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With greening the economy and Just Transition at its heart, #ImvelisiJustHack is a collective intervention aimed at seizing opportunities that can play a vital role in building a sustainable and inclusive future for all.
This is according to Lucky Litelu, the project lead for iMvelisi Enviropreneurs, an African programme aimed at developing the pipeline of aspiring green and sustainability-focused entrepreneurs. With its mission to develop enviropreneurs across the continent, iMvelisi Enviropreneurs is a partnership between GreenMatter and the South African Young Water Professionals.
From Friday 22 July to Sunday 24 July, iMvelisi Enviropreneurs will celebrate its seventh anniversary with #ImvelisiJustHack, an initiative formally known as the “iMvelisi Just Transition Knowledge Exchange and Hackathon.” Participants will seek pathways to a just transition in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
According to Litelu, Just Transition ensures that greening the economy is done in a responsible, well-rounded and inclusive way that focuses on the overall impact on the planet, economy and the people and not just bottom line.
By equipping enviropreneurs with knowledge, skills, tools and resources to develop their water, biodiversity and environmental start-up businesses, iMvelisi is facilitating far reaching innovative solutions that can mitigate environmental risks and disasters such as the Durban floods in South Africa earlier this year.
#ImvelisiJustHack was developed in partnership with Unicef, Yoma, UNDP, UNEP, DSI, TIA, the Swiss Embassy, UN Page, and others supported by ICRD Group and Geekulcha. It brings together like-minded people – from programmers and scientists to designers, entrepreneurs, community leaders, cultural creatives and thought and practice leaders – to develop forward-thinking ideas and solutions in addressing Just Transition and the future of work.
#ImvelisiJustHack as business development intervention
Part of the iMvelisi Enviropreneurs programme, #ImvelisiJustHack is the ideation phase of a business development intervention designed for aspiring young entrepreneurs and innovators in the green economy. This programme focuses on the water and biodiversity sectors in particular; and the green economy in general.
Since its inception, Imvelisi bootcamps have been generously supported by South Africa’s department of science and innovation (DSI) and other key sector stakeholders. This sector specific programme equips aspiring young enviropreneurs with knowledge, skills and resources to develop their green business ideas.
During this week’s programme, participants will engage in knowledge building and dialogue. The teams will then be challenged to develop web applications, electronics systems and data visualizations, making use of open source data.
Teams will be exposed to design thinking workshops and will have mentors supporting their efforts. They will be given the opportunity to present their final pitch on the last day of the event. Top solutions developed during the hackathon will be rewarded. Moreover, the most innovative solutions will be entered into the global Generation Unlimited Challenge where they will stand a chance of representing South Africa abroad and accessing additional funding opportunities.
“The #ImvelisiJustHack is youth driven, innovative and game changing. By collaborating to mitigate risks, seize opportunities, as well as capacitate and exploit our youth’s intellectual capital, we can create a sustainable 4IR-Enabled future for people in South Africa and beyond,” says Litelu.