Jakob Otilius Flovikholm, 21 years old young changemaker from Norway, has been awarded the General Motors (GM) grant for youth between 13-21 working with climate equity initiatives.
The program offers workshops and opportunities for networking between young entrepreneurs and mentorship experts. The program focuses on co-leadership, where voices of young changemakers contribute to the decisions and ideas for Ashoka’s programs and initiatives.
What is the GM youth climate program?
The cohort of youth is comprised of 23 young entrepreneurs who have started initiatives that work to address climate inequities affecting the health of people and the planet. These can be social, technological or other methods of making changes that help improve climate and human health.
Jakob is Ashoka Nordic’s participant in the program, where he is representing his tech company MarConnect.
MarConnect designs and implements wireless communication technology and health solutions for ships and offshore platforms to increase safety and reduce the environmental impact of maritime operations.
The Story Behind MarConnect
MarConnect's story began after Jakob heard about the death of a friend’s father who suffered a heart attack while working on an offshore platform. Jakob then co-founded a company to implement intelligent systems and technologies that help save lives offshore.
Their products include an innovative communication technology that creates a local wireless network onboard ships to connect multiple sensors and systems; thus, improving location systems that enable tracking of personnel. For instance, they have developed smart bracelets that can detect the precise locations of personnel during emergencies. The system automatically detects man-overboard situations and irregular health activity among crew.
Addressing challenges that negatively affect health and the environment
Jakob is leveraging MarConnect’s technology and partnerships with third-party technology providers to rapidly reduce the environmental impact of many aspects of ship operations.
Through pilot testing, MarConnect has reduced the response time to emergencies offshore by 50%.
The technology implemented in MarConnect’s design and its methodology provides an example of how digital and automated solutions can help address problems that affect health and environmental impact. For example, part of the technology involves using a network of sensors to relay data needed for decision makers. It creates peer-to-peer communication across systems and equipment.
Our technology utilizes a sophisticated network of sensors to provide systems and decision makers with important data in real time. MarConnect’s unique solution also permits peer-to-peer communication across existing systems, machinery and equipment, enabling smartification of otherwise analog ships and installations, laying the foundation for a fully autonomous future.
Find out more about MarConnect’s work and technology on their site. You can also learn more about Ashoka Nordic’s youth programs and what it means to be a young changemaker here.