Kathmandu, Nepal – November 12, 2019
An entrepreneurship and innovation-focused non-profit program called “Impact Week” was conducted for the first time in Nepal, hosted by King’s College, Kathmandu in collaboration with Germany’s Lufthansa Group Airlines. Alongside the support of Lufthansa’s social arm – help alliance – and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Kathmandu, representatives from various European multinational companies have come together to bring this global event to Nepal.
This German award-winning program was established in 2015 in Kenya and has been successfully held in various emerging economies across the world. This year’s locations include India, Jordan, Ghana and Nepal.
The Impact Week Nepal 2019 was conducted in two phases. In the first phase, seven European experts transferred their knowledge about the “design thinking” methodology to 18 Nepalese academic professionals and 18 international professionals. In the second phase, these 36 newly-trained Junior Coaches guided approximately 120 students and young professionals from diverse colleges and field of studies through a design thinking process to solve pressing local and national level challenges.
At the end of the Impact Week, all 18 teams pitched their final solutions and competed for three awards in the form of financial aid specifically aimed at supporting the teams to implement their solutions.
The Impact Week in Nepal was organized by a team of volunteers from Lufthansa Systems including the lead organizers Aman Bhattarai and Tilo Hillmer, and the lead coach Danny Tobisch. They are experts in their respective fields with a rich background of participating in Impact Week programs around the world.
The challenges addressed during the Impact Week programme focussed on the following six areas: Agriculture, Tourism, Mobility, Arts & Culture, Health and Education. The six tracks will be mentored by the following local organizations respectively: Eco Himal Nepal, Nepal Tourism Board, Tootle, Kathmandu City Planning Commission, Hospital for Advanced Medicine & Surgery, and King’s College.
“It is a personal dream come true for me to bring my “Matri Bhumi” Nepal and “Karma Bhumi” Germany together for a global innovation challenge. Knowledge and skills are the most precious things that are needed to foster Nepal’s economic and social development. I am excited to welcome global innovation experts, my colleagues from the Lufthansa Group and their skills and methodologies to Kathmandu and hope to foster user-centric social innovation growth among Nepalese youths through this unique collaboration,” said Aman Bhattarai, Senior Consultant at zeroG – a Lufthansa Group company – and lead organizer of the Impact Week Kathmandu.
Narottam Aryal, the Executive Director at King’s College, expressed his heartfelt regards for the entire team of Impact Week including the Lufthansa Group “This event, which uses the design thinking methodology to solve real problems posed by several organizations in Nepal, engages the young minds towards solving real problems and is an initiative towards ideating innovative solutions in a collaborative manner.” “We encourage more programmes like such which fosters innovation, entrepreneurship, intercompany and intercultural exchange through Design Thinking approach,” he added.
While Saroj Basnet, Vice-chairman, KMC City Planning Commission added, “We are proud to collaborate with the Lufthansa Group and King’s College on the Impact Week program and are confident that the event will enable youths to think in a more user-centric way while pursuing their innovation journey.”
Narayan Dhakal, Managing Director, Eco Himal Nepal, stated, “All the six tracks are of utmost importance for the socio-economic development of the country. We are inspired and look forward to a huge impact of this event.”
Furthermore, the German Ambassador to Nepal, his Excellency Roland Schäfer, who was the chief guest of the Impact Week Challenge opening ceremony, expressed his admiration for the changing outlook of Nepal in the global scenario, from a country known for its beautiful mountain-ranges to becoming a country working on finding innovative solutions to its problems, which encourages development based on ideation and technological advancements.
During the span of the event, eminent personalities like Gagan Thapa, Former Minister for Health, Ashutosh Tiwari, MD, SAFAL Partners, and Dr Arjun Karki, Chief Consultant and HOD at HAMS, shared their insights and words of wisdom as keynote speakers.
Finally, in the closing ceremony, 18 teams from 6 different tracks pitched their ideas and presented the prototypes to the panel of jury. Team ‘Dakshyata’ from track Education emerged as the winner of Impact Week Nepal 2019, followed by team ‘Genefre’ and team ‘Microroots’ from the Agriculture track. With Gokarna Bista, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Security as the Chief Guest for the closing ceremony of Impact Week Nepal 2019, more than 200 people witnessed the grand success of the event.
Overall, the program allowed participants to connect with like-minded people from Kathmandu valley and around the world, to learn from both the experts and each other, and to strive and create a real impact for their community and country. Altogether, this programme based on ‘Design-thinking’approach, contributes to promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in emerging economies as the basis for sustainable growth. With the help of this method, local students and young professionals are empowered to develop the business ideas of their own and solutions to solve problems in their local or wider community.
Composed by: Suyasha Singh