These students competed before you

The Dopper Changemaker Challenge has started again! A good time to look back at the previous edition. When recalling last year we think of our finale week which featured: a smooth sailing trip across the Markermeer, a late-night bonfire dance-sessions, and some morning yoga – good times, good times… But the best memories are of course the great ideas we were presented with by the students. We had the impossible mission to judge all these great projects. To give you an impression, these were some of the contenders (can you imagine how hard it was!?)

Laure Herweyers

Laundry. Love it or hate it, we all have to do it. Unfortunately, twenty million plastic particles end up in our environment every time you use a washing machine – sigh. I hear you think: “Ugh I can’t even do laundry in peace anymore!”; but we’re in luck! Laure developed a filter that catches these teeny-tiny particles of plastic. The technology? – top secret. We don’t want to give the competition a heads up. What we do know however is that the filter is to be installed on the pipes of the washing machine and that it catches way more than the best filter on the market right now (only 30%).

Donna Algra

WARNING: This project is going to blow you away. So make sure to take a seat and brace yourself. Ready? – okay. Donna was looking at the methods by which the locals from Sri Lanka are getting rid of their household waste, namely – burning it in their gardens. There are better ways, she thought. So she started to develop a low-tech solution for the locals to help them use their household waste for something useful. But how do you motivate people to change their habits and start to see plastic waste as something valuable? Here it comes: make an artificial coral reef out of it. Yes – a CORAL REEF. This reef then in turn helps to increase the fishing population (yay nature, and yummy fish). At the Wageningen University Donna is turning plastic waste into real-life coral reef lego blocks.

Amy Mooiman

The shower is usually the best place to come up with fresh ideas. This idea however was not invented in the shower, but for the shower! Did you know that there is a lot of plastic in personal care products? – really plastic is everywhere. Most of the products that promise you a sun-kissed glow, or have massage effects are just filled with plastic particles. This rubbed Amy the wrong way. As a student of the Willem de Koning Art Academy, she came to the conclusion that she wanted use the power of marketing to make people aware of this problem. After all, people cannot make concious decisions to avoid these products if they don’t have the right information – power to the people!

Brigit van Brenk

Wastewater that comes into contact with groundwater doesn’t sound nice in and of itself, but its even worse when traces of medicine and pesticides are thrown into this mix. Fortunately, Brigit is taking this problem by the horns – by studying the toxic substances in groundwater she plans to develop a solution to this problem and clean the waste up by using a… mushroom! – fascinating.

As you can tell, all of these ideas help to shape our common future, and make the world a little more sustainable. We can’t wait what the this edition has in store now that we spread our wings and organise the changemaker challenge in four other countries aside from the Netherlands. If this makes you just half as excited as we are – join us and follow in these champ’s footsteps! Registrations are open now until the 12th of April.

We’re looking forward to welcome you among our ranks!