The NOLA Tech Tap: Community Ideathon 2022 brings together young people in New Orleans to develop and pitch a project idea to further sustainable livelihood in their community with the aid of technology.
The sustainable livelihoods approach is a way of thinking about the objectives, scope, and priorities for development activities worldwide. While focusing on livelihoods in and around New Orleans, our Tech Tap will seek to uncover solutions that are based on evolving thinking about the importance of forward-looking policies, institutions, practices, and communities. We aim to produce tech-oriented approaches to inclusive, sustainable development activities at the local level and beyond.
Our efforts are geared toward aligning these development activities with the Sustainable Development Goals and their compelling aspiration to “Leave No-one Behind”. The solution ideas we seek to generate must be people-centric, placing human beings at the focal point of action. For a people-centric approach, the process of innovation should be responsive and participatory, consulting stakeholders and giving every voice its due consideration. This engenders multilevel and dynamic design principles to make space for community-centric innovation. The NOLA Tech Tap promises to address these policy levers and above all, stay true to the sustainable approach it endorses.
New Orleans is a hotspot of talent, social capital, and innovation teeming with diversity and provides the ideal ground for the Melton Foundation and Nisum to join hands and bind the Sustainable Development Goals to create the NOLA Tech Tap: Community Ideathon 2022. This 48 hours Innovation Marathon draws upon the convergence of youth empowerment, collaboration, and diversity to propel innovation in the field of the SDGs and ignite social innovation and entrepreneurship. It also crucially recognizes the integrating link existing through the 17 SDGs, making them interdependent whilst highlighting balanced development.
Through this virtual marathon, we seek to create spaces & foster collaboration to let fresh thinking emerge, harness the true spirit of global citizenship and problem-solving abilities, and find meaningful tech-oriented solutions to further sustained livelihoods. With this over-arching theme in mind, we ask that participants design actionable, inclusive, and achievable project ideas that activate local communities to become stakeholders in the use of technology to improve sustainable livelihoods in New Orleans, while also being cognizant of bridging gaps across different socio-economic stratas and design solution ideas for those with no technology background.
More specifically, participants are encouraged to design social innovation project ideas driven by technology that relate to the Innovation Challenges the NOLA Tech Tap is looking to tackle:
The Tech Tap derives its essence from SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth) and SDG 10 (reduced inequality). At this intersection, the event searches for myriad ways to leverage technology and level playing fields. Furthermore, SDG 5 (achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls) and SDG 17 (partnerships for the goals) provide anchors for the endeavor, broadening its scope to reach beyond the conventional.
As a leading proponent of Global Citizenship and Sustainable Development Goals, the Melton Foundation is active in Global Citizenship hubs around the world, including New Orleans, USA.
The Melton Foundation’s activities in New Orleans have engaged young people who connect with peers around the world to design comprehensive solutions. Our UN SDG Innovation Challenges push for practices ranging from social entrepreneurship to systems thinking to fortify our ideals of diversity, youth empowerment, and problem-solving. Nisum, a champion of values involving transparency, inclusivity, respect, and excellence, is an organization that utilizes the power of technology to drive tangible change and deliver actionable solutions. Our partnership with Nisum thus finds a solid foundation for it to flourish, creating a convergent space where ideas merge into action. It further gains significance with the Tech Tap, where we deploy technology to advance the motto of sustainable livelihood.
The United Nations defines SDG 8 as: “Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”. With the pandemic vastly slowing down global development engines, disrupting economies and livelihoods, ‘decent work and economic growth remain a mirage for many worldwide. With this contextual background, the NOLA Tech Tap materializes as a 48 hour virtual innovation marathon that aims to unearth novel approaches to address challenges in a practical and tangible way!
Ideation and Collaboration: The NOLA Tech Tap calls upon participants to work together in closely-knit cohorts to tackle challenges in pursuance of a collective cause: to further sustainable livelihood in the local community and beyond.
Developing novel project ideas: Brainstorm potentially game-changing approaches and contribute to the growing body of work by global problem-solvers while adding value to your community.
Skills and Professional capacity building: This event requires contestants to flex and sharpen multiple skills, including technical skills, soft skills, and entrepreneurial mettle.
Exciting Incentives: Successful innovation teams will receive recognition and opportunities comprising prize money (figuring a total of 1000 USD for the three winning teams) to activate project ideas; support, mentorship, and guidance from Nisum experts; and a potential chance to join hands with local community partners.
Enhanced visibility: Successful proposals of project initiatives will be showcased on global platforms and pitched to a wider audience, amplifying visibility and allowing the ideas to gain the traction required to scale and develop further.
The NOLA Tech Tap 2022 is open to participation for young people aged 18-35 years in and around New Orleans who want to make a difference in their community!
As a participant at the ideation marathon, we hope you can bring:
Registration Modalities: To be considered for participation, all applicants must sign up here. Participants can sign-up individually or in a pre-formed team, however every team member must complete the sign-up form individually. In the sign-up form, there is a space to indicate whether you are applying individually or in a team.
Registration Time: The sign-up form is comprehensive and takes 15-20 minutes on average to complete. Please do not skip questions and try to give us the best context about your motivation to participate through your answers!
Review and confirmation of participants: Because participation slots are limited, a review committee will evaluate all registrations after the application deadline has passed (Aug 31st 2022). The will select up to 100 suited candidates into the NOLA Tech Tap 2022 based on the information provided and motivation transmitted by the applicants.
Any young person from the Greater New Orleans area can apply to participate. Tell us about your motivation to join and your aspirations for your community.
The NOLA Tech Tap connects young people with the motivation to get hands-on to further sustained livelihood in their community. Application-based, the organizing team will admit up to 100 suited candidates into the contest.
The participants selected are informed. The candidates will now proceed to contest in NOLA Tech Tap 2022.
Selected participants receive detailed instruction and are admitted to the virtual event infrastructure.
Change enthusiasts from the Greater New Orleans area get hands-on during the 48 hours innovation marathon.
Participants will form innovation teams of 4-7 people and work together on novel approaches to community challenges. Teams then submit their project idea for our panel of judges to review and assess following the event.
The solution ideas submitted during the NOLA Tech Tap will be assessed by an independent panel of judges.
The Award Ceremony is when the judges' assessment will be revealed.
The ideas with the highest evaluation will receive recognition and opportunities comprising prize money (up to 500 USD) to activate project ideas; enhanced visibility of proposed initiatives on global platforms; support, mentorship, and guidance from Nisum experts; and a potential chance to join hands with local community partners.
Embracing SDG 17 - Partnership for the Goals, the NOLA Tech Tap 2022 is a collaborative effort of numerous local, regional, and global organizations, including the following:
The Melton Foundation promotes and enables global citizenship as a way for individuals and organizations to work together across boundaries of place and identity to address global challenges. A leading proponent of global citizenship practice worldwide, the Melton Foundation looks back at 30 years of shaping young minds through experiential learning, skill development, and intercultural exposure.
An international 501(c)(3) non-profit organization registered in the USA in 1991, the Melton Foundation’s presence currently spans six global citizenship hubs in Chile, China, Germany, Ghana, India, and the USA.
Sponsor & Co-Organizer
Nisum is a leading global digital commerce firm based in Silicon Valley that provides all the services that a large consulting company does but with the flexibility and customization of a boutique firm. For more than 20 years, they have paved the way for the digital commerce explosion.
Since 2018, Nisum and the Melton Foundation have explored opportunities to drive community impact together, resulting in the NOLA Tech Tap 2022 as one pathway to intersect social change and technology.
Dillard University (DU) is Louisiana’s oldest HBCU dedicated to building competence and belonging in New Orleans since 1869. As an institution committed to community service, Dillard has a long record of student and community engagement.
A Melton Foundation partner university, DU has been part of the Melton Foundation network since 1995.