The idea pitched by Team Icarus, one of the six main competitors, was declared the winner and was awarded with $7,500 by the organisers Wednesday.
The idea of the team was about a digital world that embraces Bangladeshi culture and heritage and appeals to young Bangladeshis seeking reflections of their identity in modern global culture.
Abuzz that prevailed at the venue of the Digital Khichuri Challenge at Moar Coworking Event Space in Banan for last three days came to end yesterday.
The three-day competition, the first of its kind competition in South Asia, invited young Bangladeshis to brainstorm to develop new solutions and produce new digital platforms using the existing technologies.
The competition was co-sponsored by Facebook and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with support from Google and organised by Affinis Labs and Al Jazeera’s social media network.
The event came up as a platform to help country's youngsters to showcase their creativity and innovation through creative storytelling with ability to bring the rich traditions of peaceful coexistence under the spotlight.
A total of twenty-five young Bangladeshis, ranging from social entrepreneurs, programmers and grassroots leaders to designers, storytellers and students, have competed in the specially designed competition to develop the new platforms which will promote diversity, peace and tolerance in Bangladesh.
“With it’s rich blend of lentils, rice and spice, the magic of khichuri comes from the balanced combination of the right different elements into one nourishing dish. This is a tasty symbol that exemplifies the strength of the diverse Bangladeshi cultural landscape, and we've named our event the Digital Khichuri Challenge to encourage creative Bangladeshis to create unique stories and platforms,” the organisers said at the programme.
“Its Okay”- an idea by Team Rhombus received $5000 for the second place and “Banglawash” by Team Nameless received $2500 third place.
The idea of “Its Okay” was to build bridges between those struggling with mental health issues and the resources they need to heal by allowing them to share stories, create community, and connect with experts.
On the other hand, “Banglawash” was plan of a digital platform designed to alleviate apathy among Bangladeshi youth and increase levels of empathy and solidarity.
State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak awarded the winning teams at the gala event.
The organisers will work closely with the winning teams for at least six months to provide mentorship and access to stakeholder networks and resources (where needed), guide project business development, and help successful candidates generate publicity and attract additional partners, investors and allies.
“We had organised such programmes in Manila three days ago, in Indonesia in summer and in California in spring. Such initiative also took place in Kenya in August, Jakarta in June, Jordan in January and Abu Dhabi one and a half years ago,” said Shahed Amanullah, the co-founder and director of Affinis Labs.
“This is the first of its kind in South Asia, we have further plans to encourage rural Bangladeshi youths and engage them with such initiative in the future so that they can properly utilise inherent merit and creativity,” he told the Dhaka Tribune.