According to the World Food Programme, (WFP), 108 Million People in the World face severe food insecurity. And yet, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that one-third of the world’s food production (1,300 tonnes) is lost or wasted. Despite having a population of 5.7 million, the small island state of Singapore wasted about 810 million kilograms of food in 2017.
Goal 12 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, aims to halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels by 2030. In the spirit of Goal 12, here is a humble effort I made to raise awareness about the food waste issue in Singapore and the simple steps all of us can take to reduce food waste.
Please share the video with the hashtags #act4sdgs #reducefoodwaste #sdg12 #responsibleconsumption #singapore
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
During 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.
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?
BAHRAIN (SDG 9): Paperless – E-receipts that cut down on paper waste
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
CHANDIGARH (SDG 9): Help aid the education of blind children with a paperless Braille tablet
GENEVA (SDG 12): 24/7 – Access to Antiretroviral Treatment for people on the move
LAGOS (SDG 9): Smart Transit – A culturally appropriate app to tackle poor transit in Nigeria by offering local transport information in real time
LISBON (SDG 9): Lettuce Grow – An app that connects small scale farmers directly with consumers to boost agricultural industry and local economy
LONDON (SDG 9): eQuality – A system that allows shoppers to educate themselves around the ethical, political & environmental impact of their product purchases
NEW YORK (SDG 12): Kindred – The world’s first closed-loop marketplace for sustainable garments.
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