And the Winner is…

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Between schemes to recycle trash to produce biogas, mobile health and hygiene workshops, waterproof shoulderbags from recycled paper, a SMS-based micro-surveying application among many other ideas, the jury had a difficult decision to make (see my previous blog). One of the jury was our very own TSiBA lecturer Stuart Minnaar who logged in live from Cape Town to participate in the proceedings. There were only three tickets to Cape Town available and after a half hour deliberation, the jury declared the final winners of the Brains X Change Competition. A competition which, over a six month period, had over 6000 students present 90 ideas on ways to improve life in the townships of Cape Town.
Flying to Cape Town in October will be:
- Andrei of Future Phosphate who proposed a process to recycle phosphates from human waste. Phosphates are an important ingredient for fertilizers and other industrial products, so Andrei’s project improves sanitation while generating income at the same time.

- Sebastian and Thorson of Bambua developed wind,  water and fireproof prefabricated housing made from bamboo. Based on technology from IKEA, these houses can be built up in a day at less than the current cost of RDP housing.

- Renée and her team from Hygiene Boost are flying to Cape Town with a concept for a combination shower/toilet system that uses solar power to heat the shower water while the waste water from the shower flushes the toilet.
These projects address very real needs in the townships and there is quite a bit of potential synergy between these three projects as well. Congratulations to all the students for their hard work and good luck to them in the next phase of their entrepreneurial ventures!
Also congratulations to Stuart who ably represented South Africa and to the partner organizations Enviu and Projects Abroad and their sponsors, The Rabobank Group and the NCDO, for flawlessly conceiving and implementing this wonderful project.

I took quite a number of pictures of the final pitch competion and I’ll post them as soon as I have enough bandwidth.

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