Daria Vosmukhina, a student of the HSE University campus in Moscow, together with a team from Delai!, an ecology volunteer organization, has won a 450,000 thousand-rouble grant for developing a mobile app to encourage a more conscious way of living. We talked to Daria about her interest in environmental protection, the project and plans for its development.
At Delai!, we support environmental volunteering and are reviving the idea of ecological patriotism in Russia. I became interested in ecology when I was a secondary school student: I wrote a research paper on sea waste monitoring and was involved in some public activities. In this project, all the stars aligned for me.
I came to the association as a project volunteer and made quite a lot of progress in just ten months, becoming deputy chair. Initially, I only helped in organizing nation-wide activities, while today, I come up with the ideas as well as implementing them.
We are a big organization with over 55 regional offices. My team consists of ten students and graduates from different Russian universities.
When everybody went into lockdown in January 2021, we came up with an idea for a new project. We were tired of living online, but we couldn’t stop working. That’s how we invented a mini app, where everything would be very easy, fast, interesting and about ecology.
Our key audience is school and university students. The assignments are aimed at developing green habits, and understanding the basics of sustainable environmental development. In the mini app, you can complete assignments, create reports, get environmental news and track other users’ progress. There are both online assignments, such as learning about nearby national parks and posting about them on social media, doing a test and calculating one’s ecological footprint, and on-site ones, such as participating in an environmental event. For kids, we’ve developed creative assignments with eco-drawings and prototypes of alternative energy sources.
We believe that a competitive streak can play a big role in the development of green habits, stimulating the users to complete more assignments.
We give additional points for friend invitations via a referral link. For successfully completing achievements, we offer prizes such as tote bags, portable speakers, smart watches and many other things.
This year, we won a grant through the ‘Russia — the Country of Opportunities’ project at the ‘Territory of Purpose’ forum. Today, the application process is simple: it has been optimized and digitalized. Materials are available on Rosmolodezh, including resources and webinars, which helps a lot in the preparation of the project. From these, we learn how to set project goals properly, devise the project logically and develop a budget.
To achieve success, it is important to write a logical project application, to gather a strong team, and bring something unique.
The defence process takes three minutes, so everything should be precise and clear. I believe that prepared improvisation is the best method of public speaking, but if you don’t have enough experience, it’s better to write the text in advance and memorize the key points.
We will spend the money we won on a new season of the project. We plan to upgrade the app: this will include team participation, where users can work together as part of a student club. The captain adds the team members, and their ranking is made up of their joint work. We are also aiming to make the interface more convenient and in addition, we want to shoot five environmental education videos, organize live streams and online quizzes.