Students from the University of Plymouth will be investigating the power of collaboration as a way of solving complex issues when they take part in a major global initiative.
The University – through the Futures Entrepreneurship Centre – is one of the founding partners of Social Storm, an international competition which encourages students from across the world to communicate virtually as a means to finding solutions for real-life problems.
Held since 2014, this year’s event will take place on November 11 and 12, as part of the build-up to Global Entrepreneurship Week.
For this year, students from Plymouth will be joining more than 200 others in eight countries (Argentina, UK, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Finland, Ghana and India) to form a number of multi-national teams.
They will then work together over 24 hours to design a product or service that addresses one of two issues stemming from the United Nations’ Global Goals – food security or sustainable housing.
Dr Marta Hawkins, Director of the Futures Entrepreneurship Centre, said:
“We are very passionate about student entrepreneurship here in Plymouth, and it is embedded through our courses, academic research and a range of extra-curricular activity. As the first university to be awarded a Social Enterprise Mark, we also have an especially proud history of encouraging social entrepreneurship and this event brings together students who share an enthusiasm for employing that as a sustainable way of making our world a better place.”
For the competition, each team come up with their product or service and then produce a summary business plan and three-minute video pitch. They must also devise a 250-word Foundation Statement about their team, including its vision, values and how they overcame difficulties.
The Plymouth students will be supported throughout by mentoring from Futures’ Entrepreneurs in Residence, Gareth Hart and Raphael Dennett, while Igniting Enterprise, the University’s award-winning student enterprise society, will also be helping to coordinate the event.
Amber Strong, Student Entrepreneurship Assistant at the Futures Entrepreneurship Centre, said:
“Igniting Enterprise’s vice-president Feyi Ogunyeye took part in both the 2014 and 2015 Social Storm hackathons, and I know how much they are looking forward to sharing their love of the challenging experience this year. They will also be able to pass on their knowledge of how much can be achieved in only one day when students’ creativity and resourcefulness is unleashed while using technology to collaborate around the world, virtually.”