Project Management Institute (PMI) announced the winners of its first Make Reality Challenge™, a global competition for Rising Leaders to bring creative and strategic solutions to life using no-code/low-code tools — all while making a social impact. This year’s Make Reality Challenge™ Competition consisted of nearly 10,000 contestants, ages 18-24, from colleges and universities across the world. Collectively, winning teams were rewarded with nearly $40,000 in cash prizes and PMI networking opportunities. Out of all the winners, Sport Sharks, a team of students from the University of Mumbai and Institute of Chemical Technology, India that developed an app that connects sports enthusiasts with coaches and mentors from India, secured the third place at the global level. At a regional level, there were two teams that emerged winners in India. Second place was a group of young minds called Team Niraale from Chandigarh University, that set out to help farmers sell their crops directly to end consumers. The third place in India was awarded to a group of students named Decoders from Banasthali University, National Institute of Technology in Patna, who addressed the growing need for educating students in the country.
Nearly 5,900 Make Reality Challenge™ teams across 65 countries were tasked with identifying a problem and developing a solution related to one of the 17 United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), making this year’s theme “Disruption for Social Impact”. Throughout the three phases of the competition, teams were judged on various components including user functionality, presentation, impact and scalability, ideation, and Q&A. Judging was conducted by senior staff at PMI, PMI Board pastchair Tony Appleby, PMIEF Board past-chair Ram Dokka, members of the Academic Insight Team and PMI® NextGen Insight Team. “At PMI, we believe that young and rising leaders have the power to drive change and create tangible social impact. With the necessary project management skills, these changemakers can make ideas a reality,” said Dr. Srini Srinivasan, Regional Managing Director – South Asia, Project Management Institute. “The demand for citizen development and the adoption of low-code/no-code platforms can be the catalyst driving change and enabling project professionals and changemakers to create solutions that can transform lives. We are working with NASSCOM and other industry leaders to expand the potential for citizen development and how we can jointly promote it,” he added. Sport Sharks, the group of young minds that held the third place globally from India, focused on SDG #3 Good Health and Well-being, SDG #4 Quality Education, and SDG #10 Reduced Inequity.
According to the Research Center of the Institute of Management Technology (IMT), only 5.56% people in India have knowledge about any specific sport. Sport Sharks developed an app that connects youth with mentors and coaches focused on the sport of their choice, while supporting health, well-being, and quality education while reducing the need gap in India. “There is very little emphasis given to sports and physical education, as opposed to academics in India. Additionally, access and awareness related to sporting avenues are fairly low. In order to fill this need gap, we developed a solution using a low-code/no-code platform to connect sports aspirants with coaches and mentors. Make Reality Challenge by PMI, gave us the opportunity to showcase our work. Through this project, we believe we will be able to increase awareness, create opportunities and help the aspirants to pursue their preferred sport as a career.” commented team Sport Sharks (Anurag Nala, Hiten Sharma, Khush Patil, and Rohit Paidimuddala) from the University of Mumbai and Institute of Chemical Technology. “We all have a fundamental right to education in India. Sadly, quite a few children in our country still do not have access to quality education. While they have free education in Government schools, children are unable to get books, basic infrastructure to support online learning, and timely guidance.
We wanted to develop a solution that bridges the gap between children and available resources. Hence, we are looking at using citizen developer technology to create an app that can help children with easy access to some of these resources. As young and rising leaders, we feel it’s important for us to focus on projects such as these that can make a difference to quality of life and education is the need of the hour. Opportunities such as the Make Reality Challenge, allows us to take our ideas to the world and encourages us to pursue our goals.” commented team Decoders (Aditi Jha, Priya Kumari, and Shivani Singh) from the Banasthali University, National Institute of Technology in Patna. “Agricultural produce in India is a significant contributor not only to our GDP but also is the primary source of livelihood for more than half of India’s population. However, they face unique problems such as demanding the correct price for the produce, etc.
Therefore, we are looking forward to developing a solution that can enable farmers to demand and expect a fair price of the produce directly from the traders by eliminating the middlemen. Today it is good to see easy access to technology and low-code/no-code platforms that helps us make our dreams become a reality and work on projects that can have a social impact. We are thankful to PMI for giving us a platform and opportunity to showcase our idea,” commented Ansh Rawat (team Niraale) from Chandigarh University. By using no-code/low-code platforms in the Make Reality Challenge™, Rising Leaders were able to develop solutions to help address some of the world’s most pressing issues more quickly and efficiently. The Make Reality Challenge™ supports Hours for Impact™, an initiative that encourages community members to pledge hours aligned to the 17 SDGs for the betterment of people’s lives and the planet, now and in the future.
In India, PMI members have contributed immensely to solve many issues at a societal and environmental level. One such example is the Sarvam Organic Vegetable Cultivation Project – an organic farming project for nature club students, driven by volunteers from the PMI Kerala, India Chapter. The volunteers supported 300 students by providing them with the skills needed to grow vegetables, monitoring using technology, as well as sessions on project management. This was the first large-scale project for school students who were successfully introduced to project management skills while being environmentally conscious. To help collectively drive change and make the SDGs a reality, individuals can pledge hours of service at PMI.org/hours-for-impact and share their story about their experience on social media with the hashtag #PMImpact.