NFTE’s World Series of Innovation is an online, project-based competition that asks small teams of young entrepreneurs (ages 14-23) to create business solutions that align with UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and answer a special challenge posed by an entity from the private sector. Young innovators from across the globe are encouraged to enter the competition every fall and compete for cash prizes. Some teams compete independently, some are affiliated with schools or youth development organizations, and some undertake a challenge as a guided classroom project. Educators who are interested in using the World Series of Innovation in the classroom or encouraging student participation as an extracurricular enrichment opportunity can access a robust toolkit that provides additional resources for students and teachers.
A new set of challenges will be announced this fall for the 2018-19 school year.
Highlights of the 2017-18 Competition
When asked to apply the entrepreneurial mindset to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, young people rose to the challenge. Here are some of the winning ideas from the recently completed set of challenges:
The winners of the Citi Foundation Decent Work Challenge, addressing Sustainable Development Goal #8, Decent Work and Economic Growth:
- TeenWork! Project, a community-based app that enables clients (adults) to post requests for their chores. Teens can log-in and pick up these chore, earning community service hours or income. Developed by a team from Mount Eden High School in Hayward, CA.
- E-Link Enterprise, a solution to provide opportunities for young entrepreneurs in underrepresented areas to connect with private investors to start up projects that are beneficial for communities in said unrepresented areas. Developed by a team from Galileo High School in San Francisco, CA.
The winners of the Resonance Philanthropies Plastic Waste Challenge, addressing Sustainable Development Goal #6, Clean Water and Sanitation:
- The Condom Cap Energy Drink, a low-calorie energy drink that comes with a double sealed external condom, designed to educate consumers about STIs and encourage use of condoms. Developed by a team from Peak to Peak Charter Charter School in Broomfield, CO.
- FERroUS, an iron supplement drink created for women to help combat widespread iron deficiencies. Developed by a team from Newton South High School in Newton, MA.
The winners of the Moody’s Foundation Engergy Challenge, addressing Sustainable Development Goal #9, Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure:
- Enertree, a renewable energy bank disguised as a tree, decorating the community while providing clean and easy access energy. Developed by a team from Oak Grove High School in San Jose, CA.
- Kinetistep, floor tiles that convert kinetic energy into sustainable electricity. Developed by a team from San Leandro High School in San Leandro, CA.
Highlights of the 2016-17 Competition
Here’s a sample of the winning submissions from the 2016-17 school year:
- In response to The Moody’s Foundation Good Jobs Challenge; Sustainable Development Goal #8, Decent Work and Economic Growth:
- Tie-In Project: a company that works to diversify the tech industry, by contracting students to lead social media projects for tech companies
- In response to the Coca-Cola Clean Water Challenge; Sustainable Development Goal #6, Clean Water and Sanitation:
- Concilio Water: Water bottles connected to an online game; game triggers a charitable donation for each water trivia question that a customer answers correctly
- In response to the Mastercard Refugee Challenge; Sustainable Development Goal #9, Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure:
- ReThinking Refuge: A system that allows refugees to provide an ID based on a finger scan