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Top Shortlisted Projects

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SPOTER Sign language recognition research initiative
Matyáš Boháček
Czech Republic
Despite still being in high school, I am working on artificial intelligence and machine learning research, taking on projects that help people communicate and better understand the world around them. My deep fascination for the d/Deaf community and sign language has inspired me to take on one of the long-lasting master challenges in the machine learning research community: sign language recognition (SLR) and translation. Under the supervision of researchers at the University in Pilsen and Charles University in Prague, I developed SPOTER: a new architecture for sign language recognition, which overperformed all previous methods for this purpose. My research papers reporting these results have been accepted by WACV and CVPR, some of the most prestigious world conferences on AI. I have been working on research build-ups for this work ever since. Still, my entrepreneurial spirit also made me hardly think about bringing this unique system further than journals and academic conferences — putting it into the real world. This would not mean just making a simple app for translation but rather a complete framework unlocking user interaction with technology through sign language. This could be later implemented into mobile apps, translators, video conferencing platforms, and other websites to yet again make technology and the internet accessible to more of us. Not just those who hear. To put my vision into more concrete goals: I want to build an AI system for sign language recognition and translation, whose code and models will be open-sourced for the world to use. Apart from the generally accessible framework, there will be free mobile and web apps for raw sign language recognition. Imagine Google Translate, but instead of a field for text, there will be a camera for recording sign language. All of that, freely accessible to the world.
Include2020/A Global Voice for Autism
Melissa Diamond
United States
In emergency settings, developmental disability support is often seen as a secondary need, while basic needs like food, shelter and emergency medical care are centered. However, for individuals with developmental disabilities and their caregivers, stigma, a lack of resources and specific disability-related needs can prevent these individuals and their families from accessing essential support services in emergency settings, ranging from food and water to medical care to education. To address this, Include2020 is a mobile application with offline-accessible content that provides culturally-relevant, on-demand support to caregivers of individuals with developmental disabilities in refugee and emergency contexts. The application is being built with content to help caregivers teach their children foundational skills and skills for independence, as well as inclusive education strategies to bridge educational gaps in emergency contexts where children's education is either disrupted or children are entirely excluded from school. Caregiver mental health also needs to be considered in these (often traumatic) contexts to ensure caregivers are in a position to support their loved onces with disabilities so the application includes mental health support content and peer networks for caregivers to share experiences and support one another. These services will decrease caregiver stress, help children achieve developmental and academic outcomes, improve the ability of families of those with developmental disabilities to access essential resources in emergency contexts, and provided needed support to these families in both temporary and protracted emergency contexts in their native languages and with cultural realities in mind.
Pakistan 2022 Monsoon Floods Campaign
Reema Shailesh Patel
United States
Across Pakistan, extreme flooding has killed 1,300 people since June and displaced more than half a million.Though the nation’s disaster management agency posted flood warnings on its website, many survivors say the news didn’t reach them in time due to limited technology access. Thousands of villagers are stuck inland surrounded by lakes of water that have formed around them. When we reached Interior Sindh, an area inhabited by large minority populations, farmers and nomadic tribes– the help and support provided was far from what was needed. We had to reach villagers by boat to deliver 4,000 food staple bags, tents and mosquito nets. The second phase of our disaster relief campaign entails rebuilding communities. Our goal will be to identify those most severely affected and most vulnerable. The initial goal will be to build 22 disaster ready and sustainable home models for these villagers. These homes will be built as 1 unit and 2 unit homes. For families living in a multi generational setting we can save thousands of dollars by building a unit that can house them all while still giving them the space they need for their nuclear family. Features of disaster proof homes: 1) Homes will be rebuilt with materials that are cost-effective and easy to install. The foundations of the new homes will be constructed with cement that is proven to be durable during natural disasters and extreme weather events. 2) Iron frames will be used for walls and roofs to ensure durable infrastructure and can be used to rebuild the roofs if damaged. 3) Homes will be built 5 feet above ground to resist damage during regular rainfalls. 4) All will be equipped with a solar power panel to ensure home owners have energy independent access to fans and lighting.
Indiscriminate waste disposal has been a norm in Nigeria. Howlshe, a district in Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State, where I reside, is known for indiscriminate dumping of waste. These dumping sites have become breeding grounds for many endemic protozoan and bacterial diseases of Humans e.g.Malaria and Cholera. Bill Gates in his recent research on the 6thSeptember, 2022, titled “why children die”, stated clearly that “3.1 million people-nearly all of them children- died of diarrhea, often because they had drunk contaminated water”. Also people use these dumping grounds as toilets. In the process they can pick or drop infectious agents, which eventually drains into the nearest water body and the cycle continues. Gates, stated that 82% of children mortality is caused by diseases, such as diarrhea and malaria, and health problems that their mothers experienced- and exacerbated by other risk factors including malnutrition. Having said this, it is encouraging to know that all this is preventable. From the Gates Foundation research, it was discovered that child death has been mitigated as interventions are made. In two decades, the death toll from these diseases has dropped by 58% due to Government interventions in the form of large-scale sanitation programs which between 2010-2020 prevented more than 200 000 deaths caused by Cholera. However, my concern is why rely on malaria prevention when it can be eradicated? Why settle for insecticide-treated bed nets when the breeding sites can be eliminated? Establishing a good waste disposal/ recycling system, and providing adequate wastes disposal bins, will go a long way in eliminating these breeding sites. This waste collecting bin will be placed in every household and cleared by professionals, twice in a week and transported to the recycling system or incinerator for proper processing.
Communities for Childbirth International
Seungwon Lee
United States
CCI is an international organization that aims to improve maternal, newborn, and child health by designing sustainable community health programs and pioneering new frameworks of evidence-based global health work. We envision creating an initiative that takes on a unique approach to healthcare education and resource mobilization in Uganda—one that can be owned and taken up by the communities for long-term sustainability. Our main scope of action is two-fold. The first is to design and implement community-based education programs to sensitize expecting families on essential topics of maternal and child health (MCH). CCI created an African context-appropriate curriculum in MCH and trained all health volunteers in Bugembe, Uganda to sensitize their communities on topics surrounding pregnancy and childbirth. What’s unique about our program is that it’s grounded on community-driven demands. Instead of giving out unsustainable monetary incentives like all other nonprofits, we looked into what the community actually wants and, for the first time in Uganda, established a separate office just for the village health volunteers in the corner of CCI’s office. This was our first step in making an initiative that is genuinely owned by the community. As a result, our trainers from all corners of the town report to ‘their office’ and strategically manage what they do best—serving their communities. Also, village people are already actively collaborating with us and seeking our support, even when they’re not given incentives for it, which is very unconventional for most traditional, existing nonprofits. The other half of CCI is our research wing. We believe that if creating successful interventions are the building blocks, getting sound evidence around our work is the mold that will keep the structure together. We prioritize data-driven insight and evidence-based approaches and conduct efficacy studies for our interventions to identify drivers of success (or failure).
Peace Authors
Elena Sapelyuk
United States
UNHCR’s Guidelines for Educational Assistance to Refugees states that education for peace, cooperation, conflict resolution and reconciliation are all prerequisites for reconstruction, whose promotion can avoid repetition of conflict by a new generation. This principle defines Peace Authors as it aims to create durable peace in Ukraine and in other displacement contexts. My project, Peace Authors, aims to address the psychosocial needs of Ukrainian refugee youth (13-17) by providing programming focused on building creative writing, peacebuilding, and communication skills and creating a space for self-realization and reflection. Developed in tandem with Dignity Space: the Ukrainian Centre for Non-Violent Communication and Reconciliation, Peace Authors aims to support the next generation of Ukrainians in becoming ambassadors of peace and understanding while meeting the need for trauma-informed programming for refugee youth. The hope is that graduated “Peace Authors” will go on to use their developed writing, communication, and facilitation skills to advocate for refugees and build greater understanding with host communities, making relocation more sustainable and positive. In addition, Peace Authors can return to their home countries and continue to serve as examples of refugee leaders and writers empowered to contribute to the future of their country. The program will also provide a much-needed space to heal and process the trauma of displacement through an artistic project with a community of peers, as refugee youth are chronically lacking accessible psychosocial resources. The hope is to make the Peace Authors curriculum redeployable in displacement emergencies beyond the Ukrainian context and provide psychosocial support to refugee youth from a variety of backgrounds.
NGO Cosmos for Humanity
Claire ELSS
Cosmos for Humanity is a non-profit NGO based in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Our aim is to raise awareness of space pollution and to promote a more sustainable development of space activities. Humanity is today totally dependent on its access to space for many things that most people are unfortunately unaware of. If we lose this access because of space debris and Kessler’ syndrome, we will lose useful tools to monitor climate change, pollution in the ocean or in the forest, to reduce water consumption in agriculture, to monitor the evolution of biodiversity, to warn us of natural disasters, etc. However, the geopolitical context does not allow states to reach a consensus on a binding legal regime for the preservation of Earth orbits. Nor is there any economic incentive for the space industry to remove waste from orbit. This means that private and public resources devoted to space debris management are currently largely insufficient, particularly because the problem of space pollution and its long-term consequences are not sufficiently understood by stakeholders. Faced with the double failure of the market and the public authorities, our idea is to propose a financing scheme by introducing two new space actors, citizens and non-space companies, and by creating a large community committed to preserving access to space for Humanity: the Cosmos Rangers. To do this, with the support of the French Space Agency, we are building the concept of the "Outer Space Footprint" (OSF) to assess how the space industry is polluting Outer space, but also to quantify the responsibility of all the economic actors in it. In this way, we want to show that we, the citizens, the companies, are already space actors because we are all indirect polluters cause of all the satellite data we depend on. And that we therefore have a duty to participate in the maintenance of the orbits. At the same time, we are building an ESG label to fund and promote the sustainable development of space activities in our daily lives. Reviewed and certified by citizens, independently thanks to our own blockchain, we aim that way to give a tool to the people to protect their own interests in space, but also to create incentives to non-space companies to fund space debris removal operations and put pressure on the space industry to adopt sustainable behavior in Outer space.
The BloodDrive Network Foundation
Chidinma Peace Okoro
The BloodDrive Network initiative is aimed at reducing mortality statistics in Nigeria, of critical care patients due to blood loss and shortage complicated by an insufficient supply and unavailability of blood for transfusion for these kinds of patients. We achieve this through consistent public sensitization programmes, advocacies and awareness about voluntary blood donation and its importance, voluntary donor education, youth engagement, mobilization and participation in regular, voluntary blood donation exercises/blood drive outreaches. We target young people between 18-35 years starting from higher institutions of learning, where we orientate them on the concept of regular, voluntary blood donation as a corporate social responsibility; their role to play in championing the cause and being actively involved; the health benefits to themselves as donors and as well to critical care patients who need blood; correcting the myths and wrong social, cultural and religious biases about Blood donation; and enlightenment on the overall impact on health outcomes and the Nigerian health care system. The advocacies and sensitization programmes ensure social change and positive action of the youth towards regular, voluntary blood donation, while the blood drive outreaches provide them the opportunity to donate blood as well as connect them to blood bank service facilities within their locality, where they can constantly go to donate blood within within every 3 months interval. This is in order to achieve at least a 40% mortality rate decline by 2030, helping to fulfil UN SDG goal 3: Good health and well-being. We intend to scale up using digital technologies that would seamlessly connect voluntary donors to blood bank service facilities and hospitals on specific emergency blood donor requests for specific blood types; that will enable digitalised blood donation procedures while in the comfort of donors' homes as well as offer mobile blood bank service collection and delivery systems.
AVEM Systems
Nadeem Mohammed Shajahan
The idea is to leverage the power of Artificial Intelligence and Swarm Robotics in emergency response management. We use this to optimise the collaborative operation of robots along with humans. The aim is to slowly shift from a ‘Human led emergency response' effort into a ‘Human-monitored machine-led emergency response’ effort. AI powered autonomous swarm UAV’s (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) are capable of assessing damage, locating the victims and delivering aid. This system enables the faster mapping of disaster stricken areas to identify areas of damage, inspect infrastructure for delivery of supplies and develop strategies to effectively and safely battle/handle the scenario. We are building a suite of products that includes: - Two classes of aerial vehicles, - An Emergency Response Intelligence and - A Swarm controller. The two aerial vehicles under development fall into classes: Small-UAV class (SUAVs, Maximum takeoff weight of 3-4Kgs) and Micro-UAV class (MAVs, Maximum takeoff weight of 2Kgs). The SUAVs are capable of carrying heavy sensors, providing detailed inferences. On the other hand, MAVs provide the flexibility of maneuvering difficult to reach spaces in a cluttered environment. The Emergency Response Intelligence (ERI) is a cognitive AI model that provides prioritized actions, entry/exits for first responders and a strategic action plan that minimizes damage and maximizes efficiency. The swarm controller or STADO, is a scalable intelligent swarm controller that divides the operation at hand among its agents (the fleet of SUAV’s and MAV’s). It performs crucial tasks like path planning, map fusion and scene recreation. ERI and STADO operate and make decisions based on the data collected by the aerial agents. This suite in turn leads to reaching our goal of Human-Monitored Machine-Led approach of tackling a Search and Rescue Scenario.
Harrison Kwaku Kyenkyehene
The project aims to build a hub to address the fall in fish protein supply. The hub will comprise an online platform called the “AquaHub” that will link fish farmers to technicians, extension service providers, and suppliers. These farm technicians will provide farm services like fish holding facility (ponds, tanks, and cages) construction, fish health, and diagnosis services. Actors who supply fish farm inputs such as fish feed, fingerlings, bloodstocks, and equipment will also be made available on the platform to ease the process of fish production. The application will also connect fish farmers to buyers. The App is going to generate a database of all fish farms and buyers in the regions of all users to make trading easy. Delivery service providers will also be allowed to provide services to both fish farmers and buyers. The fish farmers section of the application will have manuals and video demonstrations of building fish farm and the best aquaculture practices available for the use of the fish farmers. This will help anyone who want to go into fish farming to acquire the necessary information needed. Basic fish disease control guides will also be made available on the platform. Aquaculture research and demonstration community will be set up to aid the team to find scientifically proven and profitable fish farming methods to feed the online platform. The research community will involve a team of researchers who will be reviewing existing literature and manuals on aquaculture to feed the online platform for the consumption of the users of the application. Market analysis will also be conducted periodically to create information on the prices of fish products and inputs for easy and transparent trading.
Ezod Tech
Tinashe Blackie Kanukai
Ezod Tech is working on an assistive technology solution for the blind and those with impaired vision. Ezod Eye is the name of the gadget. Ezod Eye is a portable electronic device that is attached to a pair of spectacles. For auditory communication with the blind, Ezod Eye employs machine learning, artificial intelligence, GPS, high-definition cameras, and an earphone connector. All feedback to the user is audio data sent via earbuds and an internal speaker. Ezod Eye assists blind individuals with navigation, text document reading utilizing Optical Character Identification (OCR) technology, facial recognition, identifying danger, and answering phone calls. Ezod Eye offers voice recognition capabilities owing to artificial intelligence and machine learning. The voice recognition feature authenticates users for confidential actions such as bank transfers and payments by using voice as a biometric password. The gadget has intelligence functions such as understanding bank statements, detecting currencies and adding total money, mathematical operations, and reading people's moods based on facial expressions, movements, and voices. Ezod Eye has a unique reading function that allows users to search for particular words in text documents more quickly and provides blind individuals unlimited access to information on the internet. The gadget will be language customized for each user, allowing them to select the language in which they are most comfortable and understand. The gadget is compatible with other Bluetooth-enabled devices such as mobile phones and external speakers. Wi-Fi access is required for software updates, downloads, and installs.
Music For The Future
Juliana Gräfin Széchenyi-Smythe
Music For The Future, a social project charged with the superpower of music started on March 8th, one week after the Russian invasion in Ukraine started. Since the project started, we helped 142 musicians and their families, organising over 700 hours of rehearsals, 32 concerts, as well as several masterclasses with renowned professional musicians. The expenses during the first five months were 480.000,00€, which we gathered with donations from all over the world. In times of crisis, many professional musicians are not able to continue their careers and end up working “other” jobs. We want to create an environment in which professional musicians can pursue their careers, enhance their craft, earn their own income and have a work-life balance, a routine, that can give them some distraction from the crisis at home: The "Music For The Future Chamber Orchestra - Providing Residency for Those in Need", an annual project that evacuates professional musicians who are living in a country, anywhere in the world where crisis is occurring, and brings them to Ljubljana, Slovenia, giving them a one-year residency. This residency provides musicians with humanitarian aid, accommodations, social security, education and helps them develop their career paths in a sheltered environment. Within the framework of the European Career Center for Artists, Triple Bridge, we will provide them with capacity building programmes, masterclasses, career enhancing workshops and vocational training programmes that are taught by internationally renowned professionals. Musicians will receive a range of tools and skills to advance their professional career and enrich their personal growth. On these platforms where the exchange of experience, knowledge, and expertise take place, we encourage everyone to stay curious and never stop learning. The Career Center also provides all musicians a solid self-management foundation for them to manage their own careers, even when their chapter with the Music For The Future ends.
Humana Nova
Filip Peras
Social cooperative Humana Nova is a nonprofit eco-social enterprise that deals with the work integration of people with disabilities and marginalized groups through the textile waste management model and the production of innovative products from recycled and ecological materials. We collect textiles in cooperation with utility companies and through donations from citizens. Until today we collected over 3,000 tons of textile (over 640 tons last year) and prevented them from ending up in landfills. Through our processes, we add a new value to old collected textiles. Preserved clothes we sell in our second-hand shop, or we use textiles for sewing recycled products (bags, slippers backpacks, aprons, coats). Cotton is separated and cut into industrial rags, and the remaining textile is processed in cooperation with Regeneracija from Zabok into the final product: felt. Two years ago we established a felt packaging process in our center and created job opportunities for new employees. Humana Nova has a well-rounded model of textile waste management, and its operations contribute to the achievement of ecological and social goals of sustainable development. The problem begins when textiles which arrive at the sorting center are wet or contain impurities such as leather, shoes, feathers, and similar materials that are not suitable for making felt and are also unusable for Humana Nova. Therefore, we set out to find a solution that would also be innovative, sustainable, and beneficial for the environment and the community. We found a solution in the pyrolysis process of textile waste, the combustion of which produces secondary gas. This is or new pilt project and it passed all tests. By establishing this process, our contribution to the preservation of the environment arises, creates new job opportunities and by producing gas, we create even more added value.
Yusuff Adeniyi Yusuff
United Kingdom
The current advancements in aviation technology have allowed for a wide range of new uses for drones. This can be seen in our fire extinguisher drone as a solution to instantly mitigate sudden outdoor fires. The use of a fire extinguishing drone allows for a fire to be mitigated without putting firefighters at risk while improving their fire extinguishing capability. The Aeroknite drone deploys fire extinguishing balls from a low altitude when a fire is detected. The fire extinguishing ball releases Styrofoam powder when in contact with fire, instantly extinguishing it. The UAV is built to carry 6 fire extinguishing balls and more through an automatic reload system. The research showed a swarm of fixed-wing fire extinguishing drones will prove more effective for wildfires. This is mainly due to the faster reload time of the extinguishing payload. The upwash from a large fire is used to keep the UAV at a safe distance from the fire as it approaches to deploy the payload. A multi-copter configuration will be used when drop precision is required. The multi-copter configuration is also more suited for on-site deployment by first responders when a fire is reported. Aerial surveillance of an affected area using the onboard camera and fire direction prediction provides added information for fire services. This would act as a key safety infrastructure in areas prone to outdoor fire such as Factories. A competitive advantage not currently seen in the market involves using readily available Hi-resolution satellite imagery and machine learning to predict the location of wildfires before they occur. The safety-critical nature of flight systems requires a need of an avionics system with added redundancies. This presents itself in the design of the safe drop mechanism, seeing as the fire extinguisher balls are being dropped from mid-altitude. The drone uses its onboard camera for fire detection and an infrared sensor confirms fire temperature readings before a payload can be deployed. A major hurdle to the use of UAVs for wider applications is the limited flight time. The use of several wireless charging stations along a flight path will result in drones that can fly a longer range. The implications of longer UAV flight times stretch beyond getting a longer range, this will also allow for constant surveillance of areas prone to fire so the drone would not have to be newly launched when a fire is reported
Ashok Poudel
DON`T WASTE THE WASTE! Nepal's recycling infrastructure is dilapidated. 37.7% of the waste is not collected by the "Solid Waste Management" and ends up in rivers, roadsides, etc. With ReValue, the entire team and I pursue the vision of perceiving plastic waste as a resource, not as waste. We want to reintegrate waste into the value-added cycle. Through our ReValue project, we offer a long-term sustainable solution, enable a socially acceptable working environment and improve people's living conditions by reducing the amount of plastic not reused. All our work is accompanied by extensive research – allowing us to improve our processes steadily. To achieve our goals, ReValue, founded in steward-ownership, built up two interlinked social entrepreneurial sides of the project – one in Nepal and one in Europe. In Nepal, we implement baling machines and shredders. The biggest hurdle for the Nepalese recycling sector is the high transportation costs. The longer the distance between the source of plastic and recycling facilities, the more unlikely plastics will be recycled if there is no baling or shredding machine. The reuse possibilities increase by baling/shredding plastic - up to six times more plastic waste can be transported per truck due to the compression. The more efficient transport makes the process of recycling economically viable. More plastic is recycled, and the end of life in unsanitary landfills is prevented. In addition, we will sell Plastic Credits, certificates accredited by Verra (similar to CO2 certificates) that we receive through recycling and resell to environmentally conscious companies in the global North. These companies can then offset their plastic consumption while we invest the money in building more recycling infrastructure. This creates a self-reinforcing upward spiral for Nepal's waste sector.
Ghislain Irakoze
With a vision of reducing the ecological footprint of digitalization while also building urban mining, I have founded Wastezon, a Machine Learning-powered digital solution which powers consumers and manufacturers to transact second-hand electronics and e-waste through a reverse supply chain. With Wastezon App’s Mineralogical laser scan technology, both households and institutional consumers can detect the mineralogical provenance of their electronic devices, the Wastezon app leverages such data to make real-time informed post-consumerism recommendations; matchmaking consumers with manufacturers and recyclers that can reuse, repurpose and remanufacturer these electronics. Wastezon applies an eco-friendly logistical planner bot to assist Manufacturers and recyclers in effectively planning for reverse logistics of the acquired electronics on the platform. Innovative value offerings of the Wastezon app: Data-enabled decision making: Consumers can get real-time data on mineralogical provenance changes of their electronics which can allow them to make informed decisions on where to resell, repair and repurpose their electronics. Manufacturers and recyclers can acquire back the electronics from consumers based on economical returns they can anticipate getting, projected on the mineralogical provenance data. Real-time Matchmaking: Consumers are connected with manufacturers and recyclers on a real-time basis, allowing them to transact their electronics and accept payments digitally. Automated reverse logistics planner: designed for Manufacturers and recyclers, the automated planner bot considers manufacturers' and recyclers’ preferences, and transboundary laws of movement of electronic materials, to provide reverse logistics recommendations for all the electronics they acquire via the platform.
Mano River Youth Network
Morlai Augustine Saio Kamara
Sierra Leone
We are fully aware that we cannot change everything as we may wish but we have the ability to trigger actions of governments and community leaders to consider including our issues among priority issues and put sustainable measures in place to address them. We have observed that due to cross cultural realities and movement and transactions of Mano River union (MRU) citizens between countries, no country can have sustainable solution to child rights issues caused by COVID 19 during and after the pandemic. As youths, we want to take the lead in facilitating cross border or sub regional collaboration to address the issues. Hence our idea is to increase inter-country (bi-lateral) and sub-regional solidarity and joint efforts among youths in addressing child rights issues. Our specific objectives include: a) To strengthen the capacity of sub regional youth network including increasing its collaboration with relevant adult organizations and networks working in the MRU region b) To increase the awareness of the public and decision makers about the extent to which COVID 19 has affected children’s development in order to trigger urgent actions by the governments, regional bodies, communities and CSOs/CSO networks c) To promote youth perspective and amplify youths voice in influencing decisions of MRU governments towards addressing COVID 19 socio-economic issues during and after the pandemic d) To empower children and young people including those at border communities to take action that prevent and response to all forms of abuse against children and young people especially child trafficking
Spear of African Peace (SoAP)
Yoal Domai Dar
South Sudan
The foundation of The Spear of African Peace (SoAP) is the art of storytelling. I unknowingly suffered trauma during the 2013 South Sudanese civil conflict. I didn't know how to move forward after losing my precious ones. This could not be far worse than a mother who had been raped, her daughter had been killed, and forced to feast and drink from her blood. Many people are repressing these painful issues and they do not talk about it, but we know that art and storytelling can be therapeutic, and that is the motivation behind our endeavor. According to our extensive research, young people who are refugees and internally displaced persons in particular battle enormous challenges. The combination of mental health concerns with an absence of peace, security, and human rights violations came out very vividly. We know from personal experience that only art and storytelling can directly reach the human soul. We developed this therapeutic essay contest pilot project, which will be executed in UN protection civilians' site (camp) Juba, South Sudan with applicants drawn from various nations in East Africa, in the hope that it will heal the broken souls and give young people an opportunity to contribute to the global peace campaigns. At a later time, we plan to replicate it throughout the rest of the world. The purpose of this project is to host an essay contest that will introduce ideas and viewpoints of young people from the East African nations. The top three winners in each age group (children 10-17 and adults 18-30) will get the chance to present their essays in person in Juba, South Sudan. They will also receive prizes, certificates from the appropriate authorities, and their essays will be published on our website as a blog and in other media.
Talented Academy
Mathew Ndekudugu
Talented academy is an all-inclusive initiative that is committed to achieving the goal of 'everyone matters, no one must be left behind. The talented academy has the interest of the vulnerable, the poor, the disadvantaged, and the marginalized population of the excluded in society and is at the risk of violence and discrimination must be prioritized. According to the UN high commissioner of refugees, there were over 89 million displaced people globally at the end of 2021 of which I am inclusive. This is alarming and needs an immediate remedy to give people peace and stability to make the world a better place. Talented academy has the following long-term impacts at heart; First, Providing mental health support and access to education. This is necessary to bring them out of the mental trauma that they went through. We aim to first transform these people through training and mental health awareness and programs that would inculcate in them the mindset that they are not left behind and that they matter. This program will set the pace for them to believe in themselves as capable of being the change the world needs. Education and training as well as adaptation programs would equip them with the needed knowledge to take up responsibilities by themselves and act on them without fear or timidity. Secondly, Increase the representation of female leaders from vulnerable groups. In every marginalized or refugee, women and children make up the majority of the vulnerable. According to WHO, women, and girls make up 50% of any refugees, internally displaced, or stateless population. According to WHO and women in global health, 75% of the decision makers leading the health industry are men. It is sad to know that this leads to biased decisions that are less impactful to the vulnerable. Talented academy will therefore train women and girls to take up leadership roles and decide on answers that solve their problems instead of being dictated to by people who do not face the problem. Moreso, the Talented academy will help train the marginalized groups for the job market. Through one of the Talented academy's flagship programs, Opportunities Avenue, the beneficiaries will be trained and equipped to enhance their talents and skills and given the necessary resources to start businesses or be connected to the right job they fit. Talented academy will also launch a campaign on the inclusiveness of marginalized groups in decision-making, employment, and scholarships for refugees. These and many more solutions are yet to be introduced but this can only be done with the help of the Watson Fellowship program. I believe that through Watson, these ideas will be brought to light and refined to solve the problems faced by these groups of individuals in our communities. Also, through Watson, I would meet industry experts and global leaders that will help groom my project to be the best fit solution. Networks from Watson will also open endless opportunities for me that will make this dream come true. I cannot underestimate my personal growth while at Watson which will enable me to see and scale up my project to become a world-changing project. In the long-term impact, Talented academy seeks to provide adequate support for sustainable income and livelihood that would help the beneficiaries.
Gareleya Neotodryosh / "14-8-22"
Vitaliy Matukhno
"Gareleya neotodryosh" is an experimental exhibition space that does not have a permanent location, a clear format or precise restrictions. “Gareleya” expositions are located in places unsuitable for comfortable art conditions: abandoned industrial or residential facilities, plants and factories, typical Soviet apartments, etc. In this way, "Gareleya" creates a point of interest in a place where nothing interesting usually happens. The project was created in Lysychansk (Luhansk region) to protest the lack of any exhibition spaces that are tolerant of young and contemporary art - without conservative criticism or censorship. The main focus of "Gareleya" concentrates on working with artists from Luhansk and Donetsk regions, but is not limited to them. Our main task was to create new opportunities for young artists of Donbass, create a community and promote young talents. Many young artists from our region got their first exhibition experience by participating in our project. At the moment, “Gareleya” is the face of the young art scene of Donbass and its main ambassador. We are engaged in the creation of not only exhibitions in Ukraine, but also outside of it. This year we were able to create an exhibition with the works of young artists from the Donbas regions of Ukraine in Tbilisi, Georgia and in the public spaces of Germany, in 17 of its largest cities, at the same time, because the works of artists were shown on digital screens in the subway and at bus stops. Now we are documenting the Russian war against Ukraine, collecting personal stories of young artists and residents of Donbass, who are experiencing the active stage of the war for the second time, thereby creating an online archive called "14-8-22", which we fill with personal stories and art reflections of people for whom war is a big part of their life.
Nastya Podorozhnya
Martynka is a female name used both in Ukraine and Poland. It comes from the Roman god of war, Mars. This name suits the main idea behind our organisation: to protect people displaced by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Martynka has been living in Poland for a long time, and she uses her experience to support refugees. To receive help from Martynka, a refugee simply needs to text her on Telegram. Martynka is a female-lead Ukrainian grassroots organisation based in Poland. We support Ukrainian evacuees by: 1) preventing human trafficking, 2) helping victims of sexualised violence obtain legal and psychological support, as well as safe accommodation, 3) providing access to and information on safe abortions and emergency contraception in a country that bans most of abortions [1] and ranks lowest in the whole Europe when it comes to accessibility of contraception [2], 4) providing information on sexual health and rights as well as refugee safety. Martynka offers in person assistance, such as providing safe accommodation in our shelter for refugee victims of sexualised violence, or helping evacuees address police or other local authorities. But most of the people who turned to Martynka received help online, as we have a Telegram chat bot where a network of volunteers answer questions and support evacuees 24/7. Martynka is also an educational project: based on six months of operations, we have identified topics where education and information is lacking and launched a campaign about sexual health, reproductive rights and refugee safety in Poland. Survivors-based approach is a core value at Martynka. This means that we listen carefully to the needs of Ukrainian evacuees and take on new issues as they emerge. [1] Only about 0,5% of all abortions in Poland are performed legally, according to Federa; [2] Contraception Atlas 2020, 2021.
Maaje Zevwe
Sabahat Ali Wani
As a Kashmiri woman, the raging conflict engulfing our community has motivated me to educate and make other people conscious about the politics of conflict and the cost that people pay because of it. From gaslighting to the downright negation of our demand for basic human rights, the absence of freedom and the perpetuation of violence in Kashmir has not only affected my values but made me realize that research is not a mere social science exercise. It made me aware that empirical research on security and civilian issues must underline the emotional truths as well as be accountable to the community and the people it claims to represent and, aware of. So, I nudged myself and founded the Kashmiri literary and cultural magazine, namely, Maaje Zevwe (meaning ‘mother tongue’). Simply put, Maaje Zevwe is an initiative led by Kashmiri women, who attempt to showcase the survival voyage of the Kashmiri community by authentically defining the various dynamics of being a ‘Kashmiri’, across the narratives of resistance through language, culture, art, and music. The women behind Maaje Zevwe recognize the need for a women-found, women-led, and gender-inclusive space, where we redefine the Kashmiri culture, music, language, and art from a different lens. The main objective of the magazine is to add a unique dimension to the existing discourse in Kashmir by stimulating the informal documentation of lived realities of Kashmiri people and broadly, it also aims to transcend the structural restrictions of academia stocked with legal jargon and encourages people to document their raw experiences, unedited and unfiltered. Through this platform, we want to establish, register and document the words of Kashmiri women, often raped, killed and exoticized in the name of the masculine imaginations on all ends. Maaje Zevwe is a feminist voice of resistance, refusal and rejection.
Seek Speak
Miloslava Macková
Czech Republic
Our journey began with a desire to help a classmate with a hearing impairment who was experiencing a lack of frequency of speech therapy. It is widely known that the number of speech therapists in the Czech Republic is insufficient, so we decided to create an app that could help speech therapists and their patients streamline therapy and practice between office visits. After a year of research, validation with experts, and programming, we are creating a telemedicine tool to help children with hearing impediments, delayed speech development, and developmental dysphasia. Using the application's tools, we will be able to record and analyze the human voice when pronouncing certain sounds. Artificial intelligence will provide feedback to the user on the correctness of the articulation. At the same time, the app focuses on developing the child's vocabulary in addition to the correct articulation of the syllables. All the data collected is stored and displayed to the clinical speech therapist for an evaluation. Thus, it is a telemedicine tool designed to support clinical speech therapists and their patients in pronunciation modification in the fixation phase. We have not been able to find a speech therapy app in the Czech Republic or abroad that can also automatically assess pronunciation. Non-logopedic applications that assess pronunciation using artificial intelligence exist (e.g. ELSA), but they focus on pronunciation in non-disabled second language learners. Other solutions on the market targeting our target group, such as Logapka or AfaSlovnik, offer only a partial solution to the complex process of speech learning. However, our technology will focus on detailed speech analysis, from single phonemes to complex words and sentences. At the same time, we are now working on a technology that will assess the user's pronunciation accuracy with a high percentage of accuracy, and provide aggregate feedback. It is this feedback that makes our tool more effective than traditional speech therapy applications.
Rosh Ho
We’re building an efficient organic waste processing unit that uses black soldier fly larvae (BSFL), reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 70% and composting time by over 300% compared to traditional composting. We can use the harvested insects as a sustainable and high-protein feed in multiple livestock and pet industries such as aquaculture, poultry farming, reptiles, and small mammals. This feed would be more environmental and economical than existing feeds such as fish meals that have been produced using overfarmed wild-caught fish and is contributing to overfishing (80 to 90 million metric tons of wild fish are annually used purely for inland fish farming feed). In addition to their feed, BSFL feces can be used as organic fertilizer. Other companies are primarily over-engineered warehouse-scaled systems that purely focus on insect farming, whereas we take a more sub-optimal approach to leverage the insects’ ability to perform with minimal intervention. Agriprotein is an example of those companies who received USD 100 million in funding but are still bankrupt due to the high R&D costs. Our emphasis on deployability and reduced cost of production also allows us to process waste, such as manure and tomato pomace, on-site at the farm, reducing transportation costs and emissions. This emphasis on the cyclical nature of the business model allows us to provide insects or insect feces on site, further reducing transportation emissions. We also have a patentable system that automates the insect harvesting system, traditionally costing 60% of an insect farming business. A provisional patent will be filed in November 2022 through UC Hastings. To summarize, we’re building a low-cost, deployable insect-farming system that composts extremely quickly and yields a steady supply of insects to produce more sustainable agricultural feed.
Reality University
Nikhil Kurian Jacob
United Kingdom
Reality University is an ed-tech platform to help people prepare for the coming Metaverse. The platform will offer a suite of consumer facing educational products for creating Extended Reality (XR) apps first and in the long term, other Metaverse technologies like Blockchain and NFT’s. The vision is to build a one-stop shop for anyone wishing to up-skill in Metaverse related technologies. The Metaverse is predicted to be as revolutionary, if not more, than the internet was in the early 90’s. According to a recent report by Citi, it is forecasted to be a $13 trillion dollar economy by 2030. As such, all the ‘big tech’ are investing heavily, with Facebook’s recent rebranding to Meta being the most evident example. With such changes underway, there is a growing interest in learning Metaverse related technologies to capitalise on the various career opportunities spawning in this field. According to Google Trends, there was a 938% increase in interest for the search term ‘Metaverse jobs’, in 2022 alone. Despite the growing interest, there is a clear lack of training content available. Of the handful that exists, they are either prohibitively expensive (e.g. $5k+ and $7k+ courses offered by Circuit Stream and New York University, respectively) or are limited to using just one platform. What Reality University aims to do is fill this gap and provide a one-stop shop for up-skilling in all things Metaverse related, at an affordable price range. To date, we have over 76 free educational videos on Youtube, which has obtained over 90k+ views and 1.4k subscribers. Moreover, our first digital product, “The Complete Apple Augmented Reality Course” is in the making, with a January 2023 release date.
Chloro-Illusion: Bio-based sailing
Joe Penhaul Smith
United Kingdom
The climate impact of boating is enormous. At present, the vast majority of boats are built around a foam core, covered with glass-fibre and reinforced by resin. The resin and foam used to build the hulls are derived from oil, while the glass-fibre requires large amounts of energy to produce. This has resulted in hard wearing, easy to repair and strong boats which can last for an extremely long time, but with an enormous carbon footprint to build and maintain, and no clear recycling pathway at the end of their life. We at Sustainable Sailing have developed bio-based alternatives to the composites currently used in the Europe Dinghy class, marketed as “Chlorofoils”. If we are successful in this application, we intend to scale up our technology, through collaboration, to build two demonstration boats of one of the most popular Isle of Wight keelboat classes, the “Illusion”. These boats are enormously popular, with 50 boats regularly competing. The diversity of sailors is wide, with the class attracting former Olympians and Paralympians, through to those who have recently learned to sail. They are not by any means a small investment in terms of carbon dioxide, as the hull alone weights 330kg, meaning we estimate a carbon investment of approximately 8.3 tonnes of carbon dioxide (equivalent). By applying our Chlorofoils technology, we anticipate a significant saving in carbon in the build of the hull alone, with greater savings through application of more sustainable solutions for sails, spars or rigging.
Alec Shi
EduBeyond is building an adaptive learning interface that accelerates the learning process in areas of English and technological literacy for youths in developing regions. Currently, the project aims to halve the required hours for Southeast Asian youths to reach working proficiency in English (B2, according to CEFR). The interface will be a centralized location for students to access expert-curated curricula and AI-based learning tools. EduBeyond will be able to be incorporated into any existing classroom, which makes it scaleable beyond borders and restrictions of internally hiring teachers. The learning interface will be accessible as a mobile and web app, with different applications for students and teachers. Teachers will access features such as generated assessments using large language models and automatic marking using optical character recognition. EduBeyond also offers class administrators the option of giving stealth exams as an alternative to elicit more authentic learning results. For students, the adaptive interface is catered around the concept of gamification to maximize information retention and learning efficiency. Gamification is seen through app features like our personalized question recommendation system built on individual learning results and classroom inputs. Students can also experience a more interactive digital experience through the aid of our AI chatbot for language acquisition. To establish reliable impact metrics, EduBeyond will conduct random controlled trials to investigate the impact of the adaptive learning interface and identify areas needing optimization.
Natalia Cao, Olivia Hamant, Lisa Liu
United States
Med-Connect is a web app that aims to bridge the linguistic and cultural gap between medical professionals and their patients. 25% of New Yorkers have Limited English Proficiency (LEP) and according to the Oman Medical Journal, patients who do not share a language with their healthcare providers are “disadvantaged in terms of access to healthcare services.” Moreover, the Georgetown University Health Policy institute reports that a “lack of cultural competence may lead to patient dissatisfaction” and “lack of participation in medical decisions.” Given this data and research, Med-Connect works to combat these problems as it strives to enable potential patients and doctors to connect with each other based on their similar languages and backgrounds on an easy-to-use platform. Both doctors and patients easily create their profiles on our application (which will be accessible both on mobile phones and computers) with extensive personal preferences such as native language, languages one is comfortable speaking in, cultural expectations, medical specialization (for doctors), and medical need (for patients). The system will be able to match patients with physicians who are “right” for them based on their personal preferences. Doctors will be notified when being matched with a patient and the latter will be able to directly message the doctor allowing both parties to communicate (by text message, phone call, video call, or in-person). The web app has additional functions including a multilingual dictionary, a series of key medical documents translated into the top most common languages spoken after English in NYC, a map of local hospitals with language services installed, and an emergency call button. By providing all these services via a simple system, Med-Connect will help those in NYC who would not be able to receive good healthcare otherwise.
Maguy Safi Makanda
D.R. Congo
Malaika is a grassroots non-profit organization that has developed into an ecosystem dedicated to changing lives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Operating in Kalebuka, a village in southeastern DRC that previously had no access to electricity, clean water, educational facilities, or technology, Malaika created an innovative community partnership to educate girls and provide essential resources for the surrounding community. Through improved access to education and health programs, Malaika is building a model of sustainable community impact and gender equity that can be adapted and replicated globally. Malaika is teaching girls to question and engage and to evolve into progressive leaders who can positively affect their villages, their country, and even their world. It is giving adults a space to reinvent and reimagine their lives, too. Malaika's community-driven model has been integral to its success over the last 15 years since its founding. Through a comprehensive, local approach, an entire village has undergone a transformative ripple effect. And it all starts with education: An educated woman is more likely to give back to her community, to inspire others to attend school, and to cultivate a sense of independence among both her peers and the next generation. The Malaika School provides free, accredited primary and secondary education to 430 girls, ranging from STEM and coding to art, music, theater, and sports. Built partially in partnership with FIFA, the Malaika Community Center offers free literacy and vocational education, technical classes, health classes, and sports programming to 5,000 people in Kalebuka. Wells are built and refurbished, providing a consistent source of safe, clean drinking water to the people of Kalebuka. Organic food is grown locally on Malaika’s farm, helping to provide students and staff with two nutritious meals per day.
Seaweed Culture
Luke Smith
United Kingdom
Seaweed Culture is developing a novel land-based cultivation system to grow a seaweed species that can reduce methane emissions in livestock and help boost productivity. The seaweed species is called Asparagopsis Taxiformis which is a tropical species that cannot be cultivated in the waters around the UK and majority of the USA. This has left an opportunity to develop novel and scalable ways of land-based cultivation for this seaweed species. Land-based cultivation is the only possible way to grow this seaweed species in countries where it is not native. The reduction in methane emissions is significant. When incorporating only 0.2% or about 80g of this seaweed as a supplement in a ruminant livestock’s diet (cows or sheep) it can reduce their methane emissions by up to 95% with no effects on the quality of meat or milk. This reduction in methane emissions is due to the bioactive components in this seaweed species. Methane production in cows specifically uses approximately 20% of its energy intake and by reducing the methane produced allows for an increase in productivity. Research has shown that the seaweed supplement can decrease the amount of feed needed to produce the same quantity of meat or milk whilst decreasing the cost per KG. Allowing farmers to benefit from reducing their costs alongside tackling climate change. There is currently nothing on the market that is available due to innovation required to cultivate this seaweed at scale whilst doing so sustainably. Seaweed Culture has developed this solution with the most energy efficient and scalable cultivation system to help bring this solution globally. Livestock farmers need solutions like this to meet Net Zero Targets and become more efficient whilst reduce costs which is why Seaweed Culture is aiming to provide this solution globally.
My project”End KAFALA”, is already one year old! Am a survivor of Lebanon’s abusive Kafala(Sponsorship) System. Lebanon’s restrictive and exploitative kafala (sponsorship) system traps tens of thousands of migrant domestic workers in highly abusive conditions amounting, at worst, to modern day slavery. The Lebanese law fails to protect the workers, and the establishment has no interest in changing the current system either.This oppressive system that gives Lebanese employers high degree of control over workers has led to cases of human trafficking, forced labour, exploitation, sexual and physical abuse etc.After losing the legal battle I had filed against my abuser(employer) in the court of law, I chose to use my painful and traumatizing experience under my initiative “END KAFALA”, to create awareness at a large scale to educate other migrants. I don’t just end at “creating awareness”,am a foot Lawyer who walks from jail to jail seeking freedom for those wrongfully thrown behind bars and raising alarm. I have samples of bailouts applications that I have submitted to different courts for several nationals and successfully secured release bonds for them.Versed with experience, am also playing key roles absconded by diplomatic missions and affiliated organizations too I.e sourcing tickets,PCR cost, travel bags and clothing for migrants trapped at the general security for the same reasons to allow them travel back to their countries of origin.Considering the tough economic crisis in Lebanon, migrant workers in jails(both internal and general security) are at risk of starving! I therefore use the food donations and hygiene kits I receive to distribute to them and follow their cases until they are fully released. I have been laying out my painful experience in creating awareness and empowering other migrants. “This shouldn’t happen to anyone”.
Project ReL
David Junior Nintang
In 2021, about 825 million students globally were affected due to the closure of schools as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic that struck. Over 9.7 million students in Ghana were not exempted. During the pandemic, however, we saw an increase in the use of online learning platforms and video conferencing tools to help continue studies in various institutions. Even Ghana's national television and radio programmes participated by broadcasting educational content. But the majority of hearing-impaired students in Ghana's primary and secondary schools were left to their own fate. In Ghana, there is a significant disparity in access to educational resources tailored to the needs of hearing impaired students (for example, being more engaging and taught in sign language). The goal of our Project ReL is to close the inequality gap for hearing-impaired students in Ghana. Although we've seen a decline in the effects of the pandemic in Ghana, online learning has become a new norm and is here to stay but there is not any online platform that exists for hearing impaired students in Ghana. We are seeking to build an online learning platform that would be a repository for educational and engaging online learning materials all taught in sign language for a subsidized fee. The content on the platform would be tailored to various educational needs and would also provide other skill development content such as programming. To further create a link between people who do not understand sign language and the hearing impaired, the platform would also include paid training modules that would help provide training for people in Ghana to learn the various sign languages (American Sign Language, Ghanaian Sign Language, etc) The long term prospects of the project are sustained through the subsidized fees taken on the platform.
Creative and Economic Empowerment for Women
Nasreen Sheikh
Nepal is one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world. The country is a very young democracy. Empowerment Collective interviewed 400 women in Terai, Saptari District at Goganpur village of Nepal, in which 98% of them did not even know how to sign their name. If they don't know how to sign their name, how can they even understand the inequalities? Currently in Terai, women frequently bear 8 – 10 children, many of whom do not survive infancy. Additionally, Terai is a place where humans are often trafficked for sex, labor, and domestic servitude. Children are forced to work and get married at a young age and women have no rights. Their identities are taken from them, oftentimes their lack of education or disabilities are used against them in severe forms of shameful names and verbal abuse. Women are living in extreme poverty, disrespected, victims of domestic violence, and treated like a commodity. The fast fashion industry profits and thrives off of inhumane working conditions. The majority of those trapped in modern-day slavery are women, who labor for long hours without a fair wage. In sweatshops, women are limited to sewing only one part of a garment, when they are capable of so much more. Our goal is to empower women with skills and knowledge first in Darbhanga District then across Nepal and India. When women are empowered, they are able to pull themselves and their families out of poverty and society progresses.
The Bridging Tech Charitable Fund
Margot Bellon
United States
We are committed to increasing educational equity by providing students affected by homelessness across the nation with the technical resources and individualized support they need to succeed in online learning, both during and following the pandemic. The rise of remote learning has widened the educational gap as disadvantaged students are at risk of falling behind and dropping out of school altogether. We have taken our first step at bridging the digital divide by giving educational devices and access to educational resources such as tutoring and college-readiness mentorship programs. Now, we are also growing our services to provide free Internet connectivity for these under-resourced students. We have also implemented a device-donation program in which U.S. corporations can donate devices; these high-quality devices are then sustainably refurbished and sent to students residing in our partner shelters. However, we also realize that the scope of the digital divide is far greater than a simple hardware distribution issue. Therefore, we have recently onboarded an Intel Encore Fellow to help us develop a Wi-Fi delivery program so that once children have devices for online-learning, they also have stable, reliable access to the Internet. Determined to equip homeless youth with the same academic support enjoyed by their affluent classmates, we designed a unique tutoring and mentorship program run by passionate students from highly competitive universities such as Stanford and employees from companies such as Salesforce and L’Oréal who have devoted their time to mentoring our students. We train our mentors with resources on college-readiness, confidence-building, and mental health support so that each of our students' needs and concerns can be comprehensively addressed. Based on student testimonials, we have found that close, regular mentorship helped students feel socially connected and experience stress relief during the most acute periods of the pandemic.
Fanyin Yang
As Asian students, we’ve long tolerated the traditional education experience. Route learning, Disorientation, Societal Pressure, we have been through it all. The long-term consequence is that students become dependent on extrinsic factors (social or parental pressure) and lose sight of what they truly enjoy studying. Introducing: LEAN Platform - an online study ecosystem where students can livestream their learning sessions solo or with others and earn tokens for their study time. These tokens can be used to redeem rewards from entertainment brands (fun) or youth education organisations (growth). LEAN incentivizes students’ learning with rewards by brands that can post for free to attract customers. We address the missing link between what students like and the learning journey. Furthermore, we connect with educational institutions to provide growth rewards that foster self-directed learning. The LEAN Platform has 2 main features: Learn (time) to Earn Detection: a camera records the students’ learning behaviours and rewards them with tokens for their study time. Students also benefit from peer accountability when having others observe their study session Community Learning Feature: students can post whatever academic questions they struggle with. Students who provide correct answers and are upvoted by other students will also earn tokens for their contribution. Our learn-to-earn platform impacts the whole learning journey, making it not just fun but an entirely more productive experience. We aim to revolutionise the way students view studying, cultivating intrinsic motivation along the way. LEAN Platform is a team for students, by students. We are students from many prestigious universities, including The University of Hong Kong, SciencesPo, and Fulbright University Vietnam. Because we are fairly young, we can easily relate to the mindset of our target users and come up with solutions that match their needs most. Educational payoffs are not inevitable, but we are here to make it so.
SCUP Aquaculture
Zoe Lee
United States
We are developing aquaculture platforms to be co-located at offshore wind farm sites. Our goal is to extend aquaculture development to offshore wind farms through the technical development and permitting of multi-use aquaculture platforms. Pushing aquaculture beyond nearshore environments will facilitate the expansion and preservation of regenerative mussel, oyster, and seaweed farming in the Northeast Atlantic and increase efficiency within the tight confines of reasonably usable ocean space. Our multi-use growing platforms would be secured near offshore wind turbine shafts and consist of aluminum frames fitted with dropper lines that enable polyculture shellfish communities to grow at depth in an offshore environment – a location shown to be favorable for shellfish cultivation as oceans continue to warm. Deployed structures will attract wild seafood populations and amplify the turbine’s dynamic sea life hubs that offer beneficial ecosystem services like water filtration and capitalize on naturally occurring resources. Renewable energy companies also benefit from cohabitation. Traditional frictions between coastal communities and the ocean energy sectors slow the deployment of clean energy, which is critical to a sustainable future, and prevent collaboration across sectors. By adopting our multi-use aquaculture systems, offshore wind farms would gain local support and offer a valuable economic venture to local harvesters - setting a precedent for collaboration. The future of our coasts relies on our ability to utilize design and science to create sustainable practices that will prioritize the needs of local communities and healthy oceans. As wind farms multiply along the Northeast coast, our design has the potential to scale with offshore wind and create an enormous impact in the fight for resilient oceans and blue economies.