Young innovators awarded seed funds to make eco-solutions a reality

29 June 2021
UPSHIFT workshop climate change UNICEFMK
UNICEF

Skopje, 22 June 2021: At an online design thinking workshop five teams of 13-19-year-old young people were granted each 120,000 denars to realize their innovative solution to reduce the harmful effects of climate change and protecting the environment.

The innovators were selected as part the UPSHIFT programme where ten teams made up of forty-six high school students from Skopje, Kochani, Ohrid, Struga, Stip, Kavadarci, and Prilep participated in the three-day design thinking workshop. Under the guidance of their mentors and professors, all teams had the opportunity to develop their ideas and gain new practical skills. The five top teams awarded seed funds to implement their ideas include:

  1. Team Vlado Tasevski from a vocational high school in Skopje, for their “SMАRT bench” idea – a solar panel bench that can be installed in school yards to serve as a point for charging phones; a free Wi-Fi hotspot and bike stand for the students.
  2. Team Niko Nestor from a vocational high school in Struga, for their idea to install electronic measuring instruments in Lake Ohrid that would measure and report water pollution daily. The information will be shared with all citizens, schools, local authorities to raise awareness of the importance to keep the lake clean.
  3. Team Orde Chopela from a vocational high school in Prilep, for their idea to make their school’s mini-farm eco-friendly by installing solar powered equipment and improve the conditions of the animals.
  4. Team Goso Vikentiev from a vocational high school Kocani for their “Smart” greenhouse – an eco-friendly system for growing trees, plants, organic compost, and growing vegetables and fruits in the school garden. 
  5. Team Mihajlo Pupin from a vocational high school in Skopje, for their portable measuring instrument for monitoring and reporting the concentration of greenhouse gases.

Over the next three months the teams will be supported by mentors to implement their ideas.

UPSHIFT is a UNICEF supported initiative that combines social innovation workshops, with mentorship, materials and seed funding. It aims to foster innovative and creative thinking among young people, to understand the challenges they face and help them design innovative solutions in the form of a product or service. It builds on “human centred design” methodology which is transferable and helps both teachers and students develop entrepreneurial skills, such as: project management, critical thinking, teamwork and successful communication.

The programme is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), implemented by the association CEED Hub Skopje with the support of the Ministry of Education and Science, the Fund for Innovation and Technological Development, UNICEF and the Bureau for Development of Education

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