From the SAGE 2007 World Cup Competition

It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom.
It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err. Mahatma Gandhi (Bookmark and often refer to http://www.quoteopia.com/)

Before we give examples of winning ideas from the SAGE 2007 World Cup Competition, let us pause and reflect on Gandhi’s words.
There is not one, but two, lessons in those words.
First, we could and should learn from others, so reading about what winning SAGE teams have done is good.
Second, what winning SAGE teams have done is not necessarily going to help them win this year. Circumstances change and the best things of yesterday might well not be the best things for today. Question which you and your teammates should always ask is, “Can this activity be done better?” If your team answers “yes”, then it should not hesitate to do the activity better and share your improvement in SAGE competition this year.

For example, last year a SAGE team might have had an activity in which team members did much traveling by car. But now, with climate change looming like a fire-breathing dragon, traveling around by car is not a good idea. A SAGE team has to think whether the activity could be done using buses, bicycles, cellular telephones, the Internet or even walking shoes.

The following examples are excerpted from the annual reports submitted by SAGE teams at the 2007 World Cup Competition.

From the Nigerian SAGE Team

“Clean the World.”
This project is the response to the challenges of keeping our school community clean and stopping air pollution arising from indiscriminate burning of wastes. Through this initiative we provided giant waste paper baskets for all classrooms in our school. Our SAGE team also constructed a refuse dumpsite for the dumping of refuse generated by our school community.

“Trees 4 Life.” The main activities of our Trees 4 Life campaign include planting trees by our SAGE team, carrying out environmental awareness campaign through the design of handbills containing messages like “Plant and Replant,” “Plant Indigenous Species 4 Life”, and carrying out tree-planting pledge action. Our tree-planting pledging target of 100,000 trees by the end of 2007 has been met with the promise of 60,000 trees from the local government councils and 40,000 trees from churches, mosques, private sector and rural communities across Nigeria.

“The World Is Ours.” Through this project we are creating a network of sister schools across the world and creating markets for our goods. Our team has exchanged correspondences with our 30 high schools and youth business organizations across the world. We are happy to inform you that our Tender Touch products and musical CDs are now available in Ghanaian and United Kingdom markets.

Consider how your team might improve on the above.

From the Chinese SAGE Team

“Environmental Protection.” First, we gave our cooperation to Roots & Shoots, a school environmental group. We campaigned for a series of “green” environmental projects:
to recycle waste paper,to recycle dead batteries,to recycle yellow pages.
And we handled a flea market every term, including this term. We collected and sold students’ unneeded possessions and profited from the margin price.

Consider how your team might improve on the above.

From One Russian SAGE Team

“Do Become a Journalist.” Aims: vocational guidance for the talented youth in the sphere of journalism, to perfect the editing of the school newspaper Boomerang. Our school has no common information center. Students and their parents would like to know school news and get detailed information. According to a student opinion poll, 96% of students are interested in a school newspaper.

Making the business plan: selection of the staff, searching for providers, developing the technology of production, the cost estimation of the project, the definition of capital investments, the calculation of cost price, setting the price.
Production activity: our school paper issued monthly in four pages, a circulation of about 100 copies; an issue is prepared by journalists, an editor, a proofreader, a financial manager, an issuing manager, and distributors.

Consider how your team might improve on the above.

From the American SAGE Team

“Social Entrepreneurship.”
Bracelets. We continued to sell the imported Peruvian-style bracelets, a plan originated by IDEA, to have the townspeople of Cuchuma, Peru, make authentic woven bracelets. This has helped to create a thriving business within the town and enabled the townspeople to support themselves. We worked with the Peruvian government, Heifer International, and DeSales University SIFE to create and sustain the business for a second year.
Visiting Schools. We visited a local elementary school for the second year to create awareness about Team IDEA, Peru and Nicaragua. We arranged a time to meet with 4th graders and created a lesson plan as well as an assessment to test their new knowledge. We taught the students about the languages, cultures, and governments of Peru and Nicaragua, as well as about the Heifer Foundation.

“Environmental Stewards.” Greenhouses. With the help of Heifer and DeSales, we helped to provide greenhouses to families in the town of Cuchuma, Peru. The greenhouses grew food for many families by using the land and limiting the harmful gases released into the air.
Garden. We are creating a garden outside Hogar el Resposo in Nicaragua. Money raised from Powder Puff was donated to help the children create a garden to benefit the town. Other money was donated to help the orphanage itself.

Consider how your team might improve on the above.

From the Ukrainian SAGE Team

“TV Program ‘Business Class’.”
The aim: to show advantages of creating one’s own business, consideration of world experience of business development, to study business technologies. Target audience: pupils, students, beginning businessmen.
Stages: brainstorming, program content, SWOT and STEP analysis, conducting business negotiations with TV management, professional consultations, shooting and installation, searching for companies to advertise, broadcasting.

The TV program consists of 5 sections:
the theory of business, business expertise, a piranha or 20 inconvenient questions to the known businessman, ideas of business, and business slang. Broadcasting on 3 TV channels 9 times a week, 20 minutes each time. Effectiveness: an all-round development of the person, creation of one’s own business in view of world tendencies and business technologies, understanding of principles of business social responsibility and observance of philosophy traditions, and the creation of an information field.

Consider how your team might improve on the above.

From the Brazilian SAGE Team

“Destino do Lixo.” Garbage disposal. Partners: Sepam School and the Environmental Protection Department of Ponta Grossa. Goals: comprehending the cycle of garbage disposal in town; visiting the city dump and considering the environmental impact; discussing the separation of types of garbage; developing an environmental conscience in youth; learning about the paper recycling process.

Implementation: exposing classes to the impact of garbage on the environment; differentiating between dump and biodegradable garbage; visiting the city’s dump; interviewing the garbage collectors at the dump; considering the impact upon the region around the dump; paper-recycling workshop.

“Plataforma Politica Sepam.” Sepam Political Platform. Goals: fortify democracy, stimulate youth participation in the electoral process, generate the voter of the future, encourage new political leaders.
Implementation: our project takes place every 2 years, during the electoral period; 16 to 17 year-old teenagers. Partners: Sepam School electoral Court of the Judicial District, Association of Industry and Business.
Two action methods: (1) stimulate the teenagers at this age to have their electoral license and attend a lecture with the judge of the electoral court of the judicial district; (2) generate opinion by conducting debates among people running for mayor, councilman, state and federal deputies with an electoral base in the city. The adolescents make their choice based on the political platform of the candidate.

Results: 520 students obtained their electoral license when they turned sixteen; 3 lectures from electoral judges; 12 debates with candidates; commercials on TV, on radio and in newspapers.

Consider how your team might improve on the above.

From the South Korean SAGE Team
World Youth Environmental Forum and Vermont Common Assets Trusts.” Description: To encourage global cooperation in addressing the environmental crisis, and to bring about planetary change. SAGE-KMLA established a global environmental network through on-line communications, and the members have recently participated in an off-line activity.
1. SAGE-KMLA recruited young people around the world through on-line communications. 14 students from South Korea, China, India, Indonesia, Honduras, and the United States become the first members o the network “World Youth Environment Forum”.2. All the members gathered at the University of Vermont and worked on the Bill of Vermont Common Assets Trust, which tries to levy tax on air pollution by citizens. The members suggested several methods of collecting pollution fees from citizens, which included home-networking technology installed in automobiles and toll gateways.3. The members presented their projects to Vermont State Senator Mr. Sanders and professors of the University of Vermont.

Meeting U. S. Ambassador Mr. Vershbow.” Description: SAGE-KMLA invited U. S. ambassador Vershbow to KMLA. Although he had a tight schedule due to the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Korea and the U. S. and the nuclear crisis of North Korea, Vershbow visited KMLA with delight. He gave a lecture on leadership, and students raised many issues, including FTA and the Kyoto Protocol, during a question period.
Consider how your team might improve on the above.
From the Philippines SAGE Team

“Growth is evolution towards perfection.” TARP, Inc., has consistently evolved, maturing to become a leader of the Philippines bag industry. Our elemental focus on bringing a rewarding business opportunity for locals, innovative products, and acting as an uplifting force for good culture to more people throughout the Philippines has nurtured this growth. Looking forward, we will continue to enlarge our global footprint, while introducing new products to capitalize on our strengths and expand our capabilities and our horizons.

“2007 Milestones.” We believe our social consciousness, translated into providing employment to the unemployed, has become an investment in human capital. This focus on long-term success on human resources has played a pivotal role in this official recognition. We expect that our labor partners would help lead the company in renewed revenue growth for the entirety of the year in 2008.

Training the Common Folk in Entrepreneurship.” Our company values underscore our corporate culture and represent one of the reasons that TARP, Inc., is able to attract highly motivated craftsmen devoted to their craft. Consistent with this Transforming Difference orientation, our Entrepreneurship for Everyone Initiative has been a significant success. In just three months of operation, Entrepreneurship for Everyone has provided more than 40 new jobs to different people by broadening the horizons and braving the impossible.
Consider how your team might improve on the above.

Note that complete annual reports can be read by going to the SAGE Web site, www.csuchico.edu/sage .