Simprints wins more honours

Toby Norman is named a Schwab Social Entrepreneur of the Year.

A Gates Cambridge Scholar has been named a Social Entrepreneur of the Year by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.

Toby Norman is one of 17 social entrepreneurs from around the world to have been chosen for the award.

Toby has been recognised for his role in Simprints, an organisation that uses fingerprinting to help the 1.5 billion people worldwide that currently lack an official ID.

“Many of our 2017 awardees partner with government in a variety of ways”, said Hilde Schwab, Co-Founder and Chairwoman of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, “as service providers, to embed innovative approaches into government-run systems, or in some cases even craft new laws, policies or regulations that have a direct nationwide impact”.

Toby will become part of the broader Schwab Foundation community of Social Entrepreneurs and will be fully integrated into the World Economic Forum’s events and initiatives aimed at generating solutions for a wide spectrum of global challenges.

The new Schwab social entrepreneurs will join a community of over 300. They were selected by the Foundation's board, which includes David Gergen, Director, Centre for Public Leadership, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; Johanna Mair, Professor of Organisation, Strategy and Leadership, Hertie School of Governance; Helle Thorning-Schmidt, CEO, Save the Children; and H.M. Queen Mathilde of Belgium, Honorary Board Member, in recognition of their innovative approaches and potential for global impact.

Simprints was co-founded by Gates Cambridge Scholars Daniel Storisteanu [2012], Toby Norman [2011] and Alexandra Grigore [2012] alongside Tristram Norman. A nonprofit tech company, it is building low-cost, fingerprint scanners for frontline workers in fields such as healthcare, finance and education.

Alexandra has recently been named by Women Who Tech as one of 10 finalists for the Women Startup Challenge Europe! The Pitch Competition will be held on May 3rd at London’s City Hall, hosted by the office of Mayor Sadiq Khan. Alexandra will pitch Simprints to a panel of investors including Baroness Martha Lane Fox, Founder of Doteveryone, and Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia.

Simprints was also recently invited to participate in the UN’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU)“Be He@lthy, Be Mobile" initiative to drive appropriate digital solutions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The workshop brought together the public sector, private industry, and development organisations to discuss harnessing ICT to benefit all.  Toby provided insights on the importance of creating incredibly low-cost tight feedback loops through the use of real-time data and training local ‘user champions’.