Innovate the Cape had the privilege of kicking off its Intro Indaba in amidst the Open Design Cape Town festival on the 22 August 2015 at the quintessential Cape Town location: Cape Town City Hall.

Open Design Cape Town is an annual 12 day festival spread across the CBD celebrating innovation and design through various talks, workshops, exhibits and pop-up spaces. This year’s theme was ‘Design for Tomorrow’. What does the future look like? Are there going to be sufficient resources to feed, house, clothe, move and educate all people in a way that will sustain future generations? We need to design our tomorrow.

Enter Innovate the Cape – what a fitting theme to set the stage for this youth-centered initiative. Society has over and again taught us that our youth are our future; so in the same vein, are they not our tomorrow? It’s important for us to design with this in mind. But more importantly, whilst using this notion, perhaps it’s time to challenge it: the youth aren’t just our future, they’re also our present!

 And this is where Innovate the Cape sets the example. By creating a platform for our youth’s innovative and ingenious solutions to our community’s problems, we see change! If the youth are our future, let’s use them to create our tomorrow: using our future for the future.

So what was the Intro Indaba you ask? The beginning of greatness through another season of Innovate the Cape. Applications were processed and carefully judged, leaving us with eight finalist groups who presented their ideas at the Intro Indaba:

The Health Watch: A watch that would be able to sense some level of bodily functions and therefore alert you to certain abnormalities.  

Amaqhawe: A two-tiered initiative; a platform for substance abuse support as well as an app that educates learners about financial literacy.

Press Ukungaluthando: A sanitation kiosk for students run by students.

Long Walk from Loadshedding: A shoe that generates electricity.

Encouraging Gardening: A gardening project that encourages the idea of self-sustainability with the benefit of low costs and community involvement.

Electricity Monitor: An app which monitors a household’s electricity consumption.

Career expo: An initiative that exhibits more career choices for high school students and the diversity that exists within this sector

Ezingabalulekanga Recyclable: A waste management service for households.

After being inspired by these ideas, the ITC 2015 finalists were then privileged to be inspired by Morten Ydefeldt, Industrial Designer Engineer who exudes creativity on every level – even his clothing! Morten spoke about his passion for rapid prototyping and building ideas and taught us how [almost] anything is possible.

In between presenting, listening , lunching, and refining, Open Design Cape Town created a vibrant ambience for our finalists. There was lots for us to join in on: a culture of design and innovation; pop up stores by local traders and other Brightminds workshops!

The final session of the Intro Indaba was an opportunity for the finalist groups to meet their mentors. Each group was paired with a mentor who had particular experience in the field of the group’s project idea. This was a fruitful session where mentors not only established great relationships with the students but furthermore, helped guide and facilitate the upcoming refining and prototyping processes of the challenge.

 All in all, the Intro Indaba was a great success and kicked off Innovate the Cape 2015 with a bang. We’re excited to witness the process of these innovators turning their ideas into realities over the next few months!

#watchthisspace

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(Above): Morten Ydefeldt inspiring the ITC finalists.

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(Above): Finalist groups refining their ideas and meeting with mentors.