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5 things to look out for at ICC 21

Updated: May 30, 2021

As we head towards our first Ignite Innovation for Climate Change (ICC) virtual challenge on 4-5 June 2021, we have prepared our top 5 picks of the event that participants and all young social entrepreneurs as well as leaders in climate action can look forward to.

  1. The best in renewable energy, sustainable development and creative leadership.

If you have been following our social media updates, you will know that Yvette Ramos and Kathleen Vaughan are the first two confirmed guests for the ICC virtual challenge.

Yvette is one of the Co-founders of WOMENVAI, which stands for WOmen and Men in ENVironment and Artificial Intelligence. She has worked in project management positions for hydromet and climate services. She is also the first woman president of the Swiss Engineering Geneva Chapter.

Empowering girls and women is the key to a sustainable and happy society: we educate girls and women who educate, train, heal, coach and manage people. With empathy and goodwill you can build bridges, cross all sorts of barriers and win altogether- Yvette Ramos

Kathy is a global executive, team coach, and an experienced consultant with expertise in team leadership and effectiveness, driving strategy through leadership development, and fostering innovation and creativity in dynamic environments. She is currently Associate Faculty and Coach at the Center for Creative Leadership.

The design of the ICC virtual challenge will connect you with great minds to quickly and creatively respond to the challenges we face related to climate change. By the end of Day 2, you will have an experience to pave the way forward and drive the change we want.- Kathy Vaughan.

Elizabeth Mwangi will join the ICC virtual challnge as a mentor. Liz is a young professional, passionate about social impact entrepreneurship, women empowerment, and environment/wildlife conservation. She is currently working as a junior designer at Design for Wildlife, an organization that is bridging the gap between design-thinking and wildlife conservation. Liz also co-runs That Glow Factor, a female empowerment platform she co-founded and which is enabling young African college women to successfully launch, build and accelerate their career journeys.

It’s exciting to see such wonderful and new approaches being adopted to solve climate change issues. I’m keen to see the ideas and innovations that come out of the ICC challenge and more specifically, to engage with other young people in solving for a cleaner and greener African future from a very human-centred place!- Liz Mwangi

Betty Bonnardel-Azzarelli, CEO and Founder of Farmer Charlie, has also confirmed her attendance for the second day of the challenge. An award-winning Fellow and Chartered engineer, Betty uses her experience and skills in telecoms, tech and innovation, business and strategy to lead Farmer Charlie’s team towards connecting remote smallholder farmers around the world. She holds two Masters’ in Science in aeronautical and space engineering (including telecoms), a diploma in international nuclear law and a MBA.

I am very excited to be part of the We Inspire Africa ICC Virtual Challenge as a mentor/judge and I look forward to meeting tomorrow’s African leaders in climate change.- Betty Bonnardel-Azzarelli

Inspire Africa CEO and Co=founder Cynthia Mene will be the facilitator as well as host for the event over the two days. Cynthia has over six years work and leadership experience as an international development practitioner; deploying her skills as a program design, management & innovation specialist, and entrepreneurship/leadership development consultant within the nonprofit, enterprise and social sector. She is a 2015 Mandela Washington Fellow and has won numerous social entrepreneurship awards including the Global Innovation through Science and Technology Awards and Women in Africa Philanthropy Awards.

2. A strong turnout of applications from across Africa.

We could not have been more encouraged with the number of applications from across Africa. This project was specially created for young social entrepreneurs and youth in climate action and from Morocco to South Africa, we have many young and enthusiastic applicants on the shortlist. So much so that we have had to create a waitlist and leave applications open so that everyone can get the chance to be part of this event. If you have not made the shortlist, do not despair you might still be in line to join the ICC as a participant. We are exploring other options such as live streaming the event so that we can bring the event to everyone. Will will let you know of any developments in this regard as soon as they become apparent.

3. You could feature at COP26.

The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) will be hosted by the UK from 1-12 November 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. As we have highlighted in our communications, the Ignite Innovation for Climate Change is sponsored by the British Council through the Future News Worldwide program. As part of the outcomes of the ICC project, our participants have the opportunity to showcase their work in innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainable development etc, and be heard by delegates in climate action from across the globe as part of an ICC documentary on climate change. You can submit your video even if you are not on the shortlist/waitlist.

Here are a few guidelines to help you send a compelling video:

  • Introduce yourself, your age, where you are from and what you do.

  • Why is Climate Change an important topic for you. Make reference to a personal example.

  • What you hope to get from the ICC.

  • Make sure you are in a quiet, secluded place with no strong wind or background noises when you record your video. Also care to check if your face is visible and there isn’t too much or too little light where you are recording.

How to submit your video:

  • Upload your video on any social media platform ( YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram)

  • Make it public and tag Inspire Africa:

Twitter- @WeInspireAfrica

Instagram- @weinspireafrica

LinkedIn- @InspireAfricaforGlobalImpactsInitiative

Facebook- @WeInspireAfricans

Youtube- Inspire Africa for Global Impacts Initiative

Your video should be submitted by 11:59 PM WAT on Monday 31 May 2021. Should you need clarity on the instructions, send an email to as soon as possible. Also note that by sending us the video, you consent to Inspire Africa and the British Council using it for promotional purposes on our social channels.

4. A wealth of networking opportunities.

The Ignite Innovation for Climate Change is a platform with great support and appreciation from its partners because of its objective particularly towards climate action. Apart from the networking opportunities from Inspire Africa for Global Impacts Initiative as well as the Future News Worldwide network, our facilitators, mentors, speakers and judges are keen to meet and engage with the participants on areas of common interest like sustainable development, hydromet, human centered design thinking and.sustainable deve;opment. This is an invaluable opportunity to make the most of their availability so you can learn and perhaps pitch your ideas to them as well.

5. Prizes to be won.

It would not be a competition without prizes awarded at the end! We have prepared a number of individual as well as team awards and prizes for our participants. All participants, however, will receive an e-certificate of participation. We will reward high performing individual and team innovations with substantial prizes. The virtual challenge will be a team based competition where participants use the human centered design thinking process to innovate solutions to climate change problem faced in Africa. About 10 teams of 5-6 people will pitch their solutions on 5 June 2021 to a panel of judges and mentors who will decide the winning teams and individuals.

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