With the global consumption crisis on the rise, the call for the rapid development of sustainable, innovative business solutions is needed. As such, thirty-five university post-and undergraduate students have been selected to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Summer School (GESS) from 9-15 September 2018 in Cape Town to develop entrepreneurial solutions to this challenge.
Courtesy of LifeCo UnLtd SA, in partnership with Social Entrepreneurship Akademie, the initiative is founded on the belief in the power of entrepreneurial thinking for a better and sustainable future; and is organised in conjunction with six leading university-based entrepreneurship centres in Munich, Shanghai, Mexico City and Cape Town.
"The quality of submissions from the university applicants was very encouraging with irresponsible use of natural resources high on the list of targeted problems for which the GESS participants will seek to find innovative and entrepreneurial solutions for this year’s global challenge of consumption," says Carmen Di Rito, LifeCo’s chief development officer.
Amongst some of the solutions suggested from the application motivations were the tightening of environmental tax laws, the manufacturing of greywater systems and use of artificial intelligence to work out the rate of consumption of energy resources.
GESS will this year host 140 university students, split into groups of 35 in Munich, Mexico City, Shanghai and Cape Town to develop entrepreneurial solutions that meet the world’s biggest challenges. In the spirit of promoting "billion-dollar projects to foster societal change", GESS works on the UN Sustainable Development Goals aiming to empower students to become young responsible leaders who create positive change in society.
The students will work in international and interdisciplinary teams to develop their own ideas that present both a sustainable impact on society and a self-sustaining, profitable business model. Throughout the GESS programme, the teams will be partnered with a coach who will provide feedback and assistance on technical issues. The programme will culminate in a pitching process with the best idea winning the challenge.