SI Camp expands presence to eight Asian cities
By Gabey Goh July 12, 2013
- Top teams from eight Asian cities to be featured in regional camp
- Call for ideas for KL camp begins Aug 20, camp from Sept 20-22
THE Social Innovation (SI) Camp Asia has spread its wings to eight Asian cities for its second edition this year, with a final regional camp featuring top teams from all camps to take place at the end of the year.
In addition to Kuala Lumpur, SI Camps will be hosted in Bangkok, Cebu, Jarkata, Manila, Hong Kong, Seoul and Singapore.
The original SI Camp was launched in the United Kingdom in 2008 to help catalyse and start technology-based social ventures that use good design. It matches experts of a social problem to solution enablers such as software developers, designers and business-minded people.
For a 48-hour period, these minds come together to build a technology-based solution to a social problem. They will hack together wireframes, code, work out a business and marketing plan, and more.
The first phase of the event is a Call for Ideas, where anyone who has a particular social issue and might have a technology-based idea or solution for it, submits his or her raw idea for consideration.
This year, the Call for Ideas will open on Aug 20 for submissions that use technology in the form of mobile, web or hardware, to produce change that really matters.
After this, six ideas will be selected by mentors and judges, and teams will be built around them to help grow and nurture the idea. The make-up of teams will be holistic and comprise technologists, marketers, strategists and business people.
The camp spans a total of 48 hours, and teams will be tasked with building web/ mobile-based solutions to a set of social problems – from back-of-the-envelope ideas that could change the world into social startups – complete with working software.
After the camp ends, the SI Camp team, sponsors and mentors will provide additional support to the weekend’s winning and runner-up teams.
Last year’s winner was ThatApp, which helps young people find out the real story about sex by making a game out of it. You can challenge other users with questions and, if you get the answer wrong, you can look up the true answer immediately.
Speaking to Digital News Asia (DNA), founder of UX Malaysia and SI Camp KL organiser Izwan Ismail (pic), said that the goal for this year was to build on the success of its inaugural year and cover more ground.
“In Malaysia, we’re definitely seeing more movement on the social innovation side of things, especially with Sunway starting up its own social entrepreneurship institute,” he said.
Sunway University, owned and governed by the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation (JCF), recently set up the Sunway Institute for Social Entrepreneurship (SISE). The Institute aspires to be a leading and influential centre for the advancement of social entrepreneurship in Malaysia.
“What we’re hoping to achieve with this year’s camp is to help out the local scene, to produce ideas and startups which are centred on making a positive social impact,” said Izwan.
Despite winning top honours, ThatApp is now in cold storage for the moment as the idea owner and team hit quite a few roadblocks.
“It came to a point where the idea just wasn’t feasible. It has good support [but] the team couldn’t get the insights and information needed to develop a solid sex education app based in Kuala Lumpur,” Izwan said, adding that he was also a member of the ThatApp team last year.
When asked about social entrepreneurship startups having a much higher failure rate than their for-profit counterparts, he said that it was one of the issues that will be addressed with this year’s camp.
In line with that mission, this year the SI Camp organisers will be fortifying the pool of mentors and pairing teams with institutions that can contribute resources and expertise to help further develop ideas as well.
“We are looking to include more domain experts to help the teams and lend their insights to beef up the long-term sustainability of the selected ideas,” he added.
This year’s teams will also benefit from access to information and experience from last year’s ideas and participants. In contrast, Izwan reported that another idea from last year, Blood Donors Network, based in the Philippines, is moving forward, steadily gaining traction and support.
The app enables immediate access to database of people who are regular blood donors as well as those who are able and willing to donate blood affiliated with the hospitals nearby.
The Kuala Lumpur camp is slated to kick off from Sept 20-23 in Kuala Lumpur, hosted and organised by UX Malaysia, in partnership with Sunway University, JCF and the United Nations Development Programme.
SI Camp Kuala Lumpur dates to remember:
- June 18: Call for Ideas
- Aug 20: Deadline for idea submissions
- Aug 23: Team Building
- Sept 20-22: SI Camp Weekend
For more information about SI Camp KL, click here.
For more information about SI Camp Asia, click here.