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JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH \
DNA laboratory 311.
Imaginative Israelis under the age of 30 are now able for the first time to compete in an international competition for a 50,000 euro prize for ideas that can “change the world.” The contest, launched last year by the Unilever food and home product company, will end with the winner receiving the money and shaking the hand of Britain’s Prince Charles.
The competition is run in coordination with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) to encourage social initiatives. The participants must suggests products, services or long-term applications that contribute to world health and welfare, change the way of living by adapting behavior and habits, or reduce the environmental imprint on Earth.
Unilever will offer financial aid and mentoring to seven entrepreneurs who present the best ideas; they will participate in a two-day workshop on start-ups led by leading experts. The winner will receive the monetary prize in London.
Last year, over 500 young people from 90 countries competing for the prize, which was won by a 24-year-old Indonesian who combined recycling of home garbage into health insurance money for poor families. His idea has been put into use in his country.
Other finalists developed information systems for cellular phones that monitor water supply and make it more efficient; cheap food for poultry based on waste from mango seeds in Nigeria; water-free toilets in Peru; and a project in which poor ranchers in Nepal get educated in exchange for their parents agricultural work.
Unilever CEO Paul Polman said that young people represent half of the population in the developing world “and are our future.” Unilever Israel chairman and CEO Anat Gavriel added that the company encourages every idea that can create positive changes. She welcomed the fact that Israelis could now participate.
One can register via the website www.changemakers.com before August 1.
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