Elektronik Atıkların Geri Dönüşümünü Destekleme Derneği (EAGD)
Due to rapid developments in technology and the habit of consuming disposable products, electronic waste has become the fastest-growing type of waste in the world. While the precious metals contained in e-waste have an economic value, their toxic components pose a threat to human health and the environment. In Turkey, each year 600,000 tons of e-waste is collected. Although e-waste needs to be collected separately and disposed of by licensed recyclers the collection rate of this new type of waste stands at a mere 2%.
EAGD collects unused, old or broken electronic devices and repairs and recycles them to create computer labs in village schools that are in need. By doing so, EAGD reduces the consumption rate of resources and carbon emissions, creates employment and combats digital inequality. To date, EAGD has provided computers to 500 students, contributing to increased efficiency in IT lessons.
Each year, 30 tons of e-waste is recycled through EAGD. At the same time, EAGD gives donors access to its monitoring system so that they can monitor how the donated e-waste is being used, offering a transparent and trackable model in all stages.
The cleaning agents used in daily life contain several chemicals that are harmful to human health and the environment. Miss Dolap is a social enterprise that produces cleaning agents made of natural ingredients that protect human health and have no long-term adverse effects on the environment.
Miss Dolap’s workshop in Mersin employs refugee women and contributes to their social cohesion in Mersin where refugee figures are high. From toothpastes to laundry detergents, Miss Dolap’s product range consists of close to 100 cleaning products which contribute to reducing illnesses arising from the use of chemicals and raising awareness on consumption behaviors. Miss Dolap also organises workshops aimed at increasing the use of natural products.
N. Alp Ar
Tospaa Bilgisayarsız Kodlama Girişimi
According to many experts, coding is a competency that will shape the future. Although coding has become part of the curriculum in Turkey, due to insufficient equipment in public schools both teachers and students face significant challenges in coding. The Tospaa Computer-Free Coding Initiative makes coding accessible by teaching the basics of coding and data processing independent of technology using an in-house game. In 2017, the second version of the free Tospaa Computer-Free Coding Game has reached over 80,000 children making coding training more accessible. At the same time, the game was among the coding activities recommended for teachers by Code Week Turkey. The Tospaa Computer-Free Coding Game introduces a new perspective not only to students but also teachers through workshops on algorithmic thinking and coding without a computer. The Tospaa Computer-Free Coding Initiative has reached a wide user base including public and private schools, ultimately contributing to the global sustainability goals of ‘quality education’ and ‘minimising inequalities’.
Corporate and individual donations are the major source of income for NGOs to be able to continue their activities. In Turkey, individual donations made to NGOs are generally insufficient. In addition, the lack of recognition and trust in NGOs as well as the irregular nature of donations pose a threat on the sustainability of NGOs.
İyilik Kazansın enables online shoppers to make donations to NGOs without spending any extra money. The online platform links consumers to e-commerce sites and serves as an intermediary for shoppers to donate a certain amount of the money they spend to the NGOs listed on the platform. This way, the money that companies spend on digital ads is transferred to NGOs as income.
The platform consists of more than 200 Turkish and international brands, including Turkey’s leading e-commerce sites, and 19 NGOs. Currently, İyilik Kazansın generates income for five different categories of beneficiaries in seven areas including environment, culture, art, healthcare, and education.
Scientific thinking, one of the most important competencies of the 21st century which includes the skills of imagination and finding creative and innovative solutions to problems, is not internalised by the youth. The current education system in Turkey and the world weakens young people’s interaction with science.
As a new generation learning platform, Bilim Virüsü aims to infect young people with the passion for science. Bilim Virüsü programmes teach basic sciences using a creative and innovative method. The free 6-week programmes for young learners consist of basic sciences such as maths, physics and chemistry as well as workshops on artificial intelligence, material/plant and cell science, neuroscience and genetics. Young learners also participate in workshops that enhance new generation skills such as imagination, innovation, philosophy, art and entrepreneurism and graduate as a ‘science virus’.
With its programme and workshops, book and art meet-ups, Bilim Virüsü is a dynamic and rapidly growing community that aims to improve skills such as questioning, curiosity, critical thinking, imagination, communication, creativity and collaboration that are imperative in the 21st century.
Shortlisted Advanced Stage Applicants
Of the close to 22 million children living in Turkey, nearly seven million of them come from low-income families. Disadvantaged children do not have access to games and toys. Moreover, children are unable to use their creativity due to urban lifestyles, guidance from their parents and the restrictions of the toy industry. As a social enterprise that designs gaming experiences to support children’s imagination and creativity, Toyi offers a creative play kit that enables children to turn everything around them into toys. Suitable for ages 6 and up, the kit consists of wheels, feet, eyes, joints, sticks, flexible connectors and sticks so that kids can turn bits and pieces around them into any toy they imagine. The Toyi play kit doesn’t come with any instructions or rules. It’s all up to the imagination of children. Offering an open-ended game experience, with Toyi children can create an infinite number of toys using their creativity. This way, Toyi develops creativity, upcycling and 21st-century skills that children need. In addition, to reach out to disadvantaged children Toyi has partnerships with NGOs working in this field.
While hearing-impaired people communicate using sign language in their daily lives, they have difficulties in communicating with people who do not know sign language. Moreover, around half of the approximately three million hearing-impaired individuals in Turkey are illiterate while the reading comprehension of those who can read and write is at the secondary school level.
Engelsiz Çeviri offers a system built on new technologies that enhances the integration of hearing-impaired individuals in daily life, translates online information into sign language and enables two-way communication through translation. Engelsiz Çeviri web plug-in instantly translates text into sign language, making it more comprehensible for the hearing-impaired.
The Kiosk device of Engelsiz Çeviri also enables hearing-impaired individuals to communicate with people who do not know sign language when they are in the same place. The signs made by hearing-impaired individuals are simultaneously detected and translated into text or sound. Likewise, the sentences written or spoken by persons who do not know sign language are translated simultaneously into sign language. This serves as a communication bridge between the hearing-impaired and people who do not know sign language.
Shortlisted Cooperation Applicants
Unemployment is one of the biggest economic and social problems which is also impacting youth in Turkey. Across Turkey, out of the 13 million youth more than three million are unemployed. We’re Coding is a social enterprise that aims to develop world-class software developers in Turkey and turn Turkey into a technology hub in its region. Helping young individuals to achieve their dream life and step into their first job, Kodluyoruz has delivered software training to more than 600 young learners in four cities across Turkey in the past three years. Partnering with the Ahiler Development Agency operating in Aksaray, Kırıkkale, Kırşehir, Nevşehir and Niğde, Kodluyoruz aims to spread its impact across different regions in Turkey. As an example of social enterprise-public partnership, Kodluyoruz launched its first boot camp in Niğde in 2019. The boot camp was one of the most successful trainings to date with half of the learners landing their first web development jobs by the end of the boot camp. This collaboration will continue in 2020 expanding to five cities supported by the Ahiler Development Agency and contribute to Turkey’s development by starting locally.
Nadir Hastalıklar Ağı
Rare diseases, most of which are progressive, metabolic, chronic and some even deadly, are defined as conditions that affect one out of every 2,000 people or fewer. There are 8,000 rare diseases that have been defined in medical literature and children account for around half of the patients. While in Turkey rare diseases affect one in 16 people, it is known that five million people in Turkey and 350 million people in the world suffer from a rare disease.
The Rare Diseases Network is a social initiative launched by patients with rare diseases and their families to draw attention to unknown lives in Turkey and the world, find rational, practical, lasting and common solutions to problems and put these solutions into practice. Nadir Hastalıklar Ağı aims to increase the quality of life and longevity of individuals with rare diseases to integrate them with society. To this end, it offers solutions to healthcare organisations, takes part in legislative processes as a stakeholder, works to improve treatment opportunities and provides support to newly diagnosed individuals.
Turkey has 12 million hectares of meadows and grasslands. Accessible to everyone, these areas lose their fertility and suffer from erosion over the years due to mismanagement and improper grazing. Due to less fertile meadows the number of people engaged in animal husbandry, standing at six million in Turkey today, continues to drop and leads to employment problems.
Working towards the adoption and spreading of meadow-based animal husbandry, Anadolu Meraları improves the health and fertility of meadows through integrated grazing planning. It also produces remedial, fair and nutritional animal source foods (ASF) by improving animal health and reducing feed and care costs. Launched under the brand name SafiMera, it aims to serve as a bridge between conscious producers and conscious consumers, and increase consumer engagement in the production process.
To this end, by collaborating with individuals and farms SafiMera increases the amount of land where integrated grazing plans are implemented and spreads meadow-based and remedial animal husbandry activities. At the same time, it facilitates access to remedial, nutritional and fair ASFs for consumers.
Director-General, Financial Cooperation and Project Implementation DG for EU Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Bülent Özcan earned his degree in international relations from the Middle East Technical University in 1999. He then received his master’s degree in EU Economics from Marmara University’s Institute of European Studies. He was accepted to the Leadership Programme at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He joined the Ministry of EU Affairs in 2001 where he worked as an Assistant Specialist, Specialist and Coordinator, respectively. Since September 2010, he has been serving as the Director-General of Project Implementation at the Ministry of EU Affairs. As part of the EU pre-accession financial assistance provided to Turkey, he is responsible for implementing projects aimed at building the capacity of civil society in Turkey, strengthening the civil society dialogue between Turkey and EU, building the capacity of local governments, particularly governorships, during the EU membership process, and supporting EU expertise in public, university, civil society and private sector organisations. Özcan is the author of three books: EU Pre-Accession Financial Assistance to Turkey, EU Grant Programmes and Assistance to NGOs, and Project Preparation and Implementation.
Board Member, Ashoka Turkey
Altop earned her degree in international relations and development economics from Johns Hopkins University and her master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University. Altop worked in various companies in the USA, including the World Bank, Electronic Data Systems, IBM Credit Cooperation, Shared Medical Services, MCI and Lockheed Martin Mission Systems. After returning to Turkey, she worked as the founding partner and Secretary General of Endevaor Turkey. Altop is also a Board Member of Ashoka Turkey.
Dorman earned her bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Boğaziçi University, master’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and MBA from Harvard Business School. She previously worked in McKinsey, Morgan Stanley, Orange, France Telecom and Acıbadem Healthcare Group. Currently she is the CEO and Board Member of MV Holding and also serves as the Chairwoman of StartersHub and Board Member of KVK, Cardtek, and The LifeCo. Dorman is also a Board Member of the Mind Your Waste Foundation, Endeavor Turkey, and Women on Board Association.
Founder | Mikado Consulting & Future is Brighter (Gelecek Daha Net) Ashoka Fellow
As a social entrepreneur, Serra Titiz has been working in the field of sustainable development since 2003. Working with youth, women and professional groups across a range of NGOs in Turkey, she combined her expertise in civil society fieldwork and management with corporate social investments and sustainability, setting a model for projects that deliver high social impact.
Serra Titiz founded Mikado Consulting, not-for-profit organisation, in 2007. Mikado is a social enterprise that develops models for sustainable development. Mikado’s activities contribute to creating a responsible private sector, developing a sustainable and transparent civil society and changing the society through social innovation. The company’s core mission is to build sustainable structures and create synergy through company-NGO-educational institute-public collaborations in order to maximise social impact.
Founder, TABIT (Agricultural Information and Communication Technologies)
Tülin Akın, launched tarimsalpazarlama.com, Turkey’s first communication and e-learning network and e-commerce media in agriculture, in 2004 when she was a student. Akın created the Farmer’s Club (Çiftçi Kulübü) which provides information and services to 1.4 million farmers and their families and launched the early warning system in agriculture. She also carried out various social responsibility projects to raise water awareness and prevent tractor accidents in rural areas. Akın is an Ashoka Fellow and was nominated for the Nobel Prize in 2014 by the UN.
Dr. Uygar Özesmi
Founder Good4Trust |
Senior Ashoka Fellow
Civil society activist and Ashoka Senior Fellow. Founder and instigator of Good4Trust.org to create a prosumer economy for ecological and social justice. Chair of the Prosumer Economy Association.
Visiting scholar in the Department of Energy Systems at Kadir Has University and Vice Chairman of the ENIVA Foundation. Between 1989-90, Özesmi worked as an advisor to Adnan Kahveci, State Minister for Environment. He earned his master’s degree from Ohio State University as a Fulbright scholar and went on to earn his doctoral degree from Minnesota University as a MacArthur grantee. He founded the Environmental Engineering Department at Erciyes University and was the founding chairman of Doğa Derneği (Nature Association) which represents BirdLife in Turkey. He then joined the United Nations Development Programme in New York as an Environmental Specialist (2004-2006). He served as the Executive Director of the TEMA Foundation (2006-2008) and Greenpeace Mediterranean (2008-2012). In 2012, Özesmi founded Change.org in Turkey and worked as the Director for the Eastern Europe and Asia region until 2017.
Zeynep Bodur Okyay
Chairman & CEO, Kale Group
Zeynep Bodur Okyay, earned her bachelor’s degree in management engineering from Istanbul University and master’s degree in management from Harvard University. In 1995, Okyay was appointed as Executive Board Member and Chairman of Kale Group’s marketing companies. Since 2007, she has been serving as Kale Group’s Chairman and CEO. Okyay’s other active roles include: President, General Assembly, Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO); Vice Chairman, Economic Development Foundation (IKV); Board Member, Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK); Coordinating Chair, Turkey-EU Business Councils, DEIK; Chair, Turkey-Italy Business Council, DEIK; Member, Turkish Business and Industry Association (TUSIAD). In 2015, Okyay chaired the C20 (Civil 20) Steering Committee during Turkey’s G20 Presidency.
Country Director, Ashoka Turkey
In 2006, Zeynep Meydanoğlu graduated from the Department of Policy and Cultural Studies at McGill University and then started her graduate studies on human rights law at Bilgi University. For six years, Meydanoğlu worked as Programme Director at the Turkish Third Sector Foundation. Since 2012, she has been working as the Country Manager of Ashoka Turkey. Providing volunteer support to the establishment of a number of NGOs such as KAMER (Women’s Centre) and Mor Çatı (Purple Roof), Meydanoğlu is also a member of the Foundation for Civil Society Support.