Junior Achievement Announces Winners of the Global Social Innovation Relay

Brussels, 18 July 2012: Junior Achievement today announced the winner of the second annual Social Innovation Relay, a global challenge developed by Junior Achievement and HP for high school students to create and develop new business concepts intended to have a positive social or environmental impact.

Emulsified Environmentalists, a team of students from Sandtonview Comibined School in Alexandra, Johannesburg, won the global competition with a concept for a solar-powered lamp made from recycled materials that will bring light to disadvantaged communities, while also eliminating the environmental and health damage caused by traditional kerosene lamps. Working with  HP mentors, the team developed their concept in response to the problems of electricity shortages and growing respiratory problems in South Africa. Teams from China and Slovakia were runners-up with ideas for a programme that trains young volunteers to work with China’s elderly population, and an educational DVD with supporting training designed to raise awareness around migration issues for young people, respectively.

—   Winning the Social Innovation Relay means we’ve achieved our goals of helping our community, getting recognition for our school and improving our social awareness skills. Our HP mentors helped us think critically and to broaden our perspectives, and we have developed our self-confidence and improved our presentation skills and our relations with our classmates. Over the course of this project, we’ve learned the importance of team work and that innovative thinking can bring positive change to the entire community. The whole experience has been a lot of fun, and we would like to thank HP and Junior Achievement for this opportunity.” Emulsified Environmentalists

Each participating team of 3 – 5 learners was required to develop a socially innovative business  concept into comprehensive presentations with the assistance of dedicated HP volunteer mentors, for national judging by HP senior management.

Team Emulsified Environmentalists from Sandtonview Combined School were judged the winning South African team by the HP judges. The team identified the current power shortages and constant fire breakouts in South Africa’s informal settlements, caused by the use of candles and paraffin lamps, as a serious problem facing their community. Their solution focused on creating solar powered lamps out of recycled material, thus eliminating the need for both candles and paraffin lamps. The lamps, made from recycled cardboard and foil, can be placed in the sun during the day, charging the solar cells.

The Emulsified Environmentalists with the Facilitator Mr Isaac Ganyiwa

The Emulsified Environmentalists with the Facilitator Mr Isaac Ganyiwa

The winning national teams from across the globe were then required to present their concepts to a panel of global HP judges, who quizzed the teams on the feasibility and global impact of their concepts.  After days of deliberation the panel determined that Team Emulsified Environmentalists idea was the winning concept.

‘We  would like to congratulate Team Emulsified Environmentalists for winning the Global Social Innovation Relay.  Our organisation often comes across some of the incredibly innovative ideas that the youth of our country create, and  it is wonderful for South Africa to receive some recognition.  The team has made us proud  and we are excited to see how their product develops.” Noted Linda McClure, Managing Director of Junior Achievement South Africa

With over 20,000 students from 13 countries participating, the Social Innovation Relay is the largest global educational initiative to be run with a blend of virtual and face-to-face mentoring.  1,564 teams around the world registered for this year’s relay. 13 teams competed in the final round of the competition.

—   “The Social Innovation Relay is designed to equip secondary school students with the entrepreneurial and ICT skills they need to succeed in the 21st century economy. This year’s exceptional entries prove that with the right education and resources, today’s youth has the power to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges.” Caroline Jenner, CEO Junior Achievement Young Enterprise (JA-YE Europe)

The Social Innovation Relay was first launched in 2010, and over the past two years more than 30,000 students and 300 HP mentors have participated, submitting nearly 1,000 socially innovative concepts.

—   “The quality of innovative, socially orientated business ideas and increasing numbers reflects a successful collaboration with HP mentors and our partner Junior Achievement. The Social Innovation Relay is part of HP’s commitment in applying our expertise and technology to help students everywhere gain vital IT and business skills to solve societal issues , leading to a future with many more bright social entrepreneurs.”  Jeannette Weisschuh, director, Global Education Programs, Sustainability and Social Innovation, HP

Project finalists

Team (Winner): Emulsified Environmentalists (South Africa)

Concept: A solar-powered lamp made from recycled materials to help bring electricity to poor people and to reduce the use of paraffin lamps, which are bad for the environment

Team (Runner-up): Team Flower (China)

Concept: A program that trains young volunteers to work with China’s elderly population to document their life stories and overcome loneliness

Team (Runner-up): Egalite (Slovakia)

Concept: “Kick out the difference”, an educational DVD designed to raise awareness around migration issues

Team: Jeux Des Sets Familles (France)

Concept: Educational games to motivate students to learn by having fun

Team: Team Awesome (United States)

Concept: AquaGen, a turbine generator that is attached to rain gutters and uses run-off rain water to generate electricity

 

Team: Synergy (Kenya)

Concept: Daladala Tracker, a mobile application that indicates the nearest available public transport options

 

Team: The Innovators (India)

Concept: A program that integrates theater in teaching to reinforce practical lessons introduced in the classroom

 

Team: LOT – Leads of Teens (Romania)

Concept: E-Progress, a program that facilitates meetings between youths and those at risk of discrimination in order to raise awareness

 

Team: Ideja (Russia)

Concept: Using VOIP software to connect students around the world and facilitate their study of foreign languages

 

Team: Optimum (Bulgaria)

Concept: Power ship engines with hydrogen obtained through salt water processing

 

Team: Alpha Enterprise (United Kingdom)

Concept: GloGos, safety product designed to enhance visibility of cyclists when indicating a change of direction in the dark

 

Team: Dreamers (Egypt)

Concept: A line of products designed to make reading and learning more interesting

 

Team: WW (Brazil)

Concept: A multiplier center for the installation of low-cost sustainable solar heaters in poor communities

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