Why you should take part in the Grand Challenge


As we know, operational research traces its origins back to the Second World War. Its creation paved the way for complex problem solving, new ways of thinking and methods that have transformed the world around us. However, some of the most challenging problems that OR has been faced with still loom ahead. I am, of course, talking about the issue of sustainable development goals. 

What is the Grand Challenge? 

The Grand Challenge takes place every year at our annual conference. In the past, we’ve looked to help a local council with truck congestion in Kent and to solve logistical challenges faced by the Navy. 

For the challenge, all of the different methodologies and experiences of OR are united to help achieve a common goal. It’s why we are so passionate about this event; it brings the OR community together to find practical solutions to solve a real world problem. 

How does the challenge work? 

To begin with, attendees will hear from two guest speakers who will pose their challenge. 

Small breakout groups will then seek to draw a ‘rich picture’ of solutions to the problems raised. 

Following this, together, we will feed the proposed solutions back to our guests. 

Each idea will be considered as a potential student or Pro Bono project, a research funding or independent consultancy bids. 

Why we need you 

Whether you are early in your career, an experienced practitioner or even a student, there is a place for you at our Grand Challenge. All methods of operational research are welcome, systems thinking, behavioural OR, public policy, problem structuring methods to name a few. The challenges require everyone working together combining skills and experience to offer solutions that can be turned into actionable projects. 

Taking part not only gives you a chance to share your expertise but will offer the experience of working to help solve a client’s problem, the chance to engage and network with others in the community and ultimately, to help make our world a better place. 

We hope to see you there. 

To learn how you can contribute to this years’ challenges and register to take part.

Find out more