All healthcare is not created equal: 16 Telenor Youth Forum delegates propose four digital fixes

(Fornebu, Norway, 11 December 2018) – Telenor Youth Forum holds its Oslo finale today, showcasing four new ideas that leverage mobile and digital technology to benefit human health.

Published: 11 December 2018 16:00

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Sixteen Telenor Youth Forum delegates (for the 2018-2019 programme) have worked over the last four days in Oslo to develop solutions aimed to reduce inequalities within global health. These health-related challenges are to optimise agriculture, ensure clean water, reduce the rise of non-communicable diseases and support a growing elderly population. Today four teams of delegates pitched their proposals to a jury, which included UNICEF’s Director for Corporate Partnerships & Innovation Amer Farid, SHE CEO Susanne Kaluza, Telenor Group EVP & Head of People, Cecilie Heuch, and Telenor Health Chief Growth Officer Matthew Guilford.

“Every year, we run the Telenor Youth Forum to give a global platform to passionate youth who want to start change in the world. We run this programme in collaboration with the Nobel Peace Center, during the time of the Nobel Peace Prize. Our goal is to connect these young leaders with the resources and expertise needed to develop sustainable, digital solutions to urgent social challenges, and we are excited about their proposals,” said Sigve Brekke, Telenor Group President and CEO.

Health’s direct relationship with development, societal empowerment and human equality is why the Telenor Youth Forum has selected it as this year’s theme and focus.

The TYF 2018-2019 delegates propose…

Addressing the agricultural challenge, TYF delegates, Sameen Alam (Bangladesh), Rachel Loh (Malaysia), Ingrid Rasmussen (Denmark) and Emilie Udnæs (Norway), propose a digital collaboration platform which enables small-scale farmers to team up to rate and sell their crops to middlemen, magnify their bargaining power and share transport costs. It also reduces biases against women farmers by withholding information about the gender of the farmer, focusing only on the quality of the crops, prices and transport. (Photographed with mentor, Ieva Martinkenaite, VP Telenor Research, third from right.)

TYF delegates Saima Khan (Bangladesh), Lucas McNabb (Sweden), Asma Ladak (Pakistan) and Nang Yin Yin Win Nwe (Myanmar) took on the challenge of ensuring clean water. They propose a solution that allows low income or rural families to report water contamination issues through simple feature phones. Very often, water quality goes unreported in poorer communities and their feature phone-driven proposal connects the people in need with the people and organisations and authorities who can help. Higher income smartphone users can then be connected via an app to donate and to follow up with organisations and authorities with whom they may be better connected. (Photographed with mentor, Bjørn Taale Sandberg, SVP Head of Telenor Research, left.)

Tackling the challenge of non-communicable diseases, Maieda Janjua (Pakistan), Gabrielle Stööp (Sweden), Cherngchay Tacho (Thailand) and Felicia Yoon (Malaysia) propose a digital platform addressing mental health. The platform aims to connect students and working professionals alike with mental health services and counseling provided by NGOs and health institutions. The platform can be leveraged by companies to use as a health benefit for employees, which in turn funds free outreach to schools for mental health awareness building and counseling services for students. (Photographed with mentor, Austin Menyasz, Director of Public and Regulatory Affairs, center.)

And taking on the challenge of supporting a growing elderly population via digital solutions, Djaco Ahmad (Denmark), Kristine Schi Nordvold (Norway), Thanapa Ukaranum (Thailand) and Thiha Zaw have produced a concept for a platform that allows elderly people to monetise the skills and experiences they have built over their lives. It further integrates them with their communities, and allows them to market otherwise unrecognised  talents and know-how for their financial benefit – as well as for the benefit of the wider community through knowledge and skills gained from their more senior generations. (Photographed with mentor, Alanna Solberg, Head of Marketing for e-Health, Telenor Norway.)

From strangers to social entrepreneurs

In just four days, these delegates, once just individual applicants in a 5,000+ person talent pool, have gone from complete strangers to productive close-knit teams of social entrepreneurs.

The four teams will be scored throughout the programme based on concept proposals in Oslo in December, on progress between the Oslo kick-off event and the finale event in Bangkok in May 2019, which includes a final pitch. The winning team will be awarded NOK 100,000 to further develop their solution. The four teams’ challenges, journey and their final concepts are then featured in a digital exhibition, sponsored by Telenor Youth Forum and the Nobel Peace Center.

2017-2018 TYF winning team returns to Oslo; aspires to give the developing world’s workers ‘AGNCY’

Also present at the Telenor Youth Forum in Oslo was the 2017-2018 winning team, Agncy. Agncy was assigned the challenge of ensuring decent working conditions in last year’s forum, for which they have developed a viable whistleblowing platform which empowers workers to file reports of labour violations to local and international labour organizations. At its core is the power to enable users to file reports securely, anonymously and verifiably through their smartphones.

Many existing whistleblowing apps around the world help companies deal with risk, malpractice or fraudulence, but Agncy is a first in that it is geared toward labourers as beneficiaries of the service. Agncy will partner with Grameenphone in Bangladesh to evaluate effectiveness in the supply chain. The team is also working on developing a partnership with local Myanmar labour organisations. The ultimate intention of the service is to publish filed reports on the Angcy website to follow-up on companies with a record of violations. The idea was developed by TYF delegates from Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Denmark, Myanmar, Serbia and Thailand.

Agncy is currently fundraising to develop a minimum viable product, perform market tests and participate in accelerators. More information on the project and how to support it can be found here.

About the Telenor Youth Forum

The Telenor Youth Forum is a global platform that is built upon the idea of engaging bright young minds to reduce inequalities. Young leaders from Telenor Group’s eight markets in Scandinavia and Asia are recruited to tackle global, social challenges connected to the Sustainable Development Goals. With physical gatherings in Oslo and in Bangkok, the Telenor Youth Forum is a six-month journey with concrete deliverables such the “We Start Change” exhibition, a platform to help mobilize everyone to contribute and start change. The forum is driven in collaboration with the Nobel Peace Center (NPC). Learn more.