News & Event

USRN Virtual Boot Camp + Seed Fund Competition: Innovating for the COVID New Normal

The global spread of the COVID pandemic has triggered new practices and technologies that would become rooted in our everyday lives. While at times disruptive, these innovations also bring the potential to challenge existing social norms and drive forward a more inclusive and sustainable future.

The University Social Responsibility Network (USRN) is now inviting students from the USRN member institutions to join the Virtual Boot Camp + Seed Fund Competition: Innovating for the COVID New Normal.

Facilitated by professional designers and specialist mentors, participants would learn how to decode complex global challenges and apply new analysis and solution design skills to develop their own innovation prototype for social good in the COVID New Normal.

Winning teams will be awarded a seed fund to further develop their ideas and be given a showcase opportunity at the Social Innovation Regional Forum 2022 organised by the Jockey Club Design Institute for Social Innovation (JCDISI) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University later this year (click to read about the previous Social Innovation Regional Forum).

Apply to join if you want to:

  • Exchange first-hand insights with overseas experts, designers, and fellow participants
  • Learn how to decode and examine complex social challenges
  • Gain the skills needed to analyse user needs
  • Design and develop your own innovation prototype for social good
  • Compete to win seed fund to further implement your idea

Key Dates

Your participation times depend on which institute you are from:

Student Group 1Student Group 2
Al-Farabi Kazakh National University
Ateneo de Manila University
Beijing Normal University
Kyoto University
Peking University
Sichuan University
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
University of Haifa
UNSW Sydney
Yonsei University
Clare Hall, University of Cambridge
Rhodes University
Simon Fraser University
The University of Manchester
Tufts University
University of Iceland
University of Pretoria
University of São Paulo
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Washington University in St. Louis

Selected student participants are expected to attend all of the sessions below:

SessionDateGroup 1 Time (HKT*)Group 2 Time (HKT*)
Briefing Session5 Jul 202221:00-22:0021:00-22:00
Workshop 116 Jul 202214:00-17:0020:00-23:00
Idea Exploration Week17-22 Jul 2022(Participants encouraged to further research idea)
Workshop 223 Jul 202214:00-17:0020:00-23:00
Idea Adoption Week24-29 Jul 2022(Participant-managed idea adoption project)
Showcase Day30 Jul 202214:00-16:0020:00-22:00
* Time indicated above is Hong Kong SAR time (UTC+8)

Can I apply?

You are eligible to apply if you are a matriculated undergraduate student from a USRN member institution.

How do I apply?

Apply by completing the application form and submitting it either to

  1. the USRN representative at your institute, or;
  2. USRN Secretariat (email: usrn.sec@polyu.edu.hk )

The application should be submitted on or before 24th June 2022.

You are welcome to apply as an individual or as a team of 2-4 members. Depending on grouping needs, successful individual applications will either be grouped as a separate team or be assigned into successful teams.

In the application form, you are asked to present an existing solution or idea that emerged out of the COVID pandemic which you believe shows promise in creating social good. Your application will be evaluated based on this submission, particularly:

  1. Thoroughness of the submission
  2. Level of communication with clarity
  3. Intrinsic motivation
  4. The relevance of your experience to adopt and execute the solution locally
When will I know if my application is successful?

Successful applicants will be notified by email no later than 30th June.

Seed Fund Competition

Winning teams will be awarded a seed fund of US$1,000 to further develop their ideas and be given a showcase opportunity at the Social Innovation Regional Forum 2022 later this year (click to read about the previous Social Innovation Regional Forum).

Inquiry

USRN Secretariat
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Email: usrn.sec@polyu.edu.hk