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Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship


Winning teams announced for The Global Challenge 2017

The final of The Global Challenge 2017 was held at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, on Sunday 30 April and Monday 1 May.

The Global Challenge is an ‘ecosystem-mapping’ competition designed to encourage students to engage with a social or environmental problem and its existing solutions in depth, before proposing opportunities for creating change. The Challenge was founded by the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship in 2016, and this year has expanded to include participants from over 22 institutions from seven countries world-wide.

14 teams competed in the final, with six teams going through to the last round on Monday 1 May. Each of the final six teams presented their research to a panel of expert judges and a live audience in the Nelson Mandela Lecture Theatre at the Saïd Business School.

The last round opened with a keynote address from Cheryl Dahle, judge for the Challenge and Founder and CEO of Flip Labs and Future of Fish.

Using her work at The Future of Fish as a case study, Dahle discussed systems change and how the approach can be applied to many other complex challenges by building strategic, collective impact across an entire ecosystem.

The three winning teams wowed the audience and judges with their professional presentations and exceptional knowledge of both the ‘problem’ and ‘solution’ landscape of the issues they are addressing.

First prize went to MediMorph, a trio of undergraduates from the Simon Fraser University in Vancouver in Canada. Team MediMorph aka, Iman Baharmand, Kimberley Venn, and Alec Yu focused on the issue of solid medical waste management within Vancouver hospitals. They highlighted the interplay between hospital practices, government/health authority policy, and private companies. They also investigated how tackling this waste problem could create positive social impact through the re-distribution of medical products. The team will be awarded the prize of £3,000 and tickets to the Skoll World Forum 2018 and Emerge 2017.

Pictured left to right: Team MediMorph; Iman Baharmand, Kimberley Venn, and Alec Yu. Mohamed Amersi of The Amersi Foundation.

Second prize went to Simple Seat, Better Lives; a duo of students from the University of San Diego in California, U.S.A. Mei-Li Hey and Harrison Schmachtenberger researched the issues facing landmine survivors and disabled individuals in Uganda and their inability to use a pit-latrine; the common mode of defecation in developing areas. The team will be awarded the prize of £2,000 and tickets to Emerge 2017. 

Pictured left to right: Team Simple Seat, Better Lives; Mei-Li Hey and Harrison Schmachtenberger. Mohamed Amersi of The Amersi Foundation.

Third prize went to University of Melbourne’s team, Umps Health. Umps Health was represented by two of its team members at the final in Oxford; Sarah Goss, Adam Jahnke, and Joseph Salibi, with Jahnke presenting in the last round. After researching Australia’s care crisis, caused by higher life expectancies and a shift towards informal, family-led care, the team mapped the disjoint between governmental intervention and technology. The team will be awarded £1,000 in prize money and tickets to Emerge 2017.

Pictured left to right: Judge, Darian Stibbe, Team Umps Health; Joseph Salibi and Adam Jahnke, Mohamed Amersi of The Amersi Foundation.

Graduate Business School at the University of Cape Town, South Africa – Allsafe

Allsafe researched the community policing environment in South Africa along with the systematic issues surrounding the coordination, communication and information sharing between initiatives addressing crime prevention and personal safety.

Mount Royal University, Canada - Braden Etzerza

Braden Etzerza, from Mount Royal University, mapped the ways in which four indigenous communities in Northern British Columbia access both traditional and market foods, and how this has been disrupted over time by modernisation and colonisation.

University of Oxford, UK - Saving Mothers

The legacy of apartheid and an under-resourced healthcare system mean that mothers in rural, impoverished communities of South Africa often suffer from poor maternal health. Saving Mothers’ research shone a light on this issue, through desktop analysis and interviews with affected mothers.

‘The Global Challenge is unique in its focus on understanding problems and existing solutions in depth’, says Andrea Warriner, Deputy Director of the Skoll Centre. ‘The Skoll Centre believes that this systems-focused approach to creating change is critical if we are to effectively prepare young people for tackling the world’s most pressing problems. We are excited to see the Challenge grow, and to see what change participating students go on to make in their careers!’

To find out more, read about previous winners and their research, head to

Educators interested in registering their institution for the 2018 Global Challenge should contact the Skoll Centre team at