BIC's First Semi-Finalist in the Zahn Social Innovation Competition

6/15/2014 Unknown 0 Comments

It's one thing to be the first, but it's especially astonishing and gratifying to be the first in our first year: Debra Jones became our first BIC student to be selected by the Zahn Center to present her social innovation project to a panel of entrepreneurs, faculty, and venture capitalist (including Peter Zahn himself) in a competition worth $30,000. Her submission, MoYA -- or The Museum of Your Art -- allows non-artists to be part of and to amplify urban renewal through art. 

MoYA is a virtual museum that connects people to public and street art via an app and interactive website. With different versions grounded in different cities, MoYA allows art lovers, culture seekers, and city dwellers to form an active, engaged community of virtual art curators that grows through posting pictures and information of public art, curating personalized collections, creating walking tours connecting to highlighted art, and allowing others to cast votes up and down. The app pinpoints locations so tours can be created by individual “curators.” When you have the app on your smart phone, notifications/info occur as your walk around the city when art is nearby. As MoYA grows with use, so does a more engaged citizenry who is more strongly connected  — by art and culture (things that make us human and keep cities economically viable) — to community and city identity. The pilot for the Museum of Your Art (MoYA) will be for New York City. In addition to being a semi-finalist, Debra's submission was ultimately selected to be part of the Zahn summer incubator for social innovation.

Debra Jones presenting MoYA at the Zahn Social Innovation Competition on May 8, 2014.

The Zahn Social Innovation Ideas Challenge offers an opportunity for the ENTIRE City College community (students, faculty, staff and alumni) to pitch their big ideas on how to change the world through social enterprise. Teams will compete for up to $30K in prize money to help develop their innovative ideas into viable solutions to social and environmental challenges. This gives budding entrepreneurs a chance to submit innovative solutions to a problem they see in the world – from healthcare to education, gender equality to clean water, sustainability to urban architecture. This is their opportunity to activate large-scale change. Throughout the summer and fall, the Zahn Center offers funding, extensive mentorship from CCNY and the NYC social ecosystem, and pro bono legal services, all in an inspiring collaborative workspace to develop the ideas of change maker finalists.