Deadline: 10 January 2020
Do you have a great digital idea that has the potential to create a better world? If yes, this challenge gives you a genuine chance to change the world and improve the lives of some of the world’s most disadvantaged people – what’s your idea?
#Ideas ChangeLives is looking for people with a fresh, entrepreneurial spirit and a big idea that has the potential to make a positive impact for communities across the globe.
The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. They were founded in 1934 and incorporated by Royal Charter in 1940.
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What is #IdeasChangeLives?
#IdeasChangeLives is a global innovation challenge to find digital solutions to some of the world’s greatest problems.
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This year, British Council is looking for ideas that help them to meet any or all of the targets within one of three Global Goals for Sustainable Development below:
- Quality education: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
- Gender equality: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
- Decent work and economic growth: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
To help, British Council recommend thinking carefully about the following before applicants apply:
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- The need applicants idea addresses – be clear about which one of The Global Goals applicants are focusing on and the problem their idea could help to solve.
- How people will benefit – tell them why applicants idea matters to the people it is designed for and how it has the potential to positively impact thousands of lives.
- Why it’s compelling – They need to feel that applicants really care about making a difference so tell them the story behind their idea.
- The competition – show them applicants have a clear understanding and awareness of any competitors who may be working on similar products and tell them why their idea is different.
- The tools and resources needed to turn it into a product – it doesn’t matter if applicants haven’t worked with technology before. What does matter is a clear understanding of how their idea will work in the real world.
- The winning pitch will get £20,000 to invest in their idea, as well as mentorship and support from the British Council for a full year.
- In February 2020, British Council will announce their shortlisted applicants. They will be asked to make a short video and develop a business model to showcase their idea.
- In March 2020, British Council will announce their finalists who will then be interviewed by their judging panel.
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- The competition is open to anyone and everyone across the world. Applicants can choose to apply as an individual or an organisation.
- British Council accept ‘early stage’ applications, meaning they don’t necessarily need a working prototype when they make their application.
- Applicants don’t need to be working in the digital or technology sector to apply.
What You’ll Get…
Funding to get your idea off the ground
£20,000 in prize money to develop your product, no matter what stage you’re at.
Support to help you succeed
British Council’s team of digital experts will help you to develop your idea at your own pace. They’ll give you the opportunity to connect with others and develop further partnerships through access to global networks, events and sector expertise.
Mentorship for a full year
British Council tailors their support to suit you. You’ll get access to on-going mentorship from them plus advice from subject matter experts on how to potentially grow and scale-up your idea.
Last Year’s Winners
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StanLab is a virtual science laboratory. It uses augmented reality to give students at schools without laboratories an opportunity to learn important practical science skills online. Founded by Job from Nigeria, he was inspired to create StanLab after his own experience of going through school without reliable access to equipment. Laboratory equipment is expensive for schools to buy, so Job remembers often having to imagine what a science experiment might look like. Not wanting future generations to miss out, he was determined to come up with a cost-effective solution. That’s when he applied for #IdeasChangeLives and, since winning, Job and his team have been able to develop a working prototype which they’re currently testing out in schools. They hope StanLab will improve STEM education and career prospects for more than six million students across the country.
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mHub is Malawi’s first technology and innovation hub. The online platform acts as a resource centre to encourage the development of sustainable technology solutions to solve various challenges in society. The idea for mHub initially developed out of a drive to inspire young people in Malawi to do something productive with their time and to be more creative and innovative. However, mHub is also Malawi’s first community-based human rights platform. The platform helps vulnerable groups understand more about their rights and what to do if they are violated. Specifically, mHub is improving reporting for more than 10,000 women and girls on issues such as sexual assault, reproductive health rights, early marriage and human trafficking. The organisation behind mHub applied for #IdeasChangeLives because they felt passionately about achieving better gender equality in Malawi. Winning the competition has given them the resources to reach more women and girls across the country.
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How to Apply
Applicants can apply online via given website.
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For more information, visit https://www.britishcouncil.org/work/partner/ideas-change-lives