Guest Blog: Enactus Guelph Goes to the 2016 Enactus World Cup

Posted on Friday, November 4th, 2016

Written by Andrew Nixon

This week’s guest blog is from Vlad Kondratov, the Director of Marketing and Communications for Enactus Guelph:

The newly formed Enactus Guelph team hit the road to Toronto for three days in September to attend the Enactus World Cup to support the Canadian National Champions, Memorial University of Newfoundland, as they sought to win the world title for a second time.

The first day of the Enactus World Cup began with a culture fair; a giant hall filled with booths and exhibits representing the 36 countries attending the World Cup. From exotic Egyptian dances to Tim Horton’s donuts from the host country, the fair was an exemplary introduction to a great three days of competition. With everyone dancing and having fun, you wouldn’t think that these students would be lining up against each other the next morning to pitch their world-changing ideas to a panel of judges.

The spirit of cheer continued at the opening ceremony in the Grand Hall, where flagbearers waved their country’s respective flags and led lines of their country’s students in a march around the auditorium. One of the most emotional moments of the opening ceremony was a video of Nelson Mandela and his family as they struggled for freedom and justice in South Africa. After the video a very special guest emerged, Swati Dlamini, the granddaughter of Nelson Mandela, who presented her hope and vision for a better future.

Another special guest emerged at the opening ceremony, Roger Love, one of the world’s leading authorities on voice. His charisma shined through in his speech as he suggested three questions we should ourselves in order to become better speakers: Can you control others perception of you? Can you move people emotionally? Can you control the outcome of each communication you have?

Roger Love provided invaluable voice and speaking advice for teams to soak in as they prepared to make the biggest presentations of their lives, as well as for the hopeful Enactus teams seeking to one day join them on the international stage.

Over the following two days, 36 teams had 17 minutes each to presented their world changing ideas. Every team had made a significant impact on the lives of others and we were able to learn something from each of them. All of their stories were inspiring and heartwarming, and their passion was infectious. Only sixteen teams made it through the semi-final round and only four teams made it through to the finals: Nigeria, India, Germany, and Canada.

The top teams had their best ideas on display. Nigeria showed how they could bring displaced children back into the school system so that they can have a proper education. India’s project involved creating adequate sanitation in the slums and proper restrooms to solve public defacation issues. Germany presented several projects, one with technology that can grow fish anywhere and another in which they have created prosthetic limbs that can be printed using a 3D printer and sold for 500 times less than the cost of traditional prosthetics, providing access to individuals who have not been able to afford one up to now. Memorial University, on behalf of Canada, presented their biggest project, Project Sucseed, which helps people in isolated areas in the Northern Territories (or anywhere) grow their own food indoors, all year round, solving a major food security issue. They have employed at-risk youth to build their hydroponic systems and have just signed on with Tim Horton’s as a partner, to put one hydroponic system in every elementary school in Canada. The profits the will earn will be reinvested into the project and will allow them to provide more support to communities in need. After a long and nerve-racking wait, the winner was announced: CANADA! 

Another highlight of the event was a video address by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He congratulated the Enactus organization and applauded students for their dedication to positive change and having the creativity and drive to address some of the toughest issues of our time.

The Enactus World Cup, and the purpose behind it, can be summarized by the remarks of the outgoing CEO, Alan Rohrs, “life is not about what we gather, it is about what we disperse: give!”This event inspired our team to begin our own Enactus journey. We are now more excited than ever to get started on our own projects and to join the movement, changing the world for the better, one step and one day at a time.

Vladimir Kondratov
B.Comm - Accounting, 2017
Director, Marketing and Communications
Enactus Guelph

What is Enactus?

Enactus is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring students to improve the world through entrepreneurial action. Enactus provide a platform for teams of outstanding university students to create community development projects that put people’s own ingenuity and talents at the center of improving their livelihoods. Guided by educators and supported by business leaders, Enactus students take the kind of entrepreneurial approach that empowers people to be a part of their own success. Our work transforms both the lives of the people served, and in turn, the lives of the students as they develop into more effective, values-driven leaders.

Like in business, Enactus believe that competition encourages creativity and rewards results. For Enactus, it means more lives impacted. An annual series of regional and national competitions provides a forum for teams to showcase the impact of their outreach efforts and to be evaluated by executives serving as judges. National champion teams advance to the prestigious Enactus World Cup to experience excellence in competition, collaboration and celebration. This year, the Enactus World Cup was held at the Toronto Convention Centre between September 28-30th. Next year, it will be held in London, England. To learn more about Enactus, check out their website.

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