Not Throwin’ Away My Shot: TYF Delegates Pitch to Renowned Panelists

We wrapped up our four-day Telenor Youth Forum adventure with a 5-minute pitch series and a VIP visit to Telenor Arena for the annual Nobel Peace Prize Concert.

After using the time allotted in the morning to finalize their presentations, the five TYF teams took turns on stage. The jury included:

Sigve Brekke (CEO of Telenor Group)
Jørgen Rostrup (CFO of Telenor Group)
Marques D. Anderson (Founder and Director of World Education Foundation)
Christina Nyborg (Partnership Manager at UNICEF Norway)
Lavrans Løvlie (Founding Partner of Livework).

Including feedback from the panel, the next 90 minutes were filled with innovative ideas, keen questions, encouragement and flying paper airplanes.

Global Goal: Gender Equality
Team: Albert of Sweden, Zalan of Hungary, Karoline of Norway, Alina of Malaysia, Kadesiree of Thailand
Mentor: Nassima Dzair (Founder and CEO of InterBridge)

team-grip

GRiP

“At GRiP, we believe everyone has the right to happiness.”

A man named Albert logs onto a website and speaks to someone about his abusive relationship. A woman on the screen assures Albert that he isn’t alone.

Worldwide, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men are victims of domestic violence. GRiP is meant to be a platform for victims. Conceived as a single aggregation of the countless resources already available, GRiP offers a personalized plan of action based on a user’s answers to multiple choice questions (e.g. type of abuse experienced, location, whether children are involved). From there, GRiP connects the user with the closest shelter, medical center, NGO or help line. GRiP promises to ensure a victim’s privacy, and can simply and accurately explain a victim’s rights based on relevant national and international law.

Feedback:

The name is good, interesting.
Who would you partner with? Who is involved in giving advice at the first step?
This is a personal, sensitive issue. The trust element will be more essential in some cultures.
Figure out when a human would be involved in the process.
Risk assessment will be a crucial step. Don’t let it stop you, but be aware of that feedback.
There will need to be a revenue model in order to fuel the initiative.
How do people become aware of this in the first place? Would this be better as a movement, rather than a service? Creating the awareness you need to get people to use it.

***

Global Goal: Unemployment and Social Instability
Team: Pannavat of Thailand, Zaw of Myanmar, Haakon of Norway, Bojana of Montenegro, Ani of Bulgaria, Annamaria of Hungary
Mentor: Tanya Accone (Senior Adviser on Innovation and Deputy of UNICEF’s Global Innovation Centre in Bangkok)

team-planb

PlanB

Maung Maung is a young, unemployed person in a developing country. He goes to multiple job interviews and fails. Along the way, he hears about an gaming app–Skillset–that might help. Skillset uses games to assess a user’s skills based on their completion of puzzles and tasks. Other games in the app help to develop skills that need improvement. A chatbot feature can give users advice, including a way to locate and access job training in the area. Skillset empowers unemployed people by providing a personalised list of training opportunities based on their own strengths and areas of improvement discovered in a fun way. When Maung Maung fails an interview, he leaves feeling like a blank sheet of paper. After using Skillset, he walks into his next interview more prepared, gets the job, and leaves feeling like a paper airplane, ready to fly.

Feedback:

Personal stories are good.
What are you thinking about the trainers? Who will you partner with?
Working with other unemployment services, we know that the greatest need of unemployed persons is help writing CVs and cover letters.
Continue to work on what the product really is. Identifying skills? Building skills? Networking? Increasing confidence? Focus.
The games would need to be high quality to get and keep users, but without competing against real all-game companies. Make sure the games accomplish the goals you’ve set for the app.
Don’t forget to consider cultural issues, norms and priorities surrounding employment.
How will you deliver the app to a broader audience? It can’t only be by word of mouth/community promotion.

***

Global Goal: Education for Refugee Children
Team: Sara of Sweden, Sharad of India, Alexander of Denmark, Jovana of Serbia, Hnin Hnin of Myanmar
Mentor: Josephine Goube (CEO of Techfugees)

world-citizen

World Citizen

A girl named “Maya” stands at center stage. She is soft spoken and wears hijab. “I’ve been in Norway one year now, and I still don’t have any friends. I’m alone and I miss my family. I want to learn the language, but it’s hard.” There are 8 million young refugee children and 50 million internally displaced children worldwide. Scared, alone, uncertain about the future, they need guidance and support. They need someone to connect them with local children and teachers, to give them access to resources. Someone to help them lace up their shoes and begin running toward their dreams again.

Marcus is an AI. He assesses the needs of young refugees and matches them with age and interest-appropriate programs and resources in their area. He motivates refugee children to meet others and empowers them to start their education in their host country. Responding to data collected from his users, Marcus’s usefulness only grows. “I am available; I am scaleable,” he says. With the help of Marcus, we can turn the Lost Generation of child refugees into a productive generation of World Citizens.

Feedback:

For children, lack of motivation isn’t necessarily the problem.
Emotional side of the presentation put us in the shoes of a refugee. On the other hand, you need to dig deeper into who a refugee is. Many suffer from trauma; many have hidden gifts to offer their host societies.

***

Global Goal: Mental Health Taboo
Team: Nora of Malaysia, Tamara of Serbia, Boyan of Bulgaria, Rafsan of Bangladesh, Mehroze of Pakistan
Mentor: Nelli Rachel Kongshaug (Manager of Red Cross Norway’s helpline for children and youth)

team-exulansis

Exulansis

“Alex” is a 20-something guy you see almost every day. When you talk, he doesn’t mention that he’s been feeling down, even contemplating suicide. Social taboos keep Alex isolated, even when he’s out in the world. For Alex, these feelings started when he was 12 years old. He felt lonely, had trouble concentrating in class and didn’t reach out for help because he feared others would make fun of him. Research shows early intervention is key to helping people with mental health issues. Exulansis aims to educate young people about how to identify their emotions and seek help, as well as how to be vigilant about the emotions of others and select a helpful, encouraging course of action.

Exulansis is a virtual reality gaming platform meant to be integrated into school curriculums for children between the ages of 10 and 15. The interactive games give players the chance to try out real life scenarios with multiple choice outcomes, letting children learn by doing. Exulansis is conceived as a flexible program, contextualized based on age group and regional specifics using data from relevant partners.

Feedback:

Incredibly creative presentation. Mental health issues are one more reason to keep people from going to school. Part of the problem with technology is that, when you feel bad, you turn to it rather than people, making it part of the problem, as well as a potential solution.
Questions of privacy jump out. How would analytics be shared? How much? With whom?
Consider reducing the issue of data by going around that topic. Stay lean.
You should get credit for dealing with a sensitive/delicate issue. Early target age group is interesting.
If you take this to the next level, giving direct advice to individuals, you’re taking it to an area that will require extreme care. At the start, focus on the curriculum at the in-classroom level, rather than the one-to-one counseling idea.
How do you shorten the gap between identifying the problem and matching them to a resource?
Look deeper at societal factors. What about the mental health issues that are more based on chemical imbalances?

***

Global Goal: Climate Change
Team: Hanne of Denmark, Paridhi of India, Sajawal of Pakistan, Anja of Montenegro, Ramin of Bangladesh
Mentor: Bjørn Taale Sandberg (Senior Vice President and Head of Telenor Research)

team-greencred

GreenCred

Global climate change affects everyone, but so many people don’t seem to care. This is literally true for some. Others want to act in the best interests of the planet, but don’t know how. Still others simply don’t feel a present incentive for making a positive impact on the environment. Team GreenCred aims to fill these two gaps: information and incentives.

GreenCred is envisioned as a currency system to encourage green consumerism. This would include an app empowering users to get real time information on which products are better for a healthy environment. The example shows a shopper choosing between two boxes of cereal, one highlighted green based on data in a broad, trusted database of vetted products and brands. This information would come from partner NGOs. For sustainable choices, users receive “GreenCreds” offered in three formats: social creds, discounts and cash.

Feedback

Impressed by the practical solution.
Do you have time to wait for people to make a lifestyle shift based on a new currency?
Extremely ambitious, but extremely feasible.
Mechanics may not be completely right. Possibly better to partner with an existing e-currency so that it doesn’t stand alone, and you can focus on the rest of the product/service.
Look at the consumption side. Getting gred credits might increase consumption, and that’s damaging.
How do we get this to towns and villages and not just bigger cities?
Look for partnerships. Apps, financial payment services. Consider being an add-on and not a totally separate program.

Congratulations to all our delegates for coming out of this intensive program with five fascinating solutions to important aspects of these global goals. We’re excited to see your metamorphosis over the next several months!

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