About

Mission-Critical Problems, A World-Class Institution

CivX is a student-driven social impact program that uses intense “Research & Design Sprints” to help nonprofits and civic groups develop new approaches to emerging problems. CivX enables outside organizations to access our graduate students' expertise to address a mission-critical problem in a new way. We see rapid urbanization as a key challenge to social, philanthropic, and governmental effectiveness.

Urban environments will define the future of society. By 2050 over 70% of the world’s population (and 86% of the developed world) will live in cities. This demographic shift will lead to entirely new classes of problems and tremendous opportunities for impacting our communities in new ways. CivX helps communities shape our shared urban future by combining the University of Chicago’s world-class social science researchers with design and prototyping.  

For each Research & Design sprint, CivX focuses a team of select graduate students on a problem that our partner organization identifies. Each project is structured to develop research-driven solutions. We conduct research with the communities that our partners serve, prototype potential solutions, and run a study to validate the benefits of adopting the solution. At the end, partners have a new approach to a critical problem and data to back it up. 

Read more in our case studies.

CivX combines the University of Chicago’s world-class social science researchers with design thinking and lean startup approaches to help civic institutions shape our shared urban future.