JCU Announces Spring 2023 Triggering Change Competition Winners

John Cabot University is pleased to announce the winners and special mentions of the Spring 2023 Triggering Change Competition. The winning pitches were selected for their originality, creativity, and content.

Triggering Change consists in a two-minute pitch that proposes a solution to an environmental challenge by using creativity and engagement. In Spring 2023, the pitch focused on two UN Sustainable Development Goals: Clean water and sanitation (SDG 6) and Partnerships for sustainability (SDG 17).

To prepare for the pitch, participants attended three prep sessions. The first was held by Dr. Joseph Mooney from MIT, and focused on SDG 6. This was followed by a talk on creative strategies by the London agency The Liminal Space. The final session, on SDG 17, was provided by Chiara Ramozzi, Head of Marketing at zeroCO2, an NGO that focuses on reforestation and has planted over 600 thousand trees worldwide.

From left: Lynch Ainsley Sariola, Gina Mineo, Davide Ebraheem, Sydney Pagel, and Kylie Crimmings

From left: Lynch Ainsley Sariola, Gina Mineo, Davide Ebraheem, Sydney Pagel, and Kylie Crimmings

The winners for Spring 2023 covered a wide range of environmental issues and proposals.

Davide Ebraheem and Lynch Ainsley Sariola covered SDG 17 and proposed a partnership between the city of Rome and a supplier of artificial trees to address the challenge of increasing heat resulting from climate change.

“We gained valuable perspectives in utilizing creative storytelling techniques to craft powerful pitches that resonate with audiences, and how multidisciplinary approaches can be leveraged to create disruptive and powerful solutions,” said Davide. “Triggering Change made me understand how environmental issues can be tackled in a creative, innovative, and unusual form,” Lynch added.

Kylie Crimmings and Sydney Pagel, both study abroad students from Texas Christian University, pitched on SDG 6 and specifically about the negative impact on water availability and sanitation caused by the leather industry. Their proposed solution was the adoption of water spheres, a water-reducing process already used in some parts of the world.

“Advocating for the reduction of water in the leather-making process is not only about protecting the environment, but also about preserving the beauty and integrity of the leather itself for future generations,” commented Kylie. “This challenge has allowed me to better understand the importance of creating goods in a sustainable and useful way,” Sydney added.

Gina Mineo, who is a study abroad student from the University of Dayton, pitched on SDG 6 and in favor of decentralized sewage systems as a way to help cities prevent contamination and save money. “As a finance and accounting major, I often don’t get the chance to consider sustainability in my studies. This pitch has allowed me to recognize how sustainability is interdisciplinary and how my background can help bring about change,” she commented.

Special mentions
Three pitches were recognized as deserving a special mention.

JCU students Assunta Mareschi and Camilla Rapone pitched on the importance of phytoremediation, which uses plants to clean up hazardous materials in water and soil. “The possibilities to save the environment are infinite, you just have to look for the right ones,” they said.

Carla Tomaino and Chiara Canaveras, proposed a three-step water filtration system to help clean up the Tiber River. “Small actions can have a significant impact, and our pitch is special to us because it represents our commitment to improving the health of our environment for future generations.”

Allison Rolla suggested a partnership between cities and Uber that triggers tree-planting for every Uber ride in an effort to combat air pollution. “My topic on reforestation is important to me because, coming from the countryside where greenery is plentiful, it’s disheartening to see it’s slowly dying over the years.”

All Triggering Change participants earn the JCU Institute of Entrepreneurship Certificate in Sustainability and are eligible to participate in JCU’s COP 28 delegation.

Stay tuned for the next Triggering Change Pitch edition in Fall 2023.