About the Ideathon

In line with the UAE’s Year of Sustainability, Emirates Foundation, in collaboration with the International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE), aims to once again run a virtual Ideathon covering areas in volunteering and recognizing pioneers making an impact in the environmental sector. This year’s Ideathon – which replicates the highly successful edition in 2020 – will be a global virtual idea-based hackathon to highlight how the ‘people power’ of volunteers can anticipate and challenge issues, take ownership and responsibility, identify novel solutions, and give leadership to transformational change, all within the environmental space.

The virtual Ideathon is a three-day marathon during which volunteer teams from major NGOs and volunteering organizations from around the world to promote environmental sustainability and contribute to the United Nations’ sustainable development goals.

Emirates Foundation and IAVE invite all those passionate about making a difference to join this gathering of minds to build a stronger and better world.

The virtual Ideathon Programme will be held under the ‘Volunteers.ae’ platform and will provide the opportunity for 15 teams to showcase their creative ideas in areas of preserving biodiversity, addressing climate change and protecting natural resources.




What does the Ideathon hope to achieve?

The virtual Ideathon aims to create social awareness about the importance of volunteering towards sustainability, while supporting the UAE’s sustainability agenda and delivering impact at scale.

At the end of the virtual Ideathon, 3 winning ideas will be awarded a total fund of US $25,000 each that will allow the implementation of that idea in the community.

The award will be given in a “Grant” form, and disbursements will be actioned against achieved milestones.

During the competition, the participating teams will be asked to put forward a proposal outlining their solution to a challenge announced on that day. A challenge will be announced for each of the three key subthemes on the first day of the Ideathon:

Volunteering for Disaster Relief

An increase in the frequency and severity of disasters, both natural and human-induced, is a well-documented outcome of climate change. Correspondingly, the use of volunteers in disaster has been proven essential to respond to the impacts, rebuild communities, and to create the resilience to be better enabled to recover from and even prevent the next disaster. This theme will focus on using volunteering to accelerate resilience through adaptation, and the ability of communities to respond effectively to the threats of climate change.

Volunteering to Protect Nature, Land & Oceans

This theme will focus on volunteering to sustainably manage and conserve natural areas such as forests which act as carbon sinks and biodiversity hotspots. Protecting and restoring these areas is critical to reducing carbon in the atmosphere and mitigating further damage from climate change. Key questions here will revolve around how volunteering can support people to become more aware of and active in the protection of natural resources.

Volunteering for Youth Education & Skills

This theme will focus on volunteering to include investment in youth-led innovation and entrepreneurship, inclusion in policymaking processes, capacity building and transforming education to close the skills gap for green jobs aligned with climate action.

Ideathon Shortlisted Teams

Volunteering To Protect Nature, Land & Oceans

Climate Change Action
Botswana

Ecogenia
Greece

Emirates Nature
WWF UAE

Shelter Participatory Organization
Pakistan

Volonteurope
Belgium

Volunteering For Youth Education & Skills

Dividendo Voluntario para la Comunidad A.C.
Venezuela

Ingeniería Sin Fronteras
Chile

Global Peace Foundation
Nepal

Serve Global
Ethiopia

YES Empowerment Services
Uganda

Volunteering For Disaster Relief

Alhaj Shamsul Hoque Foundation
Bangladesh

Associação Atados
Brazil

Bhumi
India

Padyarescue Incorporated
Philippines

Volunteer Involving Organization Network
Sierra Leone

Ideathon 2024 Judges

Volunteering To Protect Nature, Land & Oceans

Maitha Mohamed Al Hameli

Environment Agency, UAE

With over 15 years of experience working at the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, Maitha Al Hameli is currently serving as the Head of the Marine Biodiversity Assessment and Conservation Section within the Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity Sector. She is a member of the Year of Sustainability Experts Network, where experts assist and advises of messaging and increasing awareness to individuals on sustainability. She is also an Alumni, and Fellow of National Expert Program, where she was selected to represent the Environment and Climate Change.

Her main professional focus encompasses a range of marine conservation projects. As the head of the Marine Biodiversity Assessment and Conservation, she plays a role in managing projects related to monitoring, and conservation of critical marine ecosystems, such as mangroves, corals, and seagrass beds. As well as establishing effective management protocols, monitoring strategies, and conservation efforts for both key and endangered species, including marine turtles, dugongs, and dolphins within Abu Dhabi's waters.

Daniel Adugna

African Union

Daniel Adugna is a Programs and Policy officer responsible for youth development and empowerment (Ag. Head of Division) within the Woman, Gender and Youth Directorate of the African Union Commission. He is also responsible for the African Union Youth Volunteer Corps (AU-YVC) – the continent’s premier professional volunteer and leadership program which works with young African professionals through volunteerism and exchange across Africa. He brings over ten years’ experience in program management, youth development work and continental policy working with the African Union Commission and other International Organizations. Daniel is also an entrepreneur with passion for agri-business and youth led startups.

Daniel holds a B.Sc. in Management Information System from the Munich University of Technology, Master’s in business administration (MBA) from the Lincoln University; and MA in Development Finance from the Frankfurt Business School.

Volunteering For Youth Education & Skills

H.E. Eng. Othaibah Saeed AlQaydi

Ministry of Climate Change & Environment, UAE

A total of 19 years of work experience in different fields including engineer design, process engineer operations and the environmental field, H.E. Othaibah is currently serving as Acting, Assistant Undersecretary of Sustainable Communities Sector, Municipal Affairs department. She is experienced in projects execution and depth of engineering knowledge in the area of chemical management and process design. She is also an alumnus from UAE University and has a Bachelor degree of Science Chemical Engineering. H.E Othaibah is also the Head of the Scientific Committee for Innovation at the Ministry.

Dr. Tapiwa Kamuruko

United Nations Volunteers (UNV)

Tapiwa Kamuruko (Zimbabwe) is a Development Policy Specialist and Team Lead on Evidence and Knowledge brokering with the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) based at its Headquarters in Bonn, Germany. Before his current assignment, he has worked in different UNV assignments including being the Regional Manager for East and Southern based in Nairobi-Kenya. Tapiwa is the lead in the preparation of knowledge products at UNV including the State of the World’s Volunteerism Report. He works with various stakeholders to position volunteerism on development frameworks. In 2022 he led UNV and ILO collaboration in a joint effort towards a paper on Youth Volunteering for employability skills development and entry into the job market.

Lella Violet Halloum

United Nations Volunteers (UNV)

Lella Violet is a Digital Changemaker and Power of Youth Champion who connects thousands of young people and lifelong learners globally to industry leaders and policymakers. Lella uses technology as a catalyst to drive the UN Sustainable Development Goals & ensures young people are at the fore of the ongoing digital transformation. As a frequent global speaker, thought leader, and advocate for young people she strives to diversify the industry by creating unique opportunities for young people, particularly underserved & underrepresented groups and those with non-traditional academic backgrounds, highlighting the important role young people play in industry and wider society. She does so across sectors, notably, with IBM, global government, UN entities and grassroots digital inclusion charities.

Volunteering For Disaster Relief

Jacqueline Innocent

Habitat for Humanity

Jacqueline Innocent serves as Senior Vice President of Integrated Programs for Habiat for Humanity International, providing overall strategic direction for the Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter; the global foundations, organizations and institutions team; program effectiveness; government relations and advocacy; volunteer and institutional engagement and research and learning. She is also a member of the senior management group and serves as chair of the board of Microbuild Fund, Habitat's international housing-focused microfinance fund. Jacqueline joined Habitat in 2019 as the Vice President of Habitat’s volunteer and institutional engagement team providing strategic leadership for international volunteer programs and oversight of Habitat’s national AmeriCorps and Vista programs.

Dr. Amjad Saleem

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Amjad is the orchestrator (aka manager) of the Volunteer, Youth and Education Development Unit at the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies based in Geneva, a global team focused on volunteering management, youth innovation and engagement, and education programming. He has worked in different perspectives of humanitarian work, interfaith engagement and peace building. He applies his extensive knowledge on peace building, humanitarian affairs and development work and interfaith engagement in many domains, including as board member of the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform, People Beyond Borders and Eduspots. His publications include journal articles, several book chapters and a book on "Lessons from Aceh". Amjad is an alumni of the International Visitors Leadership Program and the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, and has an M.Eng from Imperial College, London, an MBA from U21 Global Singapore/Manipal Global Nxt Malaysia and a PhD from Exeter University.

Jean Tan

Singapore Foundation

Jean Tan, the immediate past Chief Executive Officer of the Singapore International Foundation (SIF), has a distinguished background in both government service and non-profit leadership. Currently, she holds the position of Vice Chair on the Board of SIF, continuing her commitment to international peacebuilding and development. Before SIF, Jean held leadership roles at various government ministries, including Manpower, Information and the Arts, and Foreign Affairs where she served as a diplomat in Washington DC.

Jean is an alumna of the National University of Singapore and was awarded the Singapore Government Merit Scholarship to pursue postgraduate studies in the United States, as well as programmes overseas in executive and non-profit management.

In her spare time, Jean volunteers on the international boards of Forum, a global network of volunteer-driven development agencies and holds the position of founder member on the Global Public Diplomacy Network. She also serves on the boards of local charities like Cycling Without Age, set up to reduce social isolation among the elderly and is involved with SG Enable, an agency dedicated to serving persons with disabilities.

Ideathon 2024 Workshop Experts

Dr. Chris Millora

Assistant Professor in Education at Goldsmiths, University of London

Originally from the Philippines, Dr Chris Millora is Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Education and Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow at Goldsmiths, University of London. He leads the 3-year research project ‘Literacies of Dissent’ (www.literaciesofdissent.com) exploring the literacy and learning dimensions of youth social movements in the Global South. He was the lead researcher of UN Volunteers’ 2022 State of the World’s Volunteerism Report and author of the upcoming research on youth and student organizing during COVID-19 commissioned by the Global Campaign for Education. He is Chair of the British Association for Literacy in Development and a Visiting Academic with the UNESCO Chair in Adult Literacy and Learning for Social Transformation at the University of East Anglia, UK. His first book, Local volunteering, literacies and social change in the Philippines will be published by Bloomsbury Academic.

Dr. Luis Felipe Ruiz Espindola

Safeguards Social Specialist, World Bank

Luis Felipe Ruiz Espíndola currently works as a Safeguards Social Specialist at the World Bank´s office in Colombia and leads the International Relations of CINAT. As a consultant, he has had the privilege of working directly with the most vulnerable communities (some of them victims of the conflict) in 16 departments in Colombia. Since 2015, he has been teaching Corporate Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility (with emphasis on sustainable development and Disaster Relief Strategies) to undergraduates and postgraduates at the School of Business at Externado University. He has a deep knowledge and experience on the role of business for sustainable development (ESG Criteria – IFC and GRI standards). Experience acquired over the last fifteen years from international organizations, the Colombian government, the academy, and the private sector. Luis Felipe is a Colombian Lawyer with a Master´s Degree on International Development Law from Georgetown University.

Clodagh Byrne

Global Resilience Lead, VSO International

Clodagh Byrne is VSO’s Global Resilience Lead. Within this role, she provides leadership and technical accompaniment to programmes across Africa and Asia to strengthen climate resilience and environmental sustainability. She has worked at the intersection between environment and development sectors for over 20 years, having graduated in natural sciences ecology from Trinity College Dublin, and pursued a Masters Degree in International Development, specialising in ecosystem services. In the 20 years that has followed she has led a wide range of resilience, disaster risk reduction and development programme interventions. Clodagh has a specific interest in sustainability, social inclusion and localisation within development as well as the skills and knowledge volunteers can bring to resilience building, climate adaptation and environmental sustainability interventions.

Marwa Alrahma

VP & Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, FAB

Marwa heads the corporate social responsibility department at FAB with more than 10 years of experience in marketing and the CSR Field. She was a Researcher at UAE office for the coordination for foreign aid which is now the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the UAE. Marwa worked with the United Nations office in Abu Dhabi for UAE contributions to foreign aid. Throughout the years, she worked across the 7 emirates with different NGOs and governmental organizations on different campaigns and initiatives targeting the UAE community, focusing on sport, youth, and education. Marwa led and developed a holistic system for FAB to measure the social impact of volunteers and FAB’s yearly campaigns for the community.

Chad Wellman

CFO Africa & Middle East, GM Middle East Operations

Chad Wellman is the Chief Financial Officer at General Motors Africa and Middle East (GM AMEO), spearheading financial management, including cash flow, planning and analysis within the regional operations. With over a decade of financial expertise, Chad brings valuable insights to his role, stemming from his achievements within GM’s global operations. As an adept leader accustomed to navigating change, he has previously driven growth across portfolio strategy, product development, eCommerce, and customer experience. This has been supported by his effective execution of budgeting and forecast setting, contributing to the long-term health of the business. Chad holds a Bachelor of the Arts in Finance from The Eli Broad College of Business at the Michigan State University. Subsequently, he pursued and attained his Master of Business Administration, Finance & Leadership Change Management from the same institution.

Marc Ebolo

Director of Sales, GM Middle East Operations

Marc Ebolo is the Director of Sales for General Motors Middle East operations, spearheading the regional sales team to optimize market share and profitability for Chevrolet and GMC, while identifying further growth opportunities. Covering the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, and Jordan, Marc brings a wealth of two decades of commercial and product experience. Marc has a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering, as well as in Commerce from Monash University in Australia. He also holds a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Sydney.

Who can participate?

The virtual Ideathon is looking for passionate teams of volunteers dedicated to supporting their communities. Participating teams must be associated with an accredited organization as listed below.

Affiliating organizations include: Participants from Global, MENA Region, and National Volunteer Organizations’ Leaders, IAVE-affiliated and prominent volunteering leadership organizations, NGOs or other third-sector organizations who have a volunteering mandate across the world can take part in the event in their country or region.




When, Where, How?

Where and When

The Ideathon will be a virtual global event taking place over three days between 4 – 6 March, 2024

Each organization must submit their complete registration before the deadline on January 29, 2024 10PM GST

Teams shortlisted to participated in the Ideathon will be announced on February 23, 2024. You will be notified at this time of your status and will be expected to accept the invitation to participate in the Ideathon within 24 hours.

Ideathon discussions and pitches will all be completed virtually between 4 – 6 March 2024

How

An organization must appoint an employee to initiate the registration process in the Virtual Ideathon registration page and he/she will be considered as the main focal point of contact.

All components of the application must be completed at the time of submittal. Failure to provide complete information may result in disqualification so please read all instructions and ensure that you are sending a complete application prior to submittal. All completed submissions will then be reviewed by a team of volunteer experts at Emirates Foundation and IAVE and 15 organizations will be selected to participate in the Virtual Ideathon, with 5 organizations competing in each subtheme.

A detailed schedule will be shared with participants through email at a later stage.

The participating organizations will be selected based on their compliance with registration requirements and on their proven impact in volunteerism.

Over the course of the Ideathon, selected teams must be available to attend workshops, mentoring sessions, and discussions around the key themes to ultimately draft and pitch their proposals for actionable solutions to a panel of judges. We ask that all applicants hold Ideathon dates in their dairies to ensure availability. Failure to attend these sessions may result in disqualification.

Read more

Awards

Each winning idea will be awarded a total fund of US $25000 that will allow the implementation of their idea in the community.

The award will be given in a “Grant” form, and disbursements will be done against achieved milestones.

WHAT IS THE PARTICIPATION TIMELINE?

Online Registration is open for participation in the Virtual Ideathon for all IAVE-affiliated and prominent volunteering organizations, NGOs or third sector organizations who have a volunteering mandate.

December 5, 2023 – January 29, 2024

Announcement and invitation extended to shortlisted organizations/teams to confirm participation in the Virtual Ideathon

February 23, 2024
Ideathon Day 1

Kickoff the three days virtual Ideathon

  • Official Opening and introducing teams
  • Workshops
  • Revealing Challenges & Ideation (24 hrs.)
March 4, 2024
Ideathon Day 2
  • Ideation and Challenge (24 hrs.)
  • Workshops
  • Coaching and Rehearsal
March 5, 2024
Ideathon Day 3
  • Pitching and Judging
March 6, 2024

HOW TO GET STARTED

  1. Each organization appoints a focal point to lead their registration process and submit all the organization’s related registration forms and documents. The official language for all submissions and participation is English

  2. The focal point registers team members and submit their documents.

    • Each team must be comprised of three members
    • All team members must be at least 18 years old
  3. The focal point registers a Coach who is not part of the team but whose function is to support team members during the virtual Ideathon.

  4. Emirates Foundation and IAVE announce the shortlisted organizations/teams to confirm participation in the virtual Ideathon

  5. Shortlisted organizations/teams virtually participate in the three days virtual Ideathon

Frequently asked questions

What are the required documents for registration?

The team’s focal point must submit the following documents when registering:

  • The Organization’s valid Trade License
  • Organization bio or profile
  • Organization website and Logo (if any)
  • Any key organization Achievements/Awards Evidence (Certificates, Articles, Formal Documents, etc.) in PDF Format
  • Focal Point passport copy and his/her formal personal photo
  • Organization Leader/CEO/Executive Director passport copy and his/her formal personal photo
  • All team members passport copies and their formal personal photo
  • Coach passport copy and formal personal photo
How will the virtual Ideathon unfold?
  • Participants will receive the associated Challenge for each subtheme on Day one of the virtual Ideathon.
  • Each team will have 24 hours to finalize and submit their idea (Challenge Solution)
  • All teams will pitch their ideas to the judging panel on Day three of the virtual Ideathon.
  • Judges will select the team with the best idea as the winner of each subtheme/sector.
How many organizations can participate?

15 organizations will be selected to participate in the virtual Ideathon, with five organizations competing in each subtheme.

The participating organizations will be selected based on their compliance with registration requirements and ability to attend all events across the duration of the event.

Each organization can register and participate with one team only to compete in only one of the subthemes/sectors

What are the technology requirements?

Shortlisted organizations will need to guarantee:

  • High speed internet
  • Digital literacy for all team members
  • Full accessibility to the Zoom application throughout the event
What is the official language of the virtual Ideathon?

English is the official language for registration, participation, idea/solution submission, and pitching. All teams must arrange and guarantee their own interpretation support if needed.

How will the organizations be selected to participate?
  • Each organization must complete and submit their registration before the January 29, 2024 deadline
  • Each organization can register and participate with one team only to compete in only one of the subthemes.
  • Registration submissions will be reviewed and only 15 organizations will be selected to participate in the virtual Ideathon, aiming at engaging five organizations per subtheme.
  • Organizations will be selected to participate in the virtual Ideathon based on the below:
    • Compliance with registration requirements (any incomplete registration will automatically disqualify the organization for selection)
    • Organization profile and proven impact in volunteerism or the third sector
      • Number of initiatives implemented
      • Level of local community involvement in projects and initiatives
      • Number of active volunteers
      • Achievements and awards received with evidence
      • Affiliations with professional organizations
      • Member of the International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) – www.iave.org
Are there registration fees for all organizations?

Registration is free for all organizations

What are team coaches and what do they do?

Each team must have one coach nominated by the team’s organization.

The team’s coach will:

  • Help the team brainstorm and generate ideas
  • Provide advice, feedback and guidance on the shape of their pitch
  • Keep an eye on the schedule and the deadline
  • Help choose a team representative to give the pitch
  • Help the team rehearse the presentation
  • Encourage the team and help members use their skills to help others

The team’s coach will NOT:

  • Do the work instead of the team (write a few lines or paragraphs of the proposal)
  • Directly contribute to the actual submitted proposed solution
Who will be judging the pitches?

A panel of specialized judges will be allocated to oversee each sub-theme. Each group will judge the teams competing under its assigned subtheme.

A panel of global experts will support the judges in making their decisions.

Judges who are part of any participating organization will not be assigned on the subtheme where their organization is participating.

What are the judging criteria for pitches?

Judges will be judging pitches and proposals based on the below:

  • Originality of the idea
  • Clear Scope of Work, objectives, vision and mission
  • Feasibility of implementation and Commercial viability
  • Realistic and achievable action plan
  • Clear outcomes and impact
  • Comprehensive SWOT Analysis
  • Competitive Analysis and Market Analysis
  • Collaboration and Partnership plan
  • Well-defined Financial plan
  • Well-defined Marketing Plan
  • Innovative use of Technology
  • Submission of extra creative elements that include logo, slogan and other marketing elements
  • Organized presentation and confident approach
What are the awards?

Each winning idea will be awarded $25,000 that will allow the implementation of their idea in the community. The award will be given in a “Grant” form, and disbursements will be done against achieved milestones.

Who will receive certificates?

All organizations, team members, and coaches shortlisted for the virtual Ideathon will receive Participation Certificates.

Organizations and members of the three winning teams will receive Winning Certificates

I have a question. How can I get in touch?

If you have any question or inquiries, please contact the Ideathon team by emailing: ideathon@volunteers.ae

What are the subthemes of the virtual Ideathon?

Volunteering for Disaster Relief

An increase in the frequency and severity of disasters, both natural and human-induced, is a well-documented outcome of climate change. Correspondingly, the use of volunteers in disaster has been proven essential to respond to the impacts, rebuild communities, and to create the resilience to be better enabled to recover from and even prevent the next disaster. This theme will focus on using volunteering to accelerate resilience through adaptation,and the ability of communities to respond effectively to the threats of climate change.

Volunteering to Protect Nature, Land & Oceans

This theme will focus on volunteering to sustainably manage and conserve natural areas such as forests which act as carbon sinks and biodiversity hotspots. Protecting and restoring these areas is critical to reducing carbon in the atmosphere and mitigating further damage from climate change. Key questions here will revolve around how volunteering can support people to become more aware of and active in the protection of natural resources.

Volunteering for Youth Education & Skills

This theme will focus on volunteering to include investment in youth-led innovation and entrepreneurship, inclusion in policymaking processes, capacity building and transforming education to close the skills gap for green jobs aligned with climate action.

What is the dress code of the 3-day event?

All participants commit to follow the dress code required by Emirates Foundation as per the below:

  • All Participants should dress modestly. Clothing should not be transparent, indecently exposing parts of the body or displaying offensive pictures or slogans or prints of a political nature
  • Participants are expected to follow the Business Casual dress code during the three day am members and coaches, pitching, judging, and later during winners’ announcement.
What is the participation Timeline?

Press here on this link for the Timeline

Key Partners

Sponsored By

In Collaboration With

TERMS & CONDITIONS

To know more about our Terms and Conditions click below

Learn More
Back To Top