Destination Imagination

What is Destination Imagination?

“DI taught me problem solving and how to think creatively. As a scientist, I’ve noticed how differently I think than other people, and it is certainly an advantage.”

Harvard University – Lauren Zarzar, Chemistry Graduate Student

Destination Imagination® is a leading-edge organization dedicated to teaching participants the essential skills of creativity, teamwork, and problem solving. Traditional education is in urgent need of complementary programs focused on teaching students how to be world-class innovators and critical thinkers.

Destination Imagination fills that urgent need.


The future of our students, workforce, nation, and world is on the line. Our students are preparing to enter a dramatically changing workplace, one that will require a new, dynamic skill set.

A 2006 poll of 431 employers around the world reported “workers of the incoming generation… sorely lack in workplace skills.” [Read complete poll]. Three-fourths of these employers judged creativity and innovation to be among the top-five applied skills, and they believe these skills will continue to increase in importance for future graduates (eSchool News, October 2006).

According to a growing cadre of government, business and academic thinkers, the “new basic skills of the 21st century” are creativity, innovation, teamwork, the ability to manage change, and communication.

“We can’t teach our children everything that they need to know, but Destination Imagination provides opportunities for them to think, take risks, and work together to solve common problems—traits that will get them to rule the world.”

United States Department of Education – Raymond Simon,
Deputy Secretary

To meet the critical educational need to teach students how to be world-class innovators and critical thinkers, Destination Imagination provides a number of extraordinary “hands-on and minds-on” experiences that teach creativity, teamwork, and problem solving. As our name suggests, the Destination Imagination experience returns students to an unfettered state where anything is possible. Best of all, our participants learn how to communicate their experiences to others.

Our main program is a global problem solving tournament that begins with the fall school semester each year. Elementary, middle, and high school students form teams of up to seven members, and each team selects one of seven mind-bending Challenges created by Destination Imagination volunteers. With the guidance of a teacher or parent as Team Manager, each team creates an action plan and works together for weeks or months to develop and create a solution to the Challenge’s proposed problem. From the U.S to China, Poland, Colombia and Brazil, student creativity is unleashed in astonishing ways under the auspices of Destination Imagination.

Each year, 1,000 teams advancing from local, state, and country-level tournaments have the opportunity to compete at Destination Imagination’s Global tournament held in May at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Why Should I Do DI? (PDF Document)