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.