Red Dot Foundation: Youth Innovation Challenge

Red Dot Foundation: Youth Innovation Challenge

Red Dot Foundation hosted an Urban Thinkers Campus (UTC) on the theme “Safe Public Spaces” from a Gender and Climate Resiliency Lens. Parallel to the UTC, we invited youth to submit their ideas for solutions on the theme with the aim of picking ten innovative solutions and developing them through a social incubator.

We had over 100 entries from all over India. We selected ten best ideas with the help of ten jury members. It was a tough process as many of the ideas had merit. Over the three months September -November, the teams (who were from different cities in India) attended a 2 day workshop at the Magic Bus Learning Centre in Karjat, seven master class webinars and were assigned mentors who were sector experts.

The ideas ranged from Data mining applications to night markets that encouraged women’s presence in public spaces at night to urban design furniture that was inclusive and promoted safety. On November 29, 2019, 09 finalist teams made a final pitch of their prototypes that could be implemented in local communities to enhance Safe Public Spaces.

The top three winners and their innovations are:

  • Team NCR mates - Data-driven Algorithm for College Campus Safety
  • Team Nox - Nightly Community Activity to Encourage Women in Public Spaces
  • Team One - Urban Infrastructure for Toilets for Transgenders

Such Innovation Challenges are important as they help young people think actively about their role as citizens and change makers, provide them a platform to experiment and fail, test out new ideas in their communities and innovate with the help of experts. Many of our young challengers said the social incubator instilled confidence in them and that they wish to be more civically active.

We are grateful to the 17 mentors and 15 jury members who helped us shortlist the teams and finalise the winners. In our opinion, all the teams were winners as they worked hard to implement their ideas into working prototypes which were well thought out. We are also grateful to our sponsors BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt, the Consulate General of the United States in Mumbai and the Consulate General of Sweden in Mumbai for their support.

Article by Elsa Marie DSilva