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World Vision Energy Innovation Challenge

Posted February 14, 2017

The World Vision Social Innovation Challenge is an entrepreneurship competition for students and recent graduates that will support some of Canada’s most brilliant minds in creating market based solutions to some of the world’s most difficult development challenges.

The Social Innovation Challenge will provide students and recent graduates with an opportunity to develop their business ideas through providing ideation support, incubation through technical advisory services, seed capital, and the expertise of World Vision Canada to market test their solutions

By 2030, the world’s population will increase by a billion people, to 8 billion people inhabiting our planet, and another 1 billion to be added by the year 2050, for a total of over 9 billion people1 . Of this population growth, the bulk will be in the least developed nations. The population in these nations are projected to increase by 50% by the year 2030 from 832 million to 1.26 billion people2.

With this population growth, will come increasing energy demands on our planet’s finite energy resources. While energy use intensity has gone down in recent years, the total amount of energy used by the human population has risen significantly, as there are more people using energy-using goods and services3. Along with increasing energy consumption, energy challenges exist across household, community and national levels. For example, energy access, energy storage, clean cooking fuel availability, renewable and non-renewable energy supplies and access, and energy storage are just a few of the challenges facing our planet. Accordingly, UN Sustainable Goal #7 is to

“Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”

New technologies are emerging to deal with these challenges, renewable energy sources are on the rise, energy efficiency is being utilized more and more, policy innovations are being designed and implemented, and smart energy infrastructures are being created and used to better manage the energy supplies and resources we have. With determination, flexibility, innovation, and a commitment to a better energy future, the Sustainable Development Goal #7 targets can be met.

Evaluation criteria

1. Focus on the Poor: World Vision Canada seeks to address some of the most significant challenges addressing the world’s poorest communities. Ideas need to be focuses on implementation in South America, Africa and South and East Asia.

2. Market Based Approaches: Traditional approaches in the development sector focus on the very poor and are based on the assumption that they are unable to help themselves and therefore need charity, handouts and public funding. Market-based approaches on the other hand are based on the premise that being poor does not eliminate trade and market processes. Market-led approaches therefore look at people as consumers, producers, entrepreneurs and seek solutions that make markets more efficient, competitive and inclusive.

3. Cost Effectiveness: With so many people to reach and an expectation for sustainability, cost effectiveness is key.

4. Sustainable Change: Energy, light and power are needed every day and solutions need regular maintenance and investment. We’re excited about solutions that prioritize the sustainability needed to make lasting change.

5. Consider Scale: Despite population growth slowing in recent years, the global population is projected to reach 8 billion in 2025 and about 11 billion by the year 2100[1]. Consequently, solutions that are able to reach scale will be the most impactful.

1 UNCSD Secretariat, 2012
2 UNCSD Secretariat, 2012
3 IEA, 2008: 15

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