It was a chorus that echoed across over 171 countries. In the first ever IoT World Forum Young Women’s Innovation Grand Challenge, girls aged 13-18 were encouraged to explore how IoT solutions could better the world around them.
The forum was established as part of Cisco’s corporate social responsibility goal to build the workforce of tomorrow. By increasing IoT awareness and STEM interest in young women, Cisco hopes to help grow an underrepresented demographic in the industry.
If the numbers are any indication, the future is promising.
“We are thrilled to see the passion, innovation and professionalism of all participants in the challenge,” said the Executive Sponsor of the challenge, Inbar Lasser Raab, Cisco VP Products and Solutions Marketing. “We hoped that the great excitement and opportunity around the Internet of Things will appeal to young women and attract them to get involved in STEM fields. The results exceeded our expectations, demonstrating great creativity in utilizing IoT to address everyday challenges and better people’s lives.”
Entries ranged from interactive showers to navigation shoes for pedestrians, proving that there is no lack of creativity in the field.
The jury was comprised of Cisco and industry leaders with a shared focus in IOT, venture capital, universities and learning centers. Together, they awarded the United States’ Emily Y. and Alice Y. first place and the $20,000 grand prize for their global container management system.
Essentially, the system uses an IoT Intercloud to prevent smuggling and tampering during shipping.
Three Canadian entries made it onto the podium for solutions in education, healthcare and environment respectively.
With growing demand in STEM fields, the competition has come at a strategic time. Through positive experiences like Cisco’s Grand Challenge, there is hope that these young women of today will become the skilled workers and leaders of tomorrow.
To read more about the finalists, click here.
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