In Concert with Colombian Summit, Singularity University Launches Challenge to Combat Problems Facing La Guajira
In concert with its upcoming SingularityU Colombia Summit, Singularity University has launched a challenge to incentivize creative ways to combat the problems facing the people living in the impoverished region of La Guajira.
Photo: Indigenous Colombians living in the harsh, dry lands of La Guajira, one of the nation’s poorest regions. (Credit: Macuira Tours)
Candidates — from entrepreneurs and startups to engineers and scientists — have until November 12 to submit their proposals, with the winner to be named during the November event and receive resources from the organization to implement their plan.
To enter the challenge, applicants must be at least 21 years old, speak fluent English, and be present in Bogotá during the SingularityU Colombia Summit, which will be held in the capital from November 27-28.
The institution has encouraged candidates to outline an idea, problem, or opportunity that they will address in their proposal along with a detailed solution, business model, or technology that can be implemented. The proposal is expected to include a video component that explains these factors.
La Guajira, located on the northeast peninsula that juts into the Caribbean, is one of the poorest regions in the nation. Largely populated by people of indigenous descant, the windswept desert area has been fraught with corruption that has depleted community resources for decades as well as ongoing drought conditions that have led to severe malnutrition that have killed many children in recent years.
The La Guajira initiative is part of the Silicon Valley-based Singularity University’s wider Global Impact Challenge series.
“Entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology are ways to solve the challenges faced by different regions of the country,” said Ignacio Gaitán, general manager of summit partner iNNpulsa Colombia.
“With the talent and creativity of Colombians,” he added, “we are sure that ideas will emerge that can impact the productive development of the region.”
Along with iNNpulsa Colombia, other supporters of the challenge include EAN University in Bogotá and the massive Cerrejón open-pit mine in La Guajira, which is jointly owned by interests including BHP Billiton, Anglo American, and Glencore.