27 Jun 2016 - 15:31 CET

Champion of the Social Innovation Relay 2016 ‘defeats darkness’

Last Thursday, 23 June, the international online final of the Social Innovation Relay (SIR) took place. All teams pitched their plans to tackle a social issue in society, but  it was Team Oculus from Romania that won the Global Final of the Social Innovation Relay 2016. Team Oculus developed innovative, high-tech glasses including safety and navigation devices to help visually impaired people in finding their way. The team will participate in the Junior Achievement Alumni Conference in Stuttgart this August. At this conference, all (former) participants of a Junior Achievement Europe initiative come together to attend lectures, follow workshops and work on case studies that all relate to social entrepreneurship and business. Miruna Gafencu, team member of Oculus shared her experience, saying: ‘The Social Innovation Relay gave us the chance to practice our creativity and presentation skills, to work together with an NN volunteer whose advice contributed to the development of the ‘real’ business plan. All these being said, most important is that we hope to help as many visually impaired people as possible. Together we can defeat darkness through an intelligent use of technology!’

Congratulations to team Oculus for their outstanding achievement. We wish you best of luck and a lot of fun at the conference!

fltr Alex Simion, Tudor Popa, Diana Canghizer, Miruna Gafencu fltr Alex Simion, Tudor Popa, Diana Canghizer, Miruna Gafencu

About the Social Innovation Relay

The Social Innovation Relay works to inspire secondary students to develop innovative business concepts that address social challenges. The international competition is a Junior Achievement initiative, supported by NN Group, and aims to contribute to the development of entrepreneurial skills and social consciousness amongst high school students. During the programme, students are paired with NN volunteers who provide a combination of virtual and face-to-face mentorship in their areas of expertise. Working together with the business community provides students with the opportunity to connect their classroom knowledge with the ‘real world.’ Without these mentors, the programme could not have taken place. We want to thank all the volunteers for the effort and time they dedicated to the SIR.

Junior Achievement Europe and NN Future Matters

Junior Achievement Europe is a non-profit organisation that aims to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. NN and JA Europe have a long standing history of collaboration and together create economic opportunities and facilitate social entrepreneurship. NN's global partnership with Junior Achievement Europe fits perfectly with the goal of NN Future Matters, our global corporate citizenship programme. The programme aims to empower people in the markets where we operate and has a specific focus on providing young people with relevant skills to create economic opportunities in a global economy.