From Buckets to Rain Barrels, a joint initiative of Canada’s Carleton University and the residents of Longido District, Tanzania, has won the 2017 David Gillingham Award.
The prize honours projects that contribute to internationalization in business education, meaningfully engage students and faculty members, and have a significant impact on the school and wider community. This was the second year that the winner was chosen by audience vote, based on presentations delivered by the seven finalists at the NIBS Annual Conference.
From Buckets to Rain Barrels is both an educational and social initiative. Its aim is to provide residents of Longido with easier and more consistent access to clean water, while offering business, engineering and industrial design students from Carleton the opportunity to leverage classroom learning and work together to effect meaningful social change.
Each fall, students from the three academic areas form interdisciplinary teams and take courses to understand the need, acquire technical knowledge, and develop possible solutions to address the shortage of clean water. Students and faculty then travel to Africa, where they present their prototypes to various stakeholders in Longido District, and use this feedback to assess and refine their designs. Members of the local community are at the heart of these conversations, providing insights to guide next steps in the project.
According to Dr. Troy Anderson, faculty coordinator at Carleton’s Sprott School of Business, a key element in the success of the program is its long time horizon. Each year, a new group of students builds on the work of the previous group, in order to improve the design, technical aspects, and economic sustainability of the various projects. From Buckets to Rain Barrels has now been operating for three years, with teams travelling to Africa in early 2015, 2016 and again in 2017.
The David Gillingham Award was named in honour of NIBS founder and former president Prof. David Gillingham, and was first introduced at the 2013 NIBS Annual Conference.