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The Giant Flag, South Africa

This is a green innovation project that celebrates the spirit of South Africa, her land and her people, while bringing together job creation, clean energy, climate change mitigation and tourism.

The Giant Flag
© The Giant Flag

Project name: The Giant Flag

Project location: South Africa

Website: https://www.giantflag.co.za/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/giantflag/

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Project description:

The Giant Flag is a world-first green innovation project that celebrates the spirit of South Africa, her land and her people, while bringing together job creation, clean energy, climate change mitigation and tourism.

We’re building a flag made up of millions of coloured desert plants, aquaculture tunnels and a four-megawatt solar field, on a previously barren tract of land. Named as one of the CNN 10 Ideas to Change the World and viewable from space at the size of 66 soccer fields, the Giant Flag will not only claim its place as a natural wonder, but also as a new model of economic stimulus for previously-disadvantaged communities. 60% of those employed on the Giant Flag will be women, which is double the national standard.

In order to bring the world into the project, we have established a very creative crowdfunder where anyone can adopt a plant in the Giant Flag through our website. They will receive a certificate with the plant type, their name the GPS coordinates of where the plant will be.

Goal and purpose of the project:

The goal of the Giant Flag is to create up to 700 permanent and diverse jobs on the project, in an area where there is now close to 40% unemployment. These include eco-tourism, technology, solar power, agriculture, management, security, environmental and botanical jobs.

The purpose of the project is to prove that creativity can change the world, and that it is possible - even highly necessary - to be able to blend initiatives that address poverty, climate change mitigation, employment for youth and women, and that also celebrates clean technology and ecological stability through botanical knowledge. We are also envisioning a South Africa where all of these things are proactively included in our national development plan, so doing this project in the form of our Flag is deliberate and intends to inspire both South Africans and the international community.

The Giant Flag
© The Giant Flag

Motivation of the applicant / applicant team:

Together with a small but formidable team, I have been hard at work on this project for several years now. I firmly believe that by building the Giant Flag, it would have an impact far beyond it's borders. I feel that this could serve as a robust example how we can address key issues facing us in the world through what we call compassionate capitalism; an opportunity to take smart social enterprise into the heart of an impoverished community, and effect immediate and long term socioeconomic change.

The Giant Flag can serve as a vision for a society that is becoming aware of its own imbalances, and seeks to bring some form of equilibrium to that world.

Use of prize money:

We are planning to build a pilot project, a 'mini'-Giant Flag, the size of one football field, right next to the site of the demarcated Giant Flag (as seen in the image uploaded). We will use all the same plants and for the black we'll create a large shaded area for people to view the site and learn about the larger project.

Our partner educational institution, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, will through it's Innovation Lab set up a small solar station (at their own cost) in the mini-Giant Flag which will read the daily radiation levels. This will be sent back to the Innovation Lab for their own studies, but will also be presented on a digital screen on site where visitors can see and understand the value of solar power as it is being generated.

We feel that a pilot like this could very much help capture the imagination of those visiting the site. To be on a fairly large Flag and yet grasp that the real Giant Flag will be 66 times the size, could very much inspire people! The prize money will be used towards building the mini-Giant Flag.