After the successful crowdsourcing event we organized for Europe House last year, they proposed Solveo for the second year in a row to attract the youth sector and stimulate innovation.
This year, the themes aligned with the European Green Deal set out to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. It maps a new, sustainable and inclusive growth strategy to boost the economy, improve people’s health and quality of life, care for nature, and leave no one behind.
The youth is the engine of positive change in any society and we need to encourage and support them to contribute to the community and create better solutions for the future.
Young people from 10 different cities in North Macedonia “got together” on Discord and Zoom to take part of the Green Ideathon – a 54-hour event over the weekend.
They explored, discovered, and created digital prototypes to make the environment more sustainable, and at the same time to impose new habits on the community.
The participants were high school students who worked on one of the three predefined challenges for a more innovative, green future: farm to fork, waste management, and circular economy. Through the challenges, the young visionaries generated ideas and learned critical thinking, problem-solving, and team management skills.
The goal of the hackathon was to bring together a group of young, creative individuals and give them the opportunity, tools and support to co-create together.
The participants were divided into teams during the event and worked with experienced facilitators who guided them through the activities and helped them improve their solutions.
The intensive work throughout the weekend encouraged team spirit and a lot of creativity. The main goal was to find answers in response to a real problem, gain new skills, make new friends, and of course, have fun.
“I learned a lot during the three days. Some of the most valuable skills for me were: defining an idea for a specific target group, working on all parts of the solution to a particular problem, learning how to ask questions to get valuable feedback through research, making a concise presentation, and present in a way that will arouse curiosity in the listener, entrepreneurship and last but not least, teamwork!” -said one of the young participants.
By the end of the event, the young innovators created four solutions:
- A digital platform to help reduce waste generated from clothing and textiles;
- An online store to connect the organizations that collect and select plastic, and young clothing designers and create fashion pieces from recycled plastic;
- An interactive game app that will make eating healthy food and disposing of waste fun and rewarding;
- A system to incentivize and distribute food donations with membership cards and discount points.