Earlier this year Hewlett Packard (HP) and Junior Achievement – Young Enterprise Europe (JA-YE Europe) launched the third annual Social Innovation Relay, an enterprise education programme to encourage young people around the world to become social innovators.
The first phase of the programme took place between February and April this year and Bonga Khumalo, National Programme Co-ordinator from Junior Achievement South Africa, educated over 750 learners on the advantages of social innovation, as well as how to identify business opportunities with a social innovation focus. Learners between the ages of 15 and 18 at Alberton High, Allanridge Secondary, Dawnview High, Eqinisweni High, Makgetse High, Ponelopele Oracle Secondary, Sandtonview Combined and Tlakula High Schools in Gauteng as well as The Beacon High School in the Free State participated in the workshops.
The learners were then divided into teams of three to five learners. After completing a multiple choice quiz about social innovation, each team was asked to formulate a 300 word initial idea explaining their social innovation and the societal challenge is addresses. 75 South African teams uploaded initial ideas and these ideas were then narrowed down to the top 20 by a panel of JASA judges. The top 20 teams then received further mentoring from Bonga, as they were required to develop their initial ideas into a complete concept paper, explaining what makes their idea innovative, the impact they’d like to achieve and how feasible their idea is. The concept papers were then judged by a panel of HP judges who narrowed them down to the top 10.
The top ten teams will now receive mentoring from HP staff at HP’s head office in Rivonia from 24 – 27 June 2013. The HP mentors will assist the teams in developing their concepts into 5 minute presentations and the teams will need to be fully versed about their concepts to be able to stand up to the judges grilling during the national final. The winners of the national final will each receive an HP product and the team will represent South Africa in the global final in July. Last year a team from Sandtonview Combined School in Johannesburg walked away with the global title for their recycled solar lamp concept. “This year’s ideas are even more innovative than previous years and I believe we stand a good chance of winning the title again this year,” noted Joanne Bender, National Programmes Manager for Junior Achievement South Africa.