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Sustaining Your Project After YSI

Innovators Blog

Sustaining Your Project After YSI

I took part in YSI in 2014 with a project entitled “Greener Globe”. Our goal was to try preserve the world’s most valuable resource, water, and to promote water conservation through two products that we created specifically with the intention to enhance environmental sustainability. The team and I designed and developed two products to reduce water wastage in domestic, industrial and agricultural situations.

Our first product was Aquacica, an LED shower head.  We integrated LED lights into the face of the showerhead so the light illuminated the water was illuminated as it flowed out.  Our product was designed to work inside a seven minute time frame. As the shower is started the LEDs turn on automatically illuminating the water green. The showerhead uses an International colour-code system: green for go, amber for prepare to stop, red for stop. This means that the entire system uses no electricity or money. Our second product was LDS, a leak detection system which as the name would suggest detects leaks in pipes. We designed a system using pulse-units to identify the amount of water coming in and out of the pipes.

Our project targeted a very pressing issue that every citizen in our local and wider community could relate to. With water charges imminent everybody was looking for ways to cut down on their water usage. Many people in our community got to try our products and receive the benefits of them. Not only did our project raise awareness of water wastage and provide a way to reduce it in our community, we also brought home plenty of silverware to add to the community reputation.

Over the course of a year we received over ten national awards for our project. Our biggest achievement was winning the SAGE World Cup of Entrepreneurship while representing Ireland over in Moscow. This brought pride to our nation and our community which was shown to us by a Civic Reception from our local County Council and a Presidential Reception from President Higgins. The SAGE World Cup was probably the most rewarding experience of my life thus far.

I believe that YSI had a massive impact on me. Without YSI my Transition Year experience wouldn’t have been half as exciting or influential. This extraordinary module provided a base to explore many talents and skills throughout the whole year. Taking part in YSI meant that you had to use your creativity and work with others to try and make this world a better place to live in. It taught us how to dream of the impossible, seek the unknown and then create an innovative project to help solve the problems in our society. It taught us how to work in a business capacity and engage with our community to expand the project. It develops skills that are not taught in school but are essential to be an active citizen and work in the real world. Fundamental skills such as communicating, working in a team, creative thinking, punctuality and delegating are a few of the skills that are nurtured in YSI. It shows us that coming up with ideas is easy, it is the implementation which is the real challenge, but if you apply yourself to the job at hand you can make change happen.

People always think of the glass as half empty or half full but I’ve learned that one drop in the glass and self-determination (or a showerhead to fill the glass!) is all you need. The project has given me the opportunity to travel internationally. So far a year a half into our business venture we have visited Russia, England and Germany for business meetings. Working on a product that helps people save a vital resource has really humbled me and inspired myself and the company to continue to find new innovative ways to help others.

“What holds most people back isn’t the quality of their ideas but their lack of faith in themselves. You have to live your life as if you are already where you want to be.”

The world is forever changing and the children of today will be the leaders of tomorrow. We have many problems in the world such as global warming, drought, hunger and war. Empowering young people to realise their potential as change-makers will enable them in their attempt to change the world and solve these global issues. The greatest weapon a person can have is an education and if we teach the youth to make a positive impact on the world then we can have faith that they will follow our example and do so. YSI shows us how one person can make such a difference to the world and inspires us to be that person.

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