25 MY World Advocates have started their actions in Southeast Asia. Through the programme, these changemakers carry out various activities to raise awareness about Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to increase citizens engagement and to inspire concrete actions on the ground. We are excited to share some of our advocates’ actions which already took place.
Nadhilah Muhammad Razak – a Malaysian advocate has the passion for environmental education. She has visited various schools in Malaysia to give speeches on SDGs and to conduct ASEAN MY World survey. To promote SDGs and to make sure no one left behind, she is not only active in meeting with state government, local officers but also to meet with marginalized groups in rural villages.
Aung Ko Oo – a Myanmar university student who is based in Bangkok, Thailand has created his facebook’s page on SDGs. Through this page, he documents ‘Humans of MY World’, which shares stories of many young people in the region regarding their thoughts on SDGs.
Nurul Hadina Haji Alias – a teacher at a local Sixth Form Centre in Brunei Darussalam loves to use her passion for life-long learning to help inspire and create positive change for individuals in the wider community. Raising awareness on SDGs for school students and providing SDGs knowledge through her Twitter and Instagram channels are one of her current activities.
Other advocates are doing well on their ways to bring ASEAN MY World survey to people in their countries through both online and offline voting. Giving school talks, organizing workshops and public discussions on SDGs are among some of activities in the upcoming months. The result of these activities will be presented to the government and relevant stakeholders at the end of the programme to contribute to create pressure and accountability for their commitments to deliver SDGs in the region.
Do you have passion for SDGs? Are you based in ASEAN region? Do you want to know more about our advocates and support their works? Then reach out to us via @SDGAction.
Rising up to the challenge of leaving no one’s voice behind, the network of volunteers Climate Smart Agriculture Youth Network (CSAYN) has officially launched the MY World 2030 UN Global Survey on the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) online across all 36 CSAYN countries globally.
As a post-launch, some CSAYN countries have launched the survey offline in Central Africa (Yaoundé, Cameroon), East Africa (Zanzibar, Tanzania) and Europe (Bonn, Germany) for now while waiting on other regions to join efforts.
Based in Cameroon, CSAYN links volunteers with a strong interest in climate-smart agriculture and environment around the world. Climate-smart agriculture can contribute not only to achieve SDG #2, focused on ending hunger, but also relates to ending poverty (SDG #1), sustainable management of water (SDG #6), sustainable economic growth (SDG #8) and action to combat climate change (SDG #13).
In Yaoundé, the offline survey was launched by CSAYN in the International Relations Institute of Cameroon. Attended by well over 300 students of diverse disciplines of international relations, the event was followed by discussions centered on how data collected from the survey can influence policy decisions in the United Nations, as well as resolve key challenges in Africa.
“Watching how participants took the survey with so much excitement, passion and a strong conviction that their votes could make sustainable development a reality has encouraged our work towards being ambassadors for the goals in every local community”, says CSAYN country coordinator Nche Tala Aghanwi.
Although many still continue unaware of the SDGs in Cameroon, particularly in rural communities, discussions made clear how important the goals are for people and the extent to which they cut across their daily experiences.
The MY World Survey has also started to make its way towards local rulers. “One of the most inspired persons I encountered was a traditional ruler who explained to me that this survey has served as an evaluation tool of his rule and the level of amelioration or deterioration of major social services in his village since he became the chief”, says Aghanwi.
In Tanzania, CSAYN has engaged a community of 170 smallholders in Zanzibar in the offline survey, motivated by the interest of rural youth and women in climate-smart agriculture. Members of the Tanzania CSAYN team have also discussed with Zanzibar local farmers how to improve the production of cassava by intercropping it with sweet potatoes or yams in order to increase food security, contributing towards achieving zero hunger by 2030.
In Bonn, Germany, the offline survey was launched in the margin of the Global Landscape Forum. A cross-section of 50 delegates took part in the survey and committed to become SDGs Advocates within their communities, institutions, organizations and countries.
The results of the survey collected by CSAYN will help feed into the UN’s and governments’ monitoring of progress on the SDGs, raising awareness of important issues and giving a “people’s perspective” from the ground, in real-time.
Take the MY World 2030 survey here and raise your voice too about what SDGs are most important to you!
Exemplary businesses, municipalities and research projects who are at the forefront of sustainability were celebrated last Friday as the winners of the 10th German Sustainability Award in Düsseldorf, Germany. SDG Advocate, Queen Mathilde of Belgium received this years’ honorary prize in the event, which also offered participants a multitude of experiences to connect with the sustainable development goals in the “SDG Hub”.
The SDG Hub was created in partnership with the German service for development initiatives Engagement Global.
On the first day of the prize, the Next Economy Award was presented to start-ups whose business models are oriented towards a green economy and overcoming social challenges. The winners were the producer of wooden T-shirts wijld, the telemedical care company DITG, the solution for basic optic care EinDollarBrille and Enerthing, the developer of a solar film that can replace disposable batteries. Some of the winning initiatives and nominees, such as the developer of ecological toilets Goldeimer, were at the SDG Hub to share which SDGs are of most importance to them – in their case, “Clean Water and Sanitation” took the podium.
On the second day, the German Sustainability Award recognized top achievements in ecological and social commitment in different areas, celebrating stakeholders that are striving for the best sustainable solutions in line with the SDGs. Deutsche Telekom was awarded as Germany’s most sustainable large company, while Hanover won the prize for the most sustainable city.
In the Award Ceremony, Queen Mathilde was honoured for her commitment to the SDGs and her contribution to improving the situation of disadvantaged young people since 2000 with the Queen Mathilde Fund. Her Majesty also supports several organizations such as UNICEF, WHO and Child Focus.
Queen Mathilde underscored that businesses, governments, civil society and individuals must work together to achieve the SDGs. Photo: Dariusz Misztal
“To achieve sustainable development, governments, businesses, civil society and individuals must work together: each of us has a role to play at their own level towards realizing this ambitious, but achievable goals. Even small-scale projects and individual acts can contribute to changing lives for the better”, said Her Majesty.
She celebrated the fact that awareness of the need for sustainable development is growing in Belgium, Germany and all over the world. Yet, she reminded that there is no room for complacency, since there are areas in the planet where poverty is increasing and even affluent societies have not yet completely eradicated inequality.
British primatologist and campaigner for environmental and wildlife conservation Jane Goodall, who was present at the SDG Hub, encouraged particularly young people to take action and not to lose hope. “We have to fight to live sustainably before it’s too late”, she affirmed.
The founder of the German Sustainability Award Stefan Schulze-Hausmann and singer Annie Lennox. Photo: Ralf Rühmeier
Annie Lennox, activist and singer of the famous hit of the 80’s “Sweet Dreams”, performed on stage, where she also delivered a message of hope. “My sweet dream is a better world for all”, she said.
Experiencing the SDGs
By diving in immersive storytelling provided by United Nations Virtual Reality, visitors of the SDG Hub could see life through the eyes of a refugee or learn what it is like to be a survivor of Ebola. Many expressed the feeling that virtual reality can play an important role in connecting people emotionally to each other and foster cooperation to implement the SDGs.
Participants were also able to take the MY World 2030 survey, which allowed them to make their voices heard about which goals they consider more relevant for their lives and to explore their personal relationship with the SDGs.
All in all, entrepreneurs, government representatives and individuals had the opportunity to experience how the SDGs provide a framework to all sustainable development efforts worldwide, including those celebrated in the German Sustainability Award.
Watch Queen Mathilde’s speech:
Relevant personalities, government officials, business CEOs, activists and young entrepreneurs passed by the SDG Hub and shared a common vision of how we need to better communicate and engage everyone to take action on the Sustainable Development Goals. Take a look:
Minister President of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet, visits the SDG Hub
British primatologist Jane Goodall delivered a message of hope to young people at the event
Members of the green businesses association UnternehmensGrün celebrate their partnership
70% of Filipinos feel the situation on the Sustainable Development Goals of most concern to them – poverty, hunger and good health & wellbeing – has not improved in the last twelve months.
More has to be done if we want to achieve the Goals by 2030, and the Philippines is a good example of it. PepsiCo, Paragon Partnerships and the UN SDG Action Campaign conducted a representative survey among 10,000 Filipinos to look at their awareness of the SDGs and their perception on how the situation on the most important issues for them and their families has developed in the past year.
The survey revealed that awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals signed by 193 World leaders at the UN in 2015 was very low among people in the Philippines, at just 5.9% of the total numbers interviewed. And more importantly, the lower the socio economic demographic, the awareness decreased further.
Anand Kantaria of the UN SDG Action Campaign said “This latest data demonstrates that more has to be done in communicating the SDGs to the most marginalised communities, ensuring that no one is left behind. Multistakeholder partnerships such as this one with PepsiCo and Paragon help us gather critical timely data on progress and feed people’s’ perceptions into decision making at all levels”.
Pamela Forbus, PepsiCo SVP Global Insights & Analytics, said “We are proud to partner with Paragon Partnerships and the UN SDG Action Campaign in the effort to collect data and insight to improve people’s lives. This important work is aligned with PepsiCo’s strategic vision, Performance with Purpose, which began over a decade ago and is rooted in the fundamental belief that business success is inextricably linked to the sustainability of the world we share.”
The survey also indicated that SDG 1 – No Poverty, SDG2 – Zero Hunger and and SDG3 – Good Health & Well Being are the primary concerns to Filipinos. When asked about how the situation has evolved for these specific Goals, the vast majority (68.2%) felt that the goals of most concerns to them had not changed in the past 12 months, while just over a quarter (28%) thought they had improved over the same period, and only a small percentage 3.8% of the interviewed Filipinos felt the Goals that they were most concerned about had got worse, with the lowest socio economic classes being the least optimistic about any positive changes.
The survey was conducted as part of PepsiCo’s Demand Science project in the Philippines. PepsiCo included three MY World 2030 questions in partnership with the United Nations SDG Action Campaign for this Paragon Partnerships project.
Dilek Ozler of Paragon said “PepsiCo is an active contributing member of the Paragon Partnerships, committed to using data and insight to improve people’s lives. As Paragon, we are proud to be providing a platform where market researchers around the world and countries/ governments come together to measure the impact of the actions towards sustainable development. Without measurement, it would not be possible to see real progress and keep ourselves responsible. Our hope is that more country governments take the opportunity to work with Paragon, not only to measure the progress of SDGs in their countries, but also to use market research to help feed their policies to implement SDGs. Knowledge and citizen insights are key for the implementation of SDGs.”
This and other key findings are part of the results of several pilot studies collecting perceptions on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to assist decision-makers in SDG review activities. The results, collected through a collaborative research project between the UN SDG Action Campaign and Paragon Partnerships, in particular Kantar Public and Lightspeed, as part of the MY World 2030 project, were presented today during the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) at the United Nations. The Forum is the central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals held from Monday, 10 July, to Wednesday, 19 July 2017.
The UN SDG Action Campaign & Kantar Public have developed and tested a question library of almost 100 SDG Questions and then conducted a research study in 11 voluntary reporting countries for this year. The results are representative and weighted samples across the following countries provide a baseline against which to measure progress in future years.
One third of people are aware of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Overall. One in three respondents are aware of the Sustainable Development Goals. Younger respondents (ages 16-29) were more familiar with the SDGs than older respondents. There are huge differences among countries. Respondents in Thailand (the least developed country in the sample) were the most aware, while respondents in Denmark (the most developed country) were least aware. Japan and Argentina were the countries with least awareness levels, with over 80% of the population not aware of the SDGs. There is a lot to be done!
SDG 1 / 20% of the population is still struggling to afford basic needs.
This percentages goes up to 35% for those who haven’t completed primary education.
SDG 2 / The struggle for food is very similar in countries with the highest and lowest Development Index and it affects about 20% of the population who are struggling to have enough food to eat.
When asked about how easy or difficult has it been for respondents and their household to have enough food to eat, 20% of all respondents across the sample, without distinction between Low and High Developed Countries (according to the Human Development Index) found it very or quite difficult to have enough food to eat in the past twelve months. Some differences are shown, with Argentina, a country with a Very High HDI level, reporting the most difficulty ( 37% stated “Quite Difficult.”) and Denmark with the least difficulty (55% answering “Very Easy”).
SDG 3 / Access to healthcare has not changed since last year. 1 in 4 respondents are not satisfied with the quality.
For the majority of respondents the situation hasn’t changed. But one in four respondents are not satisfied with the quality of healthcare. Thailand scored as the country where it has most improved.
SDG 5 / More people agree than disagree that women earn the same amount of money for doing the same job.
Overall, more respondents agree than disagree that women earn the same amount of money for doing the same job. Regional differences are shown, as the majority of European respondents disagree with this statement, while the majority of S.E Asian respondents agree.
SDG 9 / Access to internet is still an issue.
One in five respondents reported they were “often” or “always” having problems with internet access. Malaysian respondents reported the most difficulty accessing the internet with 11% answering “always” versus the Netherlands as the country with the least difficulty, with 61% answering “never” or “rarely”. The age difference also played a role, with the majority of respondents aged 60+ reporting more difficulty than younger ones.
SDG 14 / The oceans and seas are not clean enough, and half the population agrees.
Argentina and Italy scored high (73% in Argentina and 69% in Italy) in the perception that their rivers and lakes are not very clean or not clean at all. In Italy and the Czech Republic, conditions have gotten worse according to around 30% of the people surveyed, whereas in Malaysia and Portugal, conditions were reported to have improved. Sweden and Denmark were the exception, with above 70% of the respondents reporting that their rivers and lakes were very clean or fairly clean.
Good Health, Eradication of Poverty and Decent Work are the primary concerns for citizens.
It is interesting to note that in MY World 2015, with a much bigger sample size, the top issues of concern were Education, Healthcare, Jobs, Honest & Responsive Government. People are still choosing the same top issues two years on! After good health, the top concerns change for women and men – for women being “No poverty” and men being more concerned with “Decent Work and Economic Growth”. Quality Education also made it as a top concern in Argentina.
In total, 7,772 respondents took part in the survey in 11 countries, ranging from 350 in Denmark to 1,011 in Czech Republic. Quotas were set by age, gender and region in each country. Respondents were sampled from Lightspeed and TNS online and mobile access panels. Data is weighted by age, gender, and region in each country. Cross-country comparison is based on additional weights by country population size
In other words: assuming probability sample, for a question response of 49%, we can say that in 95 out of 100 surveys, the true value (which would be obtained if the entire population were asked the question) lies between 46% and 52%.
The Road to Nairobi 2016 Project, with the support of the local World Economic Forum’s Global Shaper Hub, traveled around the greater Maputo area to meet 10 youth entrepreneurs working in a variety of sectors, in order to learn from their challenges and to get a better understanding of their lived experiences. The ventures discovered ranged from a tech startup working on information asymmetry in the labor market, to a design firm which transforms waste into materials for interior design. These individual stories are featured on the Humans of MY World photo-narrative blog.
The path of an entrepreneur in Mozambique can be difficult and trying at times; a few of the entrepreneurs we met noted how the economic climate is having an impact on their businesses. Even so, some young people are choosing entrepreneurship as an alternative to looking for a job, where they are confronted by a youth unemployment rate estimated at around 80%. The young people who are resilient enough to try youth entrepreneurship need support, role models and an enabling environment.
Frederico Peres Da Silva, co-founder of a tech startup in Maputo, recognizes the importance of entrepreneurial role models: “If you are in the [United] States, a CEO understands the value of mentoring a startup. You know why? Because he’s heard of Facebook, he’s heard of Snapchat, he’s heard of WhatsApp. He goes, ‘Oh, what if this is the next Facebook?’ To change that perception in Mozambique you need to have a couple of references in the market. You need to have your champions.”
Young Mozambicans that have taken to the MY World global survey prioritize good education as one of the key areas where they hope to see positive improvement. The youth entrepreneurs we met further discussed the current education system and their experiences with it. However, they are not only focused on education in general, but see the importance of having practical skills and experience in the workplace as the key to success in their entrepreneurial journey.
Lack of technological infrastructure and resources are other challenges to educational access and entrepreneurship in Mozambique. Frederico is using technology to help young unemployed Mozambicans access the job opportunities through their phones.
Where gaps and challenges exist, young people in Mozambique are stepping up to empowering each other and themselves. Marlene de Souza found that young people were unable to communicate and translate their knowledge into action in the workplace. She started a company which offers training to university students on skills such as how to successfully enter the job market and how to communicate with “attitude,” so that these students can bridge the gap between the academic and labor market.
Diogo Lucas started a business to help SMEs access finance and gave them the tools to mature into sustainable businesses. According to Diogo, this is something SMEs really need: “There are opportunities for small businesses but they’re not developing because there is not enough support, there’s not enough money. Bank finance is hard to come by with all these challenges. When I was travelling across the country I realized that it’s not because they have bad businesses. It’s because people don’t have the skills or the ability to access capital that can help them grow and develop.”
Sázia Souza runs a company which offers tech solutions to companies and private individuals. Twice a month, she and her team trains children on how to use computers. When asked about her passion for technology and education, Sázia said: “Mozambique has a problem when it comes to using technology. People are not prepared for the future. Technology is growing too fast. When you go to some schools, they don’t even have computer lessons. Even the teachers don’t know how to use the computers.”
Youth entrepreneurs in Mozambique are working to carve a bright future for themselves. They are working together and with other young people to support skills development while growing a culture of entrepreneurship. To help them on this path, it is important to understand the Mozambican context as well as the lived experiences of rural and urban young Mozambicans in order to empower them for success. The Road to Nairobi team spoke to youth entrepreneurs and asked them what changes they would like to see to support youth entrepreneurship in Mozambique:
Lineu: More young people need to have the courage to start for themselves. I started with nothing and almost 100% of the people didn’t believe in me.
Claudio: When you register a business, you are sent from one place to another. The process will be better when everything is in one place. It should take less time and require fewer documents.
Wilton: Government must create conditions for young entrepreneurs to develop businesses. Especially fiscal policy because currently, police doesn’t differentiate between being a young entrepreneur or an old entrepreneur.
Sides: We need more incubators with people who have been trained to support youth entrepreneurs.
Authors: Samantha Ndiwalana (Project Manager of the Building Bridges Foundation) and Annemarelle van Schayik (Research Manager of the Building Bridges Foundation).
The Building Bridges Foundation’s Road to Nairobi 2016 project kicked off on International Youth Day, 12 August 2016, in Johannesburg and at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
The Building Bridges Foundation is a not-for-profit organization established in the Netherlands. The mission is to foster youth-led solutions at the grassroots level in order to contribute towards the effective implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In their first project last year, the Foundation collected the opinions and priorities from young people by bike riding from Amsterdam to Cape Town in an effort to include youth voices in the development of the Sustainable Development Agenda.
In this second phase, the Road to Nairobi 2016, a team of Dutch and South African youth will travel by bus from Johannesburg to Nairobi, meeting 80 inspirational and innovative youth entrepreneurs from all industries and walks of life in eight countries. In each country, these real life case studies of the challenges youth entrepreneurs face will be presented to government officials, CEOs, foreign ambassadors, representatives of the UN and the media during a youth summit in the capital. The project co-creates solutions that promote youth employment and aims to inspire African and global leaders by showcasing how young people are making a difference, and how their work can be further promoted to help achieve the SDGs by 2030. The results will be presented at the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) in Nairobi in December.
Building Bridges bus, which will carry the team and youth entrepreneurs to the Second High-Level Meeting of the GPEDC in Nairobi
“Young people often have the best out of the box solutions for difficult problems. So if we want a better life for unemployed young Africans, who else to ask then young African entrepreneurs.” said Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen. She continued, “they show that starting your own business empowers and creates jobs and income. The Road to Nairobi brings these smart youngsters together with politicians and business leaders who are eager for innovative and smart solutions. To reach the Sustainable Development Goals, young people are key.” Minister Ploumen supports the project in her role as co-chair of the GPEDC.
Through a series of multi-stakeholder events at the local and national levels, the project will help facilitate the co-creation of solutions and actions to promote youth employment in their respective countries. “We believe that only by working together with all stakeholders, can we achieve a more just, sustainable and equal world by 2030,” says Jilt van Schayik, co-founder of the Building Bridges Foundation. “Youth are traditionally seen as a problem, but we believe they are the solution. There are many youth entrepreneurs with innovative businesses solutions to overcome local challenges. We need to listen to their ideas, and help them grow to scale to create real impact for people on the ground.”
The Project was launched in South Africa in the Diepsloot Township jointly with the Building Bridges Team and the Dutch Embassy in South Africa. Focus on youth entrepreneurs in townships and rural areas, the launch included a panel discussion, about the enabling factors for innovative entrepreneurship and the necessary steps that will allow South African entrepreneurs to benefit from increased globalization.
The Road to Nairobi launch in Johannesburg with the Building Bridges team and the Dutch Ambassador in South Africa, H.E. Marisa Gerards
In addition to the project’s launch in South Africa, the project was ceremoniously launched at the SDGs exhibition in the United Nations Visitors Lobby by H.E. Mr. Karel van Oosterom, the Netherlands Permanent Representative to the UN and the UN SDG Action Campaign. The Ambassador toured the exhibition, seeing the enormous influence the first phase of Building Bridges had in collecting people’s voices to support the development of the SDGs. HE van Oosterom then viewed the current platforms for action, taking the MY World 2030 Survey reading the Humans if MY World stories and experiencing UN Virtual Reality. The visit concluded with a live video chat with the Building Bridges Team in South Africa, providing words of encouragement for their journey to foster youth employment on the African continent.
The Road to Nairobi launch at the UN HQ with the Netherlands Permanent Representative to the UN, H.E. Karel van Oosterom
The Ambassador, his son as well as a team from the Permanent Mission of the Netherlands to the UN and the SDG Action Campaign wrote their good wishes to the Building Bridges Team on the large sized exhibition blackboard. In a statement on the occasion of the virtual launch in New York the Ambassador said, “youth must have a central role in the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals. We hope projects like this inspire other youth to step up and help realize the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Ambassador Karel van Oosterom’s good wishes to Jilt van Schayik, co-founder of the Building Bridges Foundation, and part of the Road to Nairobi team
Kristin Gutekunst, UN SDG Action Campaign Project Manager, remarked, “we are excited to be partnering with the Building Bridges Foundation and the Government of the Netherlands to continue SDG momentum in this new phase of the Building Bridges project. Young people are integral to making the SDGs a reality for all by 2030. The MY World 2015 Survey identified Better job opportunities as one of the main priorities for youth globally. Advancing youth entrepreneurship through this project and bringing people’s voices to the United Nations will support us in achieving the SDGs.”
The Road to Nairobi’s route across 8 countries
The Building Bridges team operates with the idea there is a gap between between local and international policymakers and the challenges faced by young people at the grassroots level. Simultaneously in New York, Building Bridges Representative and UN SDG Action Campaign Youth Advocate Jonas Lossau introduced the Road to Nairobi 2016 project and how it contributes to ‘17 SDGs in Action’ at the UN Headquarters on International Youth Day. Samantha Ndiwalana, a Building Bridges Project Manager, added, “the project is a way for young people to get together, to learn from each other, to share their solutions and to inspire each other. It is time for real action, not empty words.”
To create real changes, the Building Bridges team together with the most inspiring youth entrepreneurs will present their data and suggest solutions at the Second High-Level Meeting of the GPEDC in Nairobi.
Throughout the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the UN Millennium Campaign had the pleasure of hosting the Peoples’ Voices Challenge Award Ceremony at the We the Peoples Hub. The Peoples’ Voices Challenge Awards is a celebration of the work of the hundreds of partners at the United Nations who gave voice to those who don’t often get a say in global conversations.
Data visualization is not normally the first thing you would think of when talking about empowering marginalized communities, but Popily is not your average data analytics firm. Popily is a data science and visualization company that lets everyday, non-technical people figure what is important from their data and share it with anyone, anywhere. The Popily team used the millions of MY World survey results and thousands of Humans of MY WorldFacebook page posts to generate interactive data visualizations. The public can explore these visualizations on their website, so people can discover the stories in the data that they find most meaningful. We talked to Popily Co-Founder Vidya Spandana about the role data visualization and analytics plays in the Post-2015 Agenda.
Tell us about Popily, some of the things you work on, and your goals as an organization:
Popily is a data visualization and data science company, we let people put in their data and automatically generate thousands of visualizations so that they can walk through a data set instead of being confused by a giant spreadsheet of lots of numbers. [Popily] is really there to democratize data so that people who don’t have a background or experience in science or statistics can actually engage with it in a real way. Imagine being able to walk through a visual representation, instead of just looking at a piece of paper. The more people who can do that, the more empowered they can be to make decisions on what is actually happening.
For us data is a way to see the world in an observational way with some kind of reality to it, and so for more people to have the ability to access that the better we think so that we can make collective decisions together. That aligns perfectly with the work that the [UN Millennium Campaign] is doing with MY World.
What was it that made [Popily] decide that [The MY World Survey] would be a perfect pilot project for you guys to work on?
When [CEO Jonathan Morgan] brought [MY World] on for us we were really excited because the idea of actually getting information and data about peoples lives around the world really humanizes the whole date concept and really brings our tool to life. We would actually really like to step back and let the data and the voice of the people shine and this was the best opportunity to do that.
What does this mean for Popily to win [Most Innovative Visualization] right now?
It’s extremely exciting for us, we launched officially about two or three months ago so it’s very new for us and to be able to announce partnership with the United Nations, to explore people’s data that actually has meaning has us over the moon. This is an opportunity that we’ve really been able to leverage and open up new opportunities around democratizing data. What were are more excited about is to bring data in the hands of regular people and whatever tools they need to be able to explore it.
What are some of the ways that people can actually use Popily?
Sure! You would just go to Popily.com and then there you can sign up to either upload your own data sets and explore it or there are loads of public data sets – including the MY World data set – that you can explore yourselves.
What are some of the finding you saw in the [MY World] data?
There were so many things that were really exciting. Just getting to actually look at what is in there has been sort of like a treasure that you can open up and see. One of the things that was really interesting is how education is such a priority across gender, age, and country… I also thought that is was interesting how in certain countries the younger generation… its better to reach them via paper balloting as opposed to any kind of web or mobile tools, and I would have never expected that.
What do you have planned for the future?
There’s a lot actually! We’ve been partnering with companies and organizations, especially governments and city governments, to be able to explore data that citizens would care about. So helping organizers put the data in a shape that they can make some decision on and then put it back out in the hands of regular people is really fun and is exactly what we got to do.