Join the Open 17 Challenge: Get a Chance to Travel to Geneva and Receive Mentoring for Your Idea

In the Spring of 2018, 35 students created world changing solutions for one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG): good health and well-being.

With guidance from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the World Health Organization (WHO), they created several crowdsourced solutions for non-communicable ailments.

One of the winners, “At Your Cervix,” joined the SDG Summer School in Geneva and China. They created a program that could detect potential signs of cervical cancer based on data collected through menstrual tracking apps. 

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Do You Have an AI Idea that could help the SDGs?

The Open Seventeen’s challenge focus changes every year. 

The winners will still get a chance to win travel grants to attend the SDG Summer School 2020 and other UN events like UNLEASH, Learning Planet and AI for Good. 

But now, they’re looking for AI and crowdsourcing solutions to improve the following challenges as part of the SDGs:

  1. Estimating river flows
  2. Predicting landslides
  3. Reducing the gender bias of algorithms
  4. More intelligent recycling of food
  5. Tracking and digitizing historical trends of the SDG
  6. Better assessment and reporting of SDG investments

This year’s challenge is in collaboration with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the ITU. It’s co-organized by other partners such as AI for Good, Citizen Cyberlab, and Goodwall with the support of the Geneva Tsinghua Initiative. 

AI for Good is the United Nation’s platform on AI, and is organized annually in Geneva by the XPRIZE Foundation and the ITU, along with several UN agencies. Citizen Cyberlab, on the other hand, is a group of researchers that create events to encourage scientists and regular citizens to collaborate. Together, their goal is to use AI and crowdsourced data to solve global problems. 

Related Read: Best Earth Week Tips to Support the Environment & Stop Climate Change

How to Join the Open 17 Challenge Using Goodwall

Excited to change the world and join other young innovators in this exciting opportunity? Here’s how you can join the Open 17 challenge:

  1. Download the Goodwall app on Android or iOS.
  2. Complete your Goodwall profile, including your university or school, your field of study, and expected graduation date. This information is required for all participants.
  3. Click on the plus (+) icon on your profile, then click the lightbulb or idea icon to record a 30-second pitch explaining your idea.
  4. Click the check mark on the upper right hand corner when you’re done.
  5. Edit the video to make sure it’s concise and explains your idea well. 
  6. Click the “+Keyword” icon to add the phrase “O17 Spring 2020 Challenge #” or “O17 2020 Challenge #” to your entry. The pound (#) sign represents the challenge your idea solves (see list above).
  7. Click “Post Idea” once you’re sure that you’ve completed all the steps.

Remember, you don’t have to be an AI expert to join. The challenge is open to all University students, regardless of their field of study.

That’s why you can join as an individual or as a team of three. One of you could be the idea person, while the others might have the AI knowledge. All participants will receive intensive coaching and mentoring nonetheless, to help them turn their ideas into world-changing projects.

Deadline for applications is on March 9. Chosen participants will receive a notification by March 16.

The online coaching for selected participants is two hours per session, and will last for five weeks (March to April).

What Does it Take to Get Selected?

You’re probably excited to get mentored by top-notch scientists or to start coding your ideas. 

As amazing as that is, the first hurdle you must focus on is getting selected.

Read the selection criteria below to make sure your pitch fits the requirements:

  • Relevance of the idea to the selected challenge 
  • The level of innovation demonstrated in your idea
  • How feasible it is to complete the project via crowdsourcing
  • Balance for gender, geographical region, and subject for study

If your first pitch doesn’t meet all the criteria, change it. Feel free to write a script so you don’t forget anything. 

Use Your Wit and Entrepreneurial Spirit for Good

Many students and young professionals have an entrepreneurial spirit. 

Some have created apps and used AI to solve everyday problems while making money at the same time. You might know someone who did it on their own or joined a startup bootcamp. 

The Open Seventeen challenge gives you the same opportunity, plus guidance from leading experts in your field of study. With this, you can sharpen your skills and make an impact that will improve the lives of millions at the same time.

So if you’re an undergraduate student with a desire to save the world, here’s your chance. Send that pitch. 

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If you want more stories like this, a dose of inspiration, an awesome support network, and a place to share ideas and achievements, the Goodwall app has it all and more.
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Charley Mendoza
Written By Charley Mendoza
Charley is a freelance copywriter and content marketer specializing in career and entrepreneurship. When she’s not stringing words for her latest copywriting project, you’ll find her trying new recipes, or planning yet another trip.

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