A group of people
The Global Solutions team: (back) Chris Buck, Toni Byrum, My-Kuz Moore, Berenice Reyes, Veronica Garcia Reyes, Macy Main and Cynthia King. (front) Liz O'Malia, Jamie Keel and Berly Leticia Soto.

BCCC team builds bridges internationally to find “Global Solutions”

Students at Beaufort County Community College are flexing their innovation muscles in an exciting international sustainable business competition. Halfway through the Global Solutions Sustainability Challenge, the team has an early concept for a product to improve indoor air quality. The team had their first virtual conference with students from the Al-Balqa’ Applied University students in Jordan in February to discuss and share cultures. Team members are sharing photos, talking with each other about each country’s culture all while working towards the goal of this challenge.

As our societies transform due to rapidly changing technologies, sustainable businesses are vital to ensure our digitized economies have positive long-term effects on human development, economic growth and the survival of the planet. Sustainable businesses can help us solve problems in our communities, create jobs, increase the standard of living, catalyze innovation, and protect the environment.

During this challenge, the team will increase their knowledge about what makes a sustainable business, the human centered design process, understand cross-cultural collaboration, define and problem solve, ideate, create a prototype, test and retest idea, and formulate their business concept. At the end of the 10-week challenge, the bi-national team will pitch their business concept at a Virtual Global Business Fair. The winner will receive a check to bring their project into reality.

While business professor Cynthia King is the advisor for the project, students from all across campus are involved. Each student takes a different role on the team to keep everyone communicating, researching and innovating. They are currently looking at carbon monoxide monitor that would ventilate a room when it is triggered. The team consists of Liz O’Malia, Toni Byrum, Macy Main, Jamie Keel, Berenice Reyes, Christopher Buck, My-Kuz Moore, Berly Soto and Veronica Garcia Reyes.

Al-Balqa’ Applied University has its main campus in Salt, Jordan just outside of Amman, the capital. While not a credit class, students can earn badges, called “Badgrs,” mini certifications in skills like virtual collaboration, entrepreneurial thinking and cross-cultural communication. The Global Solutions Sustainability Challenge is a project of the United States State Department, the Stevens Initiative, The Aspen Institute and IREX.