GIBT Innovation Hackathon — Melton Fellow Kwabena Twumasi Ankrah wins Gold!
By Melton Fellow Kwabena Twumasi Ankrah
Over the November weekend, 30 brilliant college students and entrepreneurs selected from a competitive pool across Ghana met at the Kokrobite Institute for the 2019 German Institute of Business and Technology Innovation Hackathon.
Over the Weekend, 30 brilliant college students and entrepreneurs selected from a competitive pool across Ghana 🇬🇭 met at the Kokrobite Institute for the 2019 German Institute of Business and Technology Innovation Hackathon. There were 6 teams of five innovators each assigned to come up with a disruptive yet functional solution to 6 complex global challenges. My amazing team worked on the challenge of Education which through Design Thinking and Data Science, we narrowed down to the fundamental determinant of an individual’s success or failure in life…Early Childhood Education.
Using Design Thinking, a core part of the curriculum we learn at the Melton Foundation, we created a persona to know and understand potential users, an empathy map to gain insights on how they feel and then we mapped out the journey of all potential users and found opportunities we used to innovatively close the gaps in education to end the cycle of poverty in sub-Saharan education. By delivering a context-based world-class curriculum for children between 0–6years in text, audio, and visuals directly to the mobile phones of urban slum mothers without need for data.
Every day mothers receive materials worth of fun with activities proven to develop the child’s cognitive and socio-emotional skills so as to close the huge word and intellect gap between children living in urban slums and those privileged to go to preschool.
I took my team through the design thinking process in coming up with our solution which at the end of the competition won the Gold Medal + €900 in training and an investment opportunity to kick-start. The Innovation culture within the Melton fellowship through our various training sessions with HPI School of Design Thinking has been extremely instrumental to me.
This knowledge and skill however I had, however, thrown light on something I find as a huge crack during the Innovation Hackathon. There are so many young brilliant people in Ghana with a genuine urge to build innovative solutions but can’t get them right simply because of how stuck they are in thinking about the problem-solution fit. They just don’t know how to look beyond the boundaries of a problem.
This also extends to our policies and our policymakers behind them.
Hence this win is actually a poke to share the knowledge of designing innovative solutions to problems with not only college students but high schools, aspiring entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs, and startups. We are therefore calling for young people in or out of college or in high school interested in designing solutions in Ghana to reach out and be on the lookout since we are about the roll out a series of “Brute” Innovation sessions for young people in Accra and beyond.