How do global citizens secure potable supply for 334 million people in sub-Saharan? African banking brand Standard Bank has launched a global crowd sourcing competition to discover fresh ideas to address this challenge.

The competition will set out to seek wisdom from interested parties on a global scale. It is the organisers hope that strides will be made in the direction of greater supply assurance through collaboration.

Standard Bank’s Water 4 Africa campaign is part of broader long-term strategy to use crowd sourcing to drive innovations that are relevant to its client base, as well as the communities within which the bank operates.

“Crowd sourcing is a growing international movement but is still a reasonably new concept in South Africa and the rest of Africa,” says Paul Steenkamp, head of innovation capability at Standard Bank.

“If done well, it can be a powerful tool to gather new ideas and practical efforts to address issues such as water and its conservation.”

He adds competitions and collaboration through platforms like Water 4 Africa assists institutions and consumers to work together towards common objectives. Cooperation on the Internet and via mobile platforms, facilitates a meeting of minds from across the world can be tapped so that global input can be mobilised to address wider social challenges.

“Africa is our home, and Standard Bank is committed to help nurture the continent’s growth. We’re challenging ourselves to behave more like a 150-year-old start up. This means that we have to embrace open and collaborative innovation, as well as becoming more agile. We’re delighted to be enabling this campaign on behalf of Jacqui Carnelley, our PBB SA head of marketing, research and communications” explains Steenkamp.