Sydney Social Innovation Camp Winners AnnouncedEarlier this month, we posted a story about the first Sydney Social Innovation camp – a Startup Camp styled event that saw teams comes together around pre-selected ideas to create innovative startups with a focus on improving society.

In the end 70  people showed up for  an intense weekend of code-writing, coaching and refining of business plans for 8 separate projects.

While everyone who participated in the event was a winner…there was an actual winner named on the final day – Refugee Buddy.

Refugee Buddy is a scheme to help volunteers link up with refugees who are in need of local knowledge and friendship. The plan is to provide a warm welcome and to promote understanding. People can register their interest on the website, and refugee support organisations can contact suitable support people.

Presenting the award to Joy Suliman of the Refugee Buddy team, Cheryl Kernot, Director of Social Innovation at the Centre for Social Impact, University of New South Wales, (that’s where Cheryl’s been hiding!) said it was “exciting to see innovative and socially beneficial uses of new technology. The winning team received a return airfare and per diem allowance to attend a Social Innovation camp overseas.”

2 other projects received special mentions:

  • Two Bob’s Worth, a micro-volunteering project where busy people can offer skills to the community on a short-term basis.
  • Interlocked Social Information Systems (ISIS), a sophisticated information-sharing site to allow service providers and researchers to share data, case studies, and other information of mutual interest. It would link grassroots terminology to more scholarly resources.

The Social Innovation Camp was an initiative of the Australian Social Innovation Exchange, www.asix.org.au with special mention going to Raul Caceres and Michelle Williams who worked tirelessly in organising the event.

I actually attended for some of the last day and the energy in the place was amazing. That may have been a result of the excellent food and  facilities at the UNSW city campus but I suspect it had more to do with the fact that when you put 70 people who are passionate about creating positive social change in the same space good things happen.

For those interested, you can catch the presentations of the 3 top projects HERE , read about all the projects that came to the camp HERE or watch an 8 minutes video that covers what went down on the weekend HERE.