Empower Youth with Design Thinking Methods through STEM Innovation Challenge Samsung: 'Solve for Tomorrow' Timor-Leste 2024

June 26, 2024

H.E Mr. Shin Man-Taek, Korean Ambassador with First Winning Team from Secondary School ETI Fomento

Maria Silvia Dos Reis Lopes/UNDP Timor-Leste

Timor-Leste Accelerator Lab proudly led the implementation of Samsung’s Innovation Challenge the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow (SFT) Timor-Leste 2024. Students from 13 secondary schools and technical vocational schools in Dili and in Baucau were selected to enter the innovation challenge on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) for the first time in Timor-Leste. The Samsung SFT Innovation Challenge was an opportunity to apply skills in STEM to any pertaining issues in society and to create solutions that respond to the needs of the people.  During the preliminary session of Samsung SFT Timor-Leste in March 2024, students and teachers were invited to join three days of design thinking workshops where they learned how to use the design thinking methods for their project presentation. 

Accelerator Lab TLS team with Third Winner team from Escola Santa Madalena de Canossa.

Maria Silvia Dos Reis Lopes/UNDP Timor-Leste

The design Thinking method is an innovation method used by designers, engineers, and content creators to explore problems in-depth prior to working on the solutions. Since uncertainties and complexities continue to expose challenges to our human livelihood and the environment, we need to rethink better and collectively find solutions. Students and teachers admitted that the design thinking workshops helped them articulate their solutions in a more cohesive way and allowed them to think outside the box, be analytical, and use their own creativity to provide solutions. 
For Acc. Lab it was an inspiration that marked a commitment to do more innovation for Timorese youth and enable them to elevate their skills, gain feedback on their work, and improve their solutions prototypes. 
Empowering youth with 21st-century education has been the priority of the Timor-Leste government through the Ministry of Education and the Secretary of State for Secondary Schools and Technical Vocational Schools. ‘Young people need to be equipped with technology that enables them to be the solutions creator and motivator for the next generation’ Ms. Dulce, the Minister of Education for Timor-Leste. 
During the awarding ceremony His Excellency the Korean Ambassador for Timor-Leste Mr. Shin Man-Taek emphasized in his speech to all participants:
 “This is an outstanding event is a testament to your creativity and dedication, fostering the skills necessary to become transformative leaders in Timor-Leste. True leadership requires a commitment to learning and personal growth, and your efforts today are paving the way for a brighter future”. 

H.E Mr. Shin Man-Taek, Korean Ambassador delivered a speech during the award ceremony

Maria Silvia Dos Reis Lopes/UNDP Timor-Leste

The Samsung SFT Innovation Challenge Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was launched and signed on November 24th, 2023 in Dili between the president of Samsung New Zealand Mr. Hyungmin Chun, and The Secretary of State for Secondary Schools and Technical Vocational Schools, Mr. Domingos Lopes Lemos. The final pitch session was held in Dili on June 14th, 2024 at Novo Turismo Hotel. In the interview with the team lead from the first winning team Elio Ximenes said: 
“The message that I want to convey to other fellow students is that this is the opportunity to work collectively and collaboratively. Students, do not spend too much time using social media because that only enriches other people's country. Try to use what we already have to enrich our own country to contribute to our country's development.”

Photo groups of finalists in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition.

Maria Silvia Dos Reis Lopes/UNDP Timor-Leste

Check our press release to learn more about Samsung SFT Timor-Leste 2024: 

Samsung Innovation Challenge's Final Competition featured seven creative ideas from six  selected secondary schools. | United Nations Development Programme (undp.org)

Contact Us:

Grazela Maria Albino/ Head of Solutions Mapping UNDP Timor-Leste Accelerator Lab 


Julio Fernandes Pinto/Head of Experimentation UNDP Timor-Leste Accelerator Lab


"I am confident that with the passion and hard work you exhibit, Timor-Leste will see the rise of visionary leaders who will drive development and bring prosperity to our nation and its people."
Mr. Shin Man-Taek (The Korean Ambassador to Timor-Leste)