On December 4th, 2010 Ashoka Arab World launched the Ashoka Innovation Network (AIN) Challenge at the El Sawy Culture Wheel in Zamalek, Cairo. The theme of the AIN Challenge was “Can you change the world in 7 minutes?” Six speakers were selected who pitched their ideas to other AIN participants.
Mohamed El-Haw – “Educate Me”
Hesham Mostafa – “Healthy Food”
Karim Khashaba -“Palestinians
Mohammed Helmy- “Renewable Energy Project”
Omar Samra – “Wild Guanabana”
Emaan Abeel – “Children Who Think, Produce and Cooperate”
After inspirational speeches by all participants, Mohamed El-Haw and his idea “Educate Me” were voted the winner by the audience. Educate Me is made up of Mohamed El-Haw along with Amr El Salanekly, Mohamed Raef, and Yasmin Helal. They work to “Enable under-privileged children to pursue their aspirations through education, character building, and value setting.” Mohamed and his team achieve this by providing funds, supplies, and support for these children who want to go to school yet face obstacles in staying enrolled. As part of their prize they will be given a meeting with an Ashoka Fellow in a related field.
Following the competition a talk was given by Ashoka Fellow Tarek Ramadan of the Community Development Organization. Ramadan works around innovative conflict resolution, including between spouses, in low-income neighborhoods of Cairo. It is Ashoka’s hope that by hearing Ashoka Fellows’ stories AIN participants will be informed and inspired to be Changemakers.
Though only one speaker could be voted winner of the challenge, the event was incredibly valuable for all speakers and participants. This was seen as audience members and speakers mingled and networked long after the final presentation. Ideas were exchanged, encouragement was given, and new partnerships were born. This discussion and collaboration around Social Entrepreneurship by young Egyptian professionals is precisely what AIN aims to achieve.
Stay tuned for more updates from yesterdays event, including interviews with guests and information about upcoming AIN events!