In a bid to tackle pressing social issues and inspire young minds, the School of Humanities & Social Sciences from Ngee Ann Polytechnic, in collaboration with Make The Change, hosted its annual Social Innovation Hackathon. The event brought together a total of 168 participants across 37 schools, fostering collaboration and igniting creativity.
To kickstart the Hackathon, the Social Innovation workshop held on 17 May was opened by Mr Matthew Wong, the Course Chair of the Diploma in Community Development, followed by a sharing by our CEO, Ms Michelle Lim. This event provided the platform for industry experts to offer valuable insights into problem-solving methodologies and project management. Participants were also introduced to the idea of creating sustainable change as a social enterprise. Their guidance helped students gain a deep understanding of the challenges they aimed to address and equipped them with the necessary skills to develop effective solutions.
Beyond the hard skills, the hackathon also emphasised the importance of networking and creating opportunities for future collaborations beyond the event. Participants were encouraged to mingle with students from other schools, and work together with their mentors on their solutions.
For the preliminary round, teams were required to submit a proposal and video. The top 10 teams were then invited to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges, consisting of various industry professionals and experts.
The finals showcased a range of impactful solutions, spanning various sectors such as healthcare, education, sustainability, and poverty alleviation. The judges were thoroughly impressed by the quality and innovativeness of the solutions. After much careful deliberation, 3 winning teams from Raffles Girls’ School and Evergreen Secondary were selected.
Raffles Girls’ School, Team 17 (Food for Low-Income Families)
Evergreen Secondary School, Team 6 (Food Security)
Raffles Girls’ School, Team 19 (Sustainable Delivery Chains)
Here is the innovative idea that Raffles Girls’ School Team 17 pitched!
Project description: Tim Out of the Box is a project aimed at addressing food insecurity in areas like Bukit Merah, specifically targeting children and the elderly. The project proposes the use of vending machines to provide affordable and nutritious hot meals to low-income families. The goal is to improve accessibility to wholesome food options and alleviate hunger in vulnerable communities.
Let’s hear what some of the participants had to say about their experience.
“We really enjoyed the hackathon as it taught us the basics of social innovation and we delved into both learning how to better our business model (by improving its attainability) as well as our own team dynamics. Our group really appreciated that the hackathon provided a safe space to bounce off ideas and get the relevant feedback from experienced peers on how to improve our model!”
“This hackathon was an enriching and interesting experience. The scope of this hackathon was also relatively new for us as our solution had to function as not just a social organisation, but a sustainable social enterprise that could generate revenue in the long term. We enjoyed this experience, and thank you Ngee Ann Polytechnic for this opportunity! ”
By inspiring and empowering participants, Ngee Ann Polytechnic's Social Innovation Hackathon serves as a catalyst for social change. This event not only sparked creativity but also demonstrated the collective power of young individuals to address and solve societal issues. As hackathons forge the path towards social innovation, they play a vital role in transforming lives, communities, and industries.