$50,000 USD Global Social Innovation Challenge Finale is June 23

Wednesday, June 20, 2018post has videoTOPICS: InternationalInnovation and Entrepreneurship

Erica Wright, a member of Refugees Illuminated, a USD Global Social Innovation finalist, talks about the student project about fire safety in Thailand refugee camps. The $50,000 GSIC final is June 23.Erica Wright, a member of Refugees Illuminated, a USD Global Social Innovation finalist, talks about the student project about fire safety in Thailand refugee camps. The $50,000 GSIC final is June 23.

University of San Diego Center for Peace and Commerce Director, Dr. Amit Kakkad, concluded the May 2017 Social Innovation Challenge with an announcement he wanted heard by social entrepreneurs around the world: “Goodbye Bi-National SIC! Welcome Global SIC!”

The Global Social Innovation Challenge, which will hold its inaugural awards ceremony on June 23, was born. The GSIC takes the eight-year-old Social Innovation Challenge program to another level. It is a social entrepreneurship and innovation program overseen by the Center for Peace and Commerce that resources, recognizes and rewards students for student-led social ventures focused on sustainable change. But making it open to the world adds another layer of innovative ideas gaining awareness.

Since this past fall, USD students, college students locally, nationally and internationally, have focused on their ideas. This Saturday they'll each vie to be one of 10 global finalists who can earn up to $50,000 in seed funding for their project that’s been inspired by the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Global Social Innovation Challenge’s main program begins at 4:30 p.m. in the Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice Rotunda and moves into the IPJ Peace and Justice Theatre at 5 p.m.

“Participating in the Global Social Innovation Challenge has been a year-long journey for the student participants from around the world, who have aspired to think beyond themselves and come up with an innovative solution to a complex societal or environmental issue,” Kakkad said. “Let's come together on June 23 to hear about, and to recognize, resource, and reward their most promising transformative ideas.”

The full GSIC field of finalist teams includes eight alone from San Diego-area universities — two each from USD, UC San Diego and San Diego State and the New School of Architecture and Design; 22 international teams from Mexico (six), Portugal (two), Ghana (two), Australia (two), Egypt (two), Peru (two), Ireland (two), India (two) and one each from Morocco and Nepal. The rest are teams from universities around the nation, such as Duke, Fordham, Emory, Seattle, Kentucky, Biola, Shenandoah and the Watson Institute.

Of the U.N.’s 17 SDGs, only three goals have no representation. Nine ideas are connected to the No. 3 SDG, Good Health and Well-Being. The No. 12 goal, Responsible Consumption and Production, has six tie-ins. The No. 4 and No. 17 goals, Quality Education and Partnerships for the Goals, respectively, have four. The two USD teams in the GSIC, Refugees Illuminated and Water Sensei, are connected to SDG 3 and 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), respectively.

Those who are interested in hearing the full presentations by the 10 student team finalists can come to the Peace and Justice Theatre between 1 and 3:30 p.m. The main program runs 4:30-4:50 p.m. in the IPJ Rotunda where finalists will showcase their ideas. The awards ceremony is from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Peace and Justice Theatre. It is open to all. RSVP here. The ceremony includes 90-second project pitches by the 10 finalists, an audience choice award and in-kind and monetary award results. A celebratory reception is at 6:30 p.m. in the IPJ’s Garden of the Sea.

Here are all university finalists (and project names) seeking a Top 10 spot on June 23:

Mexico: Be Happy, Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla; Biogás del Hogar, CETYS Universidad; Estación Meiquer, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Guadalajara; LinfoChild, Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla; Sistema de Rescate, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Guadalajara; Vida, CETYS Universidad.

Portugal: #buddy4you, Católica-Lisbon School of Business and Economics; Recipere, Catolica-Lisbon School of Business and Economics.

Ghana: Environmental Solutions, Heritage Christian College; Team Charcoal, Heritage Christian College.

Australia: House Mates/Team Ark, Australian Catholic University; Student Inclusive, Australian Catholic University.           

Egypt: Jumanji for Campaigns, Alexandria University; Solution Squad (Alexandria University).

Peru: Juntas, Universidad del Pacífico; Mayu, Universidad del Pacífico.

Ireland: Keep Appy, Trinity College Dublin; The Nectar Way, Trinity College Dublin.

India: Project SANTI, Assam Don Bosco University; Renergi Zero C Solution, Assam Don Bosco University.

Morocco: FAREL, ESCA Ecole de Management.

Nepal: Swa-awalamba, National College for Higher Education.

United States (except San Diego): Skive Engineering, Watson Institute; Illuminate International, Biola University; IMagine Me, Shenandoah University; Bright, Emory University; Unicycle, Emory University; Generation, Seattle University; MotMot Coffee, Seattle University; ShareHealth, Duke University; Zemya, Duke University; Bridge, University of Kentucky; CauseSmart, University of Kentucky; What’s Cooking, Fordham University; Capirona, Fordham University.

San Diego: Refugees Illuminated and Water Sensei, University of San Diego; Baja Del Sol and Family Proud, UC San Diego; Compost Collective and Recycling for Goods, New School of Architecture and Design; SOULmuch and Vida en Verde, San Diego State.

— Ryan T. Blystone

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