Global Social Ventures Competition 2008 – Call for Entrants

Got an idea for a socially or environmentally viable enterprise? Take part in the Global Social Ventures Competition 2008!

Organized by the top business and entrepreneurship schools in the world (including UC Berkeley, Columbia Business School, London Business School, Indian School of Business, and Yale), this competition aims to provide mentorship, exposure, and support to student-led social enterprises worldwide. Teams compete for over $45,000 in cash and travel prizes, and receive valuable feedback on their plans.

Each team must have at least one student currently in graduate business school or one who was graduated from business school in the past 24 months. Companies less than 3 years old can also apply. Projects can be for-profit or non-profit, but must be financially self-sustaining.

Past winning projects are available, and the GSVC have provided plenty of Social Impact Guides to aid competitors.

Executive summaries are due January 16th, so hurry!

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International Youth Initiative Program – Spend a Year in Sweden for Social Entrepreneurship

I was directed to this by recent searches in my blog stats, so hopefully those of you looking for this program will get some leads here.

The International Youth Initiative Program is a one-year social entrepreneurship program in the rural town of Järna, Sweden. It is part of Vårdinge Folkhögskola (Folk High School) and is run in partnership with the Youth Section of the Anthroposophical Society, the same folk behind the Waldorf system of education – a strong example of alternative and holistic education where imagination is key and arts practices are made just as important as the sciences and other subjects.

The school days are split into two – the mornings consist of theory learning, with lectures and classes from changemakers on important issues, while the afternoons contain artistic practice to put theory into work. Each week there will be a different theme, ranging from ethics to politics to cooking. Field trips and project work are also core to the curriculum.

While the program is set in a “high school”, participation is open to anyone ages 18-25 that speaks English (English is the teaching language). Anyone from any country is welcome to apply, and special consideration will be given to ensure fair representation globally. The program is non-political and non-religious.

The year-long program starts in 25th August 2008. Applications aren’t open yet, but you can ask to be notified when they are posted. Scholarships will be made available to cover travel, tuition, and living expenses.

They seem to be a junior version of the Kaospilots (though they do have their own “junior version”, the FrontRunners, for Danish teenagers that could not fit into the traditional school system). It looks like a great idea for a gap year. Continental Europe is often overlooked as an education destination, but there are often many options and the prices are competitive (the KaosPilots in 3 countries worked out to be cheaper than Australia, even including living costs). The possibility of scholarships, the structured yet alternative style of the school, and the international focus make this quite an attractive proposition. Give it a go!

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Some quick updates on what I’ve been up to:

1. I didn’t get selected for the KaosPilots Stockholm. I was one of two non-Scandinavians in a bunch of 29 (the other was ironically also Bangladeshi, but has been in New York for most of his life and considers himself American) and got on quite well with the others, particularly my specific group. I thought my chances were good, but evidently not. It may have been a language issue – our group was the only English-speaking group, and English was a second language for most of the people.

I can’t talk about the specific tasks, as they’re meant to be kept secret, but suffice to say it was INTENSE. A whole lot of things to do, non-stop from 9 to 9 for two nights. It did seem a little disorganized at times (at least letting us know end times would have been good!!) and it was plenty crazy, especially in the cold snow. But it was a good experience. I’ve been in touch with the people at Aarhus (I had a chance to visit their school too) and I have a lot of support for getting into there, so we’ll see.

2. I’ve done my second year of university, though not too well (due to various factors throughout the year). I’m not sure where I stand university-wise – whether I get to continue as usual or repeat a semester, keep my scholarship or lose it. If I decide to go to Aarhus that would complicate things further. Here’s hoping things work out for the best.

3. I didn’t win the AYA Dream Malaysia Award, but that’s fine as being nominated is already pretty good. My mother and a family friend went to the ceremony on my behalf (I was in Sweden) and they told me it was a lot of fun. Thanks AYA for organizing it and congratulations to the winners!

4. As a result of the AYA nomination, I have earned a year’s worth of hosting and domain. I’m going to use it as my portfolio, and I’m considering moving EducateDeviate there and expanding it further. At least I can pick a better theme! (I’m not sure if I’ll keep using WordPress, even the standalone version. While there are a lot of add-ons, themes, and other things for it, it is a pain to customize without advanced coding knowledge, and their tech support isn’t very impressive.)

Do you have any other ideas for what I could do with the site now that I have a lot more space to play with?

Things will likely get very quiet – I’m trying to work out details for the GK3 conference, but that’s about it really. If you have any ideas for things I could cover or get involved with for the next three months, drop me a line.

links for 2007-11-12