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Junior Achievement Announces Winners of Social Innovation Relay


19 Jul 2012


Innovation & Enterprise

Solar-powered lamp concept takes first prize

Brussels, 18 July 2012: Junior Achievement today announced the winner of the second annual Social Innovation Relay, a global challenge developed by Junior Achievement and HP for secondary school students to create and develop new business concepts intended to have a positive social or environmental impact. 

Emulsified Environmentalists, a team of students from South Africa, won the competition with a concept for a solar-powered lamp from recycled materials that will bring light to disadvantaged communities, while also eliminating the environmental and health damage caused by traditional kerosene lamps. Working with an HP mentor, the team developed their concept in response to the problems of electricity shortages and growing respiratory problems in South Africa. Teams from China and Slovakia were runners-up with ideas for a program that trains young volunteers to work with China’s elderly population and an educational DVD with supporting training designed to raise awareness around migration issues for young people, respectively.

"Winning the Social Innovation Relay means we’ve achieved our goals of helping our community, getting recognition for our school and improving our social awareness skills. Our HP mentor helped us think critically and broaden our perspectives, and we have developed our self-confidence and improved our presentation skills and our relations with our classmates. Over the course of this project, we’ve learned the importance of team work and that innovative thinking can bring positive change to the entire community. The whole experience has been a lot of fun, and we would like to thank HP and Junior Achievement for this opportunity." Emulsified Environmentalists

With over 20,000 students from 13 countries participating, the Social Innovation Relay is the largest global educational initiative to be run with a blend of virtual and face-to-face mentoring, providing young people with hands-on skills and entrepreneurial expertise to compete in the 21st century workforce. 1,564 teams around the world registered for this year’s relay. The top 20 teams in each country were paired with HP, who connected with the finalists to help them bring their concepts to life. 13 teams competed in the final round of the competition.

“The Social Innovation Relay is designed to equip secondary school students with the entrepreneurial and ICT skills they need to succeed in the 21st century economy. This year’s exceptional entries prove that with the right education and resources, today’s youth has the power to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges.” Caroline Jenner, CEO Junior Achievement Young Enterprise (JA-YE Europe)

Globally, the gap between those who have access to technology and those who don’t is widening, putting digital “have-nots” at a disadvantage in the modern job market. The Social Innovation Relay seeks to close this gap by bringing innovative technology and hands-on educational programs to schools, equipping students with technological and entrepreneurial skills to succeed in school and beyond. 

The Social Innovation Relay was first launched in 2010, and over the past two years more than 30,000 students and 300 HP mentors have participated, submitting nearly 1,000 socially innovative concepts.

“The quality of innovative, socially orientated business ideas and increasing numbers reflects a successful collaboration with HP mentors and our partner Junior Achievement. The Social Innovation Relay is part of HP’s commitment in applying our expertise and technology to help students everywhere gain vital IT and business skills to solve societal issues , leading to a future with many more bright social entrepreneurs.”  Jeannette Weisschuh, director, Global Education Programs, Sustainability and Social Innovation, HP

Junior Achievement and HP have worked together for 20 years on youth-focused programs, enabling thousands of students to receive real-world skills and hands-on training that focus on entrepreneurship and ICT. 

HP plays an active role in these programs and goes beyond traditional corporate sponsorship by not only donating funds and equipment, but also tapping into its vast technology expertise and mobilizing members of its more than 300,000-employee workforce to participate via mentoring and volunteering.

Project finalists

Team (Winner): Emulsified Environmentalists (South Africa)

Concept: A solar-powered lamp made from recycled materials to help bring electricity to poor people and to reduce the use of paraffin lamps, which are bad for the environment


Team (Runner-up): Team Flower (China)

Concept: A program that trains young volunteers to work with China’s elderly population to document their life stories and overcome loneliness

Team (Runner-up): Egalite (Slovakia)

Concept: “Kick out the difference”, an educational DVD designed to raise awareness around migration issues

Team: Jeux Des Sets Familles (France)

Concept: Educational games to motivate students to learn by having fun

Team: Team Awesome (United States)

Concept: AquaGen, a turbine generator that is attached to rain gutters and uses run-off rain water to generate electricity

Team: Synergy (Kenya)

Concept: Daladala Tracker, a mobile application that indicates the nearest available public transport options

Team: The Innovators (India)

Concept: A program that integrates theater in teaching to reinforce practical lessons introduced in the classroom

Team: LOT – Leads of Teens (Romania)

Concept: E-Progress, a program that facilitates meetings between youths and those at risk of discrimination in order to raise awareness

Team: Ideja (Russia)

Concept: Using VOIP software to connect students around the world and facilitate their study of foreign languages

Team: Optimum (Bulgaria)

Concept: Power ship engines with hydrogen obtained through salt water processing

Team: Alpha Enterprise (United Kingdom)

Concept: GloGos, safety product designed to enhance visibility of cyclists when indicating a change of direction in the dark

Team: Dreamers (Egypt)

Concept: A line of products designed to make reading and learning more interesting

Team: WW (Brazil)

Concept: A multiplier center for the installation of low-cost sustainable solar heaters in poor communities

About JA Worldwide® (Junior Achievement)

Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement provides in-school and after-school programs for students which focus on three key content areas: work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. Today, 124 individual area operations reach 4 million students in the United States, with an additional 5.8 million students served by operations in 119 other countries worldwide. For more information, visit



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