A group of 4 students from the Diploma in Business Innovation and Design (DBID) participated in the Junior Achievement and Hewlett Packard Social Innovation Relay this year. From one of many, the group that proposed a plan to "Sport The Difference" to include more disabled in mainstream sports by bringing the able bodied to join the games and sports of the disabled in a socially sustainable enterprise, became not only one of the 20 selected teams but also one of the ten finalists to become the national winner. The team competed against finalists not only from other polytechnics, including but also bested Raffles Institution and the International School of Singapore to become the first national champion.
Their plan was a socially inclusive one that leveraged on the common passion for sports and identified very sound financial strategies to make the initial prototype of an event become a sustainable business proposal.
To learn more about the team’s experience, let’s find out more from the students – Cheryl, Crystal, Hau Wee and Joel who did us proud!
THE DBID-SIR JOURNEY
What is SIR?
Social innovation Relay (SIR) was a competition that was developed by Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Junior Achievement (JA) to encourage students aged between 15-18 year old to develop socially innovative concepts that could have a significant positive impacts on the society. Teams come up with innovative ideas that address social needs like Education, Health, Social Inclusion, Livelihood Development and Sustainability. The SIR was competed at the national level and then the first team of each country will compete in the international final.
How we made it to the top.
First, we brainstormed on our initial idea and decided to submit it after much consideration. We liked this idea because we felt that it was ‘da bomb’! Thus our team name Da Bomb was born. After progressing to the top 20 in the competition islandwide, we were assigned a mentor from HP, Mr Andy Koh, to guide us in our journey in this competition. Though we were all busy with school projects, we had several virtual meetings with Mr Andy and eventually submitted our concept paper despite our work pressure. We were very delighted and excited to be able to make it to the top 10, and started working on the presentation slides for our final presentation. We spent a lot of effort on our slides, and thankfully we had the help of our DBID Lecturer, Mr Aznan to perfect our presentation and to the time limit of 4 minutes. On 15 June, we presented our ideas to the panel of judges as well as our fellow competitors. Luck was on our side when we found out that we had an intermission before our presentation so everyone was refreshed and had the energy to listen to Da Bomb’s idea! We managed to finish our presentation within the 4 minutes. We answered unusual questions from the judges, like, “Why are you called Da Bomb?” and “Why did you use puns like sport the difference?” Upon receiving the results that we were the first nation-wise, we were ecstatic! We were not only able to represent Singapore but Singapore Polytechnic as well. We brought back HP laptops each, as well as a trophy. We enjoyed SIR very much, and now we are on our way on preparing for the global finals!
What was the journey like for us.
it was a very fruitful and meaningful journey, to know that the innovation we came up with could impress our lecturers, our mentor, and the judges, that they had faith and believed in our innovation more than anyone else (other than ourselves). When the idea first sprung up in our minds, we believed that it was a good plan but never did we have imagine that our idea would have brought us this far into the competition, to clinching the first place in the national finals. Being able to work in a team and succeed in representing Singapore in the global competition was a surprise to us, especially since our team consisted of people who were very different and had different strengths. We have grown closer to each other and understand more about one another much more deeply than before. Surprisingly, we were able to toggle between our school work and this SIR project efficiently. When we first met our mentor, Andy Koh, we were not confident about our chances for success. Through the virtual room meetings with him and some conversations, he helped our team to improve on our ideas tremendously. Mr Aznan also helped to make our presentation skills top-notch when we were rehearsing for the national finals.
We couldn’t have done this and made it all the way here without the support of our mentor, Mr Andy Koh, our lecturers, Mr Aznan and Ms Lam, as well as the support of our course-mates. We appreciate the support from HP and the first step they took to approach us on the SIR competition. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support and we will continue to do our best to win the global finals and make SP proud!