Words: Georgia Horton | Editor: Mohsin Mohi Ud Din
In many areas of the world, the current education system is limiting young people. According to Demetrio Spinola, a Youth Venture Coordinator from Ashoka Spain, these parts of the world are limiting youth by not supporting them to dream, lead, or act in a world of constant change. Ashoka, and its network of visionary educators and changemakers, believes that the heavy focus on examinations and test scores are a large reason why most young people give up on personal mission projects that unite passion with purpose, and changemaking with active leadership and collaboration. However, there is an upside: the culture and dialogue around social enterprise is growing in the business sector. Demetrio, who goes by Tito, explains that many companies are “investing in young, talented people with adequate resources and technology.”
Ashoka’s Youth Venture has partnered with the healthcare company Boehringer Ingelheim to search, select, and amplify young innovators in community health with an initiative called Making More Health (MMH). Recently, six projects were chosen earlier last month at an interactive MMH event in Spain. Winning youth teams will be supported with seed funding and mentorship by the Ashoka Youth Venture network and Boehringer Ingelheim. Employees from Boehringer Ingelheim will also have access to young changemakers and community issues/solutions related to health.
For the Making More Health Initiative in Spain, the six chosen teams were rigorously trained and their ideas pitched to an audience of previously selected changemakers, interested companies, youth, and the general public. One project designed by two young students envisions a revolution in how we take care of the elderly. The two female students aim to improve the quality of life for the elderly, while also catalyzing community change. Their project, Bizipoz, empowers adults 65 years and older in community change projects to improve their overall health and lifestyle habits.
Another project showcased occurred during the initiative was called Helpmet, an interactive helmet used to quicken the time between motorcycle accidents and first responders. The team noticed that many incidents would go uncalled for depending on the accidents proximity to urban areas, so they created a helmet that not only senses when a crash has taken place but tracks your location to help first responders find exactly where you are. Not only is this expected to save lives, but it is filling a large gap in the present system concerning access to fast and sensible medical care from motorcycle accidents.
Not only have the results from these two initiative shown to be outstanding, but the idea represents a social change stemming from individuals of all ages, capabilities, and resources. To check out all the awesome work from the Youth Venture Making More Health Initiative and Ashoka Spain, please visit the following links: