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Ecothon Innovation Challenge: The youth of Abu Dhabi are about to get tough on plastic pollution


How new and recyclable materials for packaging, production & design could be used for a better world.

Masdar’s Youth 4 Sustainability (Y4S) platform has launched the fifth edition of its “Ecothon Innovation Challenge” under the Future Sustainability Leaders (FSL) programme.

The challenge is set to develop circular economy solutions that help participants tackle real world problems head on. 

The topic was chosen to provide participants with the opportunity to propose solutions to a real-world problem. And just in case you didn’t know, a circle economy is an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources.

Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, The Youth 4 Sustainability platform is a Masdar outreach initiative that invests and actively supports the development of youth, with the objective of enabling them to become the sustainability leaders of tomorrow.

More than 60 Future Sustainability Leaders, in eight separate teams, will participate in the Ecothon and will each select one of two challenges:

  • How we might use new and recyclable materials for packaging, production & design?
  • How might we work with society, governments and corporations to encourage responsible behavior toward a single-use plastic-free future?

Mentors will be on hand from companies such as Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, the Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an and Nestle.

Each team will present their final pitches to a panel of judges to decide the winning team.



“The Youth 4 Sustainability platform launched the Ecothon to invest in youth and directly support their education and development,” said Dr. Lamya Fawwaz, Executive Director, Brand & Strategic Initiatives at Masdar.

“The challenge aims to develop the participants’ skills and knowledge in innovation, social entrepreneurship, collaboration and critical thinking, to enable them to become future business leaders and innovators, while supporting the global sustainability agenda,”

The challenge runs for almost three months and the participating teams will receive approximately 50 hours of mentoring and training on design thinking and insights for innovation, ideation, prototyping and pitching.

The winning team will be connected with potential incubators for mentorship to help them develop their idea.

The platform hosts two year-long programmes – the “Future Sustainability Leaders” and “Sustainability Ambassadors” programmes, which aim to build the next generation of sustainability leaders.

The Future Sustainability Leaders connects university students and professionals aged 18-35 with global leaders, policymakers and technology pioneers to learn about sustainability best practice and leadership.

Launched in 2019, the Ecothon competition offers early incubation and acceleration opportunities to Y4S cohorts through mentoring and networking.


For more information, visit Youth 4 Sustainability


Image source WAM – UAE National News Agency


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