Our first meeting for what is now known as Cat@lyst (then with a completely different name) was in September 2012. I still remember that day–the supposed one-hour meeting in the early afternoon evolved into a dinner at Borough because we (the Global Shapers Manila Hub) had so much fun brainjamming. Our sentences began with “What if…” and we kept building on (and laughing at) each others’ ideas.
Our dream was to hold a nationwide competition for young people to propose tech-based solutions to existing community problems. Then, the winning ideas would be further developed through Shapers Lab, which we envisioned to be something like American Idol or even America’s Next Top Model. We had no idea how we were going to fund it then.
But, as the Universe has proven time and again, when you pursue something you believe in, the stars will align. It turns out Globe had a similar idea and was looking for a youth group to partner with. After a series of meetings, revising the mechanics and program of Shapers Lab, another series of meetings and revisions, we finally launched Cat@lyst last Thursday, May 2 at the Ramon Magsaysay Center. It was quite a production number to mount, but we were lucky to have a great support system in the forms of my brothers, Ike, our wonderwoman of a project manager Kat, our Founding Curator Karen, and my mof, Kakki, who did an excellent job of hosting.
To give the guests an idea of what the Global Shapers are involved in, we invited them to visit three booths showcasing different projects. Noreen set up a booth for Jacinto & Lirio where people could see how water hyacinths can be woven into bags, Harvy showed parasites that caused neglected tropical diseases through a microscope and large photos, while Bianca asked people to help her pack school supplies for students in Taguig.
To spur ideas, we posed the question, “What change do you want to see in the Philippines in 5 years?” Check out the video below to see what Pinoys from all walks of life have to say. I got goosebumps the first few times I watched this video. It seems that we all want the same things for our country.
During the press launch, we asked the guests to write their answers too.
Cat@lyst invites Filipinos ages 18-30 to pitch their tech-based solutions to existing community problems. Proposals may be submitted by individuals or a representative of an organization, company, or community. We’ve listed some examples of tech-based solutions here. Don’t limit yourself to mobile and online stuff, yeah? Think about people with limited or no internet connection, or those without smartphones. Let your imagination run wild! No need to think out of the box because there is no box.
Applicants must upload a one-minute video answering the guide questions, and submit the completed application form, along with photos of the community you want to help and empower. Click here to download application form and here to view the complete mechanics. Deadline is on May 31, 2013.
The applicant must be available to attend the development forum, Shapers Lab, on Saturday, June 22, 2013 at the ADB Headquarters in Ortigas, Metro Manila. Financial assistance for transportation and accommodations will be provided for non-NCR based participants.
Five winners will each receive P200,000 in cash for program development, as well as Information and Communications Technology support to see through the ideation, distillation, and incubation of technology-based innovations.
We are so excited that this project has come to life!