Watch this video to discover how the Cambridge University EcoHouse Initiative improves living standards in the developing world through a blend of research, design, development and implementation with local partners in Latin America. The more views it receives, the more chance the team has to win up to £5000.
The Cambridge University EcoHouse Initiative is a multidisciplinary programme that aims to facilitate truly sustainable growth in the context of poverty and climate change in the developing world. The Initiative links Cambridge University students and academics, industrial partners, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and governments in the development of sustainable housing solutions and urban planning for the developing world. They research, design and build housing with local organisations with the aim of introducing affordable sustainable housing systems and communities for the urban poor, as well as raising awareness of the issues of sustainability and programmes on financial inclusion, risk and entrepreneurship for equal opportunities.
The EcoHouse Initiative have entered the student society video about their project into the RBS Enterprising Student Society Accreditation (ESSA) competition. RBS ESSA is a national scheme which rewards and recognises university societies and the teams behind them. The RBS ESSA certification is the official stamp of achievement and is recognised by potential employers.
The EcoHouse Initiative passed the accreditation stage of the competition by completing a questionnaire about their society's activities. RBS ESSA give accreditation to those societies that have shown entrepreneurial flair, whether it is to do with raising sponsorship or hosting events, etc. The successful societies are then able to apply for the awards (Bronze, Silver and Gold). The EcoHouse Initiative chose to apply for the Bronze award this year, which requires them to create a promotional video of their society. This year there were 78 video entries, of which 14 made it through to the final. The top 3 most viewed videos automatically advance into the final, however the other 11 are chosen by RBS ESSA.
The next part of the competition commences today Thursday 20th June. The 14 videos will go head to head and the video with the highest number of views within the following two week period will be this year's Bronze award winner. The EcoHouse Initiative video can be viewed on the RBS ESSA YouTube playlist and the more people who view the video, the more chance the EcoHouse team has of winning up to £5000.
Since its launch in 2011, the EcoHouse Initiative have been working on a transitional/emergency housing programme to develop and implement technical improvements to transitional housing in partnership with Un Techo para mi Pais (‘A Roof for my Country’), an organisation that operates in 19 out of 20 countries across Latin America. They have built more than 80,000 transitional houses with the help of some 420,000 volunteers, and are growing fast – almost 32,500 houses were built in 2010 alone. The EcoHouse Initiative is currently designing innovations to improve the durability and quality of service provided by Un Techo para mi Pais’s transitional house, with a prototype that was completed and constructed in Cambridge in March 2012. Further prototypes will be built in Ecuador and Brazil as more volunteers are sent on in-country field-research placements. The plans for the Initiative are to shift the main focus onto permanent housing design systems, with a full-scale permanent housing pilot project in Ecuador and Brazil by summer 2014, as well as testing information system products related to clean technolgy and financial inclusion.
Find out how RBS is helping entrepreneurs at Inspiring Enterprise: www.inspiringenterprise.rbs.com/
The new student enterprise guide, produced by RBS Group, provides an introduction to the RBS ESSA Accreditation and Awards scheme and the RBS EnterprisingU competition.