The project is based on the book
STANDARDS THAT MEASURE SOLUTIONS:A Guide to Solving 21st Century Problems
by David L. Paul.  The book was was published in March 2014 and is available at

It focuses on answering the question:   How can we make the world a better place?

It is easy to propose ideas to answer this question.  Actually evaluating, funding and implementing practical solutions is quite difficult.  The book develops a methodology to peel away the complexities surrounding this task.  It divides the evaluation and implementation process into standard phases, steps, tasks and grading systems.  However the book is based on observation and logic, not research.

A project to begin validating the methodology (The Northwestern Impossible Challenge - website was started at Northwestern University in October 2015.  The projects goal is to evaluate the benefits and feasibility of implementing specific solutions to complex global problems. Climate Change (global warming) was selected as the first problem to work on.  Nine multidisciplinary student teams of 4 to 6 members each were created and given four plausible mitigating solutions to the global warming problem to evaluate.  Each team was asked to prepare an initial "first cut" analysis to determine if one of these solutions might be feasible and beneficial.  They also were asked to determine what issues were likely to be relevant and the likelihood of resolving these issues.  This was to be done using a standardized evaluation and grading system to produce grades for each solution in each of the following areas:

1. Political Feasibility (PF)
2. Economic Impact (EI)
3. Business Case (BC)
4. Technological Feasibility (TF)
5. Social Feasibility (SF)
6. Net Beneficial Effect (NBE)

The nine teams presented their results of their "first cut" analysis on May 26, 2016 at Northwestern University.    Videos of these presentations will be posted.   

Projects for the 2016 - 2017 academic year are being discussed.

For additional information:  email