Initiating a legacy of action, SDG Innovation Challenge 2020 was a virtual ideation marathon for motivated young people from across Africa to come together in developing and connecting practical solution ideas for challenges faced by their local communities at the grassroots level.
Following the conceptual co-development with partner organizations Youth Advocates Ghana, GrassRoots Hub and Techfarm Ghana, we spearheaded the development and implementation of the maiden SDG Innovation Challenge held from 26-28 October. In alignment with the theme and focus areas of the 3rd AYSDGS, the challenge aspired to engage up to 100 participants from across African to yield approx. 25 solution ideas centered around SDG 3, SDG 4 and SDG 9.
By engaging in an approx. 50 hours online hackathon-style environment, participants connected around shared interests in challenges faced by their communities, and, in interdisciplinary teams of 4-7 people, worked together throughout the SDG Innovation Challenge to unpack a problem statement of their choice, and design tangible solution ideas encircling our three focus SDGs.
Good Health and Well Being
Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
The maiden edition of the SDG Innovation Challenge took place from 26 – 28 October 2020. The three winning ideas and teams had the pristine opportunity to showcase their solutions virtually at the 3rd African Youth SDG Summit, Africa’s biggest Sustainable Development Youth congregation.
The SDG Innovation Challenge provides a collaborative ideation space for young people to trigger fresh thinking and prototype novel ideas that can transcend into tangible action to advance the SDGs.
Young people of today are the torchbearers of our legacy and imprint on this planet. Issues such as extreme poverty, climate change, increasing inequality, quality education, demanding accountability have occupied the centerstage today, and young people have the right as well as the responsibility to lead the Agenda 2030 forward, and strengthen partnerships with a fresh paradigm for development.
The 2020 edition of the innovation challenge opened new avenues for young women and men across the African continent – and possibly beyond – to localize the SDGs, catalyzing purpose-driven interactions, and systematically increase the youth-led impact on SDG attainment.
The SDG Innovation Challenge is on again! Are you young, African and an SDG leader in the making? Do you thrive while working together with like-minded people committed to making a difference from the grassroots level up? The SDG Innovation Challenge is your space to be! Discover more here!
With double the capacity, we aspire to amplify our impact and coalesce the brightest minds from each corner of Africa!
The nearly 250 registrants and close to 100 successful participants included youth professionals, entrepreneurs, and innovators averagely between 18 to 35 years, working on projects, start-ups, and community organizations across diverse industries that are promoting SDGs 3, 4, and 9. Registered participants came from across the African continent including the following countries: Zimbabwe, Botswana, Kenya, Ethiopia, Gambia, Malawi, Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cote D’Ivoire, and Ghana.
The participants of the 3 winning teams have been considered for Award-Winning Packages, which include:
Following the successful prototype launch of the program, we are pursuing a shared vision to transform the SDG Innovation Challenge into a pan-continental, community-driven, empowerment-based platform for young people of all walks of life, background, origin, or geography to be able to connect, collaborate and access needed support structures to help build the sustainable, equitable and peaceful society envisioned by the Agenda 2030.
Watch the solution ideas of the winning teams of the challenge here!
Embracing SDG 17 - Partnership for the Goals, the SDG Innovation Challenge is a collaborative efforts of numerous local, regional, and global organizations, including the following:
Meet Melton Foundation
Meet GrassRoots Hub
Meet Youth Advocates Ghana
Meet TECHFARM Hub
Meet African Youth SDGs Summit
The Melton Foundation has been a prominent organization working in the field of global citizenship for more than 25 years. We believe in drawing the wisdom of multiple cultures to shape fresh and creative narratives of global citizenship. Our global network of Fellows collaborates across boundaries to exchange, learn, and develop ideas and carry forward the discourse on global citizenship. In consonance with our endeavor to ‘Think Global, Act Local’, we have involved themselves in numerous projects and missions spread across the globe, to advance the 17 UN SDGs, while fostering Sustainable Development.
Learn more about us here.
GrassRoots Hub Ghana is an eco-entrepreneurship and SDGs Innovation Lab with a global community of grassrooters sharing and generating insights and ideas to ensure impact from local communities to global level. GrassRoots educate, innovate and incubate start-ups and connect accelerators to leading companies, research institutions, foundations, non-profits, and investors. GrassRoots Hub, Ghana’s first Social Impact dedicated to accelerating progress towards the achievement of the SDGs has co-hosted Global SDG Talent Hack-UNLEASH 2020 in Ghana and incubated start-ups after its SDG Challenge and Roadshows and as well sponsored winners to four International SDG innovation Hackathon.
Learn more about GrassRoots Hub Ghana here.
Youth Advocates Ghana (YAG) is a Ghana-based NPO dedicated to restoring hope, educating and improving the well-being of vulnerable children, young people and their communities. Among different projects and initiatives, YAG has been spearheading the organization of the African Youth SDGs Summit, a Africa-wide advocacy platform to further SDG awareness and attainment.
Learn more about Youth Advocates Ghana here.
TECHFARM Hub is an Innovation and Business Development Hub promoting disruptive knowledge, mindset, skills, technologies and resources to upscale young Innovators, Entrepreneurs, Agripreneurs and Startups solve pertinent challenges and become productive and profitable.
Learn more about TECHFARM Hub Ghana here.
The African Youth SDGs Summit is Africa’s largest youth forum on the Sustainable Development Goals. Launched in 2017, the Summit has evolved to bring together a multi-sector coalition of youth, development experts, government and UN entities, NGOs and the private sector to create the Africa we want together.
On 4-5 November 2020, the 3rd African Youth Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Summit will convene again: this time, on the world’s largest stage!
For more information and to register, click here.