Global Ingenuity Challenge Winners 2017

02 May 2017
Read on for full details of the 2017 #U21GIC winners

Universitas 21 are pleased to announce the winners of the U21 2017 Global Ingenuity Challenge (GIC) which focussed this year on the theme of ‘Promoting Cultural Inclusiveness in Society’. The first prize was jointly awarded to teams from the Universities of Amsterdam and Nottingham.

The 'Unify' entry (Ingenuity Facilitator (IF): Guido de Wilde) from the University of Amsterdam proposed an app that would facilitate home and international student interaction through academic and social activities while also providing a platform for further interactive engagement. The 'YOCO' entry (IF: David Park) from the University of Nottingham encouraged inclusivity by proposing an app for a solution to a problem that all students face - making new friends. This was through the oldest and one of the most practical of all social interactions - sharing food by cooking for one another. This entry was also awarded the Peers’ Choice Award (chosen by the participating teams).

The second prize was awarded to a team from University College Dublin (UCD). The ‘Roots before Branches’ entry (IF: Dr Conor Buggy) proposed a model to encourage interaction between staff and student communities via activities such as team challenges, cultural programmes, and social activities, participation in which is awarded with digital badges. The third prize was awarded to a team from the University of Birmingham. The ‘Community Connect’ entry from the University of Birmingham (IF: Mohammed Ali) looked beyond the university into the local community and proposed an app that would connect diverse local communities through volunteering opportunities.

Professor James Conroy (VP Internationalisation, University of Glasgow), Chair of the judging panel, commended the high standard of entries this year: “The Global Ingenuity Challenge continues to attract entries of the highest quality from across our universities. Indeed, judging the best is itself a challenge for the panel as so many of this year’s entries combined wonderful presentational skills and innovative solutions, reflecting the passion to constantly nurture intercultural understanding and engagement. The best entries skilfully combined clever media presentation, clarity of thought and innovative solutions that reached out to communities beyond the university. From apps that enabled work with civic bodies to cleverly organised evening soirees the creativity on display is a reminder of just how talented our students are.”

This year marked the third iteration of the U21 Global Ingenuity Challenge (GIC) – fifteen teams from 9 universities participated in the challenge. Since its inception, the challenge has involved a total of forty teams (approximately 200 students). A broad theme is selected each year that allows for an interdisciplinary approach to solutions and analysis, so that it appeals to a wide range of students and disciplines across the network. The challenge (which requires students to distil their solutions into a 3-minute video) is facilitated through Ingenuity Online; a creative problem solving tool developed by the University of Nottingham’s Business School’s Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The winning team from Amsterdam noted: “The Ingenuity platform is a nice way to structure your thoughts and come up with practical solutions to wide ranging problems.” The winning team from Nottingham were equally enthusiastic about the process: “This was an amazing experience for all of us. We are all from 5 different countries and cultures and we met each other for the first time. We had great team work and the synergy level was always on high level. Starting from idea generating at Ingenuity Online, we had outstanding brainstorming session, with more than 200 ideas.”

Universitas 21 Provost Professor Bairbre Redmond, said,One of the best things about being an academic in one of U21’ s universities is the privilege of working with our bright, innovative, and globally aware students. This energy and social concern was clearly evident in every one of 15 videos prepared recently by teams of U21 undergraduate students, from across the network, for the U21 GIC. Working to the competition brief to come up with easily implementable solutions to `Promoting Cultural Inclusiveness in Society’, the teams developed approaches which were indeed ingenious and distilled these ideas into short engaging videos. I warmly congratulate the winners and all those who took part - your universities should be very proud of how you all went about tackling a very serious world issue.”

All the entries can be viewed here: