Bag2theFuture 2020/21 - What happened?

How can we engage in social intrapreneurship when the whole world is experiencing a crisis? With this question, each of the nine winners of the Bag2TheFuture competition had to debut this year. At our first workshop in May, the teams presented their projects for the first time - a lot has changed since then. The teams had to adapt to the current pandemic and its realities - traveling and working on the ground was not possible—a massive challenge for the participants, who have mastered it all the better.

If it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you

In two virtual workshop sessions, the teams reported on their projects' status and exchanged views. Many groups have grown and have been able to win more Boehringer Ingelheim colleagues for their activities and to generate partnerships outside the company. The team "Operation Future" now works with NALA e.V. to stop female genital mutilation. The team has departed from its original plan to program an information app and moved to create an interactive website. The aim is to provide information on this crucial topic in different languages and levels of knowledge - an important step, as this tool is currently lacking in the fight against FGM.

Thinking out of the box

The Uganda Poultry project also boasts new team members and even a new name - from now on, the project is called: The Village Poultry Project: East Africa because after the pilot in Homa Bay County, they would like to expand to other African countries. In cooperation with our MMH partner Healthy Entrepreneurs and the Ashoka Fellow Blessing Oritseweyinmi Mene, the team wants to develop a business training curriculum to inform and educate about Poultry Farming on the ground. An excellent opportunity for farmers in last-mile areas to generate sustainable income.

Also, the team of “Healthy Cows, Happy Farmers” is betting on co-creation. In collaboration with the long-standing MMH partner Karl Kübel Institute for Development Education (KKID), they want to develop a training-of-trainers approach that supports farmers in southern India in milk production. KKID helps the team in establishing contact with the farmers.

The "Learning with a pet"  team also has an animal theme. The project aims to use dogs, formerly enrolled in biomedical research, to provide therapy for children with disabilities. A professional in animal mediation will lead some activities to create interactions between children and dogs by playing games, pets' care, or learning.

Flexibility and agility in times of crisis

Particularly in these "on the ground" projects, COVID-19 presents significant challenges for the teams because the work on the ground is not possible. The projects' new paths prove our colleagues' flexibility and agility - the very qualities needed to achieve sustainable social change. The team "Learning Life session through play" also restructured their project from play to a notebook to educate children in India about health and hygiene.

The project team, "Water for Life," can also prove itself with a strong collaboration. The German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) will support the team in its future activities. The aim is to support a community with a high unemployment level.

Start small, grow big

The project "Learning-set for a better and safer use of medicines" seeks to explain the correct use of medicines in South America. They are working with one of Brazil's largest universities and have even held their first virtual info session with health professionals.

The Danish team "Protecting the future" also wants to create more health - through local influencers and attention campaigns, they want to educate young people from Greenland about the health damage of smoking.

Due to the Christmas holidays, the Spanish team will reschedule its presentation for January 2020.

It's fantastic to see that our teams are discouraged by the current situation. They have all proved that social intrapreneurial activities are important especially in such times - only in this way can communities be supported on-site. We want to thank all participants for their great commitment, increasing our MMH ecosystem, and exploring new ways to improve global health.