Tag Archives: Social Innovation

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.

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