Our latest Global Goals Jam, a very exciting weekend challenge involving students, faculty, Institutions, community, and overseas partners with our students winning prizes has successfully concluded earlier this spring.
More than an event, it was a weekend of opportunity for experiential learning, improving employability and opportunity to create social change. Participants were challenged to think outside the box, collaborate and experiment in a supportive environment and work on solutions to the complex problems of the world through the lens of the world’s “to-do list”, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of everyone everywhere.
Participants learnt in teams by doing, reflecting, practicing and honing important essential skills to set them on a path to become a new generation of leaders, innovators and changemakers. They were thoughtfully mentored by experts through the process and presented their 48 hours of work to a panel of distinguished judges to win prizes.
“I loved my first GGJAM experience! It broadened my understanding (of) design thinking strategies to create more value-added projects. Kudos to our passionate mentors too!”- stated Jam participant Alice M.
“A truly great learning experience and opportunity to make connections with people from various fields all with the common goal of making the world a more sustainable place.” – commented participant Pooja K.
The Jam had 175 registrations and 30 on the waitlist. Opening Plenary led by Jonathan Hack had 102 attendees with presentations on Social Entrepreneurship and the Challenge Themes from expert speakers.
Eight teams that worked on challenging themes throughout the weekend were guided by over 40 mentors and competed for the top three spots. It was a truly global event, as some of our esteemed Mentors, Judges and participants joined us from India, Germany, Netherlands, the US, as well as from both eastern and western Canada.
First place winning team of the Global Goals Jam Canada 2021, the Indigenous Tourism Youth Mentorship Program (ITYMP) aims at addressing two interrelated problems: Indigenous youth unemployment and promotion of Indigenous tourism. The program allows Indigenous tourism and hospitality operators to connect with Indigenous youth within an experiential learning program. Youth are to be educated through hands-on learning experiences which increases their professional and industry skills for the job market.
Second place winners, the all-Centennial Beehive team addresses the isolation and loneliness that increasingly affects vulnerable seniors during and post-pandemic, contributing to long-term stress and anxiety resulting in increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and cognitive decline. Beehive leverages both technology and community to eliminate the negative impact of loneliness by keeping seniors connected, engaged, and mentally active. Whether it is chatting between seniors, virtual group exercises, tutoring younger generations, reading virtually a bedtime story to a child or playing interactive games, the user-friendly platform connects across generations to benefit all.
Third place winners, the Nomadica team aims at solving the issue of overcrowding in prime tourism destinations which impacts locals and the environment negatively. They looked at ways to turn the impact of overcrowding into an opportunity by using technology to enhance the experience for tourists, increase economic opportunities for tour companies and local businesses in order to benefit the local economy and ecology. Their solution is an app connecting tour companies and local businesses at these destinations with the visiting tourists to provide a more personalized experience involving local businesses and activities, such as local food or cultural venues, while also alleviating the overcrowding at traditional tourist venues and landmarks.
Our Jam has also made it to the April 27, 2021 Globe and Mail special section highlighting innovative programs and approaches in higher education in Canada.