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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!

Joel Mwale image

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 or visiting

Maaike Veenkamp image

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.

Sibusiso Tshabalala image

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!

Simeon Oriko image

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.

Simon Straetker image

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!

Apply: Google Science fair for 13- 18 year olds

BellaNaija is constantly on the lookout for exciting opportunities that can empower our BN readers. We recently featured an entrepreneurial competition and we were surprised when several commenters complained that the maximum age for entry was too low (24 Years Old).

This time, we have a global science competition from Google. We sincerely hope that a young African scientist is on the winner’s list this year!

The Google Science Fair is an online science competition open to all students aged 13 to 18 from around the world.


Why is Google hosting an online science competition?
Google believes that universal access to technology and information can make the world a better place and that the need for access to useful information crosses all borders. The Google Science Fair was designed to support these goals by championing young scientific talent and giving students around the world the opportunity to participate and showcase their ideas.

What exactly is a ‘science project’?
A science project is an in-depth investigation of a scientific question that involves forming a hypothesis, testing your hypothesis with an experiment, making your observations, drawing conclusions and presenting the findings.

Like many science fair competitions, the Google Science Fair asks students to approach their science projects using the steps of the scientific method: a useful framework that helps structure scientific inquiry by breaking down the process into manageable steps.

Make sure to read the Official Rules carefully, because some types of projects may not be allowed. For clarification of the rules on what you can and can’t do, see Experiment Guidelines.

Can I choose any topic?
Yes, as long as it fits into one of the following categories:

  • Computer Science & Mathematics
  • Earth & Environmental Sciences
  • Behavioral & Social Sciences
  • Flora & Fauna
  • Energy & Space
  • Inventions & Innovation
  • Physics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Food Science
  • Electricity and Electronics

Are there any restrictions about experimenting on animals, human subjects or using hazardous materials?
Yes, there are restrictions around using human subjects, animals, biological agents and hazardous materials. Please refer to the Official Rules for more details. For clarification of the rules on what you can and can’t do, see Experiment Guidelines.

Can anyone help me with my project?
All work must be completed by an individual or a team of up to 3. Depending on your project you may need some adult support, e.g. to find materials, to stay safe and use unfamiliar equipment or techniques. This is fine as long as you acknowledge the support received on the acknowledgements page of your online project submission.

Entry and Registration:
How do I enter the Google Science Fair?
Students can sign up to enter the competition from 12 January 2012 by visiting clicking the blue “Start your project” button at the top of the screen. For more details about entering, visit the How to Enter page.

Do I need a Google account in order to enter?
Yes, you will need a Google Account in order to register and to create your Science Fair project site. If you do not have a Google Account you can create one now by clicking on this link.

My school uses Google Apps, can I enter using my Google Apps account?
Yes you can but there are a few things you need to check first as some schools may restrict access to Google Sites:

Do you have access to Google Sites with your Google Apps Account?
Can you share a Google Site outside your school from your Google Apps Account?
If you are unable to access Google Sites or share a Google Site outside your school then we would recommend you use your Google account. If you do not have a Google account you can create one here.

Is there a registration fee?
No. The Google Science Fair is completely free to enter.

Who can enter?
The competition is open to all full-time students and home schooled students aged 13 to 18 (14-18 in Spain and South Korea, 16-18 in the Netherlands), from around the world. Students may enter as individuals or as teams of up to three. See Official Rules for additional restrictions regarding eligibility for entry.

Can Students from outside the United States enter?
This is a global competition and students from all over the world can enter. However, the Competition is not open to residents of Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Myanmar/Burma, Syria, Zimbabwe and any other U.S. sanctioned country and is void where prohibited by law. The competition is also void in Brazil.

Is the competition divided into different age categories?
Yes, there are three:

13 to 14 year olds
15 to 16 year olds
17 to 18 year olds

We are 14 and 15 and we want to enter together. Will we be placed in the 13 to 14 or the 15 to 16 category?
You will be placed in a category based on the age of the oldest member of your team. In this case you would be judged in the 15 to 16 category.

Can I enter as a team with a friend from another school or do we need to be in the same school?
You do not have to be in the same school or even the same country. The great thing about the Google Science Fair being online is that you can work on your project collaboratively using some of the great tools we have highlighted on our site.

How old do I have to be to enter?
The Google Science Fair 2012 is open to young people aged 13 to 18*. You need to have been born:

on or after 2 April 1993
on or before 12 January 1999
*If you are from the Netherlands, you need to have been born:

on or after 2 April 1993
on or before 12 January 1996
*If you are from Spain or South Korea, you need to have been born:

on or after 2 April 1993
on or before 12 January 1998

Can a student enter more than once?
No, Google are only accepting one submission per person, either as an individual or as part of a team.

I signed up to enter a project in the Biology category but I have now decided to enter a Chemistry project. Do I need to register again?
No, there is no need to register again, you can change your project category when you submit your project.

How will I know when my parent or guardian has consented?
Log in to the My Project section of to check the status of consent and send a reminder request if you haven’t yet received it. You can still continue to work on your project in the meantime!


Life-changing prizes
Well, a world-class science fair calls for world-class prizes. They include once-in-a-lifetime experiences like a scientific trip to the Galapagos Islands with National Geographic Expeditions, unique scholarships and real-life work opportunities in iconic science centers of excellence like CERN in Switzerland.

NEW Science in Action prize
This year there will also be a special Science in Action prize sponsored by Scientific American which will be awarded to a project that addresses a social, environmental, ethical, health or welfare issue to make a practical difference to the lives of a group or community.

So why not get started?

The categories
There will be 90 regional finalists who will each receive a Google Chromebook*. 15 finalists, selected from these regional finalists, will be flown to Mountain View California for a chance to compete to become a finalist winner in their age category:

13-14 15-16 17-18
One of the 3 finalists winners will be selected as the Grand Prize winner.

The Grand Prize
A National Geographic Expedition

The grand prize winner along with one parent or guardian will have the chance to visit the Galápagos Archipelago, Darwin’s living laboratory, and the home to an abundance of wildlife. Isolated from the mainland for millions of years, this rare wilderness provides opportunities to walk among colonies of animals and snorkel amid shimmering fish. The winner, along with one parent or guardian will travel aboard the National Geographic Endeavour and will have the opportunity to experience up close encounters with unique species such as flightless cormorants, blue footed boobies, and domed giant tortoises. This ten day excursion is filled with pristine National Geographic experiences that range from kayaking among secluded coves where sea lions frolic in the shallows, to skimming the water in a nimble Zodiac to spot the unusual mola mola fish.

Google will cover the cost of flights for the winner plus one parent or guardian to the Galapagos. This prize is valid for one year from winning the prize.

The Grand Prize winner will also receive:
A scholarship from Google
The Google scholarship is worth $50,000 and is intended to be used towards the Grand Prize winner’s further education costs. If the Grand Prize is won by a team, the value of the scholarship will be split equally between team members.

A once-in-a-lifetime experience
The Grand Prize winner will have first choice of a hands-on experience at one of the following partner organizations: LEGO | CERN | GOOGLE

A personalised LEGO prize
A personal LEGO colour mosaic (one for each team member, to build her/himself) and 1 set of LEGO MINDSTORMS signed by the design team of LEGO MINDSTORMS, the CEO and the owner of LEGO.

Digital Access to Scientific American archives for your School
The winner’s school will enjoy digital access for one year, commencing in July 2012.

Finalist Winner Prizes
A Scholarship from Google
A scholarship worth $25,000, intended to be used towards each finalist’s further education costs. To be split equally between team members should a team win.

A once-in-a-lifetime experience
The Finalists will have second and third choice by random selection of one of the remaining experiences at one of the following partner organizations: LEGO | CERN | GOOGLE

A personalized LEGO Prize
A personal LEGO colour mosaic (one for each team member, to build her/himself) and 1 personal, exclusive LEGO box – specially made for the occasion.

Google Chromebooks for your classroom
Google will donate 1 Chromebook classroom kit to the winner’s school. Each kit includes:

30 Chromebooks
1 Chromebook Charging Cart
1 Google Cloud Print Printer

Digital access to Scientific American archives for winner’s school
The finalists’ schools will enjoy digital access for one year, commencing in July 2012.

NEW Science in Action Prize
Scientific American will be providing $50,000 USD in funding and a year’s mentoring to the winner of the special Science in Action prize. This is to assist the winner to further their research and possibly to develop the project. The winner, along with one parent or guardian will also join the 15 finalists in Mountain View, California to present their project to the judges and receive the award.

All 15 Finalists will also receive:
A LEGO Goodie Bag including:

2 LEGO TECHNIC sets (the 2 largest sets in the 2012 portfolio)
A Google Goodie Bag including an Android phone

A subscription to Scientific American magazine for 12 months

Prize experiences
All prize experiences include return airfare and accommodation for up to 2 nights, depending on the experience.

LEGO will offer the Grand Prize or Finalist winner(s) (plus a guardian if necessary) a 2 day trip to the LEGO HQ in Billund, Denmark. The trip will include a behind the scenes tour of the LEGO factory where the winner(s) will have the opportunity to see how LEGO bricks are produced and to spend time with the LEGO Mindstorm design team to understand how LEGO Mindstorms are developed. There will also be a visit to LEGOland Denmark and a sightseeing tour of the surroundings of Billund. This experience is valid for one year from winning the prize.

CERN, working with Fermilab, will offer the Grand Prize or Finalist winner(s) (plus guardian if necessary) the opportunity to spend up to a week living the life of a particle physicist working at the high-energy frontier, taking in two of the world’s leading particle physics research centres. The experience will begin at Fermilab, where the winner(s) will meet a scientist mentor working on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. While at Fermilab, they will have the opportunity to run shifts in Fermilab’s remote operations centre for the CMS experiment at CERN. The winners will then transfer to CERN, accompanied by their mentor, where they will play an active role in the experiment’s control room. This experience is valid for one year from winning the prize.

Google will offer the Grand Prize or Finalist winner(s) (plus a guardian if necessary) the opportunity to spend three days at the Google research site in Zurich where they will be able to take part in a tour, workshops and get involved in some hands-on work. This experience is valid for one year from winning the prize.

*If Google is unable to ship Chromebooks to your country of residence, Google reserves the right the provide a prize of similar average retail value.


Call for Entries:2012 Zeitgeist ‘Young Minds’ Competition!

The 2012 edition of the Zeitgeist ‘Young Minds’, a competition to find 10 pioneers, change-makers and leaders of tomorrow aged 18 – 24, across Europe, Middle East and Africa* is now open. The winners will take their place alongside the greatest visionaries of today at Google Zeitgeist 2012 near London on May 20th – 22nd 2012.


From January 25th until March 19th 2012, the search will be on to find 10 exceptional, motivated and inspiring 18-24 year-olds from across EMEA*, who are making a positive impact in the world through science, the arts, education, innovation or inspiration.

The lucky winners will be invited to participate in Google’s annual Zeitgeist event, where previous speakers have included Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts, Google CEO Larry Pageand Chairman Eric Schmidt. They will also win a brand new Google tech gadget and get the chance to take to the stage and have their voice heard.

Last year saw the first ever ‘Young Minds’ competition in both the UK and America. The lucky finalists won an experience of a lifetime, from meeting Chelsea Clinton and Will I Am, to taking part in panel discussions with Jon Snow and Martha Lane Fox (Co-founder

Orli Setton was a winner from 2011 and described attending Zeitgeist as “magical, fantastic and powerful! What I enjoyed most was the innovative, energetic and creative atmosphere.

Matt Brittin, Vice President of Northern & Central Europe, Google commented, “Google has always championed innovation and is proud to help young people showcase their ideas and achievements. Zeitgeist Young Minds is an incredible opportunity for future world-changers to meet some of the most powerful and inspiring people on the planet today.

The winners will take part in a series of bespoke master classes with the aim of inspiring as well as giving them mentoring to help further their project and get their hands on the latest Google gadget. But what’s even more exciting is that a select few will also get the opportunity to take to the stage and have their voice heard. Here are the highlights from last year’s panel discussion with Martha Lane fox, Jon Snow and our Young Minds winners

To be in with a chance of winning a place at Zeitgeist 2012, all entrants have to do is simply upload a video no longer than a minute telling us how they are making a difference to the world

The competition is open to entrants from the following countries within EMEA:
South Africa, Algeria, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, Egypt, Spain, France, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Uganda, Holland, Poland, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Russia , Sweden , Tunisia & Yemen.


Call for Applications: Google Africa Intern Programme

Google Africa Intern Program – Lagos

This location is based in Lagos, Nigeria.

The area: Direct Sales Organization

Technology can transform the way companies interact with their customers, and the Direct Sales Organization helps the world’s biggest companies to do just that. Whether we’re working with corporations directly or partnering with advertising agencies, we create innovative advertising campaigns across a variety of our products. Our Sales teams of account managers, executives, strategists, coordinators and specialists are specialized in different industries and regions to ensure that our ads reach the right users and give our clients the most bang for their buck.

The role: Google Africa Intern Program

As a Google Program Intern, you will support our team’s deployment of new and exciting Google products targeted at the region’s user and small businesses. Armed with deep knowledge of Google products and user needs, you will conduct market research and undertake various projects aimed at improving our current and future product offerings. Such projects might include user surveys, product testing, outreach to publishers and businesses, or marketing support. You may work with various teams across our product range and should expect a high amount of responsibility, on par with a regular team member. You come to us with a sharp, analytical mind and an entrepreneurial spirit, and you’re eager to join an exuberant, fast-paced team environment.

Internship will start on January 16, 2012 and will run approximately 14 weeks.

Please apply with a full CV in English and university transcripts or a full grade summary.


  • Take full responsibility for projects as assigned and develop smart, integrated, research-based marketing proposals for internal use.
  • Research and develop deep knowledge of key markets, and the respective competitive landscape, client products and key business issues.
  • Utilise measurement tools to add relevant data to presentations and proposals.
  • Contribute to the development of internal and external products.
  • Troubleshoot user and small business issues.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • University degree or equivalent in progress.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience and ability in common business applications (word processing, spreadsheets, presentation) and internet savvy.
  • Previous sales support or market research experience or internships.
  • Superior analytical skills and problem-solving abilities.
  • Strong project management, interpersonal and organizational skills.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, constantly evolving team environment.
  • Excellent oral and written skills in English.

Other EMEA internships…

Are you looking for an adventure? Google now offers internship opportunities throughout the year. If you are studying Psychology or Art History, don’t let that arts degree keep you from applying to Google. We have internship work in many non-technical fields – including Finance, Marketing, and Sales.

Available opportunities

For details-

Best of Luck guys!