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Diese internationalen Studenten wollen die globalen Ernährungsprobleme lösen (English)


Currently in its 10th year, the Global Entrepreneurship Summer School (GESS) has successfully fostered an entrepreneurial spirit in students and young professionals from all over the world. GESS is a collaboration of Munich’s four university entrepreneurship centres and is organized by the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie in Munich.

It also takes place at the Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico and Tongji University in Shanghai. With an expansive global network of 490 present participants and alumni now spanning 87 countries, GESS places a strong emphasis on the importance of combining education, entrepreneurship, and networking for sustainable development.

Tackling the global challenges presented by food

This year’s summer school in Munich brought together 35 young leaders from 27 countries with the common goal of tackling the global challenges presented by FOOD through their shared passion for social entrepreneurship. Through various team-building activities that occurred over the course of this exhilarating week, new international friends were made and new cultural perspectives were gained.

7 interdisciplinary teams

The participants here in Munich were grouped into 7 interdisciplinary teams of 5 participants each and were allocated various sub-topics, including: food production, hidden hunger, food waste, food security, food logistics, and food policy.

Over the week, students were given the opportunity to learn from a multidisciplinary pool of leading experts in the field of social entrepreneurship. This was in the format of mentorships by experienced coaches, intensive training sessions in ideation, prototyping, market validation, financial planning, and pitching, as well as through a visit to the World Food Programme’s Innovation Accelerator.

Building upon this valuable input, students were then challenged to explore their respective sub-topics and develop ideas that have both a sustainable impact for society and a self-sustaining, profitable business model with the aim of advancing their ideas into solutions with the potential to create social impact worth a billion dollars (cost, profit, or savings). Teams then had to pitch their ideas in front of an experienced jury panel at the finals and 10th anniversary celebration in Munich.

At GESS, what matters most is that all participants grow as entrepreneurs and take away new insights in changing the world by entrepreneurial means.

While all ideas were great, alas, there can only be one winner.

Here are GESS Munich’s winning “billion-dollar projects to foster societal change”:

happiNGA who won overall for developing an innovative solution which markets the Moringa powder as a lifestyle product in industrial countries to support malnourished families in rural India with its revenues

Foodcast, who won the Katzy Award for the most innovative solution – an application which allows retailers to forecast customer food demands with the goal of to reducing food waste in Nigeria.

In the weeks prior to GESS Munich, similar summer schools also took place in Mexico City and Shanghai, where winning solutions comprised an innovative drone system to detect crop diseases as well as an instant vegetable stock that contained safe, healthy, and nutritious condiments to reduce vegetable waste and replace conventional products.

Fotos: © Martin Hirmer / Gewinner: © Fabian Stoffers

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