Hatch4Good: Solving the Challenges We Face, Now and in the Future

Students from different areas of study at the University of Saint Andrews came together on 14-15 October as part of a national effort to instigate social and environmental change through the ‘Hatch4Good’ initiative.

The aim was to inspire and innovate, to reform the old, and invent new means to live and promote sustainable resource use, environmental protection, and social improvement.

Students grouped together to create business models and pitched their ideas to a judging panel comprised of fellow students who initiated the incubator event. The solutions fest was kickstarted at the end of the first day, with some exciting and thought-provoking plans to address a range of issues, from reinvigorating health systems to new systems for environmental change.

The event is witness to the next generation of concepts and designs for a cleaner, fairer, and healthier world, one that respects, protects, and sustains our finite environmental resources, as well as provide people with better life choices and opportunities in the future.

Some students crossed the boundaries of subject matter to address health or physical impediments within a newly imagined school system to help students better deal with dyslexia from an early age. Concepts included a new application to help people better manage debilitating diseases such as dementia, in the form of a backpack designed to record and calculate the weight of their bag and the items within. The app alerts the wearer when something is missing before they leave a shop for example.

The atmosphere was charged. Students were energized. Guest speakers revved up proceedings with activities and exercises designed to spur students’ imagination through helping with their pitching skills. Student participators were engaged and animated throughout these introductory sessions and the following process. They split into groups to start working on their own innovations with some support from the KickStart Incubator (the first student incubator running Hatch4Good at St. Andrews).

Each group was encouraged to apply an interdisciplinary approach to their collaboration efforts. Leadership roles, pitching and marketing people, tech people, creative people and writers were all needed to come up with something that was viable, believable, and possible.

At the end of the event, groups with great concepts had a chance to win funding support to bring their invention to fruition. The event, sponsored by JP Morgan, Amazon, Vodafone and Founders Factory, gives young people the chance to realize their brainchild to solve a problem or address a social challenge for all. This is corporate social responsibility in action for positive and constructive change.

Photography by Alanna Gow.

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