The Student Ideas Challenge, was designed as part of the Empretec Women in Business Awards 2018, to engage young people ages 8-18 years as future innovators and entrepreneurs. I created it as a toolkit, in collaboration with UNCTAD, distributing it as a pack to schools; inviting young people to respond to five innovation challenges linked to SDGs 2, 4, 5, 11 and 12.
Sponsored by leading impact investor, Symbiotics SA, the toolkit was distributed to over 200 schools and shared via The Commonwealth Businesswomen’s Network to youth across the Commonwealth, and via UN Women also.
We wanted to encourage young people to see their imagination and creativity as the starting point for innovation and to explore entrepreneurship as a key tool for achieving gender equality and the economic empowerment of women and girls.
The toolkit was adapted from from Flow In Action’s learn to move mountains® innovation challenge workshops for young people and UNCTAD’s VISION youth entrepreneurship training programme.
I created this easy-to-use pack, complete with lesson plans, challenge questions and research links, for educators to use with their students as a rapid download or multi-lesson activity; or give to students for self-directed learning, especially for service-learning projects. Its purpose was also to enable whole schools, classes or clubs to take part.
Embedded into the toolkit approach was the development of core skills, fundamental to having an entrepreneurial mindset: critical and creative thinking, growth mindset, risk-taking, perseverance and many more. And, it included the process of moving from problem to ideas for solutions to prototype descriptions, as a first experience of the entrepreneurship journey.
Young people shared their posters and short videos of their ideas, which were featured in a display in the Pas Perdus in the Palais des Nations, during the World Investment Forum (WIF) 2018 from 22-26 October 2018. Watch the youth videos on UNCTAD’s Youtube site; and see the posters here.
With over 5000 delegates from around the globe attending the WIF and walking past the display, it served as an important call to action from young people to listen to youth voices and take action for gender equality.
Topic: Youth Entrepreneurship, Gender Equality
Collaborating with: UNCTAD-DIAE, The Commonwealth Businesswomen's Network, UN Women
Commissioned by: UNCTAD-DIAE, Symbiotics SA
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