By Rafikul Islam
Speaking at a program, experts from various fields have urged the youth of the country to become more innovative in order to resolve problems in the country’s urban centres.
“Bangladesh is one of those countries most vulnerable to climate change,as well as one of the most disaster prone countries in the world. It is also one of the world’s most densely populated countries,so the only way to improve the state of the country is to create new ideas and become entrepreneurs in order to develop urban areas,” they also said.
The experts made these statements while distributing prizes among winners who came up with innovative ways to solve urban problems – such as healthcare, housing, and energy – in the “Urban Innovation Challenge” program held at the Brac Inn in Dhaka on Tuesday. Brac organized the program, and promoted it with the slogan “We must solve our cities’ problems.” Dhaka Tribune was one of the media partners of the event.
Of the teams, Nirvana and City Bird won a joint award for the renewable energy category, Jotno Healthcare won the healthcare category, Anusongo topped the low cost urban housing category, and Drinkwell aced the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene category. Team Responsive Urbanist received a special prize.
Prizes were distributed by chief guest Dr Md Atiqur Rahman,additional secretary of the Disaster Management and Relief Ministry; Dr Ainun Nishat, former vice chancellor of BRAC University, andDr Adil Mohammed Khan,general secretary of Bangladesh Institute of Planners, among others.
Dr Atiqur Rahman said: “The youth must present the problems they face and come up with ideas to eliminate them through such competitions. Such competitions will facilitate the resolving of problems, and the talent of the youth will come to light.”
“Don’t become frustrated about government jobs. Become entrepreneurs and begin to develop the country and its cities. The government has also taken some initiatives to receive new ideas from the youth,” he also said.
Dr Ainun Nishat said: “Innovation must help society flourish,as there is no alternative to it. We have to think about how to bring a balance in the prices of goods in towns and villages. We should innovate to ease the supply chain.”
Asif Saleh, senior director of strategy, communications, and empowerment for BRAC said: “Partnerships are needed in order to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Brac is giving importance to the issue. The most important thing is to understand problems easily. Moreover, a business plan is needed, and participants should be dynamic about it.”
However, Brac would like to utilize the innovative power of meritorious youths to solve the problems faced by urban areas of the country.
On 24 July, Brac’s Urban Innovation Challenge began for the second time. Thirteen ideas were selected from around 300.
Brac will donate upto Tk5 lakh to every winning team, who in turn will get a chance to implement their solution projects within six months.
Source – DhakaTribune