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SolvEgypt: New Online Platform Brainstorms Solutions to Egypt’s Woes

9 July, 2017
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A group of Egyptian entrepreneurs have launched a new online platform that crowdsources innovative solutions to the country’s problems and tries to turn them into a reality.

SolvEgypt, a platform launched by five entrepreneurs this year, invites participants to provide their insights on a series of proposed challenges and develop ideas to address the issues at hand.

“We are attempting to make an impact using online design thinking and collaborative innovation,” Salma El Mallah, the co-founder of SolvEgypt, told BECAUSE.

El Mallah added that the platform gives an opportunity to many Egyptians to share their insights and think about finding solutions to the challenges facing the country.

Through the platform, SolvEgypt posts a detailed brief on their website, calling for insights and ideas on a certain problem or topic. In the brief, the challenge process is clarified and then the platform evaluates submitted ideas.

Afterwards, the platform’s founders conduct additional research on the problem. They meet people affected by it, share their experiences online and then post any ideas that they think could help solve the problem.

After engaging in conversations over the solutions to the problem, the platform sets up a poll to allow platform members to vote on the most suitable solution. Once the top choice is selected, the platform and its founders get to work on the project.

“We work with several non-governmental organizations, businesses, government bodies and institutions focusing on development in order to carry out the solutions that we have come up with,” El Mallah said.

El Mallah added that her platform is now focusing on solving problems related to energy and the environment. There are now three challenges posted on the platform's website: How can we optimize our energy consumption? How can we incentivize individuals and organizations to adopt alternative energy sources? How might we rehabilitate our environmentally declining cities?

For years, Egypt has been attempting to ease its energy crunch and address its surplus of environmental issues. The government invested billions of dollars in order to upgrade and modernize power plants across the country. In recent years, the government has turned its focus toward expanding renewable energy projects in order to meet increasing demand, diversify the energy mix and improve the environmental and climate footprint of the power sector.

“We are planning to expand our challenges to include education and other small-scale problems, like water shortages for instance,” El Mallah said.

“We are trying to engage people from diverse backgrounds to cooperate and share their ideas because we truly believe that the most innovative solutions can be realized when people having various experiences come together,” El Mallah continued.

El Mallah is optimistic about what the platform can do to help solve the country’s problems. “We hope to inspire true change and provide an outlet for Egyptians to express their grievances and collaborate in finding solutions to overcome them,” she concluded.

Photo credit: Graffiti in downtown Cairo (2011). Courtesy of Kaylan Geiger.

Tags SolvEgypt technology crowdsource Egypt