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Left to right: Kira Pearson, Indigo Adam-Grant and Piesebel Berlane Pasco of team "Hour Off" take the $10,000 Game Changer grand prize. // Photo by Chris Reid

Changing the Game in Manitoba

Team Hour Off takes grand prize

November 15, 2017 — 

Manitobans challenged themselves to think in new ways, from new perspectives, and to work together to find solutions to the biggest problems they can imagine in the final stage of the Game Changer competition, with winners announced on Nov. 14.

Team Hour Off captured the grand prize of $10,000 with their winning idea. They answered the question, “With technology filling all our free time, how can we reclaim boredom as a productive or creative force?” Their solution was to create a societal movement to encourage people to be “screen free” for one hour a day to make a daily incremental change. They were also the People’s Choice award winners ($500).

Team members are: Kira Pearson (Asper School of Business), Piesebel Berlane Pasco (Faculty of Science), and Indigo Adam-Grant (Asper School of Business).

Second place went to Team Just A Warm Sleep ($5,000) and Team Degreezy took third place ($2,500).

“This competition is about challenging Manitobans and our students to think in new ways, from new perspectives, and to work together to find solutions to the biggest problems they can imagine,” said University of Manitoba Vice-President (Research and International) Digvir Jayas.

The two-phase competition got underway in September when people from across Manitoba were encouraged to submit an idea – one that identifies real-world challenges where there is a potential to enact positive change if solutions are found.

Six problems were chosen from 204 submissions and teams of cross-faculty students submitted their solutions Nov. 1.

Seven finalist teams, addressing five challenges, moved forward to the final competition on Nov. 14 in the EITC Atrium.

Teams looked at reducing reclaiming boredom as a creative force, better mental health care for marginalized groups, preparing for challenges associated with an aging population, using artificial intelligence for sustainable development and, improving child literacy and numeracy in Manitoba.

“Students want to transform the world and it’s rewarding to see how excited and committed they are to using the Game Changer competition as the platform to achieve this,” said Jayas.

The solution entries were scored based on multiple factors, including novelty of solution, clarity and conciseness (no scientific jargon), feasibility and ease of implementation, entrepreneurial spirit, sustainability and innovation.

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