Mar 29 2019
AVENIR @BCIS 2019
Avenir is an annual competition organized by BCIS students and sponsored by Queensland University of Technology (QUT). It aims to give students the opportunity to be involved in organizing and hosting a large event and also gives participants the opportunity to work with real entrepreneurs and get feedback from experienced mentors and judges.
This year, we had 16 teams from six different school in Beijing sharing their business ideas whilst focusing on a theme of sustainability. Avenir is closely aligned to our school mission here at BCIS, which is to "challenge and empower students to be compassionate and inspired people, who act for the good of all and for the sustainable development of the world."
On Saturday, we welcomed the teams to BCIS and opened the ceremony with a keynote speaker, Joseph Harvey from The Bulk House. Joe's message of "Zero Waste" inspired us to think about how we can all do a little bit more to reduce the waste from the things we consume on a daily basis. He recommended clothing swaps with friends, fixing things instead of throwing them out for new versions, and being more conscience when purchasing items wrapped in plastic.
The second keynote speaker of the day was Aaron Moniz from Inspire Citizens, who helped teams make the connection between For-Profit organizations and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He explained that if you can combine making money whilst working towards at least one SDG, you're a true winner! B-Corporations are becoming more popular in China.
On the Sunday, Sam Waldo from Mantra was our third keynote speaker, taking the teams through a social entrepreneurial journey. He went into more detail about how to become a social enterprise and the impact his company has had on creating awareness of vision issues and education.
The teams worked closely with the mentors throughout the Saturday to build on their ideas and formulate a pitch, which was presented to a panel of three judges on the Sunday. The judges were blown away with the level of analysis that had gone into students' ideas. One mentor even said, "[I was] very impressed with all teams. These students are coming up with ideas and putting them into action. I used to think that this type of thinking and doing was for people in their 30's and 40's."
The competition had two divisions and there were prizes for first and second place. The winner of the junior division was International School of Tianjin (IST), who were awarded from our sponsor QUT, 1,000 AUD to put their business plan into action. In the senior division, the winners from Beijing City International School (BCIS) were awarded a 10,000 AUD trip to QUT's campus in Australia. Second place teams from Huijia and Western Academy of Beijing (WAB) were awarded 2,000 RMB to also develop their businesses.
If you are interested in participating in Avenir 2020, either as a sponsor, participant, mentor, or judge, please send your name, school/company name, and email address to Avenir@bcis.cn, and we will send you more details about next year's event.