Problem-solving competition “IDEAthon” slated for Sunday
A competition, called “IDEAthon Guyana”, for young people to submit solutions to societal problems, will be held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre on Sunday.
The first of its kind competition in Guyana is being implemented by Athrav Kotehal Gowdara, a high school senior at the Georgetown International Academy.
Gowdara, the son of the High Commissioner of India to Guyana, Dr K.J. Srinivasa, has teamed up with others for the project: Lucien Stanley, a student of Georgetown International Academy; Pratham Joshi, a student at St Mary’s International school in Tokyo; and Yash Saxena, a student from Monta Vista High school in California. They are mentored by Peter Han, an entertainment and concept designer, Eldon Marks Founding director of V75 Inc. and ShahRukh Hussain, Director of the Prime Minister’s Office Industry and Innovation unit. They are also collaborating with government agencies to host IDEAthon Guyana.
In an interview with the News Room, Gowdara explained that the competition challenges youths, age 14-21, to work in teams or individually to generate creative solutions to build strong and prosperous communities.
“As the son of a diplomat, I have been travelling all my life and everywhere I’ve gone… there’s this sort of huge polarity between rich people, poor people, the elite and the non-elite.
“I also notice that a lot of young people have solutions to these problems but they are never being heard.
“When I came to Guyana I realized that I could finally do something. I felt the capability to do something about it,” Gowdara said.
IDEAthon seeks solutions in health, education, entrepreneurship and environment.
The participants were given a problem statement and then had to think of a realistic solution that is needed and that can be executed by the government.
“Whoever wins the IDEAthon, whichever teams win, they will go further into the programme…where we will fine-tune their ideas to help them make the ideas more feasible – easier for the government to use these solutions out in the field. And then, we will present it to the government….”
On Sunday, the participants will compete in the semi-final round in the morning and half of these teams will be selected for the finals later that afternoon.
Mentors will be present to assist the youths in pitching their ideas to judges and the audience and to give them guidance.
There will also be cash prizes to be won and trophies and certificates will be handed out.