2012-2013: Sprinkles

2012-2013 challenge

We live in one of the world’s most diverse cities, and we are experiencing a time of dramatic change. We see a more deeply interconnected world, fuelled by technology, with momentum enough to change corporations, media, and governments in every country. At the same time we see deep divisions politically and economically, and an ailing planet. The imperatives for a renewed sense of global citizenship and global engagement are clear and unequivocal.

We know that our best students in their final years of high school are not being offered enough opportunities in the conventional curriculum to develop those hard and soft skills that they will need to meet the challenges already present in their world. They suffer from this lack of stimulation, and as a country we miss the opportunity to benefit from their freshness, their technological expertise, their passion, and their global-mindedness. Students are our future leaders and we would do well by ensuring that they engage their world in intellectually imaginative ways.

The University of Toronto Schools and the Asian Institute at the Munk School have jointly planned a symposium for motivated, self-selected high school students to take place in April 2013. The symposium will be the culmination of over six months of organized group study, research, and continual dialogue. Toronto students are studying and discussing the challenges and opportunities of innovating and scaling up micronutrient interventions for addressing malnutrition in the Global South. They will benefit from a series of lectures and interactive seminars with the world’s leading scholars of health and development.


food insecurity & malnutrition

The 2012-2013 Global Ideas Institute challenge will focus on food insecurity and malnutrition in the Global South. Micronutrient deficiencies, a form of malnutrition, are a significant cause of illness and premature death throughout the world. This is particularly true in the developing world, where nearly 20% of the population suffers from iodine deficiency, about 25% of children have sub-clinical vitamin A deficiency, and 40-60% suffer from anemia. Micronutrient deficiencies can lead to impaired growth and cognitive development, birth defects, cretinism, and blindness, as well as decreased school and work performance and poor general health. Therefore, addressing micronutrient deficiencies is of critical importance. Effectively doing so will also help bring us closer to achieving five of the eight Millennium Development Goals for 2015 (eradicate extreme hunger and poverty, achieve universal primary education, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, and combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases).

The mission of Sprinkles Global Health Initiatives (SGHI) is to help reduce and eliminate malnutrition, including micronutrient malnutrition, through focused research and advocacy. In 1997, SGHI developed Sprinkles to prevent and treat micronutrient deficiencies among young children and other vulnerable groups at risk. Sprinkles are sachets (similar to small packets of sugar) containing a blend of micronutrients in powder form that can easily be sprinkled onto foods prepared in the home. Any homemade food can be instantly fortified by adding Sprinkles. Coating of the iron prevents changes to the taste, colour or texture of the food to which Sprinkles are added.

This year’s challenge is to create a strategy to scale up the supply of Sprinkles, improve the distribution of the product, and ensure that targeted end-users (people in developing countries who have limited access to a diverse supply of foods and are at risk of micronutrient deficiencies) are aware of it and are using it correctly.

Led by mentors from the University of Toronto, high school students will complete readings, attend a speaker series with subject matter experts, participate in workshops, and work with their teammates online and in person to address this year’s challenge. In April 2013, the teams will present their strategy for scaling up the supply, distribution, and usage of Sprinkles. This final symposium will take place at the Munk School and will feature a panel of experts in the health and development field.

Click here to view Global News report on Sprinkles and malnutrition in the Global South.


session videos

Global Child Health: Big Picture and Narrow Focus
Stanley Zlotkin
Chief, Global Child Health, The Hospital for Sick Children; Senior Scientist, Child Health Evaluative Sciences, Research Institute; Professor of Nutritional Sciences & Pediatrics, University of Toronto
>view seminar webcast

Global Ideas Institute Lecture and Workshop 2
David Morley
President and CEO, UNICEF Canada
>view seminar webcast

Integrative Thinking: Using your Opposable Mind
Jenifer Riel
Associate Director of the Desautels Centre for Integrative Thinking;
Director, Content & Communications at the Rotman School of Management
Christopher Federico
Head of Canadian and World Studies, University of Toronto Schools
>view seminar webcast

Why are so Many People Hungry Given that We Have So Much Food?
Anita M. McGahan
Rotman Chair in Management; Associate Dean, Research; Director of the PhD Program Professor of Strategic Management, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
>view seminar webcast

Behaviorally Informed Innovation
Dilip Soman
Professor in Communication Strategy, Rotman School of Management; Director, India Innovation Institute, Rotman and the Munk School of Global Affairs

Blind Spots in the Welfare State: Lessons from the Global South
Dr. Joseph Wong
Canada Research Chair, Political Science; Director, Asian Institute, University of Toronto

New sharing Your Story: Leveraging the Tools of Integrative Thinking and Design Thinking
Josie Fung
Research Associate at the Desautels centre for Integrative Thinking, Rotman School of Management

final symposium
Food Insecurity and Malnutrition in the Global South, April 8, 2013
(Webcast: Part 1, Part 2)

View the Symposium brochure here.


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