-create together from the beginning.

Learn More +

The Opportunity

Up to five grant recipients may have the opportunity to receive:

  • Grant funding: Up to $10,000 in grant funding to support the development and implementation of proposed solutions. Grant funding provided will vary based on the scale of the proposal submitted.
  • Global Recognition: An opportunity to present and discuss their ideas with the AD community and experts in healthcare and innovation.
What's Happening Now
  • Sign up to receive email updates around the Challenge.
  • Read the full brief below
  • Check out our Challenge resources at the bottom of this page, curated to support your participation and to connect you to organizations that might be willing to join you in designing a solution.
Participants are welcome to submit solutions to the Beyond the Bag Challenge through one of three submission channels. Learn more about each channel.

The Challenge

Atopic dermatitis (AD) affects as many as 1 in 10 people around the world, making it one of the most common skin conditions [1],[2],[3]. The unpredictable nature of this chronic inflammatory disease means persistent symptoms – including itch, skin dryness, flaking, cracking, bleeding and oozing – may suddenly worsen [4]. Particularly for those with more severe forms, AD can cause substantial disruption to everyday life – from the physical discomfort, to the emotional toll it can take [4],[5].

Not knowing if you’ll feel able to face the day when you wake up in the morning requires patience and flexibility from people living with AD, but also from those they engage with. 

People living with AD and those close to them are all too aware of the impact that moderate-to-severe AD can have—on sleep, mood, work, school, socializing, relationships, and other everyday activities [5],[6]. It goes far beyond what you can see – both in terms of the underlying cause of the unpredictable physical symptoms and in the feelings of anxiety and isolation that can accompany them [5]. This challenge is about creative ways to help people living with AD navigate the daily uncertainty of their disease. 

Friends, coworkers, classmates and others may struggle to understand what it means to live with a disease that can flare-up without warning [1],[2] – and why their colleague may not be able to attend an important presentation, their friend may be non-committal about a trip to the beach, or their student may be less prepared for a test. And so, this challenge is also about creative ways to help others understand, empathize with and better support the uncertainty people with AD face. 

Last year, the ‘Agents of Change’ AD Challenge focused on helping break social stigma to put a stop to the bullying faced by those with AD. This year we’re calling upon all of you—the AD community, health innovators, and everyone around the world who has ever lived with day-to-day unpredictability—to submit your ideas. 

Let’s find creative ways to help people with AD navigate the daily impact of this unpredictable disease, and enable those around them to better understand and support them, too. 

Challenge Journey

1. Ideas

Sep 14, 2020

Oct 12, 2020

2. Review

Oct 26, 2020

Nov 2, 2020

3. Iteration

Nov 9, 2020

Nov 23, 2020

4. Final Review

Dec 7, 2020

Dec 14, 2020

5. Final Announcement

Jun 15, 2021

Jun 15, 2021

Current Phase
1. Ideas
The Ideas Phase is about coming up with real solutions.

In this Phase, we invite contributors with diverse backgrounds to share their ideas.

The Ideas Phase is more than just a call for proposals. At OpenIDEO, we believe that new and existing ideas become better through collaboration, transparent feedback, and iteration. Participants are encouraged to build off of others' concepts, collaboratively share insights, and combine ideas to reach innovative new places.

What's Happening

Browse the Challenge Brief and Additional Resources to learn more about AD and uncertainty. Then share your ideas while the ideation phase is open.

Get Involved

Increase your understanding of AD and start brainstorming!

Key Dates

Submission opens on Monday, September 14th, 2020 and ends on Monday, October 12th, 2020 at 5 p.m. PT.

Submit
2. Review
Proposals are carefully evaluated to determine the Shortlist.

After the ideation phase closes, we’ll take two weeks to review all submitted ideas. During this review period, submitted proposals on the platform will be locked, though we encourage you to leave and respond to comments, feedback or insights in the comments section.

Those chosen as part of the shortlist will be required to share more information on their proposal, including a timeline and estimated budget allocation to help provide a better sense of how your idea will be brought to life.

What's Happening

All eligible submitted proposals will be reviewed.

Get Involved

You're encouraged to continue to increase your understanding of AD by exploring the resources and to share your feedback on other submitted ideas on the platform.

Key Dates

Shortlisted proposals will be announced on Monday, October 26th.

Coming Soon
3. Iteration
Let's improve our proposals based on feedback and collaboration!

During the Iteration Phase, up to 15 shortlisted submissions will be invited to further build their proposals and fully flesh out their ideas around AD.

All shortlisted participants will be guided through unpacking their innovations, testing aspects of their idea, and finding ways to gain feedback from those who might benefit from their solutions.

What's Happening

Shortlisted teams will improve their ideas through peer interactions, expert feedback, and community support. All proposals will be locked to edit-only, as we will ask that you focus your time on refining your concept.

Key Dates

Proposal editing will be open from November 9 to November 23 at 5pm PT.

Coming Soon
4. Final Review
During our Final Review Phase, all shortlisted ideas will be evaluated.

At the close of the Challenge, shortlisted ideas will be evaluated against the eligibility criteria by a selection panel that includes Sanofi Genzyme and Regeneron, healthcare innovators and experts in AD, as well as the OpenIDEO Challenge team.

What's Happening

All ideas will be reviewed by a full selection panel.

Get Involved

Stay tuned for the announcement of the selected grant recipients.

Key Dates

The selection panel will evaluate ideas from December 07, 2020 through December 14, 2020. This will be followed by a period of due diligence and grant review process before signing an agreement.

Coming Soon
5. Final Announcement
Selected proposals will be announced.


Coming Soon
The Challenge

How might we help people living with atopic dermatitis and those around them navigate the daily uncertainty of their condition, including its unpredictable and often severe symptoms?

Read The Full Brief

About Atopic Dermatitis

Here are more facts about AD and its symptoms:

  • AD, the most common form of eczema, is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease driven in part by excessive type 2 inflammation, an overactive response of the immune system [7].
  • Moderate-to-severe AD is characterized by unpredictable flare-ups and rashes that can cover much of the body, and include intense, persistent itching, skin lesions and skin dryness, cracking, redness, darkness, crusting and oozing [4].
  • Inadequately controlled AD can have a physical, emotional, and psychosocial impact, causing sleep disturbance, symptoms of anxiety and depression, and feelings of isolation [2],[5].
  • Symptoms can impact all aspects of day-to-day life, including getting a good night’s sleep, enjoying the freedom to exercise and try new hobbies, to play with your kids, meet up with friends, or feeling free to wear whatever you want [5].

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Opportunity Areas

Opportunity Areas are specific calls to action that guide our community. They serve as provocations that are intentionally aligned with our Challenge topic and partner priorities as well as guiding solution innovation.

Regardless of the Opportunity Area, the hope is that all ideas will approach the Challenge question through the lens of supporting those who live with AD.

  • Navigating the uncertain: AD is a chronic skin disease driven by an immune system response under the skin, characterized by unpredictable flares that can appear at any time [1],[2]. This uncertainty forces those living with AD to find ways to master ambiguity and integrate AD into their daily lives. How might we help people living with AD feel more in control amidst the daily uncertainty of their disease? 
  • Helping others understand: People living with AD are all too aware of the uncertainty caused by their disease, but those they spend time with – including friends, co-workers, and classmates – might not understand the realities of life with this disease and struggle to empathize. How might we help the communities around people living with AD better understand the unpredictable nature of this disease, enabling them to be more empathetic and supportive?  
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Who Can Participate?

We firmly believe that a good idea can come from anyone, and from anywhere around the world. However, we're unable to provide grant funding to individuals and believe that the power of community can make ideas even stronger.

Submissions are welcome from non-profit organizations, including (but not limited to) patient and professional organizations, as well as advocacy groups. We ask that individuals or groups of individuals submit their proposal in partnership with a non-profit organization of any kind, so if you have an idea, make sure to reach out to a local group so that you can co-create together from the beginning.

Individuals with an idea that they feel passionate about, but may not know a non-profit organization to partner with, are encouraged to:

  • Combine teams: Reach out to others in the OpenIDEO community who may be joining the Challenge and have already identified an organization to partner with.
  • Share your ideas anyway: While grant support will only be provided to those who have partnered with a non-profit organization, we want to hear your ideas anyway. The community management team may be able to help provide more information on non-profit organizations in your region that you may be able to partner with.

A shortlist of ideas will be identified and will have the opportunity to receive additional feedback and further refine their proposals into more fully-fledged and complete ideas, demonstrating their potential impact for addressing the uncertainty experienced by people living with AD, and those around them.

For those chosen as part of the shortlist, more information including a timeline and estimated budget allocation will be requested to help provide a better sense of how your idea will be brought to life. Chosen grant recipients will also undergo a required due diligence review and will need to sign an agreement with the sponsors of this challenge before grants can be awarded.

Organizations that have previously submitted ideas to the ‘Agents of Change’ AD Challenge may submit a new proposal, but not if they received grant funding last year (2019). 

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The Opportunity

Up to five grant recipients may have the opportunity to receive:

  • Grant funding: Up to $10,000 in grant funding to support the development and implementation of proposed solutions. Grant funding provided will vary based on the scale of the proposal submitted.
  • Global Recognition:  An opportunity to present and discuss their ideas with the AD community and experts in healthcare and innovation.


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Challenge Inspiration

Below are a few powerful illustrations to help convey the effects of AD on our community, taken from DAART art competition, by the Association of People Affected by Atopic Dermatitis (AADA) in Spain. https://daart.es/#/home

Want not to be skin - Art by Ariadna Bertran Font, Universidad de Barcelona
Despair - Art by Alicia Mascaró Martin, Universidad de Barcelona
The game - Art by Claudia Gorga Carbajal, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Dream - Art by Joan Lalucat Vehil, Universidad de Barcelona
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Evaluation Criteria

We’re looking for ideas that are…

Patient-centered / human-centered

We want ideas that are centered around real, human experiences that demonstrate an understanding of the realities of life with AD. 

Anchored in creativity 

We’re seeking innovative solutions that tackle these issues in creative new ways – big or small – and have the potential to make a real difference. 

Locally focused

We believe that a deep understanding of challenges faced in your own community will help inform stronger solutions. From there, we’re interested to learn how ideas may be able to scale to reach and support more people.

Measurable

It’s critical that you consider how your idea may be measurable to demonstrate impact on the AD community. Examples of measurable impacts may include:

  • Understanding: Demonstrates understanding of the unmet need or burden experienced by people living with AD, and those around them.
  • Impact: Demonstrates impact or ability to make a tangible difference for the AD community.
  • Relatability: Demonstrates relevance or relatability for people living with AD and/or the AD community in your local city, town or community, with the potential to scale globally.

Feasible

The intention of this Challenge is to make a positive impact for the AD community around the world. As such, we ask that you consider the implementation feasibility of your idea. For example:

  • Is the idea realistic enough to bring to life? 
  • Is this something that you’d imagine being used by someone you know living with AD? 
  • Is the implementation timeframe reasonable?
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Additional Resources

This list of Additional Resources has been co-created alongside experts to support you in crafting your idea.

Throughout the Challenge, participants will also be supported with:

  • Access to articles and published research information to support the ideation process.
  • New connections and the opportunity to meet co-creators while growing your network via the OpenIDEO platform and AD community.

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About Our Partners

Sanofi is dedicated to supporting people through their health challenges. We are a global biopharmaceutical company focused on human health. We prevent illness with vaccines, provide innovative treatments to fight pain, and ease suffering. We stand by the few who suffer from rare diseases and the millions with long-term chronic conditions. With more than 100,000 people in 100 countries, Sanofi is transforming scientific innovation into healthcare solutions around the globe.


Regeneron is a leading biotechnology company that invents life-transforming medicines for people with serious diseases. Founded and led for 30 years by physician-scientists, our unique ability to repeatedly and consistently translate science into medicine has led to seven FDA-approved treatments and numerous product candidates in development, all of which were homegrown in our laboratories. Our medicines and pipeline are designed to help patients with eye diseases, allergic and inflammatory diseases, cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, pain, infectious diseases, and rare diseases.

Through this alliance, Regeneron and Sanofi are leveraging both companies’ unique capabilities to advance patient care and focus research efforts on understanding the pathophysiology of inflammatory diseases, like asthma, atopic dermatitis, chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis, eosinophilic esophagitis and other atopic and allergic diseases.

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References

1.       T. Bieber. Atopic Dermatitis. Ann Dermatol. 2010;22(2):125–137.

2.       S. Weidinger et al., Atopic dermatitis. Lancet. 2016;387:1109–1122.

3.       D. Leung et al., New insights into atopic dermatitis. J Clin Invest. 2004;113(5):651–657.

4.       Mount Sinai. Patient Care Atopic Dermatitis. Available at: https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/diseases-conditions/atopic-dermatitis. Accessed May 2020

5.       T. Zuberbier, et al., Patient perspectives on the management of atopic dermatitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006;118(1):226-232.

6.       Eckert L, Gupta S, Amand C, Gadkari A, Mahajan P, Gelfand JM. Impact of atopic dermatitis on health-related quality of life and productivity in adults in the United States: an analysis using the National Health and Wellness Survey. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2017 Aug 1;77(2):274-9.

7.       NA. Gandhi et al., Targeting key proximal drivers of type 2 inflammation in disease. Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2016;15(1):35-50.

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Submit Idea
Submit IdeaSubscribe for Updates
Challenge Resources:

This list of Additional Resources  has been co-created alongside experts to support you in crafting your idea.

Throughout the Challenge, participants will also be supported with:

  • Access to articles and published research information to support the ideation process.
  • New connections and the opportunity to meet co-creators while growing your network via the OpenIDEO platform and AD community.

MAT-GLB-2000415 | June 2020

Challenge Team:

Chris McLemore

Product Manager

Daniela Restrepo Ortiz

Community Specialist

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