I mentioned a few weeks ago about the Gumball Challenge – a one-week competition that creatively engages students with microfinance. Student-teams are given a loan of $27 and one week to do something creative and entrepreneurial. At the end of the week, the loan is returned and any extra revenue does to the Gumball Fund – which loans to entrepreneurs in the developing world through Kiva. The whole thing is a project of Gumball Capital – a nonprofit started by Stanford students earlier this year. The Challenge is also being run at 5 other schools this month.
The Stanford Challenge is now heading into its 5th day, and the 9 competing teams have been doing some pretty awesome stuff! One team has being holding a Penny War in White Plaza and has raised over $60 (including some from our own Vice Provost ). Another team did In-n-Out runs on Thursday night and made $75. Others are hosting a Wii tournaments in the dorms or making 5ft towers out of quarters.
What excites me most about the Gumball Challenge is the creativity on speed. This idea is epitomized by the success of National Novel Writing Month, which is all of November. In 2006, 13k people wrote a 50,000 word novel, many who have never done anything like it before. The excitement of throwing things together, pushing through obstacles and achieving success in a creative way is addictive and awesome.
Now for that video I promised of Vice Provost John Bravman supporting the Penny War by smacking down the senior class. Ouch!