Winning Teams

Congratulations to this year's World's Challenge Challenge winners Zakir Bhanji, Alim Karim Bhatia and Kaden Shafiq with Project Online

2021/2022 Winning Teams

  • First Place

  • Second Place

  • Third Place

Project Online

The UN has recognized internet access as a basic human right for over 10 years and is a large part of goal #10 in the UN Sustainable Development Goals – Reduced Inequalities. Seventy-six per cent of households in Indigenous communities don’t meet Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s standards for internet access. A wireless meshing network is a best-suited solution for this problem. It is an existing, inexpensive solution to connect large areas to the internet. In a mesh network, one initial node can support a multitude of other nodes added to its network within its vicinity.

Team members:

  • Zakir Bhanji
  • Alim Karim Bhatia
  • Kaden Shafiq Gulamani


Solution:  A precision agricultural system designed to service the needs of farmers in emerging nations by decreasing the resources needed for crop sustentation, preventing soil degradation, and increasing crop yield through mesh networking, machine-learning, and online APIs.

Team members:

  • William Briggs
  • Natalie Connor
  • Waleed Sawan
  • Edward Zurabov

Sustainable Agricultural Solutions 

Solution:  Creating environmentally friendly and easy-to-assemble compost bins to convert crop waste into biofertilizer with the use of African Nightcrawler worms. Additionally, to encourage resilient agricultural practices, we will include information pamphlets and train farmers on other sustainable practices.

Team members:

  • Renay Sameen Rahman
  • Shaira Shafiquzzaman
  • Noah Varghese

Past Winning Teams

2020/2021 Winning Teams

First Place: Project Lightbulb

Project Lightbulb is an accessible, virtual, hands-on science education program that will address a lack of hands-on education opportunities and some major barriers to getting the supplies and necessary guidance to complete any hands-on activity. These are the same barriers that many classrooms in rural communities faced, even before the COVID-19 pandemic and which have increased greatly with the move to virtual learning in other areas. The team aims to address an issue that extends globally, within Canada, and in indigenous communities, which have lower rates of post-secondary achievement. Project lightbulb uses low-cost and easy to find materials to make their trainings accessible and believes that every child deserves to see science in action. 

Team members:

  • Colette Benko
  • Kayleigh Gray
  • Tara Moore
  • Geoffrey Wong

Second Place: UHealth

Team members:

  • Lian Buwadi
  • Denait Haile
  • Sally Hammad
  • Brinda Patel

Third Place: Volt Transportation

Team members:

  • Liam Israels
  • Ethan Milroy
  • Katherin O'Hare
  • Noah Dreyfuss

2019/2020 Winning Teams

First Place: Teyab for Change

Their project, “Teyab for Change,” uses cultural clothing to address cholera outbreaks in low-income countries, with an aim of decreasing the number of people who become infected with the disease. It builds on existing research performed in Bangladesh in 2001 that proved that cholera could be filtered out of water using a sari – a traditional garment worn by southern Asian women that consists of several yards of lightweight cloth.

Team members:

  • Samah Osman
  • Amalka De Silva
  • Dwayne Francis

Second Place: Beecuz

Team members:

  • Lena Schreyer
  • Carolyn Prins
  • Betsy Luol

Third Place: Viva Straw

Team members:

  • Varunaavee Sivashanmugathas
  • Ganathyashan Chelliahpillai

2017/2018 Winning Teams

First Place: Community REcovery Achieved Through Entrepreneurism (CREATE)

Team CREATE Kenya presented a plan for launching a second phase of their 18-month social innovation platform that facilitates the development of meaningful employment through social businesses in low and middle-income countries. CREATE pairs viable businesses (social-entrepreneurial innovation) with necessary psychosocial rehabilitation and community supports (advocacy incubation) so that individuals living with serious mental illness can gain employment and lead full and meaningful lives, while also becoming advocates for their community.
Team CREATE’s goal is to grow the program and continue building on initial success to diversify employment opportunities and foster advocacy and community leadership competencies.

Team members:

  • Michelle Quaye
  • Richelle Bird
  • Robyn Masters

Second Place: Activated Wetlands

Team Activated Wetlands presented their vision to develop a program that offers resources to small communities - particularly those in water-stressed regions of the world - to set up decentralized wastewater treatment facilities to simplify their current treatment process and combine it with a wetland ecosystem. Their prototype combines an activated sludge process with the water filtration properties of wetlands into a system they call an Activated Wetland.
With most of the materials needed to create an Activated Wetland commonly found, their goal is to use local labour and for Activated Wetlands to be low-maintenance, yet effective. The wetland microsystem will be self-sustaining, with microorganisms from the first wastewater batch used to seed later batches. Following the process of creating the settling pond, locals will also be able to use its nutrient-rich sludge as fertilizer.

Team members:

  • Ted Zavitz
  • Dennis He
  • Adele Jackson

Third Place: Milky Way

Milky Way is a breast milk subscription business focused on enabling sustainable nutrition in First Nations communities in Canada, a demographic that often has limited access to formal employment and may be living under the poverty line. With infants in Ontario First Nations reserves facing a poverty rate of upwards of 60%, Milky Way plans to start locally, but aims to grow to provide processed milk to infants around the world by forging strategic partnerships with NGOs and Non-Profits already on the field engaged in relief work.
Member organizations who sponsor families will sign on for a 6-month subscription period per infant with Milky Way aiming to supply approximately 1300 kids for each period. Improving infants’ nutrition in this population will have an immense impact in a number of areas, including reducing ear infections by 11%, gastrointestinal infections by 41%, hospitalizations for lower respiratory tract infections by 26% and SIDS by 25%.

Team members:

  • Michelle Gao
  • Linda Bao
  • Pranavi Cheemarku

2016/2017 Winning Teams

Below you can see the overview of the winning teams, and please check out this Western News article summarizing the winning solutions if you would like to learn more.

First Place: Addressing the sustainability of contemporary agricultural food systems

Team members:

  • Linta Mustafa
  • Anisha Khanna
  • Robert Celik

Second Place: Sustainable empowerment for women in Tanzania

Team members:

  • Stephanie Huff
  • Andrea Burke
  • Gagan Singh

Third Place: Developing economic profiles for refugees

Team members:

  • Gareth Gransaull
  • Jasmine Wang
  • Amy Wang

2015/2016 Winning Teams

First Place: Kugera: A sexual health and consent lesson plan

Read more about the 2015 Winning Team's project here

Team members:

  • Anita Dabirzadeh
  • Rachel Goldstein
  • Brooke Porter

Second Place: Preventable vision loss and related symptoms due to Vitamin A deficiency

This team proposed improving the distribution of Vitamin A supplements in developing countries by establshing partnerships between private-sector corporations and non-governmental organizations. The team looked piloting their solution specifically at Mozambique, where the World Health Organization reports 65% of preschool-aged children and 14% of pregnant women are Vitamin A deficient.

Team members:

  • Mitchell Canes
  • Jessica Siu
  • Daniel Stojanovic

Third Place: Imbalanced nutrition and malnourishment of families in developing rural communities

Working with communities in Nicaragua, this group proposed a number of approaches to address malnutrition due to lack of agricultural knowledge and monocultures in a specific region.

Team members:

  • Emma Hogeterp
  • Seynabou Gaye
  • Nourhan Eldahan

2014/2015 Winning Teams

Below you can see the overview of the winning teams, and please check out this Western News article summarizing the winning solutions if you would like to learn more.

First Place: Financing for Community-Driven Development Projects

Team members:

  • Monique Tuin
  • Lilian Tsai
  • Flora Jung

Second Place: A Matter of Waste: Healthcare Waste and Water Management

Team members:

  • Weige (Charlie) Zhao
  • David Lau
  • Jasper Wong

Third Place: A Bike for a Bike

Team members:

  • Linta Mustafa
  • Megan Miranda
  • Anisha Khanna

2013/2014 Winning Teams

Below you can see the overview of the winning teams, and please check out this Western News article summarizing the winning solutions if you would like to learn more.

First Place: Develop innovative, inexpensive, and safe alternatives to space heating and cooking using solar energy in developing communities

Team members:

  • Sep Pashang
  • Kevin Vuong
  • Joseph Kangmen

Second Place: Payback Rates for Microcredit Loans

Team members:

  • Anderson Petergeorge
  • Kaiz Alarakyia
  • Marco Chan

Third Place: Food security in Africa

Team members:

  • Aaron Pinto
  • Soheil Milani
  • Richard Schuett