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    On a mission to save the world’s little pollinators

    The Journey:
    Nathalie Lafosse gave up a professional cycling career in her teenage years and any dream of winning a medal. However, one never knows what awaits in the future. On October 21, 2017 Nathalie won the PremaGyan Good100 medal at The Olympic Museum in Lausanne. There she presented her project, Merci les Abeilles, to the GoodFestival 3rd edition. In June 2017, Nathalie started this project and by the end of August she gave up her full time job.

    Teaching innovation and entrepreneurship in schools with Graines d’entrepreneurs / InnovEntrepreneurs, Nathalie was in awe of new agricultural drones. However, this technological advancement left her wondering what had happened to the bees, and until that point she did not know that bees pollinated the fruits and vegetables we need to survive. Throwing herself into research, Nathalie found up to 80% of bees in Europe are dying due to three factors: pesticides, pollution and climate change. Why invest so much money in new technology when a solution already exists? A solution which has been around for hundreds of years; years before pesticides came into play. While she knew that she could not single handedly take down Monsanto, inspiration struck.
    In the U.S. and Canada, a reusable beeswax wrap exists to replace clingfilm and aluminum foil to reduce waste. There is one thing Nathalie is certain of: everyone can play a small part in saving our planet and saving the bees but they need to be more conscious, and reduce the amount of waste each individual produces on a daily basis. In an effort to reduce waste, it seemed absurd to buy an eco-friendly product that has travelled from China to the U.S. to Switzerland. So Nathalie set to it; watching tutorials on YouTube, learning to make her very own beeswax food wrap, and coming up with her own method.

    Although it may seem crazy to create a product from bees, because Nathalie herself is actually afraid of bees and insects, her beeswrap prototype is getting ready for Swiss and European markets. Not only is the revenue from her zero waste website going to finance bee preservation, Nathalie shall run workshops teaching people about building, running and owning hives, educating children, teenagers and adults about the urgency of the world’s little pollinators’ situation. She hopes to raise awareness for local beekeepers, and ramp up their profits through the sales of beeswax to individuals making beeswax wraps at home.
    Having recently started the journey, along with her family, to become zero-waste, the Merci les Abeilles website sells other zero-waste products and provides tips to help people begin the daunting journey of becoming zero-waste.

    The Future:
    Even more impressive for a four month old startup are the big plans Nathalie has for the future. The big idea is to have a marketplace connecting local beekeepers and zero-waste products to consumers. Not only is she working to start campaigning to save the bees in Senegal, she hopes to set up a social project providing jobs for disabled people in Switzerland; employing them to make beeswrap and other zero-waste products.

    Nathalie wants you!
    Lab tests are expensive, but Nathalie needs her beeswrap to pass Swiss and European muster. She has done what she can, but the bees can not wait. Therefore, Nathalie is running an impressive crowdfunding campaign on One Million Sparks. Within an hour and a half, donations have doubled from $600 to $1,120. With a goal of $10,000, she hopes to translate her website into multiple languages, run workshops in cities and schools across the continent, and generate income for beekeepers… all on a quest to save our bees.


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    Building Bridges, One Link At A Time

    Based and operating in Geneva by eight hopeful young adults, the Essaim d’Accueil team works tirelessly towards the social inclusion of asylum seekers. As they profoundly word it, “Many who are called ‘migrants’ are not treated as individuals, but as part of a faceless mass. Essaim d’Accueil decided to build bridges between the asylum seekers and the current residents of the same area, despite different legal status and backgrounds.”

    All around the world, bringing people together in a safe environment has the power to build connections, diminish ignorance, generate understanding and spark creativity. Essaim d’Accueil applies that to the continuously expanding refugee crisis we face today. Using a network of volunteers, they welcome refugees, and non-refugees, with open arms, organize get togethers to spark connections, and counter populist messages of exclusion recurrent in Europe today.

    While building membership base of 60+, they have coordinated BBQs, city tours and cinema outings. The hope is to increase general sensitivity to a contemporary social phenomena; drawing attention to the causes and effects of ‘us vs. them’ and ‘sedentary vs. migrant’ perceptions. To do so, they are working to integrate workshops into their program, focusing their efforts on building a peaceful society.

    What makes them different? No transaction of goods takes place. Instead there is a private, personal exchange in a space without judgement or categorization, a space where everyone is equal. The team is open to new ideas; opening themselves up to anyone who wishes to get in touch and make their ideas come true.

    Essaim d’Accueil does not sell a product, but relies solely on donations. In order to reach more immigrants, Essaim d’Accueil is running a OneMillionSparks campaign: all donations go towards training their 60+ members and solidifying the foundations of membership. This will allow them to broaden the diversity of participants and increase their impact in the Geneva area.

    Winning a PremaGyan Good100 medal at the April 2017 edition of the GoodFestival, Essaim d’Accueil is looking forward to attending the next GoodFestival event.

    Want to get in touch?
    E-mail: comite.essaimdaccueil@gmail.com
    Website: http://essaimdaccueil.weebly.com
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/essaimdaccueil/

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    Enabling a better start in life, supporting our smallest

    The Premayotte Association is helping the most vulnerable among us: premature born babies. In the neonatology service located on Mayotte island near Mozambique, the little ones and their parents receive the support required for a better start in life.

    The hospital of Mayotte has the biggest French maternity unit with more than 9514 registered births, of which 4 to 5% require neonatology services. Being on an island, providing help to such prematurely born children is extremely challenging. Besides, Mayotte is facing a wave of immigration from Comoros island. This brings a significant number of pregnant women into the hospital, making up 70% of all females treated in the department. Most deliveries happen as emergencies and under stressful conditions, caused by the unstable health of the new-born babies.

    During that challenging time, the Premayotte Association is supporting parents by providing their babies with material (such as clothes or bath products) after a premature birth. In addition, parents can interact with other parents who experienced the same situation, via social network chats, thereby reducing anxiety and stress.

    The association also introduced sewing classes where volunteers learn how to manufacture blouses and incubator covers. Blouses are intended to be used for the weakest babies, for whom wearing “normal” clothes is impossible due to their condition. The incubator covers allow the babies to stay in a dark and quiet environment just like in the utero, helping them to grow and thrive.
    The association was created in September 2016 and so far, they have already assisted more than one hundred babies with 40 kg of material. The next big project is to get ergonomic cocoons for premature babies. They will allow infants to lie in a position similar to the fetal position and avoid orthopaedic problems which would require additional treatments.


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    Help Fund Momentom Collective: Legitimizing circus and yoga as sports for development

    Looking to invest in a project defiantly making the world a better place? Help Momentom Collective grow and bring them to the GoodFestival.

    Momentom Collective uses yoga and circus arts as a medium to promote social inclusion and trauma alleviation through Project CirQus. Their goal? To cultivate useful life skills among vulnerable populations. With a specific focus on refugee camps, the collective developed a curriculum that combines yoga and circus arts tailored to deliver core educational and recreational values to refugee and/or internally displaced youth in post-conflict or state-of-emergency recovery.

    Help fund their journey to the GoodFestival:

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    Learning languages fast and fun way with Speaksli

    Speaksli began as a true labor of love. After marrying a Swiss national and becoming a resident of Switzerland in 2014, Speaksli’s founder, Elizabeth Cummins, challenged herself to create animated videos teaching herself German and Swiss German. She started publishing her videos on YouTube and watched in delight as the channel rapidly grew to over 3.2 million views in 196 countries. Today, with a 97% approval rating and countless glowing user testimonials, Speaksli fans show a strong emotional connection to the brand and clamor for more content.

    The main goal of Speaksli is to develop engaging video content so learners can quickly develop confidence and proficiency in a new language at their own pace. By creating simple, affordable and accessible technology solutions, the company hopes to reduce the frustration of learning a new language and adjusting to a new culture. The growing European refugee crisis in late 2016 showed how conflicts can arise from cultural and language differences. Speaksli hopes reduce these conflicts by promoting international understanding by facilitating language proficiency and communication across cultures. Language skills serve as one of the most essential early steps toward successful cultural integration and the obtainment of gainful employment by new immigrants. Speaksli could greatly help with cultural integration and economic empowerment within these communities.

    Beginning with the 2016 MassChallenge Startup Accelerator program in Lausanne, Switzerland, Speaksli received great market validation through conversations with government officials and refugee aid workers. Soon thereafter, Speaksli was awarded the prestigious PremaGyan Good100 Award at the GoodFestival while also being selected for mentoring by Google at ImpactHub in Zurich. Next, Speaksli was selected as one of only 100 exhibitors out of 7,400 applicants for the StartupGrind Global Conference in the Silicon Valley, February of 2017.

    Elizabeth always strived to make a meaningful contribution to society. As a result, Speaksli set off on a more formal journey to help refugees, fueled by the passion of many mentors and the support of many startup organizations.

    Beyond helping refugees and recent immigrants, a secondary aim of Speaksli is to equip students, travelers, expatriates and lifelong adult language learners around the globe with a flexible learning platform that makes learning a second language fast and fun. As a starting point, Speaksli will license content to the eGranary Digital Library, which is installed in over 1,100 schools, clinics, and universities in Africa, India, Bangladesh, Haiti, Papua New Guinea, and many other locations. Ultimately, Speaksli plans to offer core basic language content in 7 languages by 2020, growing one day to 12 languages.


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    Waterock L3C – bringing back indigenous water harvesting techniques

    Laurence de Bure, a French born immigrant, brought an agricultural background from farm life in the Pyrenees Mountains in southern France to Tucson Arizona. Her appetite to learn of the tribal life near her new surroundings led her to discover traditional indigenous water harvesting techniques. This in turn led to her current mission; encouraging its reintroduction to the Hopi and Navajo tribes, especially promoting youth empowerment and traditional knowledge building.

    Conceptualized in 2013, Waterock L3C is an investor owned, limited dividend, for-profit company. It is providing economic opportunities to disadvantaged individuals and communities through a business-like approach. During the past three years, the company has organized 15 training workshops focused on land and water restoration techniques, which have involved over 150 Hopi and Navajo youth. These workshops have been introducing indigenous techniques focused on the construction of rock based Trincheras, Gabions, and water catchment basins to slow the flow of rainwater runoff in the watersheds of their reservations. These are not voluntary activities but “on-the-job” trainings in which participants receive a cash stipend well above the minimum wage in the United States for their work.

    The success of this initiative led to international recognition through awards received from the Swiss based “Good Festival” symposium in 2016, and by the French Government in its worldwide competition, “100 Projects to Combat the Effects of Climate Change”. Furthermore, it has also led to requests for similar rainwater harvesting workshops and collaborations. One of which foresees the collaboration with the Embassy of the Earth Foundation, the Netherlands Center for Indigenous people, and the DHAN Foundation in Tamil Nadu, India, whereby the organization of a series of workshops to be conducted in the Fall of 2017 in Tamil Nadu State was agreed upon.

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