JA Social Innovation Camp | Junior Achievement of Northern California

JA Social innovation camp


During this one-day, project-based, intensive learning experience, students engage in and apply entrepreneurial and collaborative 21st century learning by solving challenges within the community. High school students, determined through an application process administered by JA, work in groups with their classmates and participate in brainstorming, idea generation, and ice-breaking techniques and exercises. 
All teams will be presented with the same hypothetical challenge. The goal is to find a creative and innovative business solution to the social challenge presented. Teams will be provided with a laptop, roadmap, and internet access. There will be a limited amount of time to draft a concept and PowerPoint presentation that illustrates each team's proposed solution. Teams will have access to business volunteers, who mentor and guide the students through the process of forming an achievable and realistic solution to the challenge. Teams will need to apply entrepreneurial and innovative thinking to arrive at their final solution. Teams will then present their solution before a panel of judges and the top team solution prototypes will be selected. 


21st Century Learning Objectives

The educational goals of Social Innovation Camps include:
  • Stimulate young people's innate innovative abilities and creative ideas.
  • Encourage young people to work well in teams to solve a real-life problem.
  • Bring young people in close touch with people from the business and public sector to learn more about what companies and organizations do, and the challenges they face.
  • Give students a learning experience that they would not otherwise have at their age.
  • Through technology, identify societal needs and achievable solutions.
  • Motivate students to succeed


Location and Event Details

JA Social Innovation Camps take place at a pre-determined location. Students are responsible for their own transportation to, and from the camp location. Lunch, snacks and beverages will be provided throughout the day to the students and volunteers.



Business leaders serve as Camp judges. Judges attend and evaluate each team's 3 minute PowerPoint presentation using JA provided evaluation materials. Each team's solution and presentation will be judged on the following criteria: 
  • The idea should be innovative. 
  • The business plan should be achievable and realistic.
  • The team must work cohesively.


General Competition Overview

  • Student Teams: After morning registration, introductory lessons and icebreakers, students will be organized into random teams of five.
  • The Challenge: One challenge will be presented to all groups. Students will then work within their teams to develop a solution to the challenge.
  • Plan Deadlines: Students will have a limited amount of time to create a PowerPoint presentation and a concept paper outlining their proposed solution. 
  • Advisory Session: Students will have access to the sponsoring company's mentors who will offer general guidance in the development of their solutions. 
  • Student Presentations: Student groups will present their solutions before a panel of judges and they will announce the top team. 



Beginning in 2010, JA also gratefully acknowledges the many partners who have supported the JA Social Innovation Camps:
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Robert Half
  • Union Bank
  • AT&T Inc.
  • Pacific Gas & Electric 
  • Microsoft
  • Samsung 
  • SAP
  • Ernst & Young
  • Jones Lang LaSalle 
  • Chevron Richmond 
  • PwC 
  • Cisco Systems Inc.
  • GE Digital
  • Campbell Union USD
Their dedication, support, and implementation of this locally developed program has inspired and prepared over 1,000 students for entrepreneurial thinking. We appreciate this partnership to help young people better understand the business and economics of life. 

Need More Information?

For more information about this event, please contact us!
See what JA Social Innovation Camp is all about:
  • "Junior Achievement has given me a sense of what adults go through with budget issues."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "Junior Achievement reinforced concepts for me to remember later in life."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "I thought the experience was amazing. The presentation was unlike anything I've seen."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "I liked how the Junior Achievement volunteer explained his job to us."

    -Junior Achievement Student

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