During September, PN pitched its innovative “Play4Gateway” project in front of a distinguished, international jury at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) SOLVE event in New York City. Here is what PN gained from that unique opportunity.

Each year, SOLVE, an initiative of the world-famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), brings together problem-solvers of all stripes to tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. 2017, solvers were invited to address the challenge of “Youth, Skills and the Workforce of the Future.” As the beginning of the 21st century has been marked by rapid advances in technological innovations, the ability to acquire new IT and soft skills, adapt to an ever-changing IT environment and to work flexibly, has become crucially important. PN’s experience in the field of IT education, its adaptive curriculum and innovative approaches to vocational training gave us the confidence to enter this highly competitive challenge with our own solution: “Play4Gateway.”

“Play4Gateway” is a game-based talent assessment approach that aims to provide PN and other educational organisations with a fair, equitable, accurate, human-centered and cost-effective selection process for underserved youth, regardless of their social status (for more information about our solution please see MIT’s SOLVE homepage). PN’s solution has the potential to reach thousands of underserved youth across Southeast Asia and beyond, and it did convince the judges. Out of 500+ solutions submitted, PN was one of the twenty organisations invited to pitch our project to the SOLVE community in New York City, on 17 September 2017.

Fabrice Filachet, PN’s Education and Social Mission Manager, presented “Play4Gateway” during the MIT SOLVE pitch. This event provided a unique opportunity for PN to showcase its mission and innovative approaches to poverty eradication (SDG 1), equal access to quality education (SDG 4) and gender equality (SDG 5) to a distinguished jury and audience composed of leading social entrepreneurs, impact investors, corporates and representatives of international organisations and NGOs. Despite not being selected as a “Solver”, “Play4Gateway” attracted the interest of the global SOLVE community and a wide array of key players in the area of education and vocational training. We took away many valuable lessons from this pitch event, had the chance to network with fellow solvers and will certainly come back stronger next time. MIT SOLVE, gave us the chance to gain visibility with leading educational players, NGOs and the impact investment community and has been a crucial step towards advancing our social mission in a new, innovative and impactful way.

A special thanks goes to our network of dedicated partners that encouraged and supported us every step of the way, to make this PN team effort the success it turned out to be.