YALI RLC-SA/ DOW Design Challenge 2021 for Sustainable Waste Management

Application Deadline: 13th October 2021

The rising quality of life and high rates of resource consumption patterns have had an unintended and negative impact on the urban environment. They have resulted in generation of wastes beyond the handling capacities of most waste management authorities. Most Southern African cities are now grappling with the problems of high volumes of waste, low capacity to manage and the high
costs involved in the management.

In some Southern African countries, waste disposal and management companies have invested in new technologies that can efficiently manage waste collection. For example, these companies leverage user-friendly smartphone applications to facilitate prompt service, extra pickups, and bill payments through push notifications. Consequently, this technology has effectively enhanced cost-effective waste collection costs by simplifying the waste material collection processes. In addition, the introduction of automated waste management sensors triggers instant alerts every time a container is full and needs service.

YALI RLC-SA would like to encourage the use of digital and other environmentally friendly technologies to enable effective waste management systems across Southern Africa. The YALI Centre in collaboration with Dow, is posing a design challenge to its alumni to address the challenges associated with waste management.

Successful alumni applicants will be taken through a practical online curriculum centered on sustainability, the SDGs and the Circular Economy. Participants will prototype their solutions to the Design Challenge and build on their ideas as they progress through this curriculum. The course follows the “Watch – Think – Do – Explore – Collaborate” pedagogy in a highly experiential
learning format. Throughout the duration of the program, Alumni will discuss their own experiences and deepen their knowledge in key areas where further sustainability practice and development are needed.

Where, how long and when will the Design Challenge be held?
The Design Challenge for Sustainable Waste Management using technology will be held online over a twelve (12) week period, starting tentatively on the 29th of November 2021.

What are the objectives of the Design Challenge?
● Highlight the talent embedded within YALI RLC-SA Alumni;
– Obtain new ideas for waste management in Southern Africa using digital solutions and in alignment with the key tracks of the YALI curriculum, and
● Provide nominal funding to YALI alumni to fund a project concept.

What key sectors will the Design Challenge focus on?

The Design Challenge will focus on the respective roles of each of the three YALI RLC Tracks in solving sustainable waste management challenges with the use of technology in Southern Africa.

Who should apply?
Alumni of the YALI RLC-SA working in the Circular Economy/Technology/Green/Sustainable waste management space, irrespective of the track, are encouraged to apply for the Design Challenge.

Criteria for Alumni:

Participants will represent all three YALI tracks but are Circular Economy/Technology/Green/Sustainable waste management biased and willing to devote twelve weeks to the process.
Alumni will apply individually, but successful applicants will be randomly placed in groups of four to compete with other challenge teams.

Structure of the Design Challenge

– The structure of the design challenge will offer an introductory training program on Sustainability, Circular Economy and the SDGs. The training will be completely online through weekly webinars introducing key concepts with additional material delivered weekly through online self-paced studying.
– The webinars will include interactive polls and breakout discussions and topical issues will be discussed in-depth using the online discussion forum feature on the platform.
The training is designed to help the Alumni understand sustainability and the circular economy so as to better develop solutions for effective and sustainable waste management in the Southern African region with the use of digital and other environmentally friendly technologies.
Each of these webinars shall take 2 hours with the content delivered online via Zoom.
The discussions will be recorded and availed after the sessions.
The course ends with the Project Presentation (PV) to a panel of judges. Alumni Challenge groups will present all elements of the venture developed throughout the course on social media.
The training will end with an awards ceremony and the announcement of the winning Challenge group.
The winning group will receive US $10,000 to implement their challenge project/ idea.

The award ceremony will be followed by a six-month mentorship period for finalists of the Challenge. Finalists will be assigned to mentors for this period and submit quarterly progress reports.

Selection Criteria

Successful applicants will be drawn from all three tracks and put into country specific random groups of four to compete against other groups;
● Twenty -four (24) successful alumni (six Challenge groups) will be selected to participate in the Design Challenge.
● All six groups will collaborate internally to work (online) on their design/idea, participate in all online sessions and present at the final, where the winning group will be selected by a panel of judges

The selection process will take place after the close of applications on the 13th October 2021, and successful candidates notified by the 12th of November. The training for the

Challenge commences on the 29th November and run for a total of twelve weeks non- concurrent, to allow for the festive season break.

For more information contact:
Mr. Ayanda Mngadi – YALI RLC-SA Alumni Specialist
[email protected]

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the YALI RLC-SA/ DOW Design Challenge 2021

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