FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

FINTECH FOR INCLUSION

LATAM-UK PROGRAMME

Please note that answers that are already provided in this FAQ will not be answered by email. Should you have any query that is not provided here, please send your doubt(s) here.

GENERAL BACKGROUND

What is Shaping Horizons?

Shaping Horizons is a registered open innovation methodology developed to accelerate social innovation, foster diplomacy, and overcome challenges aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The methodology consists of digital pre-incubation, in-person ideation, and a digital accelerator stage that lasts for one year. The in-person ideation phase takes the form of a summit and is set in a particular country/date, as announced in the application.

 

What happens during the digital pre-incubation stage?

During the pre-incubation phase, community leaders from diverse cultural backgrounds and professions are selected and assigned to work together in teams with expert mentorship. The teams meet regularly online and use a set of innovation tools to build their team; to identify and frame the social problem that they want to tackle; to begin thinking on their desired impact; and to understand what has been done already to try to solve this challenge. 

What happens during the in-person ideation stage (i.e., the summit)?

During the in-person ideation phase, participants get to meet in person their diverse teammates for the first time. They also get to know their cohorts and gather with senior leaders from industry, politics, and academia to take part in tailored sessions. The complete in-person experience is designed to help teams ignite ideas and transform them into projects that are ready to be prototyped. Moreover, it also lets them create their image and rethink their desired impact. All projects are pitched to a panel of judges so that teams can also receive feedback and become ready for their financial support provided by Shaping Horizons and/or partners.

What happens during the digital ideation stage?

During this phase, participants will use a set of innovation tools and take part in tailored sessions designed to ignite ideas. Teams that successfully complete the pre-incubation stage, but are not selected to participate in the in-person stage, will also have access to a digital version of some of the sessions of the in-person ideation stage.

 

What happens during the digital acceleration stage?

During the on-line accelerator stage, the teams build upon their prototype and learn how to establish partnerships. By providing another set of tools, the goal of this stage is that projects can grow to create a pilot and also begin measuring their impact. At this point, projects are eligible for further economic support provided by Shaping Horizons and/or partners.

 

What kind of support does Shaping Horizons provide?

Shaping Horizons will provide participants with tailored digital tools, training and mentoring on how to design a project so that it can become an economically sustainable initiative in the form of a social company, foundation or other similar structures. In addition, it will provide a network of like-minded people who will help the project thrive. Projects that are successful will also be eligible for Non-Equity financial support and/or support for more advanced programs (with covered expenses) to access venture capital.

Will I receive a participation certificate or other proof of having been selected as a participant?

Yes, we will provide you with an electronic participation certificate upon the successful completion of the digital pre-incubation stage and the in-person ideation stage or the digital ideation stage (a maximum of two certificates).

 

Can I use the set of innovation and impact tools from Shaping Horizons for my own organization?

Yes, all tools from Shaping Horizons are registered under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivatives 3.0 Unported License, so you are welcome to use them. Please note though that in any public reference or association, Shaping Horizons’ tools have to be properly acknowledged with the statement: “Shaping Horizons is the sole creator and owner of this tool.”. The tools cannot be modified and if you are planning to make commercial use of the tools, please write to us for written acknowledgement from our team prior to using them.

Can I participate only in the in-person ideation stage (i.e., summit) instead of the pre-incubation and accelerator stages?

No, if you have been accepted, it implies that you are interested and would like to take part in the complete program. Please also bear in mind the time commitment that this implies. We expect that the pre-incubation stage should take 4-8hs per week; the in-person/digital ideation stage amounts to around 48 hs of activities (i.e., the complete days of the summit); and the acceleration stage can take from 4hs up to as many hours as the team wants to spend per week.

What type of person is Shaping Horizons looking for?

We aim to find future leaders of our society that have the energy and vision to drive change. We particularly look for people with diverse backgrounds and those that represent minorities. Moreover, the participant should have a strong connection to either Latin America and/or the UK. We do NOT want serial applicants to international programs and/or people who only look forward to building a network for their own benefit. Instead, we want to give an opportunity for people who are committed to ignite change. We expect that you will have:

  • Demonstrated passion and commitment to solving the world’s pressing challenges.

  • Any nationality, having lived at least 3 years in either Latin America or the UK, with a view to remain in either region for the next year.

  • A creative and an innovative mindset.

  • Willingness to engage in co-creation with peers and experts.

  • High proficiency in English, with the ability to engage in complex discussions.

  • Between 20 and 32 years of age.

  • At least one year of experience working on a topic related to financial inclusion, fintech or analogous. 

  • Experience leading teams and leadership skills.

  • Bonus: Direct experience working in a development context.

 

Can Shaping Horizons Alumni apply?

Yes, Shaping Horizons Alumni can apply to the program and will be considered as any other applicant.

 

What kind of professional profiles is Shaping Horizons looking for?

  • Entrepreneurs: People who have recently launched or considered launching start-ups, organizations, or campaigns at a very early stage (both non- and for-profit).

  • Intrapreneurs: People who have improved or changed entities, e.g. through R&D, business development or organizational changes.

  • Academics: People who have acquired in-depth content knowledge, e.g. via a PhD position, post-doctoral position, research projects, or advanced master’s courses.

  • Technical experts: People who possess skills, tools, or know-how (e.g. in storytelling, design, technology, etc.).

  • Activists or community leaders: People who have helped to transform the reality of their local context through the creation of movements, social foundations or analogous.

 

Who owns the Intellectual Property (IP) rights of the ideas/solutions after Shaping Horizons?

Shaping Horizons’ methodology promotes the development of open innovation. Provided that participants decide in their own right to develop intellectual property, i.e. copyrights, patent rights, and design rights, participants working within their teams are solely responsible for determining future ownership. Shaping Horizons and its partners will not claim any IP and is not liable to solve any disputes within teams. However, Shaping Horizons does retain rights to use solutions developed for academic, outreach, and publicity purposes.

 

I am from Latin America and/or the UK but my organization does not target these areas, can I apply?

We aim to promote social impact in Latin America and the UK. If you live in Latin America and/or the UK, or have lived in either region for a number of years, then you can apply.

In which themes should I be knowledgeable and have demonstrated experience in order to participate in Fintech for Inclusion?

Financial Education: teaching or assisting, through consulting for personal or enterprise purposes, are what we imagine when we talk about financial education.

Digital payments: solutions for people and/or organizations that allow the exchange of goods. Some examples include: credit cards, pins, QR codes, facial recognition, fingerprints, and many more.

Savings and investments: solutions that aim to increase the financial resources of people and/or organizations. Some recent examples include: fixed-term savings, crowdfunding, stocks, and many more.

Loans and Microcredits: solutions that aim to increase the financial resources of those who need it to maintain their activities or livelihoods. Some recent examples include: micro-credits, crowdlending, and many more.

I am not 20 years old yet, but I will be by the time the program starts. Can I apply?

We are very sorry, but for organizational purposes, we can only accept applications of people who turned 20 before the end of the application deadline.

 

What level of English should I have to participate in Shaping Horizons?

Your level of English should be sufficient for reading and understanding reading material in the English language. It should also allow you to have complex work discussions. We will not ask for any certificate of proficiency in English.

Can teams apply?

No, unfortunately, we only accept applications on an individual basis.

Can I receive economic support or discounts from your partners?

We do not provide support to either contact or receive any type of support from our partners/sponsors for participants. You may contact our partners or other organizations to provide any type of support that you wish, but please note that we do not provide specific help for this other than an acceptance letter.

I have an unexpected problem and cannot continue the program or assist with the summit, can someone replace me? 

No, applications should be made on a personal basis and are evaluated as such. We take into consideration many factors to select the people taking part in Shaping Horizons, so we regret to inform you that we cannot accept replacements.

 

I have to attend a religious holiday/event or I have special requirements due to my religious beliefs, would that be taken into consideration?

Yes, we welcome all religions. Should you have any doubt or require extra support, please share this with us at info@shapinghorizons.org so that we can better help you with this.

 

What activities are paid for by the organizers?

All courses, activities and materials for the digital pre-incubation, digital ideation and digital acceleration stages are covered by Shaping Horizons. 

For the in-person stage, all digital materials are provided for free. Moreover, we will also cover the expenses of your accommodation and main meals during the in-person ideation stage (i.e., during the summit). Please note that transportation to and from Buenos Aires, snacks, drinks or any other personal/social meal outside of official events, will not be provided by Shaping Horizons. 

Does Shaping Horizons have a startup network and/or an online community?

Yes, we do have a specialized network that you will join for free and for a lifetime. Please note that we do reserve the right to remove you from the network should you commit any serious offense, following our policy procedures. You can also ask us to be removed from the network at any time. If we require your consent for any specific use of your personal information, we will collect it at the appropriate time and you can withdraw permission at any time.

 

Can I submit an application after the closing date?

We strongly advise you to submit your application at least 24 hrs prior to the closing date and time. Please note that we cannot accept late applications and/or applications that have not been fully submitted due to last-minute problems such as internet access or data traffic. If you miss the deadline, we suggest that you follow us on social media or subscribe to our newsletter so that you can stay tuned for the next program.

 

ONCE THE APPLICATION IS SUBMITTED

 

Should I email or write on social media to any of the program organizers to inquire about doubts and/or showcase my interest in the program?

Please note that we receive thousands of applications and we work very hard to analyze them on an individual basis. Hence, writing to us is not a good idea and, in fact, it may be detrimental for your application. If you have particular concerns not answered here, you are very welcome to send it here, as described in the beginning of the FAQ. 

 

How much time should I wait to find out whether I have been accepted? Should I email to inquire about the status of my application?

Please bear with us while we analyze all applications. Accepted applicants will be informed before the beginning of the program. You will be notified both if you have been accepted or if you have not been accepted, so kindly wait for our reply with the outcome of your application. 


 

FAQ FOR THE DIGITAL PRE-INCUBATION STAGE

When does the digital pre-incubation stage begin and end? 

The digital pre-incubation stage starts on September 25 and ends on December 24.

 

Are we working as individuals, teams or both?

You will be working as a team. Teams are arranged by Shaping Horizons based on a shared problem in which all members have proven interest. All work must be conducted as a team effort, but we will be assessing each participant individually as well. 

 

How much dedication is needed to fulfill the program?

We cannot ensure an exact number of hours, since it depends on each participant's own learning pace and team's interaction. Our expectation is that you will have to dedicate between 4 and 8 hours per week with your team to complete the program successfully.

How frequently will there be work to do in our teams?

This will depend on the stage of the program in which you are at. However, you can expect working sessions on a weekly basis, and you will be required to provide deliverables every 2 to 4 weeks.

 

What will the sequence of activities be?  

Digital pre-incubation stages include: on-boarding team; team building activities; problem framing; targeting the user; interviewing tools; thinking about social impact; searching for existing solutions.

 

How will communications take place? 

We will use Slack for all communications. Please note that all formal communications from Shaping Horizons will take place in a designated Slack Channel. Using Slack for your teamwork is mandatory and the evaluation criteria for successfully completing the program will take into consideration the use of Slack as a collaborative working tool. 

What are the team leaders’ responsibilities and tasks? 

Team leaders have the responsibility to make things happen in their team and strong motivation, as well as a connection with the challenge that the team aims to solve. Some of his/her tasks include sending deliverables to the Shaping Horizons’ Team and assessing whether team members are active or not. The team leader is defined by the team itself during the initial weeks of the digital pre-incubation stage.

 

Can we change to another team or create a new one? Can teams merge? 

Since the digital pre-incubation stage is a learning process focused on teamwork and team effort, it is important that teams remain as solid as possible for the duration of the program. We offer team building tools, support, and assessment to make each team work at its best. We only offer the possibility of restructuring for teams which are losing most of their members by the third week of the program. We regret to inform that teams with less than three members will not be able to continue the program. 

 

I have been working on a project related to my team’s target problem, can I bring this project to work on with my team?

The digital pre-incubation phase focuses on identifying and framing a social problem. The idea is that the team feels passionate about this challenge and aims to tackle it. Hence, the goal of this stage is to work on problems, not solutions. Therefore, any solution that you may have in mind, even to the challenge being discussed with your team, is out of the scope of this stage. If your team makes it successfully to the ideation stage, then you can bring into the discussion any solution that you would like the team to consider.  

Can I ask for help from people outside of the program for completing specific tasks?

You may contact people or organizations to provide any type of support that you wish, but please note that we do not provide specific help with this. Any third party involved will not be considered part of the Shaping Horizons network or program. Therefore, said third party will not receive any sort of certification for the help they provide to your team. Should you consider that this organization could become a partner of Shaping Horizons, we will be happy to discuss this with the organization. Please let us know by contacting us at info@shapinghorizons.org.

What happens if I get sick or have a health issue? 

If you have a health issue that prevents you from participating in the program or fulfilling your task as a team member, please let your team leader know. We will do our best to help you through the process, but keep in mind that if your situation extends for more than 4 weeks and you are unable to get involved in any of the activities of the program, Shaping Horizons might ask you to withdraw your participation.

 

Can I receive feedback from my deliverables?

We aim to provide brief feedback to all the teams but please do bear in mind that this will be subject to the number of teams of the year’s program. We will not provide a discussion session.

Will I receive a certificate for my participation in the digital pre-incubation phase? 

All the people who fully complete the digital ideation stage and meet the minimum quality criteria will receive a digital certificate stating all of the aspects that they worked in.


 

FAQ FOR THE IN-PERSON IDEATION STAGE

 

When should I arrive in Buenos Aires?

You should arrive in Buenos Aires before April 26, 2021.

 

Until which date should I stay in Buenos Aires?

We expect you to stay, at the very least, until the end of the summit, which ends on May 1, 2021. We do not accept exceptions, as participation in the complete program is mandatory.

 

What is the selection criteria for the in-person stage?

Participants’ performance will be assessed primarily by teamwork, but we will further evaluate participants on an individual basis. A few candidates, from the teams which were not selected or did not complete all of the requirements from the ideation stage, might be selected for the in-person phase. A committee will use a standardized grading system for the teams’/individuals’ selection for the in-person ideation stage. The following criteria will be used:

 

Selection criteria for teams to participate in the in-person ideation stage:

 

  • Timely delivery of all products of the digital pre-incubation stage.

  • Relevance of the problem identified and clarity on presenting it in the deliverables.

  • Quality of the deliverables from the innovation journey. This will consider scalability, feasibility, how innovative the idea is, its potential impact and other factors.

  • Motivation and diversity of the team.

  • Teams will be accepted and invited only if three or more people fulfill all of the criteria.

  • Teams can only participate if at least three of the members can come in person. Team members that cannot travel to Buenos Aires can participate remotely in the ideation stage.

 

Selection criteria for individuals to participate in the in-person ideation stage:

 

  • Active participation in the digital platforms.

  • Individuals should not already be a member of one the selected teams.

  • Individuals have demonstrated team spirit.

  • Are willing to receive specialized training.

 

What will the sequence of activities be?  

Stages of the ideation phase include: ideation; benchmarking; impact studies; first steps of your image; how to prototype; open innovation notions; rethinking team abilities and needs; preliminary costs to start off with.

 

What if someone from the team cannot come to the summit?

If one of the team members cannot come to Buenos Aires, he/she can take part as an online participant. Please bear in mind that for logistical reasons and to make the most out of the program, only teams that confirm the presence of at least three members in Buenos Aires will take part in the in-person stage.   

 

If my team gets selected for the in-person stage, but I cannot travel to Buenos Aires, could I still be considered as an Ambassador assisting online? 

Yes, there are two ideation stages that will take place in parallel. We aim to be as inclusive as possible, so we will make the phases and talks of the ideation stage available digitally. You will be considered a part of our network and have access to all resources to advance your project.

 

Do I need to bring my computer to work on the in-person ideation stage?

Yes, we will not provide computers for co-working.

 

Can I receive feedback from my deliverables?

Yes, all teams that successfully make it to the ideation stage will receive feedback throughout the process.

 

Will somebody help me book flight tickets for the summit?

No, we do not provide specific support for aspects related to traveling from your home city to the summit.

 

Will somebody help me figure out if I need a visa or with the necessary paperwork?

You are solely responsible for acquiring all of the relevant information with regard to your entry into the country in which the in-person ideation stage takes place (i.e., summit). Please note that we do not provide advice or cover costs for visas. We suggest that you ask the relevant embassy or consulate for such information instead. Please note that participants often also require a transit visa in case they do not take direct flights, therefore we strongly advise you to look for this information as well. The only aspect that we provide support on is if you require an acceptance letter. If this is the case, please indicate so in the acceptance form of the in-person ideation stage. 

 

Will I receive life, travel or health insurance coverage during the in-person ideation stage (i.e., summit)?

No, Shaping Horizons will not provide insurance for participants. You are solely responsible for obtaining all of the insurances that you feel you require for your participation.

 

I need to provide an acceptance letter for my job so that I can assist with the in-person ideation stage. Can Shaping Horizons assist me on this? 

Shaping Horizons will send an acceptance letter to all individuals invited to the in-person ideation stage. You may use this to provide proof of your in-person participation. 

 

Where will I be staying?

You will receive notice of your accommodation one month prior to the in-person stage (i.e., summit).

 

Can I stay in a different location?

For organizational purposes, we prefer all applicants to stay in the accommodation provided by Shaping Horizons. 

 

Can I have a single room?

You will receive notice about rooms if you are selected. In general, most rooms will be shared with a same-sex participant.

 

Can I bring family, children or friends to the in-person ideation stage (i.e., summit)?

No, unfortunately, we do not allow individuals other than accepted participants to attend.

 

I have certain dietary restrictions and/or other special requirements, will these be taken into consideration?

Yes. Prior to your attendance, you will be asked to submit information on any specific requirements and/or special needs. 

 

I have to attend a religious holiday/event or I have special requirements due to my religious beliefs, will that be taken into consideration?

Yes, we welcome all religions. Once you are accepted, you will be sent a form that considers these aspects. Should you have any doubt or require extra support, please share this with us at info@shapinghorizons.org so that we can support you on this.

 

What if neither my team nor myself individually were selected to participate in the ideation stage?

We apologise if this is the case. The program has been designed to be competitive in nature and, owing to limited resources, we cannot accept everyone. Unfortunately, this means that you will not become part of the Shaping Horizons network. You are welcome to apply to future programs though.


 

FAQ FOR THE DIGITAL IDEATION STAGE

 

When does the digital ideation stage begin and end? 

The digital ideation journey starts on April 26, 2021, and ends on May 1, 2021.

 

What is the selection criteria for the digital ideation stage?

Teams that have submitted all of the deliverables for the ideation stage, but were not selected for the in-person program, will be eligible to participate in the digital ideation. No individuals will be invited to participate in the digital ideation phase. 

Selection criteria for teams to participate in the digital ideation stage include:

 

  • Timely delivery of all products of the digital pre-incubation phase.

  • Relevance of the problem identified and clarity on presenting it in the deliverables.

  • Quality of the deliverables from the innovation journey. This will consider scalability, feasibility, how innovative the idea is, its potential impact and other factors.

  • Motivation and diversity of the team.

  • Teams will be accepted and invited only if three or more people fulfill all of the criteria.

 

What if someone from the team cannot continue with the program? 

Only teams of at least three participants can continue with the program. If a team member decides to leave the program upon the completion of the digital pre-incubation phase, but the team remains with at least three members, then the team can be eligible for the ideation phase. 

 

What will the sequence of activities be?  

The sequence of activities will be the same as the in-person ideation. Stages of the ideation phase include: ideation; benchmarking; impact studies; first steps of your image; how to prototype; open innovation notions; rethinking team abilities and needs; preliminary costs to start off with.

 

Will I receive a participation certificate or other proof of having been selected for the digital ideation stage?

All of the individuals that fully complete the digital ideation stage will receive a certificate.


 

FAQ FOR THE DIGITAL ACCELERATION STAGE

 

When does the digital acceleration stage begin and end? 

The digital acceleration journey starts in May 2021 and ends in September 2021.

 

What will the sequence of activities be?  

Stages of the digital acceleration phase include: team building; partnerships; prototyping; piloting; measuring impact; growing and replicating strategies.

What is the selection criteria for the digital acceleration stage?

All teams that successfully complete either the digital or in-person ideation phase will take part in the digital acceleration stage. 

 

Will I receive a participation certificate or other proof of participation in the acceleration stage?

We offer up to two certificates (digital pre-incubation and ideation stages). We do not provide certificates for the acceleration stage, because, throughout this phase, you will already constitute an organization, this, in and of itself, will be your certification.

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The Shaping Horizons Methodology to foster open innovation is registered under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivatives 3.0 Unported License. This include webpage and all material thereof, excluding name and logo.