LAUNCH is a global initiative to identify and support the innovative work poised to contribute to a sustainable future and accelerate solutions to meet urgent challenges facing our society.  NASA, USAID, Department of State, and NIKE joined together to form LAUNCH in early 2010 in an effort to identify, showcase and support innovative approaches to global challenges through a series of forums. LAUNCH searches for visionaries, whose world-class ideas, technologies or programs show great promise for making tangible impacts on society.

LAUNCH’s mission is to maximize human potential by transforming our existing human systems into new ones that are more sustainable, accessible, and empowering. The quest to maximize human potential will require the collaboration and commitments of government, corporations, investment, sustainability and global development organizations to accelerate innovation and convert ideas into action around the world.  We call this “collective genius” which we harness “for a better world".

Founding Partners 

NASA, USAID, Department of State, and NIKE joined together to form LAUNCH in an effort to identify, showcase and support innovative approaches to sustainability challenges.


Through LAUNCH, NASA is poised to host a conversation with experts about potential solutions to the world’s most perplexing sustainability problems. NASA brings to the table a problem-solving culture, deep technical expertise on sustainable systems such as the International Space Station, and a unique capacity to capture and analyze data about our home planet.

LAUNCH provides the Department of State with an opportunity to support our nation’s most important diplomatic and development objectives. The Department of State will facilitate international expertise and understanding on the different topics, highlighting the U.S. Government’s commitment to a better world. The Department of State will provide technical and thought leadership, fostering collaborative dialogue, and catalyzing the most innovative solutions. The Department of State’s approach to world issues and the Secretary’s focus on partnerships will facilitate better engagement with communities and people around this planet.

USAID sees LAUNCH as an opportunity to support innovators and entrepreneurs in the fields most critical to sustainable international development. USAID brings technical expertise and access to networks of technical experts and development professionals. LAUNCH is breaking new ground in how best to support both entrepreneurs and the technical solutions they bring to international development problems. USAID seeks to move ideas to first implementation and impact at scale as quickly as possible.

NIKE is committed to driving new sustainable technologies, programs, and business models through open innovation and global collaboration. Harnessing its core competencies of design and innovation, NIKE’s partners with leading entrepreneurs and thinkers to work towards a new sustainable economy. NIKE’s passion for innovation and driving positive global change is complimented and activated through the Company’s proven ability to rapidly commercialize technologies and business models across a global value chain.