Social Good Summit 2018- Think Tumara
Sep 3, 2018
The Social Good Summit (SGS) is a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) flagship event that is held annually during the United Nations General Assembly week, in September of every year. The Summit unites a lively community of global citizens and progressive thought leaders around a common theme: #2030NOW. The conversation focusses on how we can unlock technology’s potential to make the world a better place. The SGS is also a platform for engaging youth in promoting and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In Sierra Leone, the SGS brings together academics, young innovators and grass root activists; students, and pupils; and the private sector to chart ways on how to use innovation and new technology, especially by young people, to ameliorate present and future challenges. UNDP commenced the event in Sierra Leone in 2013, with the introduction of the National Youth Innovation Awards (NYIA), which had been the highlight of the events. This year’s SGS has been proposed to be held in Makeni City, in the Bombali District, making it the third district to host the event after, Freetown and Bo.
The 2017 winner Mohamed Kamara developed a renewable generator from scrap metals whiles the female star prize was won by Fanta Konneh, who developed a “So-wind” (short for solar and wind) power generator. Both winners teamed up to provide renewable electrification to Serabu, a rural community in Kenema, Eastern Sierra Leone.
In 2016, we introduced male and female categories in the competition to encourage more girls to participate. A trio won the male category with the prototype of an environmentally friendly electricity generator, whilst Fatmata Binta Barrie won the female category - the water purification system for rural communities. Both winners represented Sierra Leone in the 2017 World Robot Olympiad in Washington. The summit was not held in 2014 due to Ebola epidemic but was reactivated in 2015, with Archippus Sesay, an amputee from Northern Sierra Leone, winning the Star Prize for locally designing and manufacturing prosthetic legs for fellow amputees. Its first winner Salton Massally is the inventor of the www.careers.sl job portal. He is currently a leading youth innovator and the Chief Technology Officer at iDT Labs. Sierra Leone continues to benefit from Salton’s innovative ideas, as his company developed a mobile application for the judiciary to fast-track and monitor court cases.
Leaving No One Behind in the Digital Age
Our theme, in Krio “Think Tumara” epitomizes the Sierra Leone we want in #2030. It also brings into perspective how our current and collective actions matter in bridging the digital divide. This year’s summit will not only accommodate applications from youth in the school and academia, but also those who may not have gone to school or dropped out at some point due to one or more reasons; youth who may not have access to the infrastructure that are necessary to enable their innovative and or digital dreams and ambitions to thrive. The aim of this year’s SGS is, therefore, to extend an opportunity to all young people who are ready to unleash their creative and innovative potentials to address the development challenges in their communities and the larger Sierra Leone society.
We hope this year’s event will inspire young people to take the lead in coming up with ground-breaking innovations to help make Mama Salone a better place. Contestants will be split into male and female categories from which the two-star winners and two runners-up will be selected. The star winners will receive a cash prize of SLL 10Million each and the runner-up will each receive SLL 5Million.