The RE:SOLVE Challenge calls on SA to unleash creativity

Date:15 October 2021 Author: Micayla Vellai Tags:, ,

South Africa is full of ideas that hold the potential to solve various challenges – consider this: an app that allows you to share information about poor road conditions or even an urban aquaponics farm that feeds communities.

Thanks to the RE:SOLVE Challenge, similar ideas to those mentioned are made possible. This purpose-led, design thinking challenge calls on South Africans to unleash their creativity and entrepreneurial spirit in order to rebuild and pave the way forward.

The launch of the RE:SOLVE Challenge in October 2020 was driven by a deep necessity to re-examine and re-imagine how we do things. The new 2021 Call for Entry is open until October 31, 2021 and individuals and teams are invited to co-create bold and innovative solutions. The focus will be on transport, hygiene, food security, education, medical care, retail and micro-enterprises.

Funded by the City of Cape Town, and organised by the Craft and Design Institute (CDI), the best ideas that are identified through the challenge will receive kickstart funding to fast-track their early stage development.

In 2020, around 200 applicants entered their ideas while 10 South African innovators were selected to receive grant funding to prototype their ideas.

For example, Mcebo Shange’s innovation was part of those which took centre stage in 2020, by combining community and transport. The AI mobile and web App could make the collection of data about deteriorating road conditions faster, cheaper, and easier by creating a crowd economy platform that enables anyone with a vehicle and smartphone to become a road condition data capturer.

On the other hand, Jessica Murphy who is a teacher, tapped into her agricultural passion to take forward a simple, sustainable, innovative product that could help to transform arid sites into abundant food gardens. Today, her idea exists in the form of Harvest Moon Grow Box, a company which provides all the materials, tools, information and seeds required to start an organic edible garden in a biodegradable box, including an Olla irrigation pot.

Suzanne Smit’s urban farming concept is geared to setting up indoor aquaponic growing facilities in local communities. It’s a sustainable farming methodology occupying less space and requiring less water than traditional farming methods, critical barriers in many communities. Her vision is to make locally-grown products available without the costly expense of transport and packaging.

Zamani Manqele used his background in catering and manufacturing to ideate a smart grocery bag handle that not only counteracts the hand strain from carrying heavier grocery bags, but also has a GPS distress button for emergencies.

The RE:SOLVE Challenge gave these South Africans the opportunity to realise their ideas and helped them develop their first prototypes. Watch them share their thoughts here:

Once the 2021 Call for Entries closes at 5pm on October 31 2021, 80 ideas will be shortlisted to participate in an eight-month programme. After this, 6-8 participants will be announced and given the opportunity to prototype their ideas via their share of a total of R100 000 in grant funding on offer.

RE:SOLVE Challenge applications are online only, via:

Picture: Unsplash

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