Global Citizenship Ideathon 2021 – Impact
The Global Citizenship Virtual Ideathon 2021 was the biggest edition of our Ideathons yet, with more than 200 registrations, 63 participants, and 11 teams from 20+ countries around the world! Starting with a kick-off session on the 22nd of April, 2021, over the course of the next 72 hours, interdisciplinary teams were formed and guided by mentors to produce comprehensive solutions which solved some key global concerns society faces today!
To facilitate virtual interaction, the Ideathon saw the usage of various tools and online platforms, from Slack, Zoom, Wonder, YouTube, Google Drive, and Email! Cross-cultural interaction across domains resulted in the formation of teams with members from different countries, socio-economic backgrounds, and expertise, giving the contestants a diverse base to learn from!
After 3 days of intense brainstorming, collaborative ideation, and churning out solutions by interacting with mentors, the Round-Up Session on the 25th of May, 2021 saw the submission of as many as 11 different, original and unique innovations! Amongst the final submissions were ideas to aid underprivileged women access menstrual products, enable education and technology with the tools required to teach the youth about Global Citizenship, and recycling biowaste to yield fuels that can replace the polluting ones used for cooking purposes!
Winner of the Ideathon – Stories of Kisumu, a storytelling initiative that empowers the vulnerable girls and women of Kisumu County in Kenya through the device of storytelling and narratives and brings them to the forefront of the battle against gender discrimination! As the winner of the Ideathon, they won 500$ to help them fund their idea and see it fructify!
2nd Place – Let the World Breathe, whose prototype envisages research, give visibility and a voice to the communities of waste collectors to facilitate the sharing of their insights about the problems they face regarding the removal, disposal, and management of wastes. To aid Let the World Breathe in implementing their idea, they were awarded prize money of 300$ to develop the idea further!
3rd Place (Joint winners) – Farm for Good, whose idea revolves around an inclusive agricultural extension service for small farmers that links them to markets and other agronomy services, and inSUREd, whose web/mobile application helps the working class and others to book doctor appointments, know the insurance coverage, services provided and claim their insurance at the tip of their fingers without the violation of the doctor-patient confidentiality. The 3rd Place Winners were awarded 150$ to provide the financial boost they need to see their solutions turn into reality!
The Global Citizenship Virtual Ideathon 2021 drew to a close with the Showcase on the 1st of May, 2021. One of the major highlights of the Showcase was the Keynote Address delivered by Kwabena Twumasi Ankrah, Senior Fellow of the Melton Foundation since 2016, Winner of New Business Challenge & The German Institute of Business and Technology Innovation Hackathon Kectil Leadership Fellow, Azubi Africa Fellow, and Clinton Global Fellow.
Titled ‘The Unknown of Fear’, the address revolved around transcending fear to achieve transformative change through collaborative action. Playing it too safe, as Kwabena emphasizes, is akin to self-sabotage and resorting to mediocrity. He called upon all the participants to ask them what their deepest fears were. As he reminisces from a personal experience, ‘we are the architects of our fear. It is upon us to decide whether we will be crushed by it or use it as a springboard to succeed.’
But what is it about the fear that keeps us from achieving our full potential? Why does it haunt millions of people around the world, breeding unhappiness? As Kwabena elucidates eloquently, fear can be defeated once we understand the shapes it assumes and the implications it has for us. As he elaborates, fear can broadly connote three things.
Fear is perception. It is a double-edged sword. Sometimes, the fear of our success spooks us more than the fear of failure. It is upon us to choose excellence and tap into our emotions to seek out the confidence within ourselves and dispel any remnants of fear.
“Fear is a two-sided coin. It is both truth and lies. It is both fire and ice. It is both excellence and inferiority, all in one.”
Fear is a weapon. It is an emotion that can be accessed to harness greatness. Once we see fear for what it really is, we start to see opportunities in challenges and use them to transform lives and achieve heights we never scaled before!
Fear is cultural. As quoted by Kwabena, ‘It is a social programming concept, fed into our consciousness to keep us aligned, silent and ordinary.’ If something scares us, it is a cue for us to jump into the task with boldness and use the fear generated to our advantage!
As he concluded his address, Kwabena summarised his message by reminding the participants that fear is ultimately a tool, an emotion that we shouldn’t allow to cripple and overwhelm us. In his words, ‘Don’t be afraid to be afraid’!
As virtual Ideathons and innovation marathons are steadfastly becoming a norm for brainstorming rapid solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues, we found it imperative to record feedback from our participants on how digital activities such as this one can help advance sustainable development. Here’s a break-down of our feedback:
- 83.78% of our participants found Global Citizenship and the United Nations SDGs to be novel and relevant topics to be ideated on.
- 100.00% of all participants who participated in the feedback process said yes to the ideathon proving useful to further collaboration and/or teamwork online!
- 97.76% of all participants who participated in the feedback process found the use of technology and our tools beneficial for a seamless virtual experience, while ~2% expressed room for improvement.