June 5th-9th, over 1,600 students from elementary to high school gathered both in-person and virtually at Future Problem Solving Program International’s (FPSPI) International Conference to compete in variety of challenges addressing antibiotic resistance. Our very own CEO, Josh Neubert, even attended to check out some of the amazing work done by FPSPI students and present during the opening ceremony. We wanted to give a huge shout out and congratulations to the many talented students who participated!

FPSPI is all about emphasizing the importance of creative and critical thinking and decision-making by teaching students how to approach problem-solving – not telling them what to think. Through FPSPI competitions, students learn and practice a clear and logical approach that they can use in any type of creative problem-solving scenario throughout their lives. From environmental and social issues, to travel, technology, and medicine, FPSPI has covered a wide range of interesting and relevant topics that students can really explore and take ownership of.

The IC 2022 Future Scene challenged students to come up with new ways to detect environmental pollution and reduce the risk of antibiotic-resistant bacteria circulating through water and soil in Tasmania’s cherry orchards. Their projects address concerns the Tasmanian government may have about the development and spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria during farming, all while considering the importance of cherry yield for the Tasmanian economy.

During the International Conference (IC) students were recognized in the following categories:

PAP (Presentations of Action Plan)

Students from all divisions – Junior, Middle, and Senior – developed their PAP submissions in response to the IC 2022 Future Scene. Check out the presentations from one of the first-place teams at time stamp 42:00 during the IC Awards Ceremony video. This team’s plan involved killing bacteria with rays of UV light from Drone UV admitters (DUV) on a predetermined flight plan!

Multi-Affiliate Global Issues Problem Solving Competition (MAGIC)

The MAGIC contest took place on-site during the International Conference, which allowed students from around the world to collaborate with one another. Competitors were randomly assigned to teams based on division and worked together with other students from different states and countries to complete a handwritten booklet (similar to the Global Issues Problem Solving competition). The MAGIC booklet included eight challenges, eight solution ideas, and a shortened grid for students to complete within two hours.

Scenario Performance (ScP)

Students competing in the Scenario Performance category developed and acted out stories based on their future projections about antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Their performances were evaluated based on their storytelling technique, audience awareness, use of voice, development of story, characterization, creative and futuristic thinking, and overall connection to the topic.

Scenario Writing (SW)

Scenario Writing competitors also got creative by writing original futuristic short stories about their projections about the same topic. Their written works were assessed on creative and forward thinking, idea and character development, style/voice, mechanics, research, and how well they were able to entertain and inform the audience about antibiotic resistance in their Future Scene.

Community Problem Solving (CmPS)

The 361 students who took part in the Community Problem Solving competition addressed an area of concern from their own communities. By providing a framework to move beyond traditional service learning, students apply the problem-solving process to identify and address local, state, national or global issues that result in measurable outcomes. On-site students prepared their displays for evaluation at the International Conference.

Global Issues Problem Solving (GIPS)

The Global Issues Problem Solving category allows both teams and individuals to respond to the Future Scene using the Six-Step Process. 835 students completed in-depth research about Antibiotic Resistance before the competition started.  Students involved in GIPS practice powerful problem-solving skills that engage their critical and creative thinking. Hundreds of creative solutions were presented on to address the Future Scene! Check out the final results of each competition here.

Want to get involved in future FPSPI competitions? Parents, educators, and students from all around the world are invited to participate in categories like the ones from the 2022 International Conference! Learn more about the different types of competitions here, or find an FPSPI Affiliate to get started.

Each year, students in grades 4-12 around the world convene at Future Problem Solving Program International’s (FPSPI) International Conference to take part in events and workshops, brainstorm scenarios, collaborate with groups to complete creative problem-solving exercises, and learn from experts during presentations and Q&A sessions.

Additionally, Community Problem Solving competitors have the chance to showcase their projects from the past year both in-person and online, displaying and celebrating their solutions to issues facing their local communities.

This year, over 1,800 brilliant young minds will be attending the hybrid event beginning on June 9th, 2022 to tackle an important challenge facing the future of global health care – antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotic resistance happens when bacteria undergo mutations that render antibiotic medicines ineffective against them. This means that doctors must continuously develop new drugs to treat patients with resistant infections, as well as to preserve the usefulness of existing antibiotic drugs.

There are many factors that contribute to the rising emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including over-prescription of antibiotic drugs, environmental pollution and poor pollution controls, agricultural misuse, and poor patient adherence to treatment instruction. Today, antibiotics are not only in medications, but also in food sources and plastics, creating more and more opportunities for antibiotic resistant microorganisms to develop.

In the United States alone, more than 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections occur every year, leading to over 35,000 deaths. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has only contributed to creating conditions that may have reversed our progress on antibiotic resistance. Staffing shortages, record high numbers of patients, and longer hospital stays during the pandemic have led to increased difficulties implementing infection control practices.

The World Health Organization warns that, “While there are some new antibiotics in development, none of them are expected to be effective against the most dangerous forms of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Given the ease and frequency with which people now travel, antibiotic resistance is a global problem, requiring efforts from all nations and many sectors.”

FPSPI Global Issues Problem Solving and Scenario competitors will have the chance to tackle this incredibly relevant and important issue during the International Conference by researching all aspects of antibiotic resistance in preparation for challenges where they will need to analyze and address futuristic scenarios centered around the topic. Winners will be announced during the awards ceremony on June 12th, 2022.

To learn more about FPSPI’s International Conference, check out the readings, schedule, and more here.  To learn more about the antibiotic resistance topic, check out FPSPI’s video and resources here.

Stay tuned for more updates about the amazing work FPSPI students are doing with their research and writing during the 2022 Hybrid International Conference!

The world of business is changing. Consumers no longer rally around the companies that simply create products they love…they want to see companies that support causes that matter to them.

Social entrepreneurship is all about building a business that focuses on solving social issues and enacting change. Social entrepreneurs either form non-profits, or they blend for-profit goals with generating a positive impact on society or their community.

Social entrepreneurship is becoming more and more popular among younger generations, with organizations like SEIF finding that the average age of their social entrepreneur applicants was 34, with most CEOs and Founders being born in the 1990s. HuffPost even found that a staggering 94% of Millennials want to use their skills to benefit a cause.

The economic focus of future generations is clearly shifting from profit to other important priorities like family, community, and the environment, and as a result, there are now many amazing options available for young social entrepreneurs in the competition space!

Check out these six entrepreneurship competitions that provide students with an avenue to grow their social entrepreneurship enterprises, network with other socially-conscious peers, and even earn awards and gain access to resources that will help them throughout their careers.

Rise

Ages 15-17

Free to Apply 

Rise is a competition uniquely designed for students who are passionate about social entrepreneurship. The program allows anyone who applies to join their global network, which connects students to leaders in social entrepreneurship and allows them to access free online courses and opportunities from their partners around the world.

Rise’s Global Winners receive individualized, lifelong support to empower them to achieve their goals and serve others. Winners are invited to a fully-funded, three-week residential summit, receive mentoring and career support, gain access to virtual and in-person leadership and educational courses, earn a four-year scholarship to any accredited university, and are awarded with a technology package.

Lifetime benefits for Rise Global Winners even include graduate-level scholarships, program and internship matching, and ongoing funding opportunities!

 

BizWorld’s Young Entrepreneur Success! Program

Ages 17-19

Free to Register

The YES! Program helps young entrepreneurs develop successful businesses by providing education, tools, and resources. Applicants must submit a professional pitch to be considered, and viable businesses will be selected to participate in the online business Accelerator, receive mentorship, and attend interactive virtual workshops.

Top businesses will have the opportunity to give a live pitch for a chance to receive up to $30,000 in funding for their startup, as well as an entire year of professional support to take their business to the next level.

 

NFTE Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge

Ages 11-18

The NFTE Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge is an eight-month-long series of business plan and pitch competitions that take place at the local, regional and national levels, culminating in a high-stakes national championship in New York City.

The Challenge begins with pitch competitions at the local classroom or camp level. Pitch competition winners have the potential to advance to the regional, then national level. National finalists compete against the best young entrepreneurs from across the country for the chance to win seed capital they can use to grow their business, launch a new business, or pursue their education goals.

 

Blue Ocean

Ages 14-17

Free to Register

The Blue Ocean Competition is an internationally recognized pitch competition for young entrepreneurs, including social entrepreneurs. Thousands of students around the world compete to win cash prizes for their three to five-minute-long business pitches, and are scored based on their innovation and creativity, market potential, feasibility, presentation quality, and use of Blue Ocean concepts.

 

Brower Youth Awards

Ages 13-22

Free to Apply

A great fit for social entrepreneurs in the environmental space, the Brower Youth Award is a program of the Earth Island Institute. Every year, the Brower Youth Award recognizes six young leaders who are making a positive impact on the environment. Brower Youth Award winners must demonstrate excellent leadership, as well as a commitment to the communities their work serves.

Winners’ documentaries are shown on the night of the awards ceremony, and they each have the opportunity to deliver an acceptance speech about their project or campaign. Each winner receives a $3,000 cash prize, and becomes a Brower Youth Awards alumni, keeping them connected with past winners. Leading up to the award ceremony, the New Leaders Initiative provides a week-long forum that includes mentorship, training, visioning, networking, and career coaching to build skills and capacity to effect change.

The program has a deep commitment to elevating voices from socio-economic and culturally diverse backgrounds so that they can move forward as successful innovators and activists.

 

Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes

Ages 8-18

Free to Apply

The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes honors 25 outstanding youth leaders from diverse backgrounds across North America every year. Young leaders and social entrepreneurs are awarded this prize based on their positive impact on people, their communities, and the environment.

Winners receive a $10,000 award, a personalized plaque and certificate, a Young Heroes Materials package, induction into the Barron Prize young heroes network, and print, television, and radio media coverage to extend the reach of their service work.