Munk One Students Develop Local Solutions to Global Challenges
A Recap of the 2023 Dragon’s Den Competition
On April 13th, the Munk One program hosted yet another successful Dragon’s Den competition, which was in-person for the first time since 2019. The annual Munk One Dragon’s Den competition gives students an opportunity to pitch interventions they develop in teams during the MUN105Y1 course. These interventions seek to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges through the lens of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which are presented to a panel of judges for feedback.
This year’s panel of judges was comprised of three esteemed experts and leaders in international development: Maxime Matthew, a Programs Officer at Fora: Network for Change, where she manages the development and implementation of the Global Summit training program, the Global Mentorship program, and the Community Engagement strategy; Heather Simpson, a non-profit and social enterprise consultant who supports the growth and development of socially focused organizations; and Elly Vandenberg, the Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Global Office in Canada.
From Balcony Butterflies, an initiative that seeks to address the declining population levels of butterflies and the accessibility of green spaces across Toronto, to Project B-Safe, an innovative intervention that seeks to deliver water filters to the Palia Kalan municipality in Northern India, Munk One students echoed the interdisciplinarity of the program through innovative solutions that draw from different academic fields.
Similarly, students were quick to take advantage of digital technologies to expand the outreach of their interventions. For example, PATHS, an initiative that seeks to address the transition issues that students with ASD face when transitioning into post-secondary education, developed a digital platform that centralizes information on accessibility services offered in colleges and universities across Ontario.
The Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions team created an initiative to produce and distribute “I voted!” stickers with QR codes that allow voters to visualize the impact of their vote to increase voter turnout.
The winning team, SDG 3 (Good Health & Well-being), proposed an intervention that forms relationships with doulas who will act as liaisons with Thunder Bay’s health system to address issues of prenatal care for Indigenous persons in North-Western Ontario, which the judges praised for their close collaboration with local stakeholders.
As always, Munk One students went above and beyond to develop local solutions to global challenges through collaborative, innovative, and interdisciplinary perspectives. Congratulations to the Munk One 2022-23 cohort for their hard work and wonderful presentations!