Social Innovation Solution Competition

The Social Innovation Solution Case Competition (SISC) brings together BYU students from across campus to put their skills to the test in solving a real-world social innovation problem.

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Compete. Fight Poverty. Win Money.

The SISC offers BYU students from all disciplines the opportunity to come together in the spring and apply their skills to help solve a real-time problem for one of the Ballard Center’s partner organizations.

Competing students will:

  • Work in a team of three to five students over the course of two weeks
  • Compete against, learn from, and network with top BYU students
  • Network with and learn from successful social entrepreneurs
  • Focus on a real-time issue facing a global entrepreneur’s organization
  • Have the chance to win up to $3,000 in cash, prizes, and TEDxBYU tickets

Partner organizations work with the competition staff to identify a current problem. Staff typically travel to the organization and gather data and research to build a comprehensive summary of the organization, its history, and the issue to be addressed in the competition. This allows the staff members to become content experts on the issue and serve as mentors to the teams, ensuring that quality competition submissions will contribute to the eventual solution for the partner. 

2016 Competition: Fairtrasa

To learn more about the 2016 competition, review these slides from the info session. 

2015 Competition: Fundación Paraguaya

The Problem

Last year’s case competition featured Skoll Foundation awardee, Fundación Paraguaya. Since 1985 this organization has grown to include a highly successful microfinance program, a self-sustaining agricultural school, and many other programs to support its clients. In spite of establishing a strong track record for increasing incomes and having a 98 percent repayment rate on all microloans, people were not getting out of poverty.

In order to make getting out of poverty more manageable and measurable, Fundación Paraguaya created the Poverty Stoplight. This program is both a metric and a methodology, breaking poverty down into fifty indicators that clients self-assess as being red, yellow, or green. Now that the organization had a way to track and define poverty, it needed to figure out how to motivate people to take action and begin to transition their indicators to green. 

The Competition

paraguaya1About one hundred students from twelve different majors across campus came together to learn about Fundación Paraguaya and apply their skill set to this problem. Undergraduate students competed alongside graduate students in the semifinal round, which included ideas ranging from bike rental and lottery programs to a poverty stoplight Olympic program, which gamified the process to leverage the positive social capital and competitive spirit of the people.

Regardless of which teams made it to the semifinal presentations, all twenty teams contributed to a possible solution, submitting inspiring video presentations which were provided to Fundación Paraguaya.