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A panel of “Challenge Partners” from industry, international organizations, NGOs and academia, including major names such as Carrefour Enterprise Foundation, Ooredoo, Dupont Sustainable Solutions, the International Labour Organization, World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization will select and coach the best applicants from some 600 entries for the ITU Telecom World 2013 Young Innovators’ competition.
The competition, which recently closed its deadline for submissions, reached out to social technopreneurs across the globe aged between 18 and 26 with the aim of identifying projects with demonstrable potential for meaningful impact in addressing one of six crucial Global Challenges.
The Challenge Partners will use their expertise, prominence and experience on the ground to work with the best applicants in each challenge to refine their applications and ensure their innovative solutions are well adapted to meeting specific real-world issues.
At the end of a two-month mentoring period, the Challenge Partners will join the competition Selection Committee in announcing the ten winning finalists on 1 October. Challenge Partners will provide the finalists, who will travel to Bangkok to attend ITU Telecom World 2013, with qualified and informed mentoring before, during and after the event. Winning entries will be showcased during ITU Telecom World 2013 and finalists will also participate in networking, mentoring and pitching sessions, and win up to USD 10,000 in seed funding for their projects.
The Challenge Partners supporting each Global Challenge are:
- International Labour Organization (ILO), International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Ooredoo working to improve employment opportunities for young people and migrant workers
- Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Young Professionals’ Platform for Agricultural Research Development (YPARD) and Carrefour Enterprise Foundation working to reduce food and water wastage at individual and retail levels
- G3ict, the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies and Aging 2.0 working to facilitate access to public services for the elderly
- DuPont Sustainable Solutions, Microsoft Lync, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) working to improve natural disaster prediction and response
- World Health Organization (WHO), heading the UN Decade for Road Safety, working to improve road safety for both drivers and pedestrians
- ITU IMPACT working to protect sensitive personal data and inspire the creation of local digital content
The 600-plus competition entries came from 88 countries as diverse as Chile, Egypt, France, Lesotho, Nepal, Nigeria, the Philippines, Russia, St Kitts and Nevis, USA, Vanuatu and Yemen.
For the first time, applications were received from Albania, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Ireland, the Netherlands, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uzbekistan and Zambia, marking the truly global scope and appeal of the competition. The number of young women applying from around the world reached 20 per cent, including submissions from Afghanistan, China, Great Britain, Qatar, Venezuela and Zambia.
A detailed overview of the selection process and members of the Selection Committee can be found here.