New series: Innovative employee engagement

Innovative employee engagement (April 2017 update)

Over the next several months, we will be following a unique engagement opportunity available to corporate partners through Global Impact’s charity partner, WaterAid. 

WaterAid’s vison is a world where everyone, everywhere has safe water, sanitation and hygiene by 2030. To realize this goal, they have created a program called WaterAid Innovators, or “Winnovators,” to develop solutions for real-world problems. Now in its third year, this program leads participants to compete, solve, fund and learn while coming up with innovative solutions to challenges frequently faced in developing countries.
 
How does it work? 
This year, Winnovators will be hosted in Nicaragua. While Nicaragua’s population is around 6 million people, over 2 million don’t have access to adequate sanitation and 800,000 don’t have access to safe water. 
 
From March to September, we will be following participating companies and their employees as they compete to solve, fund and learn:  
  • Solve: Teams are matched with a specific challenge based on their skills and interest. These real-life situations range from engineering to mobile apps, business model design to legal frameworks and more. 
  • Fund: The teams are challenged to secure a $500 seed fund from WaterAid and then turn it into $5,000 profit by designing inspiring fundraising activities.   
  • Learn: Individuals set personal objectives and focus as a team on learning new skills and leadership qualities. 
To learn more, please visit the Winnovator page at WaterAid America or WaterAid UK. You can also follow the teams and their journey on twitter via #waterinnovators or #winnovators. 
 
Photo caption: Joint (with Sydney Water) Overall Winners 2016 Anglian Water Team Apsara celebrate their win. WaterAid/Tim Ireland 

Innovative employee engagement: Team update (July 2017 update)

This is the second installment of our four-part innovative employee engagement series. Join us as we follow several companies competing in the 2017 Water Innovators (Winnovators) program hosted by our charity partner, WaterAid.

The teams are midway through the three core parts of WaterAid’s Winnovators program. We are following two of the more than 40 teams battling it out to solve real-life water, sanitation and hygiene-promotion issues in Nicaragua. Both teams are tapping into the skills and experiences of their communities to become the best Winnovators and make a lasting impact. The teams have recently connected with WaterAid Nicaragua to test theories and learn more about the specific challenges faced by the local people.
 
Illinois-based company Enviroforensics is taking on the water challenge, requiring them to find a way to supply remote communities with water. They have considered the complex situation faced by WaterAid Nicaragua and have come up with creative ideas for funding their life-changing work there.
 
New York-based company The Intern Group is working on developing micro-enterprise business models for sanitation services. Their team has adapted the program to fit their business model of crowd sourcing ideas and actions, using it as a way to engage their interns around the world.
 
WaterAid can’t wait to see how each team performs in the competition. The winning team will be named as the Global Overall Winner this October and will have the opportunity to visit Nicaragua early next year.
 
Follow the teams and their journeys on Twitter using #waterinnovators or #winnovators, or watch the film. Learn more about this program at WaterAid America or WaterAid UK 

Innovative employee engagement: Team update (Oct. 2017 update)


This is the third instalment of our four-part innovative employee engagement series. Join us as we follow several companies competing in the 2017 Water Innovators (Winnovators) program hosted by our charity partner, WaterAid.
 
It’s the home stretch now for the teams participating in Winnovators. Over 40 teams from around the world are competing to solve a real WASH-related problem in Nicaragua, create and execute a fundraising plan around that solution, and learn new workplace skills along the way. The teams are competing to ultimately win the title of Global Overall Winner and to get a chance to visit Nicaragua early next year.
 
Illinois-based company Enviroforensics has taken on the Water Challenge and is working hard to create a new app as part of their solution. With the app, the team hopes to help remote villages get water via solar electric pumping systems, working around the issues of erosion, weather and theft. 
 
New York-based company The Intern Group has been combining charity and networking for their fundraiser ‘Party at the Water Cooler,’ in which interns, host companies and business connections were able to mix and mingle while raising funds for their solution.
 
WaterAid is looking forward to each team’s exciting and creative submissions. You can follow the teams and their journeys on Twitter using #winnovators. Learn more about this program at WaterAid America or WaterAid UK

Innovative employee engagement: Final team update (Jan. 2018 update)


This is the fourth instalment of our four-part innovative employee engagement series. Find out how the companies we’ve been following faired in the 2017 Winnovators program hosted by our charity partner, WaterAid.
 
Over the last several months, 40 teams from the U.S., the U.K., Australia and Japan competed in Winnovators 2017 to solve a real problem from WaterAid’s work in Nicaragua. The teams raised over $250,000 and provided excellent and innovative submissions while showing their dedication to WaterAid’s goal of reaching everyone, everywhere with safe water, sanitation and hygiene by 2030.
 
Team Albagua from Scotland was awarded the title of “Global Overall Winners” for Winnovators 2017. This March, the team will visit Nicaragua to see WaterAid’s work in person. “It’s amazing what you can achieve when you get your creative juices flowing for something that truly matters. We found the whole experience invigorating and inspiring, and wouldn’t hesitate to encourage other companies to sign up,” one team member said about the experience.
 
U.S.-based team, The Intern Group, was selected for a “Best Innovation” award, commending their innovative approach to solving a sanitation challenge in Nicaragua while also employing a creative fundraising strategy. 
 
Winnovators 2018 will focus on India. As before, teams will compete to solve a real-world problem, transforming futures through improved sanitation and hygiene while learning new skills. Next year’s winner will visit WaterAid’s work in India.
Do you have what it takes to make change happen? Are you looking for a professional development program that gives back? Learn more about how to get your workplace involved in Water Innovators 2018 by contacting WaterAid’s Community Engagement Officer, Elena Marmo at [email protected]
 
These articles were written by Isabelle Herszenhorn, WaterAid’s Innovation and Strategic Engagement lead, and edited by Global Impact staff.

Global Impact provides employee engagement support to corporations in the areas of giving, volunteerism and program strategy. This series is just one opportunity provided through our alliance of over 100 international organizations. For additional engagement opportunities, please check our Resource Center or contact a Regional Director in your area by emailing [email protected].