Tag Archives: HP

Sandtonview Combined School Wins the SA Social Innovation Relay Again!

Junior Achievement South Africa learners have been competing in the Social Innovation Relay for four years and this is the second time a team from Sandtonview Combined School have walked away with the national title.   This year more than 1 000 learners from 10 schools in Gauteng competed between February and June.

The Social Innovation Relay is an annual global competition, funded by HP. During the competition learners participate in an innovation workshop, where they are taught about social innovation, after which in teams of three or four they conceptualise a business that would uplift their immediate communities. This year, more than 2,000 teams from 18 countries, supported by nearly 400 HP volunteers, submitted papers and presented their business concepts. Teams from each country compete at national finals, and these winning teams then compete against each other in the online global finals.

100 ideas were uploaded to the Social Innovation Relay website and the best 20 ideas were selected by Nosipho Malotana, an experienced Junior Achievement South Africa facilitator. During the July school holidays, these teams all gathered at HP South Africa’s head office in Rivonia, Johannesburg, and over three days, each team was required to develop their concepts into comprehensive presentations with the assistance of dedicated HP volunteer mentors, who spent many hours with their teams, ensuring they were ready to participate in the SIR national final. The finals were held at HP’s Johannesburg offices on 3rd July 2014, where the top ten teams were required to present their developed concepts to a panel of esteemed HP judges. Teams from Allanridge, Makgetse, McAuley House and Sandtonview High Schools were represented in these finals. The judges scored the teams on content, innovation and creativity, social impact, and the global scalability and feasibility of the concept.

The winning team, Re(D)y from Sandtonview Combined School, identified the current textbook shortages and low accessibility to technology South African learners face, as a serious problem facing their community and South Africans as a whole. Their solution, the Table Tablet, a large tablet computer installed into a school desk, could be used instead of textbooks.  Teachers would be able to upload lessons, homework and study guides to the tablet.  Learners would access the table tablets using their LET cards, which would allow learners to access their information from any pc or tablet, meaning that their school work is available anywhere.  The main aim of the table tablet is to make information more accessible to the youth.

On 8th July, Team Re(D)y participated in the global finals of the competition, and presented their concept online to a global panel of judges. Team Malre from Kenya walked away as winners for their innovative solution to combat malaria. Team Re(D)y performed well and gained valuable experience in social innovation and presentation skills.

SIR Winners 2014



Innovators Youth Win the 2013 HP Social Innovation Relay

Junior Achievement recently announced the winner of the 3rd Annual Social Innovation Relay, a global competition organized in collaboration with HP that challenges secondary school learners to develop an innovative business concept that addresses a social need. Innovators Youth from India won the competition. Under the guidance and support of an HP e-mentor from Singapore, the team developed a revolutionary building material, made out of rice husk boards. The team will buy rice husk from farmers and create a building material, which they called “Green Wood”.

The winners will be joining the JA-YE Europe 10th Alumni Conference in Tallinn, Estonia in August 2013.

Access to technology is crucial to enable learners to be successful in the labor market of the 21st century. Globally, a large number of learners do not have this access which puts them at risk for unemployment even before they have entered the labor market. The Social Innovation Relay seeks to close this gap by bringing innovative technology and hands-on educational programs to schools, equipping learners with technological and entrepreneurial skills to succeed in school and beyond.

The Social Innovation Relay provides young people with the hands-on skills and entrepreneurial expertise needed to start a successful career through a combination of virtual and face-to-face mentoring by experienced executives. The participating teams are paired with mentors who are all HP employees and who connect with the finalists to help them develop concept papers that can translate in feasible business ideas.

“The quality and increasing number of innovative, socially orientated business ideas reflects a successful collaboration with HP mentors and our partner Junior Achievement. The Social Innovation Relay is part of HP’s commitment to apply our expertise and technology to enable learners to develop IT and business skills and solve societal issues, leading to a future with many more bright social minded entrepreneurs. ”  Jeannette Weisschuh, director, Global Education Programs, Sustainability and Social Innovation, HP

The Social Innovation Relay was first launched in 2010, and over the past three years more than 67,000 students and 800 HP mentors from 19 countries have participated, submitting their socially innovative concepts. This year, nearly 1,600 teams around the world registered for the relay showcasing an ever increasing interest in the initiative around the world.

In South Africa more than 750 learners participated in this year’s relay, with 75 teams registering their ideas on the Social Innovation Relay website.

The team ANTS representing Eqinisweni Secondary School in Thembisa, won the national competition with their innovative Joy Swing concept – a playground that generates kinetic energy to power houses in non-electrified areas. The team continued to develop their idea, and competed against 18 other national winning teams in July in the global online final.

The ANTS worked hard to develop a video and refine their Powerpoint presentation in less than a week and Junior Achievement is extremely proud of how hard the team worked together.


The 2013 HP Social Innovation Relay is on the Go!

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.

Young people around the world improve their employability through participation in the Social Innovation Relay

Johannesburg, 10 April 2013. Today, Junior Achievement Young Enterprise (JA-YE) Europe and the University of Warwick announce the impact of the 2012 Social Innovation Relay – a global competition organized in collaboration with HP that challenges secondary school students to develop an innovative business concept that addresses a social need. In 2012, there were over 20,000 participants from 13[1] countries. The University of Warwick evaluated the program and demonstrated the significant impact of the Social Innovation Relay (SIR) in terms of 21st century skills (teamwork, problem-solving, and decision-making skills) as well as use of technology, and the potential of social entrepreneurship. The results of this public-private collaboration show the importance that e-mentoring and technology can play on the employability and entrepreneurship potential of young people.

Today’s job market is more competitive than ever and employers expect high levels of entrepreneurial and ICT skills from the next generation of employees. Unfortunately, many students do not have the opportunity to learn and develop in these areas, leaving them to struggle upon graduation. In fact, the European Commission estimates that less than 5% of young people in Europe participate in entrepreneurship education in school. Elsewhere in the world, this percentage is even lower.

In response, Junior Achievement Young Enterprise (JA-YE) Europe worked with the HP Sustainability and Social Innovation group to create the SIR to build competencies and interest in entrepreneurship and social innovation while cultivating critical 21st century skills.  To have greater reach and impact, technology was firmly integrated in the project design, a first for JA-YE which has traditional depended solely on face-to-face engagement.  Now, in the program’s 3rd year, student teams from 19 countries worldwide are creating and developing new business concepts intended to address a social or environmental impact.

The University of Warwick evaluated and demonstrated the significant impact of the Social Innovation Relay.  Overall:

  • 80% of the student participants agree or strongly agree that they understand what social innovation is as a result of their participation in the SIR;
  • 71% of the student participants agree or strongly agree that they are more aware that social and business objectives can be complementary as a result of participating in the SIR;
  • 74% of the student participants agree or strongly agree that they have learned how to work with others in new ways to address social needs;
  • 76% of the student participants agree or strongly agree  that they have developed their ability for creative thinking following participation in the SIR;
  • 72% of the student participants agree or strongly agree that they better understand the importance of ICT in pursuing social and business initiatives;
  • The vast majority of the student participants reported improvements in their communication skills (87%), teamwork skills (74%), decision-making skills (72%) and problem-solving skills (67%).

The SIR presents students with the challenges of social innovation. Students work in teams to develop new strategies and concepts to help meet various social needs and create a positive social impact. Participating students communicate and present their ideas using the latest software and digital technology. More than 22,000 students from 13 countries formed 1,564 teams that registered for last year’s relay. The top 20 teams in each country were paired with HP employees from around the world, who connected with the finalists, virtually or face-to-face, to help them bring their concepts to life. Thirteen teams competed in the final round of the competition and their submissions were judged virtually by judges from HP using HPVR technology.

Entrepreneurship education empowered by e-mentoring

This effort would not have been possible without the active engagement of the HP volunteers who were trained to serve as e-mentors. According to student survey respondents, mentors had a positive impact on their learning outcomes. Survey respondents reported that their mentors improved their considerations for social issues (80%); and provided real-life examples and stories that were not to be found in books (75%). Almost two-thirds reported that their mentor had made them consider starting up a social business. Those student teams who engaged virtually with their mentor were even more likely to experience positive learning outcomes, a strong testament to the value of e-mentorship.

ICT key driver in pursuing social and business initiatives

The Warwick University study confirms that students who participated in the SIR believe they are better able to understand the importance of ICT in pursuing social and business initiatives. ICT provides new and exciting opportunities to students for competitive collaboration within and across countries and across business and education communities. Two-thirds of participating students agree that ICT has made participation in the SIR interesting and 70% agree that ICT has made their learning fast and easy.

To read the full report, click here

[1] Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Egypt, France, India, Kenya, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Slovakia, UK, USA

Sandtonview High School Wins the 2012 SA HP Social Innovation Relay!

Over 800 learners from more than 13 schools across the country competed in the HP Social Innovation Relay between March and June 2012.  Learners participated in a three hour workshop, where they were taught about Social Innovation.  Learners then completed an online quiz and grouped themselves into teams of between three and five members. These teams were then required to develop a socially innovative business idea that would alleviate a problem affecting their communities.

40 teams submitted business ideas and the best 20 ideas were selected by a panel of Junior Achievement South Africa (JASA) judges.  These 20 teams were required to submit a full concept paper of their idea and the best 10 concept papers were selected. The judges scored the teams on content, innovation and creativity, social impact, the global scalability of the concept and feasibility.  The top 10 teams were comprised of learners from Dawnview, Sunward Park, Tlakula and Sandtonview High Schools in Gauteng as well as The Beacon Secondary School in Qwa Qwa, Free State.

Each team was required to develop their concepts into comprehensive presentations with the assistance of dedicated HP volunteer mentors, who spent many hours with their teams, ensuring they were ready to participate in the SIR national final. The finals were held at HP’s Johannesburg offices on 2nd July 2012, where the top ten teams were required to present their developed concepts to a panel of esteemed HP judges, namely Ms Gois Fouche – HPSA Transformation & Strategy Manager, Ms Sheryll Sukhoo – HPSA Education Services Country Manager, Ms Petro Plotz – HPSA Channel Account Manager, and Mr President Ntuli – HPSA Global Account Manager.

Team Emulsified Environmentalists from Sandtonview High School were judged the winning South African team. 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.  Additional mirrors will be placed on either side of the light bulb, reflecting the light coming off of the bulb – ensuring that entire rooms are sufficiently illuminated.  It’s production and usage will save the environment from pollution caused by power stations and will also contribute greatly in the fight against global warming.  Approximately ¾’s of South Africa’s matriculants (final year of school in South Africa) have no electricity and therefore, no source of light to use to complete their homework, Emulsified Environmentalists believe that their solar lamp will assist all members of the community that do not have access to electricity.   The four members of Emulsified Environmentalists were each rewarded with an HP laptop for their winning concept and have progressed on to the final round of the competition.

The Emulsified Environmentalists Solar Lamp

The Emulsified Environmentalists Solar Lamp

The team will be participating in the SIR global final on 12 July 2012, competing against the top teams from across Africa and Europe.  During the next week, the students, with the help of a group of HP mentors, will be required to develop a three minute video pitch explaining their concept.  On 12th July 2012 the team will present their video and concept to an international panel of judges of top HP management, who will select their most feasible and innovative concept.