WASHINGTON, DC --(Marketwired - April 12, 2016) - 16 bright, energetic, and resilient high school students in Sana'a, Yemen have organized into three teams to contribute their unique experiences and insights aimed at combatting three global crises as part of the 2016 Wharton DC Innovation Summit's inaugural "Global Crises Innovative Solutions Challenge".

Part solutions hackathon, part innovation contest, the Challenge requires student teams of 2-6 to first determine a global crisis in which they are passionate about solving. A Wharton (University of Pennsylvania) alumnus is assigned to serve as coach as teams embark on problem identification, brainstorming, solution development, and ensuing implementation, impact and sustainability plans, all within 24 hours over the course of 3 weeks. The project culminates in a 12 minute video presentation that will be submitted to a panel of judges at the Wharton DC Innovation Summit on April 27th.

For the past year Yemen has been on the receiving end of airstrikes, bombings, and sniper attacks which has thrust the struggling nation into severe instability and astoundingly, faith and optimism persists. A powerful testament to the strength of the Yemeni spirit is evidenced by the students' initiative and enterprising nature.

Principal Economic Officer, Embassy of Yemen, Abdulrahman Al-Eryani, states: "Empowering Yemen's youth with an international venue to showcase their creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation contributes to the sustainable development of the country."

Alan Schlaifer, Chairman of the Wharton DC Club and Founder of the Wharton DC Innovation Summit believes, "We are fortunate that Yemeni students have signed on to assist in formulating ingenious ideas toward solving global crises and we are quite impressed with their enthusiasm and drive." 

Adds Lisa LaBonte, CEO of the Arab Youth Venture Foundation, creator of the GCISC Challenge: "In working with the talented youth of Yemen, one message truly resonates: dignity, dreams, and the can-do spirit cannot be crushed in the hearts of young Yemeni."

The Wharton DC Innovation Summit's "Global Crises Innovative Solutions Challenge" will take place on Day Two of the April 26th and 27th event and will demonstrate innovative solutions to global crises by co-ed Yemeni, Afghani, Palestinian, and American high school students. www.whartondcinnovation.com

For further information, please contact

Wharton DC Innovative Summit:
Global Crises Innovative Solutions Challenge
Georgia Marshall/Lisa LaBonte
USA Cell: +1 202 796 3455

Wharton DC Innovation Summit
Ali Qureshi, Chairman
Cell: 703 863 2677

About the Wharton DC Innovation Summit:

Now in its third year, the 2016 Summit is set to deliver on its theme: "Boost Your Innovation IQ" with singular experts sharing their critical innovations and key leaders in DC and across the globe as panelists discussing trends in areas such as IoT, healthcare, impact investing, blue ocean strategy, cybersecurity, drones, and much more. The Summit is a program of the Wharton DC Alumni association, one of most active, largest clubs in Wharton's global 93,000+ strong alumni network.


About the Wharton School - University of Pennsylvania

The world's first collegiate school of business founded in 1881, the Ivy League University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School's graduate, undergraduate and executive education programs have been consistently rated among "the best in class" in the U.S. and world in the company of Harvard, Stanford, Chicago, MIT and Columbia. Wharton's MBA program has received many ratings among the top five from Business Week, the Financial Times, and the Wall Street Journal. This includes record #1 rankings from the Financial Times during the last two decades alone. 

About the Arab Youth Venture Foundation (AYVF):

AYVF is a United Arab Emirates (UAE) based NGO and the Middle East pioneer in extra-curricular STEM and space education, training and outreach. An education consultancy, idea factory and launch pad empowering aspiring engineers, technologists, and entrepreneurs, AYVF creates professional development programs for STEM educators and delivers training for K-12 and university students with strategic emphasis on career preparation.

Since 2007 AYVF has directly served and inspired over 205,000 youth ages 6 to 24 (predominantly 6 to 15) across 103 nationalities. AYVF is the leading regional practitioner of Science Diplomacy and is the founding member of the GCC's first United Nations Association, the citizens' movement of the U.N., working to increase the number of Model U.N. clubs in UAE high schools. 

At the university level, AYVF's strategic overseas training practicums and internships support workforce development and dynamic careers with a focus on emerging GCC economic sectors such as aerospace, aviation, sustainable energy, water, power, nuclear, and ICT/cybersecurity.

AVYF is best known for its NASA innovative partnership that began in 2009 and for the historic UAE NASA Research Fellows internship program. In 2015 AYVF became Lockheed Martin Space Systems partner for innovation, Middle East.

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Contact Information:

Dalyce Semko Suanez
Phone: (403) 869-3259
E-Mail: d.suanez@open2america.com

Georgia Marshall/Lisa LaBonte
Wharton DC Innovative Summit
Phone: 1 202 796 3455
E-Mail: stem@whartondcinnovation.com