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“Be the change you wish to see in the world,”

– Mathatma Gandhi

With so much injustice and struggles within the world, it is often very difficult to imagine change in the world that we live in. The finalists of the Social Innovation Challenge however are doing exactly that – creating the change that they wish to see.

A collaboration between the Soul of the Next Economy Forum and Social Innovation Challenge, the  Lion’s Den Social Innovation Challenge is a unique event structured like the popular show Dragon’s Den, where contestants pitched their socially innovative ideas to peers, mentors and panel members. From projects that allow citizens to donate air miles for flights of compassion to an education initiative that teaches Africans to resolve water challenges, each idea was a seed that had the potential to grow, address social issues and transform the world. The top 12 ideas were selected to advance to the next round:

  1. Give a Mile – Donating air miles to flights of compassion
  2. Project Stoke – High efficiency biochar stove
  3. One World Blankets – Revolutionizing children’s health care
  4. Online tool for social innovators to determine best business structure
  5. Alberta to Africa Accent Mimicry App
  6. Holistic therapeutic device
  7. Prisoner reintegration and after care service
  8. Venue for consignments, fair trade goods and artist run creative courses
  9. Clean Collective – Community based food waste collection service
  10. Lavish Bakery
  11. Creative Foster Care
  12. Uniwater Education – enabling Africans to resolve African water challenges

Angie Redecopp, the key organizer from Ambrose University, described the Social Innovation Challenge as a high energy event that provided “a good opportunity to meet with like-minded people,” for spectators and contestants present. The next round of the Social Innovation Challenge will take place on October 17 from 1-4 pm at Ambrose University. Prizes are given to the top three winners and successful proposals can receive up to $22,000 in funding from a Calgary entrepreneur.

As for the finalists, their ideas will grow and expand, creating a tangible project that can offer support and guidance for the surrounding people, communities and ecosystems. Each project can inspire the birth of new ideas, which all have the potential to transform our world into a better place. In the face of their tremendous determination, ask yourself: what kind of ideas can you nourish?

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