Social issues have been a constant occurrence in any country in all of history. What separates social issues is how they are tackled by the societies and countries, through joining forces from different parties to create grounded solutions.
As many countries have shown, even with an army of hard-working government officials, sometimes you need some outside perspectives. Like those countries, Egypt has seen the importance of, and has been emphasizing, younger and more tech-savvy innovators and experimenters and their ideas.
Brands have also become aware that they are no longer just selling a product to a country, but can become integral parts of the country’s growth and evolution.
That’s why international beverage brand PepsiCo is teaming up with the MENA region’s leading innovation and entrepreneurship summit, Rise Up, and the Ministry of Social Solidarity to bring new innovative ideas to the spotlight.
On the 7th of December, PepsiCo Egypt’s CEO and chairman Mohamed Shelbaya, Rise-Up Summit’s CEO and founder Abdel Hameed Sharara and H.E. Ghada Wali, the Minister of Social Solidarity, signed a protocol agreement for a hackathon that will be held in April 2019 focusing on the UN’s SDGs and Egypt’s 2030 vision.
The hackathon, named Egypt 2030 Hackathon, will be aimed at creating/hacking solutions for some of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) for Egypt’s 2030 vision by asking innovators, developers, inventors and more to come up with creative and resourceful solutions.
While at the signing, Minister Wali stated “We are looking for new, young, creative ideas to support. I’m sure this summit will help us find them, to work with them on helping to achieve the Egypt 2030 vision goals.”
This isn’t the first time that the international beverage brand has been helping with Egypt’s 2030 vision. For over 10 years, PepsiCo has been working with the United Nations Food Program in various governorates in Upper Egypt to provide proper nutrition for children in schools. Families are given food boxes in exchange for their children registering for schools, aligning the two aims of zero hunger and quality education.
According to Egypt’s United Nations Development Programme website, “…Egypt’s Vision 2030, also known as Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS),…encompasses the economic and social dimensions of development. SDS promotes economic flourishing based on justice, social integrity and participation.”
Hacking for Solutions
Although hacking is usually seen as something that includes coding and technical prowess, in recent years it has become a word that simply means creative problem solving. With their new agreement, Rise Up and PepsiCo, alongside the Ministry of Social Solidarity, will be joining forces to encourage new ideas and processes to improve the country through a hackathon.
The hackathon will be focusing on SDGs number 2 and 5, Zero Hunger and Gender Equality respectively. Startups will have 3 days to develop solutions for at least one of the SDGs.
The hackathon, which is scheduled for April of next year, will welcome up to 500 applicants. Shortlisted teams/startups of 3 to 7 people, up to 15 teams, will attend the hackathon for the 3-day period. First place for the most innovative, resourceful and effective solution will win 500K EGP to put their plan/solution into action.
The SDGs are both part of the Social Justice/Dimension pillar. This section of the 2030 vision is aimed to “achieve equal rights and social opportunities in the education, health, and other basic services.”
The idea that a group of young, curious and talented individuals will be able to provide a different perspective on the issues as well as creative and dynamic solutions is something many hope will bring new energy to the country’s growth.