The DO School

Sustainable Cup Challenge

Can you design and develop a sustainable to-go cup system?

The goal of the Sustainable Cup Challenge was for the selected Fellows to create an innovative and sustainable to-go cup for New York City, as well as a related infrastructure and campaign.

Fellows worked to identify and understand their target groups and stakeholders, and conducted research into available best-practices regarding packaging materials and design. Based on these learning experiences, the Fellows then brainstormed, identified, and tested their ideas for a sustainable to-go cup system in New York City. Focus lay on finding a viable business solution that is innovative and has a real impact on the city.

This process was facilitated by the participation of the Fellows in the DO School Challenge Lab, a course which offers the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to successfully solve the Challenge.
A variety of topics were covered, including the environmental impact of materials and packaging, recycling systems, as well as branding and campaigning.
The course was managed by Scott Francisco, founder of Pilot Projects Design Collective, with the support of a group of dedicated professionals. These included Ron Gonen, New York City’s deputy commissioner of sanitation, recycling, and sustainability, Roya Kazemi of GreeNYC, Michele Grossman of Waste Management Sustainability Services, and Charles Best, Founder of

By answering to the Challenge, Fellows have learned hands-on how to turn an idea into action during the ten-week Incubation Phase. While solving the Challenge, all our Fellows also worked on turning their own venture idea into a viable social venture plan that is ready for implementation during the following ten-month Implementation Phase.

The Challenge was given by the DO School in collaboration with New York City’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability.
Content supporters were American Friends of Bucerius and PLASTICITY.

The Challenge was made possible by Newman’s Own Foundation and the Dekeyser&Friends Foundation.

The DO School pop-up campus in New York is located in The New York Media Center in DUMBO, Brooklyn, a co-working space and exhibition venue designed to connect the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs.