About SEA

Project Waterfilter: The right to clean drinking water

By About SEA

How ambitious students want to make access to clean drinking water possible for all using a simple water filter

Motivated students, four raw materials and a simple but innovative concept. That’s all it takes to tackle one of the world’s most acute problems. According to statistics published by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2018, more than 840 million people still have no access to clean drinking water. This leads to an accelerated spread of diseases such as cholera, as well as abstinence from school and work and in some cases even death.

To counteract this problem, Munich students launched the Waterfilter project under the patronage of Enactus Munich. The aim of the project, which started in Kigoma, Tanzania, in 2015, was to enable people to access clean drinking water for themselves and for others through entrepreneurial activities. Only four materials are needed for this ambitious project: Water, sawdust, clay and silver nitrate. The advantage of these raw materials is their worldwide availability, so that the materials can be sourced locally almost anywhere and production is not dependent on a specific location.

To ensure the constant quality of the filter production, the water filter employed is pressed with a manual filter press. The essential step for the functioning of the filter is burning at high temperatures, where the organic material burns and leaves micropores in the clay. The water is filtered through these pores and freed from any contamination. To ensure that bacteria which can cause serious health damage, such as cholera, even in very small quantities, are killed beforehand, a thin layer of silver nitrate is applied to the water filter after being burned. The silver nitrate, however, does not reach the purified water through filtration and is verifiably harmless to the human organism.

The filters are produced by a Waterpreneur and then sold in the region at a fair price. The entire profit goes to the Waterpreneur, which not only actively combats dirty drinking water but also creates employment. A key approach of the project is educational work, in which the inhabitants are made aware of the topic through targeted workshops and the distribution of flyers and booklets to schools and public institutions.

After the successful completion of the pilot project in Kigoma, the team under the leadership of Stefan Gerbes (TUM-BWL) and Maximilian Rehschütz (TUM-BWL) set up a new location in Kasulu, Tanzania. In March, three members of the project and students of the TU Munich travelled to Tanzania to get a better idea of the production and the goals achieved so far. During the trip, which was financially supported by the TU through the TUM-without-Borders program, essential partnerships were established in addition to workshops and awareness-raising work. These partnerships make the team confident that the ambitious goal of providing all people in Tanzania with access to clean drinking water will eventually become reality.

If you are interested in the topic and would like to get involved: Here you can find many more projects of Enactus Munich.

Ashoka U Exchange 2019 in San Diego

By About SEA

What happens if you put more than 700 university leaders, Ashoka fellows, students and entrepreneurs in one room for two and a half days? How can you arrive at concrete actionable insights in a massive conference like this? Well, can you?
From February 21-23, Ashoka U hosted one of the biggest changemaker conferences in sunny San Diego. It celebrated entrepreneurship, innovation and new concepts of learning that go beyond boundaries and borders.

Ashoka U Exchange goes beyond boundaries and borders

In times of increasing separation and the emphasis of national interests, the topic certainly reverberated. Especially with the conference’s location a mere 15 minutes away from the Mexican border. But universities have to go beyond boundaries as well in order to create sustainable change. Going beyond the given is part and parcel of changemaking. And maybe we need it now more than ever.

How do you design a MOOC that is engaging and successful?

In the session “Education of the Future! Designing Online Engagement for Maximum Impact” we had the pleasure to present the unique learning design of our MOOC “Enabling Entrepreneurs to Shape a Better World” goes beyond conventional MOOCs in that it really tries to make sense of the current media trends and make them part of an engaging online learning experience. This is especially because learning has radically changed through social media and the internet.
When asked what was the last thing learnt online, participant of the panel mentioned MOOCs they took. More interestingly, some participants also mentioned podcasts, or Youtube, as one student admitted “I learnt how to tell my friend I had a crush on her.”

Learn how to drive a car, or tell your friend you have a crush on her

Nowadays, you can basically learn EVERYTHING online. From how to drive a car to coding or entrepreneurship.

Image Youtube Learn How to


Given this plethora of knowledge, it becomes more important to think about HOW we learn. In our presentation of our Massive Open Online Course, we thought about how learning online has to look and feel like, given the mass of information we are confronted with everyday.

SEAri, our chatbot that guides learners through the course, makes stupid jokes or motives learners to keep going was a way to meet the challenges of online learning in the 21st century. If you haven’t met SEAri, we highly recommend to start our MOOC on edX!

SEAri chatbot

2 and a half days full of inspiration, networks and movements

What we took from this year’s Ashoka U Exchange? That there’s still a lot to do. But that if you get the right people into one room, this goal of making students more entrepreneurial and use this mindset for a better world, this isn’t a utopy in the far future. After two and a half days, you realize that mass of people at Ashoka U has become more like family. With people like Delaria Rupa, from Brac University, who never sits still, never stops questioning the status-quo. Or Araseli Lara, who is part of Ashoka, just graduated and still has all of the change-making opportunities of the world in front of her. People like Ali Fraenkel, Ashoka U Commons coordinator, who seems to run on an infinite amount of energy and infects all the people around her with that energy. Or Patrick Sewell, an alumni of our Global Entrepreneurship Summer School, whose university was certified as changemaker campus. To name but a few. So what happens, when you put all of these people into one room? You create a movement.

Europe’s First Accelerator with a Focus on Social Ventures

By About SEA

F-LANE, Europe’s first accelerator with a focus on social ventures that utilise technology to empower women worldwide, which was initiated by the Vodafone Institute, is getting ready for the next round. The programme mission is to foster the participation of women in technological development and improve the situation of girls and women around the world through technology. F-LANE is collaborating with the Impact Hub Berlin and the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie to source innovative technology ventures around the world that focus on women, provide an enterprising solution to a social problem and have the potential to make a wide impact.