Edmonton, Alberta – April 22nd, 2023 (Earth Day) – ICChange, Seven teams of Albertan students attended the opening ceremony of the 4th annual Ethical Development Reverse Innovation Challenge (EDRIC) on Earth Day 2023, kicking off a 3-day pitch competition that is turning the tables on global health education.
Earlier this year, on April 22nd to 25th, ICChange co-hosted the 4th annual Ethical Development Reverse Innovation Challenge (EDRIC) with our partners at the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta.
Not Your Average Pitch Competition
As a space for learning and skills development, EDRIC is a unique pitch competition that challenges traditional paradigms of global health education and learn new ways to apply their skills, knowledge, privilege and resources to global health and international development issues. EDRIC competitors in multidisciplinary teams undergo a design sprint in which they must innovate a solution to a sustainable development issue in a HIC that incorporates some aspect or feature of a sustainable development success in a LMIC.
This year, our theme was Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Alberta Health Services by 5%. Our key partner was the Office of of Sustainability at Alberta Health Services, who presented a detailed case at the EDRIC Opening Ceremony that broke down their organizational carbon emissions in 4 main categories including:
1. Waste and Water,
2. Anesthetic Gases,
3. Transportation Fuels, and
4. Buildings & Energy Owned/Leased
To support the EDRIC competitors on their difficult task, the Opening Ceremony also included positioning presentations from LMIC partners Lucia Bakulumpagi-Wamala of Bakulu Power, as well as environmental activist Rituraj Phukan, who presented examples of carbon emissions reduction initiatives in Uganda and India. This initial inspiration was supplemented with intensive research during the 3-day event. Our Opening Ceremony was capped off with a Pitching and Ideation Workshop delivered by Wael Jabir, a consultant at Deloitte, and Rehan Babar, a consultant at Ernst & Young.
Competitor Work Period
During the following 2 days of ideation time, the EDRIC competitors were hosted in an online workspace on Slack where they had access to EDRIC organizers, judges, partners, and judges to ask questions and test hypotheses.
The 7 teams presented a wide variety of solutions at the EDRIC Closing ceremony, including ultraviolet light for sterilizing medical equipment and solar-powered farms. The winning team, named “We Love Drones”, pitched a drone service to fly patient blood samples for complex laboratory tests as a low-emissions and low-cost alternative to vehicular transport to specialized testing laboratories.
Our esteemed panel of judges represented both industry and academia, consisting of:
Dr. Abdullah Saleh, Chief Executive Director at Innovative Canadians for Change (ICChange), Pediatric Surgeon at Stollery Children's Hospital
Dr. Katherine Smith, Social Accountability Lead at the University of Alberta MD Program, Emergency Physician at Royal Alexandra Hospital
Harry Vandermeer, Executive Director of the Alberta Health Services Office of Energy and Sustainability
Kipton Lade, CEO of BlueZone Technologies
Harvey Hawes, Trauma Surgeon at Vancouver General Hospital and Founder of LHS Labs
Tanya Doran, Western Canada Carbon Lead at Stantec
Lucia Bakulumpagi-Wamala, CEO of Bakulu Power
Rituraj Phukan, Environmental Activist and Founder of the Climate Justice Forum
Ifeoma Iloghalu, Public Health Resident Physician at the University of Alberta
The winning team was awarded $500 for donation to a charity of their choice and were invited to present their pitch to the June 2023 meeting of the Alberta Health Services Executive Committee on Sustainability.
Looking forward to 2025, EDRIC is looking forward to expanding our institutional connections to increase capacity for American and Mexican students to participate as well as increasing our internal capacity for hosting more students.
Innovative Canadians for Change (ICChange) is a global, social enterprise network that specializes in social impact entrepreneurship to create sustainable solutions that tackle the most pressing problems faced by vulnerable populations across the world. Together with community partners and organizations, ICChange has improved the quality of life and well-being of over 52 million people to date through initiatives that provide access to clean water, electronic medical records systems, nationwide traumatic injury management protocol, solar-powered medical oxygen delivery, and much more.
Innovative Canadians for Change (ICChange)
Hasnaien Ahmed, Communications