The Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University is a scholarship program designed to educate the next generation of global leaders. It is designed to help future leaders better understand China and provide them with the firsthand knowledge and relationships necessary to foster collaboration and cooperation between nations. The first ever “Global Solution Festival” organized at the College was held on June 16th and 17th. The event is a 24-hour ideation, creation, and collaboration hackathon that challenged students and professionals to explore ideas that faces our world.
The thematic tracks include:
- Digital Revolution and Future of Jobs – How can we help those displaced by automation find meaningful lives and employment?
- Poverty Alleviation – How can we create self sustaining programs to reduce poverty in developing regions and countries?
- Healthcare – How can we solve pressing public health problems, and make the lives of growing elderly population more healthy and comfortable?
- Education – How can we better design and deliver transformational educational experiences?
- Environment – How can we reduce our carbon footprint while satisfying the growing need for energy?
- Creative – Something new and innovative.
The participants came from all disciplines including international affairs, political science, engineering, art and humanity. The innovation solutions were presented as short presentation to a panel of judges at the end.
With the original idea of supplying cargo drones for Africa developmental purposes, I formed an disciplinary team of 4 with Sebastian, a law student from Peking University; Lilian, an international affairs student; and Joanita, a business journalism student at Tsinghua University. We called ourselves “Flying Africa”.
We used Joanita’s homeland Uganda as an example case, and did extensive market research and feasibility study for cargo drones. Joanita explained that although Uganda is the same size as United Kingdom, the road network is 1/3 in length compare to that of UK’s. Furthermore, rainy seasons make roads even more impossible for transportation, making cargo drones an attractive idea for alternative method of delivery.
We also emphasized that by enabling such network, it will make a great difference socially and stimulate sub-Saharan African economy since the technology itself will require an ecosystem of skill based workers.
After rounds of judging and competing, we won 2nd place overall in Social Innovation Award, and category award of Poverty Alleviation.
Article by Jinger Zeng
Jinger Zeng is the program manager of Last 100 Miles. She is a technologist, an entrepreneur, and she’s passionate about technology enabled social innovations.