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IBM and Ericsson empower students from Stockholm high schools

What do you think IBM and Ericsson have in common? A lot, you could say! They are both leading companies in ICT globally, and they both have a common goal to empower the next generation of problem-solvers by using ICT to solve societal problems in Sweden.

IBM and Ericsson empower students from Stockholm high schools
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The two companies decided to join forces after a declaration of intent during a Stockholm City Järva Andan Program meeting between Susanna Salwén, Manager Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs at IBM Sweden and Sami Dob, Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility Program Director at Ericsson.

One immediate idea was to start a hackathon involving schools with technical profiles. And then we asked, "Why not extend it with an entrepreneurship angle?" So we asked Drivhuset to join in. And we immediately got the buy-in from three schools in Stockholm – SSIS in Kista, NTI in Vasastan and Åve in Täby.

The students received two challenges to work on during the hackathon:

  1. How to support the integration of refugees and newcomers into the Swedish society
  2. Environment and recycling of domestic garbage.

The first prize went to the “Green Turtle” solution, which is a connected recycling bin for cans with a sensor and a display screen that shows a friendly face whenever a can is thrown in. The students have worked really hard to get the designed product working with the sensor software.

The best Drivhuset pitch prize went to “Recycler”, an app for counting, monitoring, collecting and delivering feedbacks on recycling statistics. Their pitch, presentation and the quality of their logo made the difference.

Ericsson’s prize for the best Technology for Good project went to Sport-Up, a multi-language sport community website, where a user can create a sport event on a Google map and invite members to join based on your profile. The idea behind this is that sport enables smooth integration of refugees and newcomers into Swedish society.

IBMs best Bluemix-solution price went to "Berra Boys", for using the capabilities of the IBM platform in developing a multi-language community website.

Our partners were equally happy as we were with the event. "The students showed a lot of interest in how to start a business," said Ulf Eriksson, Project Manager for Drivhuset. "We have provided lectures in entrepreneurship in the three schools. We offered the complete entrepreneurship package to the very enthusiastic students."

Susanna Salwén from IBM added: "We wanted to build a program together with teachers that aligned with the Swedish school curriculum, and through #HackYourWorld we offered students the unique opportunity to work hands-on with the latest technology and challenges, designing and creating sustainable solutions. The students were trained in the IBM Design Thinking process, the development platform Bluemix during few sessions and acquired the skills on how to deploy their apps and solutions into the cloud.

"We hope this will be a yearly event and reach many students in the future."

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