Best Projects 2021 features all the nominated entries submitted ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs.

The Sapien

Published on June 1, 2021 um 09:02

Your title/position

Founder and Executive Director

Type of Enterprise

informal program/project

Year the ngo or company was founded

August 2020

Explain your project in details:

Our sessions are held weekly every Saturday for approximately 1.5 hours. My co-host and I research the chosen topic in advance, prepare the content and Google slides presentation. During the session, we present the points, moderate and participate in the discussion. The sessions are structured as an introduction, main topic points, interactive discussion and conclusion. Participants of our sessions include secondary school and university students in over 20 countries including: Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Côte DIvoire, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Japan, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Qatar, Turkey, the UK and the USA. Our Vision: To create a world in which youth from every geographic location and background can be connected and united through a shared passion for learning and meaningful discussion. Our Core Values: Inclusivity and Diversity: The Sapien is a growing community of high school and university students. We welcome participants of any and every ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion or geographic location. No prior knowledge of topics is required; only a passion for learning! A Close-Knit Community: When students sign up to be a member of The Sapien, they become part of a family of friendly supportive youth whom they convene with weekly, adding a sense of familiarity and community. We also run informal Chill Sessions every few weeks where participants have the chance to socialize and get to know each other better! The Sapien is unique and innovative because while we discuss controversial topics with no correct answer, rather than choosing a winning side like in debate, we aim to foster an appreciation for the topic and learn from hearing different perspectives. Also, unlike panel discussions or interviews, we value all our participants' inputs so after the initial presentation segment, we have an open interactive discussion.

Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development

Secondary school and university students all around the world are impacted by The Sapien in many ways that will undoubtedly have long-term effects as they become the architects of our future world. Participants come away from each session having learned not just about the topic at hand but also about themselves, the perspective of others, as well as having made supportive like-minded friends. Youth who join our sessions not only become members of The Sapien but also a part of our growing close-knit community of passionate youth. Our sessions instill values in the participants that will ensure they grow to be compassionate, open-minded and active members of society. For instance, the ability to hold fulfilling conversations with those who may have differing views to your own as well as the value of appreciating differences in others. We have reached members in over 20 countries including: Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Côte DIvoire, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Japan, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Qatar, Turkey, the UK and the USA. Additionally, we have partnered with eight other youth organizations and through this we aim to be able to reach even more students around the world and expand what we are able to do. Unlike common measures of success solely in terms of numbers, we value hearing our participants' feedback that sessions are an open, nonjudgmental and friendly space to share their opinions and ideas on different topics. Furthermore, we pride ourselves on our close-knit community of youth who convene weekly, adding the sense of familiarity and friendship which fosters even more fruitful conversations in our sessions. Our vision of success is when participants leave sessions having learned about the topic, built friendships with the other participants, and are inspired with a passion for learning.

Sustainability and future plans

The Sapien is a non-profit youth organization therefore we do not and will not charge our participants to attend our sessions as we uphold our core value of inclusivity and diversity that all students regardless of socio-economic background can join. Nevertheless, we hope to gain sponsorship in the near future in order to improve the overall experience for our participants for instance, to buy the unlimited Zoom account as well as get press coverage to reach even more students around the world. We hope to keep our community growing and once the number of participants per session increases to around 40, we will implement break out rooms during the open discussion segment in order to ensure all participants have the chance to share their opinions and ideas.

Your profile as an entrepreneur

I am a 17-year-old Malaysian high school senior residing in Qatar. In 7th grade, I was selected to attend the World Innovation Summit for Education Learning Labs and had the opportunity to meet Mrs. Michelle Obama. I am a pianist, having held a full scholarships at Qatar Music Academy and performed at the Katara Opera House as soloist with the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra at age 15. I am passionate about musical outreach where I use my musical talents, combined with my sensitivity to different societal issues for positive change. I founded STARS4EDUCATION, a charity music concert for Education Above All Foundation and I raised over QAR5000 and in recognition, I was awarded the Qatar Foundation Pre-University Education Award for Outstanding Student. I am an avid member of my school community, from being deputy head girl and holding the position of Model United Nations Impact Lead. I founded the initiative Doha British School Listen to my Voice, a public speaking platform for students to share their passions in the form of talks to an audience; similar to TEDx. Lastly, I am passionate about fighting for gender equality, having been selected as an ambassador for Georgetown University Qatar's The Future is Female. I am involved with the non-governmental organization, Voicing Voices , an international consultancy firm that aims to eradicate gender-based violence in three generations. Furthermore, I am fortunate to have been offered a full scholarship to attend the Women Ambassador Forum, a platform to unite, empower and inspire women activists around the world. Most recently, I have been selected as an Ambassador for the ASEAN Youth Organization where I will connect with other youth change-makers to create positive sustainable change.

Natalie Magness

The Sapien's logo

Photo of a session in action

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June 12, 2021 21:27

The Sapien is a great idea. Having a platform where youth can meet solely to learn and share ideas is a great avenue to stay connected and even possibly share solutions to challenges we may be facing in different areas in the world. I think the Sapien group might also benefit students from more African countries as they get to learn from the experiences and perceptions of others from other continents and vice versa.

June 3, 2021 16:58

This is a great initiative, keep it up! It's so important for youth to be able to engage in open discussions on the issues that matter. It is unfortunate that these opportunities aren't normally offered in the classroom so it is crucial that organizations like this provide them.