I am sure most people (like myself) think of fine chocolates and waffles when thinking of Belgium. The people are nice and the scenery much nicer, but I can’t say a highly competitive green-tech competition comes to mind. Regardless, that is what is occurring in Belgium right now. The CleanTech Challenge of 2012 has set off to inspire younger generations of highly intelligent people to get involved with changing our world for the better. For the greener. Of course, it is all for the main event – the International CleanTech Challenge in London for a €5,000 cash price.
Why? CleanTech keeps it simple by saying, “We want to support young innovative students that can make a difference. We help you building a network of professionals that you can turn to when in need” (Clean Tech Challenge. Be, 2012). It doesn’t matter who you are, so long as you have an idea to make this planet a little greener through new technology – you’re in. Now winning, though, may be an entirely different matter.
Teams of 3-5 people will enter into the event, competing in various stages until the winner and runner up from Belgium will then go to London to compete in the international event. People from all sorts of backgrounds enter the event – whether students that study economics, physics, engineering or anything in-between – everyone comes together for the same common cause. To develop the next idea in technology that might change the world for the better. There’s nothing wrong with that.
I think there needs to be more thought put into how to inspire not just university-level students to developing green initiatives. There needs to be more thought put into inspiring people at all levels to become green. What is it that inspires you? Was a teacher? A friend? A colleague? Maybe it’s your children that inspire you to go chemical-free while cleaning. Maybe it was a news program that inspired you to make some different life choices or an article on this site. Or maybe it was simply yourself.
But what if we all took a little bit from the CleanTech Competition and thought on a smaller scale? Not all of us are keen to enter into international-level technology events, but we all have enough know-how within ourselves to keep the green ball rolling. What about developing a new initiative at your office? Changing to recycled paper for the printers doesn’t cost much different than regular paper and the benefits are so much greater. What if we asked our neighbors for new ideas on how to keep our street greener? A neighborhood clean-up day finished with a BBQ is a great way to stay connected and inspire people to be proud of the street they live on. What if we actually went to those community hall meetings to put through a new idea? Maybe there are some better ways to get people to recycle more. What if we took time to inspire our children on the benefits of staying green? Our children will inherit the earth we leave behind – what kind of world do we want them to have?
Every little bit helps and we all don’t have to be a brainiac to change the world. If we all did a little more with the bubble we live in, we might find the ripples of our inspiration would reach further than we could possibly imagine. Who knows – maybe your simple idea might end up changing the world on an international level.
Clean Tech Challenge. Be. (2012). About the Challenge. Retrieved April 17, 2012, from Clean Tech Challenge. Be: http://cleantechchallenge.be/about-the-challenge/