Kade Boehm, a senior at Cary-Grove High School, was on a team of six students from Brazil, Indonesia and New York that placed first at the 2021 Global Innovation Challenge out of over 1,500 international participants. The competition, developed by Virtual Enterprises International, tasked high school students from various countries with creating solutions for communities to combat climate change.
After working with Cary-Grove business teacher, Dave Cook, to register for the event, Boehm was placed on his team. He collaborated with his teammates online over the course of February, March and April, with the top three teams competing in the championship round on April 22, 2021. Boehm said the group met at least twice a week for about two months in preparation for three rounds of competition.
Students were partnered with corporate mentors over the course of the challenge to help develop their solutions and create a presentation. Boehm’s team was partnered with business professionals at Intuit.
“They taught us a lot about the process of making a product and presenting it. One of my favorite things I learned from them was to go broad, go narrow, and that means to go broad with ideas at first and just say whatever comes to mind and then narrow it down to the best ideas or combine ideas,” said Boehm.
Through virtual collaboration, his team proposed the implementation of an app for communities to use in determining the environmental impact of different products. The app was designed to evaluate products by producing a carbon emission score based on transportation, production process, materials, and more to inform consumers of whether a product is eco-friendly. Boehm and his team presented their plan to a Global Sustainability leader in Intuit, the Head of Corporate Sustainability from HSCB, the Head of CIB Latin America, the Head of CSR Americas at BNP Paribas, and a Chief Sustainability Officer, Americas at BNP Paribas.
Boehm credits the many business and marketing courses he took at Cary-Grove with preparing him for the level and intensity of this global competition.
“VEI, Marketing, and Intro to Business all helped me tremendously in this challenge because I already had so much experience working on promoting products, talking to people, building a business, and so much more,” said Boehm.
He plans to attend Western Kentucky University next fall to study marketing and business.