Social Innovation Relay Competition

02.07.2013 Blog

The «Social Innovation Relay» competition is the largest global educational initiative. This worldwide, interactive, web-based competition challenges young students, ages 15 through 19, to think like social innovators and develop ideas to help solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges. The organization “Junior Achievement - Young Enterprise Europe” (www.ja-ye.org) is the lead agency in implementing entrepreneurship programmes in education across Europe. The programme provides students with respective skills and business experience meeting in this way the requirements of the modern labor market. This is accomplished through determination and ability to solve problems, teamwork, as well as skills which, as reported by the majority of participants, have improved and developed through their participation in the competition.

After the successful implementation in many countries, the Social Innovation Relay (SIR) competition was also held for the first year in Greece on the 17th of June 2013. It was organised by the Association of Young Entrepreneurs / Junior Achievement Greece with the generous support of HP. More than 400 students took part in this year's competition in Greece, and as a result 44 different student teams were created. HP employees (http://www8.hp.com/us/en/hp-information/social-innovation/social-innovation-relay.html) acted as business advisors, coaching the student teams through both online and face-to-face mentoring. The HP mentors advised the students on developing innovative concepts that have a positive social impact, while also teaching them valuable communication, problem-solving and presentation skills.

A set of integrated business scenarios for addressing societal challenges, related to education, health, environment, technology, poverty, economic development, human rights or energy has been identified by high school students. The first prize was awarded to the team “GREEN CHEAP MEALS” from the A’ Arsakeio High School in Psychiko, Athens which proposed to establish a non-profit company, aiming to boost the sales of organic agricultural products, as well as providing free meals from organic products to socially vulnerable groups. The winning team will further develop the idea and will compete with the best teams from 18 countries in the World Final which will be held on the 9th of July 2013.

During the last two years, the programme was globally supported by 200 HP’s employees who have trained more than 30,000 students from 1,000 schools in 13 countries around the world. Last year's winning team the «Emulsified Environmentalists» from South Africa came up with a concept for a solar-powered lamp that provides electricity to the needy, while eliminating the environmental and health damage caused by traditional kerosene lamps.

For more information on the programme see here.