Bangalore: “International Changemaker Olympiad”, a global program founded by Rahul Adhikari, an IIT Gold-Medalist, has won the Wharton-QS Stars Reimagine Education Award, popularly known as the “Oscars” of Education, here in London on Dec 10 for their transformative work in the education space. These “Oscars” celebrate and reward global innovations in education that are effective, scalable, unique, and transformative.
Rahul’s work was the winner in the “Sustainability” category and was also the top innovation from the entire Asia-Pacific region. The awards were given after a rigorous evaluation by an extended panel of 180 international judges from over 1500 nominations received from 39 countries. International Changemaker Olympiad was, in fact, the only nomination from India that made it to the final shortlist. Rahul and the other founders of the shortlisted innovations were flown to London to attend the 2019 Reimagine Education Conference & Awards from Dec 8-10 where they showcased their innovations to a global audience of 600 educational leaders, post which the winners were decided and felicitated with the award.
International Changemaker Olympiad (ICO) (www.ico-official.org) won the award for their innovative work to provide an international platform for children in schools to launch social initiatives and solve a real-world problem in their home, school, or community, thereby making a positive difference in the world, while also developing the critical 21st-century skills of empathy, teamwork, creative problem-solving, and a Changemaker mindset while doing the same. More than 20,000 students have participated in ICO till date and launched initiatives to solve problems as varied as saving 5,000 Kg of food monthly from hostel canteens, conducting over 100 menstrual hygiene awareness sessions in low-income communities, rescuing 200 injured animals from the streets, and saving 3 million+ litres of water in public washrooms.
“It’s an honour for us to win this award out of so many tremendous educational innovations and great to see our work being recognised globally. We are scaling rapidly to achieve our vision of every child growing up as a Changemaker, and for us to do that, we need others to join the movement. This award has supported us in spreading our vision worldwide and we are very grateful,” said Rahul Adhikari, after receiving the award.
Jack Moran, Program Manager for the Reimagine Education Awards, said, ‘International Changemaker Olympiad was selected among numerous highly-competitive entrants because it meets a number of criteria we believe to be essential to good pedagogy: it encourages peer-to-peer learning, actively involves learners in the learning process, promotes real-world problem-solving, and inculcates students with the ability to come up with creative, testable solutions to those problems. The projects empower students to think about how they might serve to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, in a pedagogically-sound way: it is a deserving winner of our Sustainability Award, and we look forward to its further progress.”
At the awards conference, the final nominees showcased their innovations to a global network of educational leaders, attended active learning workshops, and networked with leading academic faculty, ed-tech founders, investors, and other practitioners within the sector to scale their idea and impact.
The 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development emphasizes young people as “critical agents of change” and the International Changemaker Olympiad is making that a reality.