From Open-f@b Call4Ideas to the “Global Student Prize” for the most impactful student in the world. This is the story of Mirko Cazzato, an Apulian student and the only Italian chosen among the finalists of the prize, twin of the “Global Teacher Prize” dedicated since 2015 to the best teachers in the world, this year in its first edition.
Mirko is the founder of Mabasta, the startup that won Open-F@b Call4Ideas 2018, the fifth edition of the open innovation contest sponsored by BNP Paribas Cardif with InsuranceUp.
Participating in Open-F@b Call4Ideas was then the first step in an important growth path for Mirko, a springboard that brought him to the international forefront.
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Mabasta, the winner of the fifth edition of Open-F@b
Mirko Cazzato was 14 when, in 2016, together with his classmates founded the social startup Mabasta, an acronym for “Movimento Anti Bullismo Animato da STudenti Adolescenti”, which means “The anti-bullying movement of adolescent students.”
Despite his young age, his idea won the jury of Open-F@b Call4Ideas 2018, dedicated that year to the topic “Positive Impact Innovation”, designed to search for innovative solutions with positive social impact on people and society as a whole.
Positive impact that Mirko hit with his social startup, dedicated to fight bullying and cyberbullying in schools with actions carried out “from below”, by the same guys. He gained the first place and the support of the BNP Paribas Cardif R&D team for the development and implementation of the project.
Since then, and in particular since June 2020, the startup has experienced a progressive growth, until it became known throughout Italy. He has recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on the Eppela platform to raise funds for growth.
Mirko started about a year ago the project “1000 to 0 – Sport Wins Bullying Loses”, involving the Italian sports community, and is now attending a course dedicated to social entrepreneurship at the WeDo Academy in “learning by doing” mode, led by expert coaches.
“I am by no means a special person,” says Mirko warmly, “I am just a simple guy who believed and wanted to do something tangible to help others and, together with my classmates, we decided to deal with the awful behaviours of bullying and cyberbullying among young people.”
The young winner of Open-F@b Call4Ideas was the only Italian among the 50 finalists selected for the international award from over 3,500 applicants from 94 countries. Not only that, in October he passed the further shortlisting process, breaking into the top 10 finalists.
The overall winner will be announced in November, and Varkey Foundation together with Chegg.org, promoters and organizers of the prize, will deliver the prize of $100,000.
“I want to use this opportunity to invite all young people to engage in social issues,” said Mirko, “I care about bullying, but there are many other issues as important as this, such as eco-friendly development, fighting hunger, violence, discrimination, being close to the elderly, those who suffer, those who are in trouble, the 2030 Agenda is full of such issues. Helping others, either as a job or as a volunteer, lets us sleep every night with a grinning heart and wake up every morning with a great feeling of purpose.”
Open-f@b Call4Ideas, the commitment to accessibility and inclusion
Since its launch in 2014, Open-F@b Call4Ideas has represented BNP Paribas Cardif’s commitment to building a model of innovation that puts people at the center.
Mirko’s call particularly echoes the topics of this year’s call, which seeks innovative ideas for more affordable and inclusive insurance, open to all who need it.
“Insurance cannot be a luxury,” said Andrea Veltri, Deputy CEO Digital Transformation at BNP Paribas Cardif, “It cannot, for example, exclude those with specific illnesses, or neglect those who have any real difficulty in understanding policy conditions.”
Again keeping in mind the concept of openness and inclusion, new for this year is the partnership of the call with PNICube, an association gathering Italian academic incubators and business plan competitions. The new collaboration has allowed the contest to reach out to the universities of Italy and its students in a widespread fashion. Another Mirko could be among them.All rights reserved
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