A piece written by Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy, Executive Director, ICSB
“So, which is more difficult? Being an entrepreneur or a leader?”
This is one of the questions asked by students from Nile University to Dr. Tony Mendes, immediate Past-President of the ICSB USA affiliate (USASBE), and Dr. KiChan Kim, President of ICSB.
In the courtyard of the Marriot Hotel in Cairo and over mint tea, discussions flowed between the students and ICSB leadership. Energy and enthusiasm were present, and curiosity perpetuated as Dr. Mendes shared his views about the topics.
His answer? “Being an entrepreneur is more difficult. Not only does an entrepreneur need to lead, but he/she also needs to innovate and find opportunities.”
Dr. Swiercz also chimed in with an interesting observation, “why, in Egypt, do most young people state that they have “Big Problems”?” Could they not know that “Big Problems” also mean “Big Opportunities?”
With that question, lingering in the minds of those gathered in that courtyard, Dr. KiChan Kim asked the students to explain the Suez Canal and its impact. His intentions were to showcase that entrepreneurship in Egypt needs more ambitious ideas like the Suez Canal.
On the topic of the Suez Canal, did you know that the Statue of Liberty was originally intended for the Suez canal?
As the Suez Canal neared completion in 1869, French sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi tried to convince Ferdinand de Lesseps and the Egyptian government to let him build a sculpture called “Egypt Bringing Light to Asia,” at its Mediterranean entrance. Inspired by the ancient Colossus of Rhodes, Bartholdi envisioned a 90-foot-tall statue of a woman clothed in Egyptian peasant robes and holding a massive torch, which would also serve as a lighthouse to guide ships into the canal.
The project never materialized, but Bartholdi continued shopping the idea for his statue, and in 1886 he finally unveiled a completed version in New York Harbor. Officially called “Liberty Enlightening the World,” the monument has since become better known as the Statue of Liberty.
The world is interconnected – even in ways that many would not suspect – and with that anecdote in mind, it is up to the Egyptian youth to make it even more connected!
In a blog titled,””Bank Tank” comes to Youth Summit 2015: Crowd-sourcing solutions for climate change”, published by Jewel McFadden on December 1, 2015, on the World Bank’s most actively maintained and widely sourced blog, ICSB Academy is highlighted as the World Bank Group Youth Summit 2015 competition’s coveted prize. The full article, printed below, can also be viewed directly on the World Bank’s website here.
Using the popular American reality show “Shark Tank” as its muse, this year’s World Bank Group Youth Summit garnered the attention of thousands of passionate youth. Youth Summit 2015: Crowd-Sourcing Solutions for Climate Change encouraged young people to submit their ideas on how to remedy a dangerously warming planet. Proposals poured in from over 70 countries including Belarus, Haiti, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Macedonia, Chile, Ivory Coast, Japan, Yemen, Tanzania, Uzbekistan, Bulgaria, and Spain.
“Climate change will make some poor people poorer, and push some not-so-poor people across the poverty line,” said Rachel Kyte, vice president and special envoy for Climate Change at the Bank Group. Kyte was among many climate change trailblazers on hand at the summit on Nov. 16 and 17. The youngest guest in attendance was Kehkashan Basu who delivered a moving speech titled, “And What is Stopping YOU?” At only age 15, Basu serves as Youth Ambassador for World Future Council and is the Founder of Green Hope UAE.
Despite recent tragedies in Paris, the governments of more than 190 nations will meet in The City of Light in just a few weeks to discuss a possible new universal agreement on climate change. COP21 addresses the dire need to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.
“Changing the way climate change is tackled is about changing the way people see their future,” said Kyte.
Rachel Kyte addresses Youth Summit 2015 participants
Youth Summit invitees attended provocatively titled breakout sessions such as “50 Shades of Green Bonds” and brainstormed on topics like carbon finance, landscape data, and disaster risk. Blue and green earth-themed cupcakes blanketed tables while guests chatted animatedly with booth exhibitors including the U.S. National Park Service and Green Impact Campaign.
The summit featured a first for the World Bank. American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters from Capitol Sign Interpreters, a woman-owned small business, were on hand during competition day of the summit. The Youth Summit Organizing Committee, comprised of seven young World Bank Group staff, hopes that reaching the hearing impaired community can be a step towards creating a more inclusive conversation on development issues.
Gloria Nakyejwe didn’t win over “Bank Tank” judges with her pitch for affordable, biogas stoves in Uganda. However she impressed many guests when moderator Monika Weber-Fahr announced that the competitor would be taking the stage after have just arrived from a flight that spanned more than 15 hours. Even World Bank Group’s Uganda country office video-conferenced in during the summit to express their support for the young CEO of Greenville Fresh Farm Products. Mexico City, Cameroon, Ghana, and Peru were among some of the other country offices that tuned in to watch the tournament.
When Adam Pascual found out he had been chosen to come to the U.S. capital, many hurdles still lay ahead. “Several sleepless nights at the dormitory rooftop while doing research, last minute visa applications…. humiliation from people that we will never make it, empty stomach and pockets, and most of all, the lack of support from the people around us, they thought that we’re young and incapable,” said the team captain of TREE+PLY.
Pascual arrived at the World Bank headquarters dressed in the full national regalia of the Philippines called Barong Tagalog, made with pineapple leaf fiber. His proposal for a free mobile application geared towards increasing global awareness and inspiring environmentally friendly actions through gamification won “audience favorite.”
“I will never forget the day when the three of us strolled together down 21st street in Washington D.C. passing by the autumn trees with sunlight trickling through. We were complete and I felt like bursting into tears thinking that we’ve gotten impossibly far,” said Pascual. “And that, for me, was the winning moment.”
Team TREE+PLY plans to dive deeper into researching the technical aspects of their proposal and hopes to collaborate with the World Bank Group and Asian Development Bank in Manila in the future.
“The highlight for me was to meet young inspired people from all over the world,” said Michael Eschmann, captain for team HELIOS. The Swiss national pitched an idea to boost productivity and efficiency of Indian farms with solar powered irrigation systems. In the end, high scorecards from the jury made team HELIOS the second winning team.
“It is amazing to see the energy and passion of the crowd that attended the Youth Summit and it is even better to exchange and have fun with them,” said Eschmann.
Youth Summit 2015 partnered with the International Council for Small Business (ICSB) to give the two winning team leads the opportunity to attend the 2016 ICSB Academy from June 14-18, 2016.
The ICSB Academy provides students with a full immersion experience in the making of a new entrepreneurial venture. Esteemed entrepreneurial experts designed a dynamic training program that includes learning modules that will help participants to create their own business. Participants in each cohort are paired with seasoned mentors to gain insights and advice on their ideas, learn from their mentor’s experiences, and network with another 200 entrepreneurs from around the world.
Dr. Jeffrey Alves, ICSB Vice President, joked that while New York may not sound as impressive as their previous Academy location (Dubai), each lucky winner’s attendance includes registration fees, flights, accommodation in the Stevens Institute of Technology’s dormitories, and meals.
The Youth Summit was established in 2013 by the World Bank Group, in partnership with the Office of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, to provide a platform for the concerns of youth and empower young people to promote their ideas on development. Summit participants include youth leaders, development experts, private sector professionals, government officials, and students.
“This is just the beginning of the evolution. Big things are yet to happen,” said Nakyejwe as she put aside her recollections of the Summit and soaked in the sights of Washington, DC for the first time.
On November 16-17, 2015, Dr. Jeffrey Alves, ICSB Past-President and Present Vice-President, and Dean to the Sidhu School of Business of Wilkes University, sat on stage in the grand auditorium of the International Finance Corporation (or, “IFC”), situated on Pennsylvania Avenue of Northwest Washington, D.C., sharing the same street of the White House, among four other senior World Bank staff and government dignitaries to listen and provide critique to the future leaders — the ones that have the most to gain, but the most to lose — the youth.
Established in 2013, the World Bank Group Youth Summit is an annual event that serves as a platform for conversation and action to make the World Bank Group more relevant to the global youth and to better involve young people in the work of the World Bank Group. The first Youth Summit was held on October 2013 and emphasized youth entrepreneurship. It revitalized a new chapter of World Bank Group involvement and engagement with a diverse generation of young entrepreneurs, activists, development professionals, and others interested in global-youth related issues.
The 2014 Youth Summit focused on governance. Leveraging the experiences and expertise of participants, the Summit offered workshops that highlighted the work of youth globally to increase transparency, accountability, and collaboration in the context of participatory governments.
What is ‘youth’ and why do they matter?
The World Bank Group Youth Summit defines youth to be persons between the ages of 18 and 35. Inspired by World Bank Group President Jim Kim’s directive that youth should play a more formative role in combating abject poverty and contribute towards the development agenda, the World Bank Group Youth Summit Organizing Committee (“YSOC”) is committed to the belief that there needs to be a forum to attract the brightest young minds from around the world and use their creativity and passion to help solves the world’s most complex challenges.
The World Bank Group Youth Summit 2015 Business Competition
This year’s business competition invited the youth to crowd-source solutions for climate change that could contribute towards the growth and development in developing and emerging countries. Over 330 proposals from 70+ different countries were received. Out of those 330 applications, only 6 were selected and vetted before an audience on November 17, in which ICSB proudly shared the stage to mark its commitment and support to youth innovation.
The Live Competition
The short-listed proposals on innovative business or policy-level ideas focused on India, Tanzania, Philippines, China, and Uganda, but its team members represented Mexico, Switzerland, Indonesia, China, Uganda, and the Philippines; thus representing a true global spectacle.
In attendance, among Dr. Alves, was James Close, Director, Climate Change Group, WBG; Dr. Angus Friday, Grenada’s Ambassador to the US; Cecile Fruman, Director, Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice, WBG; and moderator Monika Weber-Fahr, Senior Manager, Communications, Learning and Strategy, WBG.
The proposals were judged based the clarity of their proposal, impact potential, creativity and originality, and feasibility.
November 16 – 17, 2015, WASHINGTON DC – World Bank Group 2015 Youth Summit . Photo: Grant Ellis / World Bank
The competing teams and their business proposals were:
Will detail a franchise model for urban and peri-urban agriculture using vermicomposting (a process that uses earthworms and microorganisms to help break down organic material in order to create nutrient rich soil) and aquaponics (a system that uses waste produced by fish or other aquatic animals to supply nutrients for plants grown soil-less, which in turn purifies the water).
Has plans to educate and distribute cook stoves that use biogas and pumice stones rather than timber fuel like charcoal and firewood which contribute to carbon monoxide deaths and lung disease. The new stoves are designed to be affordable, adapted to long-hour cooking needs, and can be used for both domestic and commercial use in urban and rural settings.
Has built a platform for community complementary currency (CCC) which incentivizes users to actively their reduce carbon footprint to earn positive rewards. Users can take actions such as join a carbon reduction program, carpool or recycle to earn “Greencoins” which is credited to a user’s electronic wallet and can be spent at partnering businesses, used to make donations, or possibly invest in sustainable infrastructure projects.
Wants farmers to get away from diesel-powered irrigation pumps which contributes to carbon emissions and high diesel fuels costs. Instead, the team proposes to allow farmers to rent solar irrigations systems and receive incentives for efficient water use.
Has created a pay-as-you-go model using electric canisters to accelerate the use of liquefied petroleum gas rather than charcoal. The team has a blueprint for a leasable canister which can monitor the amount of gas remaining and only charge customers for what is used, allowing low and middle income households to access clean cooking and have more control over their budget and energy consumption.
Will debut a free mobile application that is geared towards increasing global awareness, inspiring action, and developing sustainability in climate change actions through gamification. Users enter a virtual world where everything is red, meaning hazardous. In order to gradually create a green world, players have to complete simple “quests” such as tweeting about climate change or signing a global warming petition.
While the jury cast their own votes for the winning team, the audience also voted through an online platform using their cell phones.
By the end of the competition, the winning teams were Team HELIOS and Team TREE+Ply
Team Helios November 16 – 17, 2015, WASHINGTON DC – World Bank Group 2015 Youth Summit . Photo: Grant Ellis / World Bank
Team Tree+Ply November 16 – 17, 2015, WASHINGTON DC – World Bank Group 2015 Youth Summit . Photo: Grant Ellis / World Bank
ICSB has sponsored its first scholarship to one member of each winning team to attend the ICSB Academy, a start-up boot camp, in New York/New Jersey, USA in June 2016. At the ICSB Academy, the attendees will be given full access to Launch Pad Central, a platform that provides “end-to-end solutions to validate business hypotheses,testing for value, and accelerating time to market”.
What sets the ICSB Academy apart from other start-up boot camps are the resources and its absolute global nature. The ICSB Academy has drawn distinguished academicians from leading institutions of higher education from across the globe, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and business experts. This Global Faculty will support venture topics that include, but are not limited to:
- Entrepreneurship & Sustainable Development Goals,
- Clean Energy,
- Social Entrepreneurship,
- Entrepreneurship & Leadership,
- Entrepreneurship & Information Technology (IT),
- Entrepreneurship & Peace,
- Entrepreneurship & the Arts,
- Entrepreneurship & the Sciences, and
- Entrepreneurship & Education.
Further more, the boot camp will follow the lean start-up model which puts heavy emphasis on customer testing and interviews. The Academy will dedicate 20% of the agenda towards networking and customer interviews.
To register, click here.
ICSB is pleased to become the official partner of the World Bank Group Youth Summit 2015.
What is the World Bank Group Youth Summit?
The Youth Summit was established in 2013 to enhance the World Bank Group’s commitment to the concerns of global youth and to empower youth to find their own innovative ideas for development. Given its success in 2013 and 2014, the Youth Summit is now an annual event that serves as a platform for conversation and action between youth, the World Bank Group, and the international community.
What is happening this year?
On November 16 + 17, the WBG Youth Summit 2015 will convene youth leaders, climate change experts, development and private sector professionals, government officials and students to discuss young peoples role in the fight against climate change.
A major component of the event is the case competition which was launched on September 3rd, 2015 and which ran through October 3rd, 2015.
The selected finalist will be invited to present their proposals to a live audience and a jury of experts. The jury will select the winning proposal which will be announced at he closing ceremony along with a People’s Choice Winner determined by the audience.
Additionally, the Youth Summit will provide training on climate change related topics for all attendees. Topics include: Sustainable Cities, Energy Efficiency, Climate Smart Agriculture, Climate Resilience, Climate Finance, Landscapes, Water Scarcity and Green Transport and ICT
What role does ICSB play?
ICSB has partnered with the World Bank Group Youth Summit to give the two winning team captains the opportunity to attend the 2016 ICSB Academy in New Jersey/New York City between June 13-18, 2016.
The ICSB Academy provides students with a full immersion experience in the making of a new entrepreneurial venture. Successful entrepreneurial experts (including entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, business experts, and faculty) designed a dynamic training program that includes learning modules that will help participants to identify business opportunities and create their own venture. Participants in each cohort are paired with mentors and are given time throughout the program to gain insights and advice on their ideas, learn from their mentor’s experiences, and network to expand their professional networks with another 200 entrepreneurs around the world.
The attendance to the Academy includes registration fees, flight, accommodation in the Stevens Institute of Technology’s dormitories, and meals.
In addition, the two winning team captains will have the opportunity to attend the ICSB 2016 World Conference and visit the United Nations in New York (to be confirmed).
Interested in attending the Youth Summit:
Crowd-Sourcing Solutions for Climate Change?
When: November 16-17, 2015
Where: IFC Auditorium, 2121 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC, 20433
Attendance to the event is free of charge. Interested youth are encouraged to find sponsors to pay for their transportation tickets and accommodation for the two days of the event. If attendance to Washington DC is not possible please send an email to email@example.com with “WBG Country Office” in the subject line and the Youth Summit Organizing Committee will make efforts on arranging a conference room in the WBG Country Office to watch the event live.