Open Innovation Contest Yields Ideas for the Greater Good

Published Jul-18-16

Novel concept to help end poverty by 2030 win open innovation competition for young people.

World Bank Group/Wharton School of Business, United States

The Story:

Open Innovation Contest Yields Ideas for the Greater Good Poverty is a global problem that is going to need a lot of very smart brains from all over the world to find solutions. Ending poverty in all its forms everywhere by 2030 is one of the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Others include ending hunger, achieving gender equality and reducing inequality within and among countries.

To find novel financing solutions to implement the goals, the World Bank Group and the Wharton School of Business host an annual youth development finance competition, called Ideas for Action.

This open innovation initiative is open to young people aged 18 to 35 from all over the world.

"Youth engagement throughout the design and implementation of the SDGs is critical for success and have demonstrated the importance for young professionals and academics to take ownership of this ambitious development agenda," said World Bank Group Senior Vice President Mahmoud Mohieldin.

Big Response

The 2016 contest drew a massive response with participants from 125 countries forming 492 teams and submitting 309 proposals. After three rounds of reviews by panels of development experts three winners were chosen.

The first place winner was Team DLVR from Nigeria for a peer-to-peer service for local communities to tackle logistical challenges for low-income people in emerging market nations. It would involve the creation of an online technology platform that among other things would connect transporters and senders to free up logistics and supply chain bottle-necks and harness the knowledge of local communities to build distribution networks.

The second place winner was OINCS from Uruguay, a crowdsourcing platform that enables people to report and share information in real-time about crimes and vehicle traffic in their cities.

And the third place winner was Naukri Search from the United States. This is a platform employment service that aims to increase transparency in the slum labor market of Mumbai. It does this by improving access to up-to-date information and opportunities.

Inspiring Others to Act

For the top three teams, the open innovation competition was about more than just winning. They enjoyed a platform to share their visions and inspire other young people to help with the implementation of the SDGs and were given access to leading professionals in the global development industry and the private sector.

"These young adults have to be the ones formulating and planning to reach the goals like the SDGs, since their generation will be the most affected. We hope our competition will foster a sense of ownership while incubating some exciting ideas that can shape our future for the better," commented Djordjija Petkoski, Lecturer and Senior Fellow at Wharton Business School.

The winning ideas, runners-up and honorable mentions will also be published in the '2016 Ideas for Action' book.

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