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FEATURE STORYNovember 16, 2022

IdeaBuzz Championship: Bangladesh Youth Empowered with Climate-Smart Solutions


  • The IdeaBuzz Championship invited undergraduate and graduate university students in Bangladesh to come up with their creative solutions for the question: “How can Bangladesh achieve climate-smart growth benefiting all?”
  • The competition saw an overwhelming response with submissions from 137 teams consisting of 400 students from around 30 universities all around Bangladesh.
  • A panel of esteemed judges selected the three winning teams whose solutions ranged from apps to help agriculture productivity to drone-based services for medical emergencies during natural disasters to recycling water used for ablutions in mosques.

With Bangladesh being one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, finding potential solutions for climate-smart growth have been at the heart of Bangladesh’s development agenda. On August 7, 2022, the World Bank launched the IdeaBuzz Championship, a competition empowering one of our key stakeholders – the youth of Bangladesh – to ask their solutions for climate-smart and inclusive growth.

Countrywide participation

The competition reached out to the youth using a multi-pronged approach through social media, campus events, print, radio, and online ads. The World Bank team visited nine universities around the country, covering campuses around Dhaka, Sylhet and Rajshahi. Over 1,000 students attended the Q&A-style discussions about climate change, the IdeaBuzz competition and the World Bank. The hype wasn’t just limited to these offline activations. The competition also created a huge buzz through World Bank Bangladesh Facebook as well through social media channels of the universities where campus events took place. On the World Bank Facebook alone, it generated almost half a million in engagement through more than 35 social media posts. Endorsements came from influencers like Nishat Majumdar, the first Bangladeshi woman to climb Mount Everest, Enayet Chowdhury, a YouTuber and Lecturer at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), and Sourodip Paul, the current World Debating Champion.

By the end of the submission deadline on September 10, the World Bank received an overwhelming number of 137 submissions from over 400 students representing around 30 different universities from all over the country. The solutions ranged from how to increase agriculture productivity, using the Internet of Things (IoT) for climate-smart growth, creating solar-panel buildings, to finding alternatives for air conditioners in the city.

Determining the Best

The final selections were judged by a four-member panel including: Professor Saleemul Huq, Director, International Center for Climate Change and Development; Runa Khan, Founder and Executive Director, Friendship; Syeda Rizwana Hasan, Chief Executive, Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association; and Abhas Jha, Practice Manager, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management, South Asia Region, World Bank Group. The judges were very impressed by the incredibly creative and high standards of the solutions submitted by the participants.

The top 3 teams were:

Champions: Team CO2 Killers, consisting of Irina Anjum Pranti, Sumaieta Tasnim and Mohammad Ehsanul Haque, from the Islamic University of Technology.
Their solution focuses on the implementation of an IoT-based smart agriculture system where after testing and analyzing the cultivable soil, an app, called Agrisheba, will alert the farmers of the soil status and other relevant parameters to improve crop productivity.

1st Runner Up: The Samaritans, comprising of Rafi Bin Dastagir, Syed Tawsif Islam and Mishfaqur Rahman, from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET).
Their solution aims to ensure emergency and instantaneous medical help to everyone, including the stranded people during flood or other severe natural disasters. An innovative app-based system will create a bridgeway between patients requiring urgent treatment and medical boats or during natural disasters using drones to generate the fastest possible routes.

2nd Runner Up: Team Go Grey, consisting of Bushra Shakil, Faiyaz Uddin Ayeshik and Justita Musrat from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), University of Dhaka.
Their climate-smart idea segregating the water used during ablution across 250,000 mosques around the country and channeling it to for farmland irrigation. Such utilization of water will not only ensure sustainable water management but also act as a source of revenue for the mosques.

At the launch of the Climate Change and Development Report for Bangladesh, a grand prize-winning ceremony for IdeaBuzz Championship was held and the three winning teams were announced. The winners received attractive prizes from the Honorable Planning Minister Abdul Mannan; World Bank Acting Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan, Dandan Chen; and World Bank Regional Director for South Asia Sustainable Development, John Roome.

Towards the Future

The journey does not end here for the winners. The champion team now has the opportunity to present their idea at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington DC. This will act as an opportunity for the team to showcase the talent from Bangladesh and how the youth can keep contributing to the country’s future.

The World Bank is proud to support the IdeaBuzz championship as an innovative platform for youth in Bangladesh for a clean, green, and resilient future.  



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