noun | \ ī-ˈdē-ə t͟hän \
1. an intensive, immersive competition where teams take an idea through the brainstorming, prototyping, and pitching stages in one go.



Here’s the PEID process:

Apply with ideas, by yourself or with a team. Immerse yourself in the thematic issue with our expert speakers. Identify and research a concrete issue with your team. Take 24 hours to brainstorm, design, prototype, even pilot ideas as solutions. Prepare the pitch of the century. Compete for the opportunity to bring your idea to life. Are you ready? See below for more details.


The Purpose:

To bring together students from the broadest range of backgrounds to begin solving our most pressing environmental issues.

The Theme: 

The theme of PEID 2018 is “Cities of the Future”. This means any and all environmental issues and solutions related to our urban spaces broadly defined are fair game for this competition. This theme is broken down into seven main categories of issues: water, food, waste, energy, infrastructure, health, and education.

The Process:

On Friday, everyone will come together to hear our keynote speaker, as well as attend panels. Afterwards, there will be socializing and free-form brainstorming/researching time. The goal is to have a team with the beginnings of an idea by the end of the day.

Beginning on Saturday morning, each team will begin running through the design thinking process: defining the problem, ideating possible solutions, doing more research, beginning to prototype, and putting the pitch together.

Twenty four hours later, the team will stand before the judges and present their idea. This will be followed by the awards ceremony.

The Pitch:

This Ideathon will make ideas concrete through our strict minimum requirements for The Pitch. There must be a thorough grant proposal as well as visual presentation, all backed by strong ideation and rigorous research. The more a team does to make this pitch as real and tangible as possible, the better the chances for winning.

The Competition:

There will be several main prizes within each of the seven issue categories. These prizes are Most Innovative, Biggest Impact, Highest Intellectual Merit, Most Socially Beneficial.

There will be a Grand Prize for the idea that fulfills the highest merits across the most issue categories, a truly interdisciplinary, impactful solution that targets a nexus of issues.

The ideas must be serious, realistic, well-researched ideas that still demonstrate innovation and ambition. The standards are high.

The Team:

Participants can either apply as a team, or find a team at the Ideathon. The team of at least three students must represent at least two different disciplinary backgrounds. The purpose of this is to reflect the multidisciplinary nature of environmental issues.

The Perks:

One of the main perks of this is the PEID Career Fair. Hosted on Saturday, this is where all participants get exclusive interaction with our sponsors and other leading firms and organizations working at the forefront of environmental issues broadly defined.

There will also be free swag, free housing, sustainably sourced food and more.

The Support:

One of the biggest challenges will be working together in a team in a tight amount of time. There will be volunteer Princeton faculty and instructors to guide you through team troubles, design thinking, and reality-checking throughout Saturday. Teams will also have access to all the resources that the PEI Organizing Team and the University can provide.