For the second time in our country,  The Canadian Global Impact Competition  will take place next month. This is a global competition designed to find innovative methods of improving peoples’ lives through the use of technology, and takes place in 11 other countries as well.  The overall program was created by Singularity University. SU is headquartered at NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley. Educational programs, innovative partnerships and its business accelerator help individuals, businesses, institutions, investors, NGOs and governments understand cutting-edge technologies and how to utilize these technologies to positively impact billions of people.

The competition shines a light on Canadian entrepreneurs, leaders, scientists and engineers with great ideas to improve the lives of people in our country. This year the competition will see presentations from across Canada.

The five best will pitch at a gala live streamed event on April 2nd, in Markham Ontario.

The Global Impact Competition (GIC) program was co-founded by two notable innovators. Ray Kurzweil, is Chief Google Architect. Peter Diamandis, co-founder and chairman of Singularity University, is an engineer, physician, and entrepreneur well known for being the founder and chairman of the X PRIZE Foundation. This year’s Canadian competition host is ventureLAB, York Region’s, Ontario-based business acceleration centre. Sponsors include Cisco Canada, Deloitte Canada, the Remington Group and York Region.

“One of the tenets of Singularity University is that the world’s biggest problems present the world’s largest business opportunities” said Adam Little, GIC Chair and SU Ambassador, Canada. “We believe we need to harness the capabilities and passion of citizens across the country and we are doing this through this competition.”

Last year’s winner from Vancouver  came up with her idea while writing her PhD thesis at Oxford University. “Millions of pieces of new knowledge are forgotten on library shelves each year – information that could help solve larger problems” said  Tamara Etmannski . “Why reinvent the wheel when we should be standing on each other’s shoulders.” Tam’s idea was a digital thesis archive called StackZ, a mashup of open access publishing and social media designed to make the vast amount of new knowledge generated each year by PhD and Masters students easily searchable and accessible to people around the world.

The GIC challenge this year is to provide an idea judged to improve the standard of living for one million Canadians within the next 3-5 years through the use of technology. Applicants must be at least 21 years of age, fluent in spoken and written English, able to attend the entire 10-week program (June 13 – August 23, 2015) and be Canadian citizens. If this sounds like a challenge you would be up to facing, you can find more information and apply here. On April 2 register to attend the event or watch the live stream here.

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