The Circular Innovation Challenge 2022

The Circular Innovation Challenge 2022

The School of Global Studies at Thammasat University hosted the ‘Circular Innovation Challenge 2022' together with partners, Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL); the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF); the SDG Lab at Thammasat University; SEAMEO Regional Centre for Sufficiency Economy Philosophy for Sustainability; and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

The Circular Innovation Challenge was an online hackathon competition for raising awareness about circular economy solutions for pressing issues of sustainability. The event was envisioned as an intensive ideation process where teams broke down problems, ideated potential solutions, and tested them in a real or simulated use environment. The program included 420 teams aged between 16 and 30 from six ASEAN countries – Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Malaysia. There were two themes, with 276 teams in the Circular Economy & Social Innovation category and another 144 teams in the Water, Sanitation & Hygiene category. Each winner received a prize of 100,000 THB, sponsored by Indorama Ventures and UNICEF, to continue developing their innovations.

All teams attended workshops led by Youth Co:Lab, and 10 finalists were then selected to receive mentoring from industry experts, before pitching to judges from the 5 main partnering organisations. 

The two winners are…

Circular Economy & Social Innovation Prize

The ThrillionX Team won in the Circular Economy and Social Innovation category for "The Water Hyacinth Kitchen Sponge", with 4 high school students from Mater Dei School in Bangkok, Thailand (all female). This project aims to solve the problem of hyacinth in the canal by proposing the idea of using the cellulose content in water hyacinth to make a sponge, instead of polyester, which is made of plastic. The water hyacinth fibre can reduce the waste of plastic sponges, protect the environment, and enhance the livelihood of local Thai people.

Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Theme

The winner of the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene category was the Gama Future Team, including 4 undergraduate students from Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia (2 male, 2 female). The proposal presented 'Hydro Cubes: Water Retaining Planting Cubes' to solve a problem in agriculture that occurs both during dry and rainy seasons where the soil type cannot retain water. They showed the concept of recycling wood dust from the furniture industry as the primary material in producing cube hydrogen, which can absorb and retain water. The solution will lower the cost of agriculture and efficient water management. 

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