Originally published November 18, 2016
For almost a decade, the Global Entrepreneurship Summer School (GESS) has excelled at educating bright and motivated students on (social) entrepreneurship. During the seven days of the GESS 2016, which simultaneously took place in Munich, Shanghai and Mexico City in September, over 100 students from all over the world took the opportunity to learn about the nuances of creating sustainable social impact by working in diversified interdisciplinary teams.
At GESS, students aim to advance small and innovative ideas into solutions that have the potential to create social impact worth a billion dollars. During the course of the week, the students were able to explore first-hand current issues in migration by going out into the field. Building upon the valuable input, the students would devise new product ideas to support those who were forced to leave their homes. After a week of intensive learning, emotion and excitement, the best product ideas from each location were awarded. Here are the billion dollar projects ideas.
miHealth in Munich:
If you had to flee your country how can you connect with local doctors and health-care professionals? The team of “miHealth” aims to address the lack of health care support for refugees. “miHealth” developed a cost-effective mobile phone solution which connects refugees with local doctors and healthcare professionals to transcend sociocultural gaps and language barriers.
Unloop in Shanghai:
Imagine you travel to Shanghai and get a city tour by a local worker. The team who won in Shanghai wants to make this happen by connecting tourists with rural-to-urban migrants who provide insights into the real Shanghai. By doing so, the migrants providing these services receive an additional income and the tourists get a more insightful travel experience.
Re-work in Mexico City:
A lot of refugees are highly qualified but have difficulties in finding a suitable job in their destination country. With “Re-work” a comprehensive training provider for unemployed refugees was developed, connecting trained refugees with small businesses that have a strong demand for qualified people.
But it is not all about winning at the GESS. Rather, it is about developing ideas and dreaming big about how one can faster real societal-change on a large scale. In that vein, here are some other incredible project ideas that were developed in the week.
If you have to leave your home, where do you get the information that is useful for your destination country? “ClairVoyant” is a technological solution for refugees to make decisions and gain helpful information before going to their country of destination. Imagine how such a tool could change the situation of refugees in Europe right now.
Refugees need to be able to express their opinions through reputable media outlets! “Humanize” is an online magazine which will be run by refugees aiming to reduce prejudices and support integration through professional storytelling. The team behind the “Humanize” magazine aims to give a voice to those who are currently not represented or even neglected by mainstream media.
So what’s next? By applying their newly acquired knowledge, memorable experiences and entrepreneurial spirit to their everyday life and future projects, students will be able to foster societal change in their future work and everyday life.
The Global Entrepreneurship Summer School (GESS) is a global initiative of the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie and six universities in Munich, Mexico City and Shanghai. Established in 2008, the GESS program was launched by 4Entrepreneurship, a joint initiative of Munich’s four university entrepreneurship centers. In 2016 the GESS took also place in Mexico City and Shanghai for the first time.