MEDIA INVITATION

For immediate release

14 July 2015

Creative Thinkers To Be Honoured During The Youth Innovation Summit

After the successful Hackathon Innovation Week Challenge aimed at positioning Durban as an innovative and Smart City, eThekwini Municipality is now gearing up to host the Youth Summit to further encourage young people to come up with innovative solutions to address socio-economic challenges facing the City.

The Youth Summit which starts from 16-17 July 2015 at Moses Mabhida Stadium and the Hackathon Challenge which took place in May form part of an on-going partnership programme between the Municipality and International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) and other stakeholders, to provide innovative solutions to some of society’s most complex problems through technological innovation.

The partnership led to the development of a Hackathon concept where the youth were engaged to provide solutions to challenges the City is facing.

Creative thinkers who presented impressive ideas during the Hackathon Challenge will receive awards during the two-day Youth Summit and the group that presented the best innovative solution in order to solve some of the City’s major challenges will be honoured.

During the summit, all those who participated in the Hackathon Challenge will be given an opportunity to pitch their software application marketing strategies and enter for the Vodacom Pitching Den competition. The winners will be announced on the last day of the summit.

Mayor James Nxumalo said: “I was stunned by the high level of innovation and creative ideas that our youth presented during the week-long Hackathon Challenge in May, which proves that our efforts of hosting such programmes benefits young people and encourages them to think out of the box.”

Nxumalo said the two-day Youth Innovation Summit will be attended by established industry experts and role players who will assist us in refining the selected solutions and how to implement them accordingly so that we can urgently tackle some of the challenges facing the City such as water shortages and others.

The summit aims to ensure that young people contribute in driving the City’s economic development strategy hence it will have highly prominent speakers from various technology sectors including experts from IBM who will conduct a panel discussion on innovation challenges and opportunities.

Technology Innovation Agency will be on site to talk about financing and funding available to innovation driven businesses, Microsoft Bizspark will offer technological support to promising start-ups and existing entrepreneurs as well as Stoogle which will do a presentation on services they offer for start-up businesses.

“This is an important programme and we are grateful for the support from all our stakeholders to ensure that our ambition of being a Smart City is achieved. We believe that by providing such platforms to youth it will encourage them to be critical thinkers and come up with solutions that will support the City’s development goals particularly around economic development, job creation and poverty alleviation,” added Nxumalo.

Members of the media are invited to cover the event. Details are as follows:

Date: 16 - 17 July 2015

Time: 07H30-17H00

Venue: Moses Mabhida Stadium, Mixed Zone

For more details on the programme and RSVP contact angel@ikhono.co.za 031 266 9937/8

END

Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Head of Communications, Tozi Mthethwa.

For more information contact Gugu Mbonambi on 031 311 4855 or email: gugu.mbonambi@durban.gov.za​