#Connect2Effect Winning Teams Visit NYC for concluding activities

In the summer of 2016, Influx Trust approached the UN SDG Action Campaign with a simple yet ambitious idea: what if we could host simultaneous hackathons around the world, bringing together the best in social enterprise to crowdsource solutions for the SDGs?

From 16-17 May, the #connect2effect project held its concluding activities, bringing together winners from Bali, Chandighar, and London with diplomats UN colleagues, innovators, and many other stakeholders at the United Nations.

“Around the world, people who experience the daily challenges that the SDGs were created to solve also hold the solutions. Initiatives like #connect2effect ignite the creative spirit and foster collaboration, serving as the spark to convert ideas into actions. We remain committed to projects which support community led action for the SDGs.” said Mitchell Toomey, Director of the UN SDG Action campaign

 

In March, 750 social innovators completed a 48 hour hackathon, organized simultaneously in 9 cities around the world. These winning teams were coached to hone their ideas, which were presented on a new crowdfunding site,  https://crowdfunding.connect2effect.com/. This site will promote the ideas emerging from the hackathon and any other creative projects supporting the SDGs in the future.

“#Connect2Effect is testament to the power of collaboration possible between the UN and social entrepreneurs in addressing the SDGs together. We’re delighted that this joint effort by the UN SDG Action Campaign, Influx Trust have paved the way for optimising worldwide impact on the SDGs” said Max Kalis, CEO & Founder of Influx Trust.

The results this inaugural year were astounding:

  • 9 hackathons organized simultaneously in Bali, Bahrain, Chandigarh, Geneva, Lagos, Lisbon, London, NY and Rio
  • 750 social entrepreneurs, tech experts, UN experts and mentors participated
  • 90 pitches, with 9 regional winners and 3 global winners
  • Hundreds of thousands of social media views

K.GutekunstDuring their visit to New York City, the winners presented their ideas numerous times at the United Nations Headquarters.  The audiences of representatives from the United Nations, including the Office President of the General Assembly, UNDP, UN Women, the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, witnessed the progress made, learned about the hacking process, and discussed the details of the ideas of the winners.

Following the pitching roundtable, the winners were invited to an intimate meet and greet with H.E. Mr. Peter Thomson, the President of the UN General Assembly, who received them in the General Assembly Hall itself. The President mused about the ideas, congratulating the teams on identifying some interesting local problems, and coming up with very innovative solutions.

“The world is changing rapidly. We need to keep up with this change yet conserve our cultural values by incorporating more sustainable practices.” H.E. Mr. Peter Thomson, President of the United Nations General Assembly

The President was impressed by the quality of all winning projects. He identified with Niskala’s cultural waste program, having attended Balinese traditional ceremonies many times as a Fijian. He applauded Paperless’ commitment to working with those most in danger of being left behind in India through their magnetic braille tablet, and he was intrigued by eQuality’s way of empowering consumers with the knowledge to make more ethical decisions.

The meet and greet concluded with a photo opportunity on the dais of the GA, with the President surrounded by the winners and organizers.

The final pitch was given by all teams during A View From the Cloud, organized by World Council of Peoples for the United Nations and the Streaming Museum. This event united artist, scientists, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and civil society in a series of thoughtful discussions on how art and technology can influence and change our world.

“The experience of coming to New York and sharing their initiatives with UN representatives has been invaluable to this year’s winners of Connect2Effect. It has offered opportunities to improve not just the prospects for their work but has also provided powerful inspiration for these social entrepreneurs personally,” concluded Kalis.

For more information, please visit: connect2effect.com 

9 startups compete to present their SDG solutions at the UNHQ

9 global startups have been selected to be part of a competition to seek support for their proposed solutions to one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and be selected to present their ideas to decision makers at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City in the margins of the STI Forum in May 2017.

On March 10-12th 800 participants from nine cities and five continents  connected and collaborated during the Influx Trust #Connect2Effect 48-hour global hackathon (an intense 48hr start up idea prototyping session) organised with the support of the UN SDG Action Campaign around three of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals: Goal 9, Goal 10 and Goal 12. These 17 Goals are the world’s greatest challenges as agreed by 193 member states. Influx Trust and its organising partner Adpreneurs have created a compelling and innovative way for people and organisations to get involved in the effort to pursue these goals

The hackathon kicked off in each region with a unique message from H.E. Mr. Peter Thomson, President of the United Nations General Assembly: “Throughout the tenure of my Presidency, my office and I will remain firmly committed to fostering new methods of increasing awareness about the new agenda, and ways of working across sectors to achieve its implementation. As such, we look forward to closely following the outcomes of the hackathon, and will warmly welcome the winners to the United Nations Headquarters.” 

WHY THIS IS WORTH SHOUTING ABOUT?

In just one weekend the event generated 90+ world-changing startup ideas, 20K Facebook followers, 3 million impressions of #Connect2Effect and 200K views of H.E. Thomson’s, public endorsement video.

The nine #Connect2Effect winners will now spend the following month honing and marketing their idea, competing for the chance to pitch their ideas at the New York UN Headquarters in the margins of the second annual Science, Technology and Innovation Forum on May 15-16th 2017.

In the lead up, Influx Trust are launching a crowdfunding platform (crowdfunding.connect2effect.com) for the wider public to support the winning teams as the projects develop and go beyond the hackathons and into the real world. The success of the crowdfunding campaigns will form a component of the evaluation for who will win. Once the competition has ended, this platform will launch to the public as a crowdfunding platform specifically for solving ideas for the SDGs.

WHAT ARE THE 2017 SELECTED SDG GOALS?

The UN’s 193 member states have agreed to 17 goals as priorities for the world to tackle by 2030. This year Influx Trust focused on 3 of them:

SDG 9 – Industry, Innovation Infrastructure

SDG 10 – Reduced Inequalities

SDG 12 – Sustainable Consumption & Production

WHO ARE THE REGIONAL WINNERS?  

  1. BAHRAIN (SDG 9): Paperless – E-receipts that cut down on paper waste
  1. BALI (SDG 12):  Niskala – Educate and reduce waste generated from religious festivals that are a large contributor to the severe waste issues Indonesia is suffering with
  1. CHANDIGARH (SDG 9): Help aid the education of blind children with a paperless Braille tablet
  1. GENEVA (SDG 12): 24/7 –  Access to Antiretroviral Treatment for people on the move
  1. LAGOS (SDG 9): Smart Transit – A culturally appropriate app to tackle poor transit in Nigeria by offering   local transport information in real time
  1. LISBON (SDG 9): Lettuce Grow – An app that connects small scale farmers directly with consumers to boost agricultural industry and local economy
  1. LONDON (SDG 9): eQuality – A system that allows shoppers to educate themselves around the ethical, political & environmental impact of their product purchases
  1. NEW YORK (SDG 12):  Kindred  – The world’s first closed-loop marketplace for sustainable garments.
  1. RIO DE JANEIRO (SDG 10): Jardim DigitaL – An app that connects refugees with jobs open and available to them by fair and honest employers .

Overall the #Connect2Effect initiative has proven that there is a widespread desire for open innovation between the public and the UN on the Sustainable Development Goals and that this work can be expected to grow in terms of impact and scope. You can learn more about this project  www.connect2effect.com

Check out the 9 SDG solutions and support your favourite ideaYou can also follow the story on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @InfluxTrust #Connect2Effect to see things unfold in real-time.

WANTED: 1000 Hackers to Help Change the World in 3 Days

Apply until 3 March 2017 to become a Sustainable Development Goal Entrepreneur!

Website:   www.connect2effect.com        Facebook, Twitter & Instagram:  @InfluxTrust.

From 10 to 12 March 2017, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Action Campaign, the Office of the President of the United Nations General Assembly and Influx Trust are teaming up to turn 1000 people in 9 cities around the world into SDG Entrepreneurs during the inaugural #Connect2Effect event, a 3-day global hackathon around the SDGs. Winners of the hackathon will be invited to present their work at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, NY USA.

In September 2015, 193 countries agreed to work together on a 15-year global plan to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all by 2030. This plan includes 17 Goals that serve as an urgent guiding masterplan to tackle the world’s greatest challenges and ensure that no one is left behind. Innovative individuals are urgently needed to join together with countries and partners to turn the bold and ambitious global plan into action. See the 17 SDGs here.

To rapidly generate an unprecedented level of innovation and collaboration around the SDGs, the 3-day #Connect2effect Global Hackathon will bring together these innovators with different skillsets ranging from marketing to programming to designing.

The event will produce a series of basic workable prototypes that can be further expanded after the event. The best ideas will be developed and supported through local incubation programmes, mentoring on crowdfunding platform. Winners will receive an invitation to pitch their ideas at the UN Headquarters in New York at the Science, Technology & Innovation Forum taking place at the UN Headquarters in NYC 15th – 17th of May.

Mitchell Toomey, Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign stresses the value of #Connect2Effect for the UN: “At the UN SDG Action Campaign, we consistently strive to find ways to reach new audiences to inform and inspire them about the SDGs. We also empower individuals to work together and serve as agents of change, honouring the best solutions in a variety of methods. We are eager to empower the best creative thinkers and problems solvers to help the UN and governments achieve their goals”.

H.E. Peter Thomson, President of the United Nations General Assembly, fully supports the #Connect2Effect initiative: “Each and every one of us has a critical role to play – as individuals role-modeling sustainable living, as innovators and creative thinkers conceiving new ideas, and as activists working with others to implement solutions to shape our world towards a sustainable future. I look forward to being inspired by the outcomes of the hackathon and to warmly welcome the winners to the United Nations“

The initiative is the first of an annual series which over time will create a sustained network of individuals who can mentor each other and work together to come up with the best ideas for achieving the SDGs, as Max Kallis, CEO of Influx Trust points out: “We are eager to support the UN by leveraging our network and expertise to come up with solutions to some of the world’s greatest problems.”

This year’s hackathon will bring together people in Manama, Bahrain, Lagos, Nigeria, Chandigargh, India, and Lisbon, Portugal to tackle industry innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9), in London, U.K., and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to reduce inequalities (SDG 10) and in Bali, Indonesia, Geneva, Switzerland and New York City, USA to generate a shift towards more responsible consumption and production (SDG 12).

FACTS & FIGURES:

  • 1000 Entrepreneurs, thinkers and creatives working together across 9 global locations (Manama, Bali, Chandigarh, Geneva, Lagos, Lisbon, London, New York and Rio) on 5 continents.
  • 193 United Nation Member States
  • 17 Sustainable Development Goals to solve by 2030
  • 72 hours for teams to collaborate and help hack three of the SDGs.
  • 6 Headline Partners for #Connect2Effect 2017 to help our teams with the resources they need.
  • 3 SDGs to hack during #Connect2Effect
  • 1 Crowdfunding platform that will take an idea and put it in the market in a weekend.

ABOUT THE COLLABORATORS:

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The Influx Trust
is a UK charity that fosters a community of individuals and businesses eager to share their knowledge and resources to support the UN’s priorities. @InfluxTrust

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The UN SDG Action Campaign is a global interagency initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General, with the mission of ensuring that everyone has the support, encouragement and capability to advocate and act to ensure the SDG agenda is brought to life. It recognises and celebrates the innovators, conveners and break-through actors who are transforming lives, tackling trade-offs and generating practical solutions to some of the world’s most intractable development problems. The Campaign is supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the German Federal Government. @SDGAction

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The President of the General Assembly is an annually geographically rotating position voted for by representatives in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The President of the 71st and current session, H.E. Mr Peter Thomson from Fiji, presides over the General Assembly, one of the principal organs of the United Nations. Made up of all the 193 Member States of the UN, the General Assembly provides a forum for multilateral discussion of the full spectrum of international issues covered by the UN Charter. It meets in regular session intensively from September to December each year, and thereafter as required. @UN_PGA

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Jayne & Misael | Kitsch.inc on behalf of Influx Trust | kitschinc.digital@gmail.com
Kristin Gutekunst | UN SDG Action Campaign | kristin.gutekunst@undp.org
Katharina Kandt | Office of the President of the UN General Assembly| kandt@un.org