Nike Design With Grind Challenge

How might we create a waste-free, circular future by designing everyday products using Nike Grind materials?

What can you make with Nike Grind?
The Opportunity
  • One Grand Prize winner will receive an award of $30,000 
  • Up to four winners will receive an award of $5,000 each

Learn More +

We're Looking For
  • The Nike Grind program seeks to push the boundaries of a circular, waste-free economy 
  • Nike is calling for proposals to do even more with Nike Grind materials

Learn More +

What's Happening Now

Congratulations to our Top Ideas!

Check out the ideas >

Participants are welcome to submit solutions to the Beyond the Bag Challenge through one of three submission channels. Learn more about each channel.


We live in a time of relentless change and unlimited opportunity.

Nike believes the science is right, climate change is real, and we must take action now to power and protect the future of sport. This will require that the world radically redesign industrial systems and economies. It is not enough to adapt to what the future may bring, but that the future we want must be created through sustainable innovation.

The future demands a transition to a circular economy—a world in which materials can be used and reused at their highest potential. Nike is pushing the boundaries of the circular economy by transforming waste into value streams.

Nike Grind is a palette of premium recycled materials recovered from used footwear and manufacturing scrap. Since 1990, Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program has collected and recycled more than 30 million pairs of used shoes—including non-Nike footwear. And to date, Nike Grind materials have been incorporated into more than 1 billion square feet of sport surfaces, such as running tracks, athletic fields, gym floors, and playgrounds.

Learn more about what Nike is doing to power and protect the future of sport through Sustainable Business & Innovation.

Learn more about how Nike Grind is turning waste into new value streams.  

Challenge Journey

1. Ideas

Feb 27, 2018

Apr 30, 2018

2. Review

May 1, 2018

May 29, 2018

3. Refinement

May 29, 2018

Jul 31, 2018

4. Final Review

Jul 31, 2018

Oct 18, 2018

5. Top Ideas

Oct 19, 2018

Oct 19, 2018

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

We want to hear what you can do with Nike Grind materials.

The Ideation 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.

For those who don’t wish to share their ideas openly there is an alternative “closed submission” channel— follow this link to access the closed channel.

What's Happening

Share your ideas to answer the Challenge question for a chace at a share of $50K, due by May 1, 2018 at 5pm PT.

Get Involved

Stay tuned for our webinar announcement calendar.

Key Dates

Starts on February 27, 2018.
Ends on May 1, 2018.

Phase closed
2. Review
The Review Phase is about taking time to evaluate all ideas and select the Ideas Shortlist.

Please stay tuned while we review your submissions.

Up to 30 concepts will be selected for the Ideas Shortlist and move on to the Refinement Phase of the Challenge. These ideas will benefit from access to additional resources, curriculum, and support from Nike and OpenIDEO.

What's Happening

Stay tuned while we review submissions to determine our shortlisted semi-finalists.

Get Involved

Provide feedback to your favorite ideas.

Key Dates

Shortlisted candidates will be announced on May 29.

Phase Closed
3. Refinement
The Refinement Phase is about making ideas better through collaboration.

During the Refinement Phase, up to 30 shortlisted concepts are invited to develop prototypes, plans to scale their business model, and other demonstrations of the solution’s ability to satisfy the goals of the Challenge.

If requested, we will send Material Innovation Kits to shortlisted teams for prototyping purposes.

What's Happening

Check out the Refinement Toolkit to guide your prototyping process.

Get Involved

Stay tuned for our webinar announcement calendar.

Key Dates

Prototypes and other application materials are due by July 31, 2018 at 5 p.m. PT.

Phase Closed
4. Final Review
The Final Review Phase is about taking one final evaluation period before selecting Top Ideas.

Stay tuned while a panel of Judges, Nike and OpenIDEO review final submissions.

What's Happening

Stay tuned while a panel of Judges evaluate final submissions.

Get Involved

Provide feedback to your favorite ideas.

Key Dates

Starts on July 31, 2018.

Phase closed
5. Top Ideas
The Top Ideas Phase is about celebrating Challenge winners.

Congratulations to Top Ideas!

Get Involved

Celebrate your favorite ideas, and help to implement them worldwide.

Explore Top Ideas
The Challenge

How might we create a waste-free, circular future by designing everyday products using Nike Grind materials?

Read The Full Brief

The Challenge

The goal of this Challenge is to identify promising new solutions for Nike Grind materials, so we can continue to create products that improve the lives of the people who use them, while reducing waste in the world around us.

One grand prize winner will receive $30,000, and up to four more top innovators will receive $5,000 grants for further development of their concept. All promising proposals will be considered for further partnership with Nike.

Individuals, teams of individuals, and legal entities are all welcome to participate. Some geographic restrictions apply. For contest rules, including eligibility requirements, please see the full Terms & Conditions.

READ MORE +See Less –
The Materials

Below is a brief outline of the types of Nike Grind materials available through this Challenge. Participants are asked to submit ideas for the design of products using any of these materials. For more details on the materials, see the full Nike Grind Materials List here

Nike Grind materials generally fall into two categories: single materials and composite materials.

Single materials are material streams comprised of one material type. Single materials available include:

  • Rubber
  • EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) foam
  • Full grain leather 

Composite materials are material streams comprised of two or more different material types.  Composite materials available include:

  • Laminated EVA foam
  • Laminated polyurethane foam
  • Mixed apparel textiles
  • Mixed footwear textiles
  • Footwear fiber “fluff”
  • Coated leather and synthetic leather

See the full Nike Grind Materials List here.

Material Design Kits:

To support the development of prototypes, teams that advance to the Refinement Phase will be eligible to receive material kits with physical samples and greater detail on the material properties.

READ MORE +See Less –
Evaluation Criteria

Submissions will be evaluated according to the following criteria.

  • Product Solution: The proposed solution incorporates a significant amount of Nike Grind materials into new or existing products
  • Innovation: The proposed solution represents a significant advance in the way waste materials can be repurposed into new, valuable products. Especially of interest are solutions for mixed material streams that are often more difficult to return to high value.
  • Prototype: The proposed solution can be produced as a tangible proof of concept during the refinement phase.
  • Business Plan: The proposed solution has presented a business plan and completed a required business model canvas that clearly demonstrates a pathway to scale.

Additional considerations of interest include:

  • Inspiration: Your team shares Nike’s commitment to creating a better future. Especially of interest are solutions for mixed material streams that are often more difficult to return to high value.
  • Human-Centered Design: Proposed solution should incorporate user and market feedback throughout the design process.

The following types of approaches are not of interest to this Challenge:

  • New design considerations for athletic footwear or apparel.
  • Approaches that are not compatible with environmental responsibility principles.
  • Approaches that do not adhere to the highest possible product safety standards.  
READ MORE +See Less –
How to Participate

Participants are welcome to submit solutions through either a public or private submission channel.

Eligible Countries Include: United States of America, Canada (except the province of Québec), Mexico, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Spain, Italy, Austria, Japan, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, & Australia. Submissions from additional countries not on this list may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Public Submission Channel

The public submission channel permits ideas to be viewed and further developed by the entire OpenIDEO community. At OpenIDEO, we find that opening ideas to a global community with a variety of experiences, cultural backgrounds, and areas of expertise holds rich learning opportunities and the potential for real and lasting impact, including inspiring conversations and unexpected collaborations.

By submitting ideas through the public channel, participants agree to allow the submissions to be viewable to the public.

Private Submission Channel

We understand that not all innovators will want to share their ideas publicly. To account for this, we have created a private submission track for those innovators or companies that are sensitive to sharing their ideas openly. If this is you, please follow this link to a closed submission process.   

By opting for the private submission track, you will not be able to take advantage of the OpenIDEO community to generate feedback, build upon one another's ideas, or receive targeted comments and questions from our global network of innovators.

Terms & Conditions

By submitting a response to either the public or private submission channel, participants confirm that their proposals do not contain any confidential information, and agree to the full Challenge Terms & Conditions and all of the following submission requirements.

If you have questions around using the closed or open submission process, you can contact us directly for more info.

READ MORE +See Less –

Full Challenge Brief as PDF

Materials Overview

Terms of Participation

Challenge Rules


READ MORE +See Less –
View Top Ideas
View Top Ideas
Challenge Team:

Chris Krohn

Senior Portfolio Lead

Hannah Lennett

Marketing Lead

Arjanna van der Plas


Ariana Bautista

Social Media Strategist

Join our Mailing List

Sign up now to get key updates about OpenIDEO's Challenges and stories about social innovation delivered straight to your inbox.

Sign Up Now