We invited creative and innovative people in the Netherlands to join our 2016 Global Impact Competition, to identify solutions that can create a better life for refugees worldwide and leverages exponential technologies as a primary method of solving this challenge. On the day of our opening ceremony we announced the winner.

Challenges to take into consideration include providing shelter, security, access to food, water, and healthcare, and access to information. Out of all entries, the jury, consisting of Gabriel Baldinucci (CSO, Singularity University), Lara Stein (MD Global Development, Singularity University), Dagan Cohen (Leader, What Design Can Do Challenge) and Liselotte de Koning (Director Princess Margriet Fund, Dutch Red Cross) considered one participant to be the most innovative and impactful: Danny Wagemans, a 21-year old nanophysics student from Radboud University Nijmegen.

Danny Wagemans demonstrated how clean water and energy can be derived from urine by combining a microbial fuel cell (bacteria) and a graphene filter in a water bottle. He said: “I am passionate about bringing about big changes through nanotechnologies. I am very glad about the visit to Singularity, the knowledge and the network there will give me the opportunity to further develop my ideas.

Winner announcement by Gabriel Baldinucci, Regina Njima and Michiel Schuurman

Winner announcement by Gabriel Baldinucci, Regina Njima and Michiel Schuurman

Danny will participate in the 10-week Global Solutions Program at Singularity University in Silicon Valley, starting on 18 June.

The other finalists were:

  • Gijs van Bilsen: He created an algorithm to match refugees with countries and companies that have need for their skills.
  • Michel Visser: He created a P2P education platform to connect refugees with locals to teach languages and necessary skills to adapt to their new homes.

All finalists received a ticket for the SingularityU The Netherlands Summit on 12-13 September 2016, worth €2.000.