Monthly Archives: April 2012

Call for Applications – Australia Leadership Awards Fellowship Program

Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA) is  an international, Pan-African, non-governmental development organisation for African women with its Head Office in Kampala, Uganda. AMwA was established in 1985 as a small community-based organisation, which sought to create a space for African women to organise autonomously, network with each other, share skills and expertise, identify issues of concern and speak for themselves, which was essential considering their position as migrants and refugees in the UK. Translated from Swahili, our name means symbolises the principles of sisterhood on which the organisation was based: ‘Solidarity among African Women’.  AMwA’s ethos is ‘Speaking for Ourselves’.
(AMwA) in collaboration with The Gender Consortium of Flinders University, would like to invite young women (between 25 – 45 years) to submit their Applications for an AusAID Australian Leadership Awards Fellowship Program.
The 10 week Fellowship Program titled Empowering African Women Economically and Improving Their Livelihood Security’ will aim to develop the skills of young African women leaders so they will be effective in their contribution to gender inclusive development in their countries. The Program will run for from September’13 to December’13 and will be conducted at Gender Consortium, Centre for Development Studies at Flinders University in Adelaide Australia.
This Call for Applications is for young women from / and or residing & working in the following countries : Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroun, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe. Kindly find attached :
1.      Cover Letter
2.      Fellowship Application Packet
Please submit all COMPLETED Fellowship Application Packets to natabona@akinamamawaafrika.org or to amwa@akinamamawaafrika.org no later than Monday 14th May 2012.
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Call for Applications:The Y+ Advisory Group

Background

The Global Network of People living with HIV (GNP+) is a network for all people living with HIV. Its mission is to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV. The organisation’s vision is a powerful and united worldwide social movement of people living with HIV.

GNP+ has been clearly asked by the community of PLHIV, in our 2011-2015 Strategic Plan, to support people living with HIV however they choose to organise themselves and bring the realities of the full diversity of the community to global decision making fora. This requires a mechanism with which GNP+ can ensure that the voices of all groups within the community of people living with HIV can be heard.

In 2010, GNP+ established the Y+ Programme to ensure that the needs of young people living with HIV (YPLHIV) were reflected in the programming and governance of GNP+ and partners. The Y+ Advisory Group was created to support the implementation of the Y+ Programme. In 2012, the Y+ Advisory Group will be restructured and strengthened to enhance the contribution that young leaders can make to the work of GNP+ and the HIV response more broadly.

The Y+ Advisory Group

The Y+ Advisory Group is a voluntary group of young people living with HIV, who have demonstrated a commitment and a connection to a constituency of young people living with HIV within their region or community.

  • The Y+ Advisory Group was established to support GNP+ to achieve of the following objectives:
  • To build and strengthen a global virtual network of young people living with HIV
  • To advocate for meaningful and engaged YPLHIV participation in the global response to HIV.
  •  To support the leadership and capacity building of YPLHIV.
  • To connect YPLHIV to support each other, share experiences, best-practices and information.
  • To integrate YPLHIV into existing PLHIV networks, organisations and initiatives.

GNP+ is looking for suitable candidates to join the Y+ Advisory Group in July 2012 for a period of at least two years.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Aged 29 or under at the date of application (30 April 2012)
  • Living with HIV
  •  Demonstrated linkages with community networks of people living with HIV, young people living with HIV (local, national and/or regional levels) or other relevant organisations
  • Ability to work well in written and spoken English (additional languages are valued)
  • Commitment to a minimum of least 2 hours per week
  • Consistent internet, email and phone access

Young women living with HIV and young people living with HIV from key affected populations are particularly encouraged to apply.

Y+ Advisory Group Responsibilities

It will be expected that members of the Y+ Advisory Group agree as far as possible to:

  • Give at least 2 hours of time per week to the activities of the Y+ Advisory Group. (Co-chairs are needed to give at least 5 hours per week to supporting the group, co-chairs will be selected from within the group)
  • Communicate within members’ own networks and constituencies news from GNP+ and the Y+ Programme. Disseminate updates from the Y+ Programme and GNP+ to national and regional networks accordingly (and act as a bridge between the global network and the national networks).
  • Post news and information from Advisory Group members’ constituencies to the Facebook page at least once per month.
  • Share information via the Y+ Listserve and on the Y+ Programme Facebook page.
  • Join working groups to support discrete pieces of work within GNP+. Working group activities could include:
  • Support around work dedicated to adolescents living with HIV.
  • Support the moderation of the Y+ Leadership Initiative .
  • Feedback on the development of documents and tools as they relate to YPLHIV (to be coordinated through the Youth Officer or other relevant secretariat member at GNP+).
  • Strategic Representation of YPLHIV at key events.
  • GIYPA tools distribution use and monitoring.
  • Support to HIV Young Leaders Fund.
  • Attend regional or global meetings and events, when necessary, to represent the Y+ Advisory Group and the Y+ Programme.

The Y+ Advisory Group is a volunteer based body – any costs incurred while carrying out responsibilities of the Y+ Advisory Group will be met by GNP+.

Application procedure

The following should be sent in ONE email to agarner@gnpplus.net <mailto:agarner@gnpplus.net> with subject matter APPLICATION FOR Y+ ADVISORY GROUP 2012:

  • A copy of a current CV or Resume
  • A statement of interest, explaining your relevant experience and your connection to the community of young people living with HIV (1 page only);
  • A letter of reference/support from an individual or organisation that is affiliated to the work that you are involved in and that can confirm your connection to the community of young people living with HIV.

Applications without all of the above documentation will be automatically disqualified.

Closing Date for all nominations: April 30th 2012 at midnight CET

Successful Candidates will be informed no later than May 31st 2012.

Before You Start a Business,Plan Your Exit

By Brad Harkavy – President, Harkador Partners

Not usually the first thing you think of when starting a company, but where you want to end up impacts everything you do.

I sit on the board of ChatThreads, where we are in the process of raising an equity round to fund the growth of the company. Early in the process, an investor asked what the company could do to accelerate and maximize our exit.  I replied my standard response: “ We intend to build a great business. By building a great business, we create a great exit.” While my answer was accurate and sincere, I owe the investor a more nuanced answer.

What Makes ChatThreads Valuable
ChatThreads is a media research company that helps primarily Consumer Package Goods (CPG) companies evaluate with a 360-degree view in real time the effectiveness of their advertising dollars.  As an early stage business, with a coveted product offering and broad applicability, ChatThreads can grow in many ways:

  • Maximize the revenue from a few key customers
  • Maximize the profit from a few key customers
  • Maximize the number of top CPG companies they do business with
  • Maximize their penetration within a handful CPG companies, but capture all the brands within this limited number of companies
  • Replicate the success in the CPG market and extend their market reach to other verticals, like automotive, healthcare, politics and the like
  • Invest heavily to have the best possible, most automated, full-featured software product
  • Invest heavily to have the biggest/baddest sales and marketing team
  • Invest slowly

We have discussed many of these scenarios with investors and with each other.  I am also sure we could think of many other ways to grow the business.  The reality is that is that without planning your exit, at least where you want your company to be in five years, there is no way to make good decisions about any business scenario.

The planned exit scenario impacts all aspects of the business. Rather than analyze the whole business, let’s look at how an exit strategy impacts the classic 4PS of marketing:

Product
What features do we develop – great data visualization tools OR great automatic interpretation tools. Better automation means better margins, better visualization tools means happier customers, and higher market penetration.  If you are more likely to be acquired by a software (analytics) company, then it might pay a higher multiple for a more sophisticated analysis tools, whereas a financial buyer is likely to pay a higher multiple for a more profit.

Price
What is our pricing strategy? Do we want to show the best possible margins or do we want to run a profitable business and bring in more value-based customers.  From an exit scenario perspective, this question revolves around what interests potential buyers. Great profitability, access to additional customers, top line revenue?

Place (distribution)
Will we continue to sell the product directly to the brands or will we partner up with other service providers to sell through their network? Are advertising companies or other media research companies good partners for us? Having direct relationship with the brands makes us a very attractive acquisition for a growing company with limited access to the big brands. A large advertising company with established relationships to the brands would not value our sales channel as highly.

Promotion
How is ChatThreads marketing the company? Are we a media modeling company, consumer insights company, or an analytics company? Are we driving sales through Internet marketing or social media? (of course we are doing all of the above) How we promote the company over the coming months will for sure influence different potential acquirers.

Exit Door

So with a wealth of options, how is ChatThreads thinking about building the business?

We are focused on delighting and owning all the top CPG companies. We are driving development, sales and budgets to support this direction. We came to this decision based on how we can maximize our value to potential acquirers.  Ultimately, we will make ChatThreads an indispensible tool to all of the top CPG brands.

How are you building your business for exit?

Brad Harkavy is the President of Harkador Partners in Cambridge.  You can find this post, as well as additional content on his blog called Harkaview.  You can also follow Brad (@Harkador) on Twitter by clicking here.

Culled from: http://venturefizz.com

UNAIDS Launches #CrowdOutAIDS Strategy on HIV/AIDS

ABUJA, 24th April, 2012

Courtesy:AF-AIDS Forum

Youth leaders from around the world today presented a set of youth-defined recommendations that will guide the UNAIDS Secretariats work on HIV and young people through 2015. The recommendations were received by UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé at an event in the Paiko community near Abuja, organized together with Nigerian youth leaders and government officials.

Based on the voices and views of more than 5000 young people from 79 countries, the recommendations resulted from CrowdOutAIDS, an innovative youth-led policy project initiated by UNAIDS. Leveraging crowdsourcing technology and new media tools, the five-month project enabled young people to fully participate in the development of strategic recommendations for the UNAIDS Secretariats youth agenda.

I am so impressed by the dedication, energy and enthusiasm that young people have shown through the CrowdOutAIDS initiative, said Mr Sidibé. The recommendations they have presented to UNAIDS will help us mobilize a new generation of young leaders and we will work together to stop new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths.

Presenting the recommendations to UNAIDS, Gabriel Adeyemo, a young Nigerian activist, described CrowdOutAIDS as a high level meetingbut by and for young people. It brought decision-making to the grassroots, to the skilled and unskilled, learned and unlearned, rich and poor, to contribute to an issue that affects all our lives: HIV,” said Adeyemo, who is also the West Africa focal point for the Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS.

Globally, an estimated five million young people (15-24 years of age) are living with HIV. About 3000 young people are newly infected with HIV each day. According to recent surveys in low- and middle-income countries, only 24% of young women and 36% of young men responded correctly when asked questions on HIV prevention and transmission.

Through CrowdOutAIDS, young people proposed six key recommendations for the UNAIDS Secretariat, including:

1. Strengthen young peoples skills for effective leadership at all levels of the AIDS response;
2. Ensure the full participation of youth in the AIDS response at country, regional, and global levels;
3. Improve young peoples access to HIV-related information;
4. Diversify and strengthen strategic networks between the UNAIDS Secretariat, youth networks, and other key players;
5. Increase the UNAIDS Secretariats outreach to both formal and informal networks of young people; and,
6. Increase young peoples access to financial support.

We have worked together, using the simplest toolseach one of us in their own corner of the worldto create spaces of exchange and draft this important document in real-time, public online sessions, said Zahra Benyahia, a CrowdOutAIDS drafting committee member. This is not the end. Its the first step toward revolutionary youth leadership in the AIDS response. (http://issuu.com/crowdoutaids/docs/crowdoutaids?mode=window&backgroundColor=%23222222)

The full set of recommendations are presented in Strategy recommendations for collaborating with a new generation of leaders in the AIDS responsethe first-ever crowdsourced AIDS-related document in UN history. The recommendations, together with an internal organizational assessment on HIV and young people, will inform the UNAIDS Secretariats New Generation Leadership Strategy.

Online at: http://www.unaids.org/en/resources/presscentre/pressreleaseandstatementarchive/2012/april/20120424prcrowdoutaids/

For more details;Visit: CrowdOutAIDS Website

Photo Credit: Bankole Taiwo

Call for Applications:LEAP Africa’s Employability Programme

Leadership, Effectiveness, Accountability & Professionalism (LEAP) Africa is a nonprofit organization, which is committed to developing dynamic, innovative and principled African leaders. LEAP recognizes that leadership development is critical for nation building and wealth creation. As a result, it offers leadership training programmes and executive coaching services for business owners, social entrepreneurs and youth. It is committed to equipping these critical stakeholders with the skills, tools and support that they require to serve as change agents. LEAP also conducts research on leadership in Africa and provides leadership awards to youth.

As part of its programme  leadership programmes;LEAP Africa is calling for applications for Employability Programme Enugu and Port Harcourt.

The Employability Programme is a 5-day employability and leadership training programme which has been held in Lagos and Abuja over the last three months.

LEAP Africa will hold the fourth and fifth editions of its Employability Programme in:

Port Harcourt: May 7-11, 2012

Enugu: May 21-25, 2012

Lagos:         Jun 4-8 2012

Why you should attend this programme?

LEAP works with Human Resource Companies and Recruitment Agencies that will provide participants with internship, temporary and full-time job placement opportunities

• The programme will equip you with leadership skills for the work place

• Reposition your mind set on moral organizational ethics

• Increase your chances at securing YOUR dream job

• The Employability Programme is supported by JP Morgan and absolutely free

Criteria

• Fresh graduates who have completed the NYSC scheme or have an exemption.

• Participants are expected to attend the five day training

Form and Requirements

Forms are available for free downloads here http://www.leapafrica.org/Downloads.php  or you can contact uabii@leapafrica.org for application forms.

Also, send completed application forms with the subject Enugu Employability Application form/ Port Harcourt Employability Form/Lagos Employability Form to uabii@leapafrica.org.

Successful applicants would be required to confirm their attendance for the programme.

You can nominate people for this FREE programme.

We have limited space and would only accept the first entries so send your application TODAY!

Download the EMPLOYABILITY APPLICATION FORM 2012

Deadline for submission is May 1 and May 15 respectively.

Call for Entries: A Date With History Video Contest

The ‘Date With History’ contest is an opportunity for young people around the globe to inspire their leaders to act boldly and with urgency on key issues impacting the future of our planet. Entrants can upload a video speech, and the top videos will be shared at the upcoming Rio Earth Summit in June.

diverse jury of prominent celebrities, environmental activists and thought leaders will select one winner who will travel to Rio de Janeiro to participate in the summit and to share their vision!


Write a 2-3 minute speech (about 1 page written). Here is a list of great resources to help you learn more about the Earth summit and to get inspired about your vision for the future.
Get in front of your webcam, phone or video camera, and video your speech. Upload it on the contest website  or on your iPhone, Android or Blackberry via Mobli . Submissions are due by no later than 11:59 UTC on 6 May, 2012.

Share your video far and wide. The video creators with the most votes will become the finalists, giving you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to Rio de Janeiro and present your vision. Voting closes 11:59 UTC on 6 May, 2012.

Approximately 3 finalists from each of six continents will be selected based on the highest number of votes. In addition 3 wild card slots will be reserved for special mention videos selected by our team of editors. A jury representing a cross-section of civil society organizations, celebrities, youth leaders and media experts will vote on the finalists. The winner will be announced on 15 May, 2012 and must accept the prize by 22 May, 2012.

Tips to make your entry successful:

  1. Make sure you select a clear theme and jot down a few strong points about the main message you want to get across before you get started writing. Pick something that’s close to your heart — such as ideas to improve the lives of the poorest people, what you think would create more green jobs, how we can better protect and preserve our wilderness areas, or how you see your town 20 years into the future. For a list of the 7 themes discussed at the Rio Summit visit the official UNCSD website or check out our resource page.
  2. As a guideline, if you write one page it will normally take 2-3 minutes to speak it out loud. Avoid long silences (it is a speech contest, after all) and try to make each sentence as clear and direct to the point as possible. Be memorable. Be colorful! But no inoppropriate language allowed. After all it is the United Nations! Any content with profanity, nudity or hate speech will be removed from the contest.
  3. Practice. It’s a good idea to grab a friend to practice reading or delivering your speech. But be sure to pick someone who will be constructive! If you don’t have a friend handy, grab your mirror.
  4. When you make your video record yourself at least 3 times. You’ll notice by the 3rd time it gets a lot easier. Do us a favor: Please start out by saying your name, where you’re from and “This is the Future I Want.” And it’s a good idea to end your video by repeating your main message in the last few seconds. End on a high note!
  5. Remember that the winner will be making their speech at Earth Summit in person — no slideshows or props. So though you might like to add creative touches to your video, these won’t determine the winner. It’s you, your powerful message and your vision for the future that counts.
  6. Lastly, make sure you share your entry far and wide! People can vote only once (our system detects multiple votes and may disqualify an entry if voter fraud is detected) so you need to get the most votes in order to get a finalist spot. Don’t be shy and ask your friends or groups on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr to vote for you!
  7. Be sure to check out the official Rules & Regulations of the contest to make sure you understand all the details.
 

Call for Applications:WISE Awards 2012!

Under the theme Transforming Education the 2012 WISE Awards will recognize six projects for their concrete, positive impact upon society. These winning projects gain global visibility and receive a prize of $20,000 (US). One of the 2012 WISE Awards will be for a project that has best delivered innovative financing of primary education.

This reflects the support of Qatar Foundation Chairperson Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser for the United Nations Millennium Development Goal 2 on achieving universal primary education and it is designed to stimulate innovative projects targeted at achieving MDG 2.

WISE invites project holders in any sector and at any level of education to submit applications which demonstrate the quality and impact of their activities in accordance with the criteria stated in the regulations.

Regulations and Criteria


Applicants should show how their educational activities have delivered on the following criteria:

1. Educational Transformation:
 the overall extent to which the educational activity has transformed an aspect of education that has also had societal impact. Applicants must show what aspect of education they have sought to transform, and the impact that the project has achieved, not only in educational terms but also through the effect that this has had on society more generally.

2. Sustainable Financing: the extent to which the educational activity is funded in a sustainable way and achieves value for money to ensure its continuing viability. Applicants need to show how their projects have sought to ensure continuing financial viability.

3. Innovation: the extent to which the educational activity is innovative in design and/or practice, thereby transforming traditional means of educational delivery. Innovation can be of many different kinds, but it is important for applicants to emphasize what is particularly novel about their project.

4. Inclusion and Diversity: the extent to which the activity includes a diversity of beneficiaries and has enhanced equality of access to education. Successful applicants will have paid special attention to ways through which their project has ensured greater equality of access to education, particularly through an increase in the diversity of those participating in learning opportunities provided through the initiative.

5. Quality of Learning: the extent to which the transformation has contributed to the improvement of the quality of learning. Applicants need to indicate what they understand by quality of learning, and show explicitly how the intervention has indeed enhanced this.

6. Scalability: the extent to which there is evidence that the educational activity has the potential to be scaled up effectively, or has already been replicated at a larger scale than originally piloted. For more recent projects, it is essential that applicants show explicitly how they will ensure that the initiative can be scaled up effectively.

7. Partnership and Participation: the extent to which the educational activity has established effective partnerships and includes participation from beneficiaries and stakeholders. Applicants need to indicate the character of the partnerships involved, and be explicit about the ways through which beneficiaries and stakeholders participate in the design and implementation of the initiative.

8. Monitoring and Evaluation: the extent to which there is evidence of effective ongoing enhancement of the program through regular monitoring and also evidence of formal internal or external evaluation procedures. It is important that applicants show how ongoing monitoring procedures have enhanced the project, and also how formal evaluations after completion of specific stages have contributed to the initiative’s subsequent development.

9. Dissemination: the extent to which the organization has already effectively disseminated and shared educational practices with other practitioners in a diversity of ways. Applicants should provide evidence of how they have already shared their educational experiences with other practitioners.

The submission period for the preliminary stage of the Awards is open until May 31, 2012, 23.59 GMT.

2012 Awards Calendar

> Download the 2012 WISE Awards brochureonline version

Click HERE to download and submit your application.

> Read about recent developments of the winning projects on the WISE Awards Blog

Call for Applications:Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop

Farafina Trust will be holding a creative writing workshop in Lagos, organized by award-winning writer and creative director of Farafina Trust, Chimamanda Adichie, from August 14 to August 24 2012. The workshop is sponsored by Nigerian Breweries Plc. Guest writers, including the Caine Prize Winning Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina and Jeffery Allen  will co-teach the workshop alongside Adichie.

The workshop will take the form of a class. Participants will be assigned a wide range of reading exercises, as well as daily writing exercises. The aim of the workshop is to improve the craft of Nigerian writers and to encourage published and unpublished writers by bringing different perspectives to the art of storytelling. Participation is limited only to those who apply and are accepted.

All material must be pasted or written in the body of the e-mail. Please Do NOT include any attachments in your e-mail. Applications with attachments will be automatically disqualified. Deadline for submissions is June 25 2012. Only those accepted to the workshop will be notified by July 31 2012. Accommodation in Lagos will be provided for all accepted applicants who are able to attend for the ten-day duration of the workshop. A literary evening of readings, open to the public, will be held at the end of the workshop on August 24, 2012.

To apply, send an e-mail to Udonandu2012@gmail.com

Your e-mail subject should read ‘Workshop Application.’

The body of the e-mail should contain the following:

1. Your Name

2. Your address

3. A few sentences about yourself

4. A writing sample of between 200 and 800 words. The sample must be either fiction or non-fiction.

ILO Youth Employment Forum:Call for Young Journalists and Bloggers

Youth Employment Forum  

The ILO will offer five young journalists/bloggers the opportunity to promote and cover the Youth Employment Forum, which will take place in Geneva from 23 to 25 May 2012.

As youth unemployment reaches unprecedented levels in many countries, the ILO will hold a Global Youth Employment Forum to address the challenges young people face in the labour market.

The Forum will gather a hundred young men and women
 involved in the promotion of decent work for youth. Participants will share their experiences and views on the current employment situation and discuss practical examples of successful initiatives which have led to the promotion of decent work for youth.

Plenary sessions, thematic discussions and breakout workshops will focus mainly on:

  • Examining various aspects of the youth employment crisis, reviewing facts and issues from various regions
  • How to enable access to decent work for young people (including students, interns, informal workers, unpaid family contributors…)
  • Developing partnerships for more and better jobs for the youth
The selected journalists/bloggers will be invited to attend the ILO Youth Employment Forum, providing them with a unique opportunity to hear individual stories from over 100 young women and men from around the world who are active in the promotion of decent work for youth.

The Youth Employment Forum will serve as a platform for young people to voice their views on the current youth employment situation and to share ideas on what can be done to provide more and better jobs for their generation.

Young journalists/bloggers will support the coverage of the Forum through social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter and blogs), articles, interviews and other relevant mediums. They will also report back to their regional and local communities, networks and organizations.

 

Please visit the Youth Employment Forum event page for more information.

Criteria for Selection

  • Must be below 30 years of age,
  • Have journalism (online, print, photo, video, radio) and/or blogging experience,
  • Have working knowledge of English, French and/or Spanish. Knowledge of another of the official United Nations languages (Arabic, Chinese and Russian) is also an asset.

Selection Process

The selection panel of the ILO Youth Employment Programme encourages young journalists/bloggers who meet the criteria to enter the competition. The panel will seek to have a balanced representation of entries from different sexes, regions and language groups.

Required documents for the selection process

  • A CV
  • A brief cover letter explaining why you would like to participate
  • Two or three online articles, videos, etc. prepared by you, illustrating your journalism experience

Applications should be sent to youth@ilo.org with the subject “I am a young journalist / blogger”

Air travel and accommodation expenses for the selected young journalists/bloggers will be covered by the ILO.

The deadline for submission of applications is 18 April 2012 at 12:00 PM EST.

 

Winners of 2012 Zeitgeist Young Minds Competition Announced!

The 10 winners have been announced for the ‘Zeitgeist Young Minds’, an online competition to find exceptional, motivated and inspiring 18 – 24 year-olds from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa*, who are making a positive impact in the world through science, the arts, education and innovation.

Each winner will be invited to participate in Google’s annual Zeitgeist event in London on May 21 and 22 alongside some of the greatest minds and innovators of today.

With nearly one hundred entries to choose from, a panel of judges including UK Digital Champion Martha Lane Fox and Channel 4 news presenter and correspondent Jon Snow, whittled down the entries based on creativity, innovation, reach, impact and response to social need.

Akala said: “It was a pleasure to be involved in judging the ZYM competition and to see so many brilliant young thinkers actively taking a role in positive change all over the world. Particularly close to my heart were projects involving education, my hat goes off to all the entrants and especially the winners. It’s inspiring to see young people use their talents to help others and serve their respective communities.”

The winning ideas reflect the youth empowerment and social entrepreneurial spirit amongst today’s young people as demonstrated by James Boon, 23 from Bath, UK . He recently launched a socially-responsible enterprise called ‘Elephant Branded’, which sends a school bag to a child in Asia and Africa for each product sold on his website.
James Boon said: “Young Minds is a fantastic medium to be able to showcase what young people can and are doing all over the world to change lives today. I can’t wait to attend the event and meet the other young entrepreneurs and inspirational thinkers.”

Ada Umeofia image

Ada Umeofia

On each trip to the bustling local market, Adamma Umeofia saw a powerful opportunity: grimy market stalls sold the best local produce, but created a shopping experience that left much to be desired. With a better designed market stall, she thought, everyone could win: shoppers would enjoy the experience, and traders would sell more of their products.
Adamma thus founded WeBuilt: Africa, a social enterprise that sits at the intersection of her passion for Africa, design, and architecture. WeBuilt: Africa seeks to design and rebuild market stalls by recycling found building materials. Ada’s designs have the potential to revolutionize the marketplace experience for sellers and buyers alike.

Alex Leboucher image

Alex Leboucher

Alex is a 21 year old International Relations and Law Student in France and Ambassador for One Young World. It doesn’t end there though. His motto has always been “that you can’t lead a decent life without a good education” and that’s why The Schoolbag was an obviousness.
The Schoolbag is an international organization which connects young people to education and a sustainable future by providing eco-sustainable school supplies to young people in need. For the 2011 school year, The Schoolbag provided educational resource kits to over 14,000 students in Haiti, each with enough supplies for one year of study.

Elliott Verreault image

Elliott Verreault

An entrepreneur from the age of 16 and driven achiever at heart, Elliott loves materializing ideas into dynamic and usable forms.
With a strong entrepreneurial background in both the manufacturing and marketing consulting sectors, he currently serves as CEO of It’sOneHumanity: The Humanitarian Social Network, an online community that spans across 175 countries worldwide.
While currently reading his master’s in Peace and Development in Sweden, Elliott has experience working in international development in both East Africa and South Asia. He has also published research on virtual teams and multicultural management training. Elliott speaks French, English and Japanese.

James Boon image

James Boon

Elephant Branded was set up by James after working and traveling in Africa and Asia. Shocked by the basic lack of School equipment he now send school kits to children in Africa and Asia.
One for One .. for every Elephant Branded Bag purchased we donate a School Bag to a child in Africa/Asia.. sales of our Elephant Branded wallets and purses allow us to donate stationary and notebooks to add to our School Bags, creating full school kits.
Elephant Branded bags are hand made by local people out of recycled materials promoting local enterprise out of poverty!

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Joel Mwale

Joel’s Skydrop Enterprise has brought safe drinking water to a community of 5,000 and also allowed him to create a profitable enterprise selling bottled water across Kenya and into Uganda.
Joel was recently selected as the recipient of the Inaugural annual Anzisha Prize; Africa’s Award for young entrepreneur and is now studying leadership and entrepreneurship at the African Leadership Academy before joining college late next year.
His story begun in 2007: at the age of 14 when he established a borehole for his community and later on built a business enterprise along the same line. His company, Skydrop Enterprise purifies water and channels in to the public at half the normal market price hence providing not only profits to sustain Joel and his family but also provide employment opportunities to many people.

Jordan Ridge image

Jordan Ridge

Jordan Ridge is a 23-year old missionary and social entrepreneur living in South Africa.
As Founder and Manager of Made by Mosaic, a business started to create jobs in a South African township and to financially support a non-profit organization called Mosaic Community Developments, she oversees the day-to-day operations of the business and manages employees in South Africa and the United States.
Jordan has a degree in International Business (Finance) from Elizabethtown College, and believes that business can solve many of the world’s problems, if done properly! Learn more by following her blog athumcinsa.wordpress.com or visiting mosaicsa.org.

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Maaike Veenkamp

With increasing cuts to youth services in the local community and the lack of engagement with young people, Maaike was inspired to make a change. Her response was helping the establishment of ‘Off The Bench’ whose core aim and mission is to ‘Empower young people through positive activities.’ 

Through Maaike’s hard work and endeavour, a number of initiatives have been put in place to tackle anti-social behaviour and crime. This has included the securement of funding for a £43,000 youth engagement venue, the development of several youth clubs, the establishment of a volunteering programme, and work with disabled young people.

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Sibusiso Tshabalala

Can young people become active participants in public discourse? Can young people promote literacy in illiterate communities?
The Afrika Kusoma Literacy Initiative aims to find solutions to these troubling issues. With a strong focus on enabling young people to become critical of their society through debating and public speaking- this programme has enabled school-going learners with the tools to participate in public discourse.
High levels of illiteracy also impact the educational performance of many poor South Africans. With the establishment of reading clubs, The Afrika Initiative has inculcated a reading culture in poor communities.
Youth is not wasted on the young!

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Simeon Oriko

Simeon Oriko, a self-confessed digital native, is passionate about using digital technology to respond to real world challenges and opportunities, to effect social change and to achieve personal objectives.
As a result, he founded The Kuyu Project, a digital literacy initiative aimed at teaching African high school students the value of digital technology and the opportunities it accords them. He currently serves as the Executive Director.
Simeon is also the co-founder of StorySpaces, a digital storytelling platform in which he serves in the capacity of Innovation & Strategy Lead. He also serves as the Tech and Community Lead at iHub.

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Simon Straetker

Simon is 18 years old and is actively involved in ongoing environmental projects. He educates kids about nature, taking them out to discover the beauty of our environment and together involve them in several conservational projects.
“The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible — and achieve it, generation after generation.” (Pearl S. Buck)
Let’s change the world!