The Water Challenge

The Water Challenge

How might we make potable water accessible to far-flung communities?

Billions of people lack access to safe water and sanitation, resulting in needless deaths, chronic disease, missed education and reduced productivity. In the Philippines, much needs to be done to improve water access, supply and sanitation.

This year’s Social Innovation Challenge will focus on delivering safe and clean water to the remote and highland villages in the municipality of Sogod on Cebu Island, Philippines


How It Works

Nov 1, 2018

World Vision issues a challenge to solve – and innovators build their ideas.

Feb 22, 2019

Innovators submit their business models.

Mar 11, 2019

Five teams are shortlisted and work together with a partner community to iterate their idea and business models.

June 2019

Final business models are presented to World Vision and expert industry partners.

Summer 2019

Winner is selected to receive 25K in funding for implementation and continues on to 12-month incubation period

Take the Challenge. Change the World.

The challenge submission is over.

View Entries

Challenge Brief

  • Background
    Water Challenge

    In the Philippines, much needs to be done to improve water access, supply and sanitation. Reportedly, nine million Filipinos rely on unimproved, unsafe and unsustainable water sources and an additional 19 million lack access to improved sanitation.

    Families without a safe water source in or near their home often spend significant time and energy collecting water and are at greater risk for disease and death. Filipinos consider water access a matter of safety, progress, and convenience, in addition to the health considerations.

    Having access to safe and clean drinking water is extremely important for the well-being of every Filipino child and family – especially in the area of Sogod, Cebu Island. The goal of this year’s challenge is to work towards solving this issue.

  • Obstacles

    Water plays an indispensable function in human societies. It is a source of life and prosperity. It is a domestic necessity and an important input to many productive processes in agriculture, industry, and generation of electricity.

    Improved water supply and water resources management boosts economic growth and contributes to reducing poverty. These goals can be achieved by creating water supply initiatives and mitigating the negative impacts of domestic wastes, agriculture and livestock activities, and agrochemical inputs on ground water resources.

    The inability to provide safe and potable water to communities may lead to insufficient supply or additional burden on the residents to avail themselves of clean water

  • Resources

    Video Series

    We’ve created a series of videos to help you develop your ideas. This chart outlines dates and subject matter.

    Description Date / Time Activity
    Introduction November 1st Video #1: Introduction to Challenge
    Exploring the Challenges, Solution and Gaps November 5th Video #2: Intro to the Philippines and local populations
    November 16th Video #3: Challenges, Solutions and Gaps
    November 21st Webinar #1: Questions about the Challenge
    Innovation & Business Model Development January 14th Video #4: Steps to the Creative Process & Introduction to the Business Model Canvas Part 1
    January 28th Video #5: Business Model Canvas Part 2 & Social Enterprise 101
    February 11th Webinar #2: Questions on the BMC and Social Enterprise


    The Social Innovation Challenge in Water – Technical Brief

    Download the PDFs supplied by World Vision

    Download PDF
  • Criteria

    Criteria for applying

    Only select Schools invited to participate by World Vision, may submit Entries for the Competition and be eligible to win an Award.  Each School is the official Entrant, but it may organize as many student Teams, each with an adult facilitator, as it chooses, submitting one Entry per Team.  Teams may include any number of students, as determined by the School, and be organized at the discretion of the School subject to the following:

    • Each Team member must, at the date of Entry, be:
      • a legal resident of the U.S.A;
      • fourteen (14) years of age or older. Any Team member who is a minor in the jurisdiction which he or she resides, the parent(s) or guardian(s) of the minor must (and WVUS assumes that they): a) agree to these Rules and execute and return any related form provided by WVUS, on behalf of the minor, within the time frame that WVUS sets out; and b) consent to participating in the Award as described herein
    • Teams must:
      • appoint a Team leader who will be the point-of-contact with WVUS; and
      • bear the same name as that of such entity and shall not change its name during the course of the Competition;
    • Individuals may only join one Team. Only one Entry per Team.

    The Competition is not open to employees of WVUS, its affiliated organizations, advertising or promotional agencies or media partners, or members of the household of such employees.

    Please see the official Rules and Regulations for a full description of all terms and conditions of participation.

    Criteria around submissions

    In order to become an entrant, a School must agree to the Rules and Regulations and fill out the entry form available at the Online Challenge Platform Site. A successfully completed and submitted form is an “Entry“. In the Rules, a School that has submitted an Entry to the Competition is referred to as an “Entrant“.

    If selected as a Finalist for the Final Round Pitch, each Finalist must submit 1 business plan of 15 to 20 PowerPoint slides in ppt. And PDF format (“Business Plan“). All members of each Finalist must attend the Final Round Pitch.

    Individuals may only join one Team. Only one Entry per Team. Multiple Entries will be disqualified. Fraudulent Entries will be declared invalid. All Entries must be submitted online; no paper Entries will be accepted.

    Preliminary Round

    After the Preliminary Round Close Date, WVUS and a team of industry experts (each a “Judge“, collectively “Judges” or “Judging Panel“) will assess the Entries and select up to 5 Finalists per challenge. The Judges shall be experienced entrepreneurs, investors and academics appointed by WVUS in its sole discretion.

    The core assessment of the Entries will focus on the innovativeness, feasibility and viability of the proposed solution.

    All Entries will be evaluated by the Chair and co-Chairs of the Competition by using the common “Executive Summary Judging Criteria”.

    The Chair and co-Chairs will hold a joint session where up to a maximum of 5 Entries will be identified as Finalists per challenge.

    WVUS will attempt to contact each of the Finalists by telephone within two weeks after the Preliminary Round Close Date. In the event that a Finalist cannot be contacted within two (2) weeks after the selections have been made, that Finalist will be disqualified and an alternate Finalist will be selected.

    Final Round

    At the Final Round Pitch, Finalists will be provided an opportunity to present their Business Plans, which should explain the practicability of the plan execution and fundability potential.

    Each Finalist will conduct a 5-minute, uninterrupted Business Plan presentation in English followed by up to 3-5 minutes of question and answer. It is not compulsory for all Team members to address the Judges Panel in the presentation.

    The Judges will make their evaluations and give their scores by using a common “Business Plan Judging Criteria”.

    The four winning teams will be decided by the highest score after a joint deliberation of the Judging Panel.

    WVUS and Judges’ Discretion

    The decisions of the Judging Panel are final and binding.

    WVUS and/or the Judging Panel reserves the right to disqualify any Entry that in its judgment violates the Eligibility or these Rules of the Competition.

    WVUS reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any Winner who (i) may have a barrier to entry into the country of potential testing/prototyping, (ii) has a criminal record or pending criminal charges that may interfere with their ability to travel freely across international borders for the Award, or (iii) does not otherwise meet WVUS’s requirements with respect to participation in a WVUS program of this nature.

    If a Winner is disqualified, he or she forfeits their right to take part in the Award and WVUS will be fully absolved of any and all liability in that regard. WVUS reserves the right to select an alternate winner who is able to meet the requirements as set out in these Rules.

    Before being confirmed as a Finalist or Winner, each such Finalist or Winner will be required to sign and return, within the time stipulated by WVUS, a full release and indemnity form stating that the Finalist or Winner has read and understood the Rules, grants all consents required, authorizes WVUS to broadcast, publish and disseminate Team members’ name, city of residence, photograph, likeness, and voice, in connection with the Competition and their participation in either of the Prizes at no additional compensation to the Finalist or Winner, accepts the Prizes as offered, and releases WVUS and related parties from any and all liability of any kind arising out of the Winner’s participation in the Competition and the Prizes, including any related travel. Proof of identification must be provided upon request.

    Criteria around deadlines Preliminary Round

    For the Preliminary Round of the Competition, WVUS will post on: (“Online Challenge Platform Site“), an online challenge statement explaining a development challenge that will need to be addressed in over the next 5 to 10 years.

    The Preliminary Round starts at 12:00 a.m. EST on November 1, 2018 and closes at 8:00 p.m. EST on February 22, 2019 (“Preliminary Round Close Date“). After the Preliminary Round Close Date, up to 5 Teams per challenge will be identified as finalists (“Finalists“).

    Final Round

    The Final Round will be a one day face-to-face pitch event and will be held in June, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario (“Final Round Pitch“). Due to the expansion of the competition, the exact date and venue is to be determined. After the Final Round Pitch, 1 Finalist per challenge will be selected as the winner (“Winner“).


Our solution consists of an idea that utilizes natural resources to filter contaminated water. In essence, we will be selling a kit that has a small piece of sapwood from local trees. This form of xylem filtration is often used...

Reach Relief

Reach Relief tackles the issues of potable water and its accessibility by utilizing a bicycle's pedal power. Following a daily renting business model, Reach Relief aims to provide bicycle stations at local sari-saris with available bicycles that purify water with...

H2Go: A Community-Based Water Solution for Sogod, Philippines

Our primary service is a water management system for Sogod’s communities. Through using currently available purification technologies, such as solar stills and iodine tablets, we will purify and store water in central collection locations, established at community centers for a...

Hydro Rhino- Water Delivery for Sogod

Hydro Rhino puts a spin on the existing business of drivers taking individuals to wells – instead, drivers will be bringing the drinking water to the individuals. The Hydro Rack is a water-carrying rig that attaches to motorbikes that makes...


Refer to attached PDF.

Message in a Bottle

Our solution is about raising awareness about the water crisis through the arts. We plan to have a website featuring contributors' work for sale. Profits will be used to provide filtered water bottles and build rain catchers in Sogod. We...

The WarterBoyz Bicycle/Motorcycle Water Filtration System

We are making a filtration system that utilizes the rotational movement from motorcycles and bikes. The system will be attachable to the backs of common bikes and bicycles like saddlebags. the system will filter water as the bikes move allowing...

Living Water a well and kiosk

It is a kiosk this gets water through a New well that is dug beside the kiosk. The water comes up from the ground by a pump and through a a filtering system. The water is clean now. Then...

H2yOu – Water Billboards

With the H2yOu water billboards, we will create water out of thin air! Using new technology to utilize the humidity of the air in Sogod, Cebu, we will be able to generate water for families in need living in Sogod....

UV Light Purification

VCS Team Purity plans to implement a modern ultraviolet light purification system into the existing water treatment plant in Sogod. Sogod Waterworks currently is unable to provide basic necessities to the citizens of Sogod. The current water treatment technology fails...

Poseidon – Water Harvesting

We want to create a product that collects water from plant transpiration and humidity in the air via a cooling system implanted in our affordable greenhouses that are located across Sogod. We are focusing on this challenge because we...