The SUDEP Institute

337 Solvers engaged, with 92 solutions generated, to help raise awareness

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Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) is the leading cause of death in young adults who have epilepsy and cannot control their seizures. A widespread lack of awareness and ongoing fear and discrimination leads many individuals to hide their epilepsy and to accept ongoing seizures instead of seeking out more effective treatments, increasing their risk of SUDEP.

The Epilepsy Foundation founded The SUDEP Institute in 2013 to drive awareness and education among those living with epilepsy, their caregivers, physicians, medical examiners and the public. Determined to bring an end to SUDEP and help people with seizures live to their fullest potential, the Epilepsy Foundation SUDEP Institute decided to challenge Solvers worldwide to create a viral advocacy campaign.

The Challenge

  • The SUDEP Institute sought ideas for creative advocacy campaigns that focused on positive messaging and could lead to the empowerment of people living with epilepsy and their families.
  • Solutions also needed to demonstrate the capacity to change the behavior of people living with epilepsy toward the adoption of healthier lifestyles and the pursuit of the most adequate medical treatments.
  • Ideal solutions would be able to achieve those results while being driven by viral mechanisms.

The Solutions

  • Chad Spencer, keen to make a difference for people with epilepsy, submitted the $10,000 winning solution that proposed a campaign leveraging resources the Foundation already had to disseminate simple, informative, and positive messages.
  • Two other solutions suggesting phased and integrated approaches to achieve the campaign goals also won a $2,500 award each.

The Results

  • Engaged hundreds of people with the challenges around SUDEP awareness and behavior change.
  • Resulted in promising campaign plans that the Epilepsy Foundation will develop and implement.
  • Allowed the Foundation to take advantage of interdisciplinary approaches and alternative perspectives. Different experts (medical, communications, etc.) had markedly different perspectives, both in terms of proposing campaign ideas and in evaluating them. Through combining and contrasting ideas, the best and most valuable solutions were identified.

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