YouTuber Louis Cole and social entrepreneur Dave Erasmus have been touring the world on a global talent search.
The two are currently halfway through their 30-day tour as they search for solutions to issues affecting countries and communities. The tour is part of the Solvey Project, which seeks video applications for people with ideas that could aid social progress. Louis, Dave, and a board of mentors will select seven winners who will receive between $1,000 and $10,000 for their ideas, along with intellectual and social aid.
In each country, Louise and Dave have been holding “Idea Jam Sessions”, where their viewers gather to discuss problems within their country and try to brainstorm potential solutions. Speaking to TenEighty about the sessions, Louis says: “Editing our jam sessions is really difficult, as getting amazing three hour conversations into three minutes is not something I’ve really had to do before, but it’s been powerful and a real privilege.”
Thus far, the two have visited Ethiopia, Dubai, India, China and South Korea, and plan to visit Japan and Rio de Janeiro before finishing up the tour in Iceland on 28 April. In one of their latest vlogs, the pair explain that these countries have been chosen out of a want to connect with people around the world that “often don’t have their voices heard” and to be more “representative of where the seven billion people in the world are”.
“We would love YouTubers who speak to their audiences in other languages to help globalise the Solvey Project by getting word out to their viewers,” explains Louis.
Dave adds: “We really want to encourage people to have audacious ideas, to speak out their dreams, and start making plans to try and make them happen!”
The tour has not been without its difficulties, with Dave citing China’s censorship laws – which block YouTube – as an example: “We did upload the video to Youku too, which is China’s version of YouTube! We ended up having a pretty international group in China – the smaller sessions can be really special, as they are more intimate.”
Additionally, former Icelandic prime minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson was set to be the person pressing the Publish button on Louis’ YouTube channel to open the application window for Solvey, but he has since resigned as a result of the “Panama Papers” leak. “The situation in Iceland has been really interesting, but ultimately good to see democracy prevail,” explains Dave, “and there is a new prime minister – Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson – and thankfully he will be fulfilling the prime ministerial role.”
— Louis Cole (@funforlouis) April 22, 2016
Louis has been sharing the experience through his daily vlogs as they travel from Ethiopia’s rooftops to Dubai’s seven-star hotel to the North Korean border. The pair have high hopes and are excited by the response to Solvey so far.
“Already on the tour, we have experienced more than we could ever have hoped. We can’t wait to see what applications we receive,” Dave concludes.
Those wishing to apply to Solvey must post their application video to YouTube and submit the link on the project’s website. The application window is open for two weeks from 28 April until 15 May.