Jakarta. Thousands of students across the globe are coming up with fresh ideas to save the planet from the climate crisis at the Earth Prize competition.
This $200,000 global environmental sustainability competition is an initiative by the Geneva-based nonprofit organization, the Earth Foundation.
Global school strikes for climate change and the students' passion had inspired Earth Foundation founder Peter McGarry. The Earth Foundation was established in 2020 with the intention to provide the young generation a platform to make a meaningful change.
The Earth Prize competition seeks to encourage schools and students around the world to develop innovative and imaginative ideas to combat environmental issues.
According to Diana Conde Moure, the head of communications and operations at the Earth Foundation, the Earth Prize gives students an opportunity to voice their opinions.
But more importantly, an opportunity to bring their ideas to the table and bring them to life.
"They [students] need to learn about the way our world works, our planet works but they also need to be inspired and understand that there are people out there who started when they were the same age as them and are doing amazing things and amazing things that work," Moure said.
The Earth Prize focuses on educating and empowering the next generation of innovators. According to Moure, it is is targeting a younger demographic, as they have what they are calling “unpolluted ideas”.
“Young people have brilliant ideas, but most people don't take them seriously or they don't have a platform to do something with these ideas, so I think this competition really provides this," Moure added.
With 2,400 student participants from 110 different countries, the Earth Prize competition has already attracted a diverse range of participants from different backgrounds.
Two Indonesian schools, namely Surabaya European School and Binus School Simprug, have progressed to the second phase of the competition.
“We believe great ideas come from anywhere, of course it helps if you have access to resources, but amazing ideas can come from anywhere and this has been our principal goal that anyone wherever they might be can participate in the Earth Prize," Moure said.
Thirty mentors from various universities around the world have been selected to participate in the program. They will be responsible for answering questions and guiding the students' ideas throughout the process.
“I feel like students are at this time in their life where they are learning and all they really need to take care in their life at that moment is learning and developing and really letting their imagination run wild which is such a big part of growing up," Moure said.
Judges will select ten teams from the group of students who will proceed to the final phase of the competition. The Earth Foundation will announce the winners on March 26, 2022.
“The advantage of this competition is that we can provide these young people, these young minds with a platform to let their ideas and their imagination overflow and create something out of it," Moure said.