A few weeks ago the United Nations held the UN Global Goals Week, an initiative that seeks to raise awareness and motivate people and businesses to fulfill the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The week also promotes people and organisations who are taking action towards the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
What are the UN SDGs?
The SDGs were born in 2015 at a global level with specific goals to build a sustainable future for the benefit of society and the planet. There are 17 objectives, among them: no poverty, gender equality, reduced inequalities, etc.
How can we contribute?
We need to act now more than ever to see real change in the short- and medium-term. The good news is that there are endless options to join this movement.
Technology and innovation are two crucial factors for building a sustainable future in the coming years. That's why I took the initiative to compile a list of applications that, directly or indirectly, can help us meet our objectives, and can spur some real action heading towards the years 2030.
The 5 'P's of sustainable development
The Sustainable Development Goals are further divided into five areas that better group their priorities and effects. I used these categories to divide the content into a series of blog posts: 1. People 2. Planet 3. Prosperity 4. Peace 5. Partnership
In this first installment, we'll focus exclusively on the SDGs of the people action area, which include ending poverty and hunger, and on ensuring the development of all people in an egalitarian and healthy environment.
Let's go for it!
SDG #1 No Poverty
TECHO House - PALO IT Innovation Lab & TECHO
I'd like to kick things off with one of the positive impact projects that we're currently developing in our Innovation Lab.
At PALO IT, our goal here was to create an open source platform with a 'Tech For Good' approach that helps those who need it most.
A few months ago we partnered with TECHO, a non-profit organisation that seeks to combat poverty in Latin America. Together, we held an Ideathon and a Hackathon, aiming to co-create a digital solution that allows TECHO to face current challenges head on, especially those aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Did you know that Latin America is the region with the greatest inequality in the world? More than 100 million Latin Americans live in conditions of extreme poverty. Source: ECLAC 2014
Over the course of two weekends, and with the support of a lot of talent, we chose two winning solutions that we are now currently developing in the PALO IT Innovation Lab.
TECHO House, a data analysis and organisational tool to prioritise and assign resources to social projects.
I am TECHO, an app for managing volunteers that strengthens relationships between them, their communities and project leaders.
If you're interested in participating in the development of this type of impactful solution, apply now to our Innovation Lab or contact us. The more we work together, the more results we'll see.
SDG #2 Zero Hunger
Agritech - PALO IT Innovation Lab & Fair Farms
Today, sustainable agriculture is essential in meeting the food needs of society. With this in mind, the PALO IT team set out to help farmers create an ideal greenhouse environment for optimal growth, all by using artificial intelligence and machine learning.
The pilot test was carried out in partnership with Fair Farms, a Cambodian company that was struggling to grow quality vanilla, and was looking for an affordable and easy-to-implement solution.
Without a doubt, this project is highlight of our Innovation Lab, and is a shining example of what's possible when technology and sustainability combine forces.
For obvious reasons, one of the fastest-growing sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic has been medicine.
Doctoranytime is a company originally from Belgium that has rapidly grown into a worldwide stalwart in the healthcare sector, largely due to its mission of making relationships between doctors and patients as simple and transparent as possible, leading to more accessible healthcare for all.
Getting a video medical consultation is as simple as entering their website, seeking out a speciality, selecting the doctor that suits your needs, and scheduling your appointment. In addition to scheduling, you'll also find detailed information about the doctors within the Doctoranytime platform.
At PALO IT, we've also seen a range of projects come to life in the fields of both physical and mental health, including our work with Neurum Health and Mindline.sg.
SDG #4 Quality Education
Coursera and edX
Every day more companies, organisations and educational institutions are joining the E-Learning world. Platforms such as Coursera and edX are making great strides in changing the when and how of education.
Tech companies and universities are using these digital portals to collaborate in the field, offering degree programs, certifications and blended learning custom-made for a number of different learning styles. This trend is helping us build a world where everyone has equal access to quality education, without the barriers of cost or location.
SDG #5 Gender Equality
Finally, one of the most interesting digital platforms we saw hit the market last year was 'DiDi Mujer' (DiDi Woman), which enables its women drivers to travel only with women passengers, if they so choose.
According to DiDi data, the registration of new drivers increased by 28% with the program, which was launched in Mexico, with more than 18,000 trips completed in 2020. The success in eight test cities was so prominent that in 2021 this functionality was expanded further into Latin America, and has its sights on global adoption in the future.
In addition to functionality, DiDi has also forged an alliance with CONAPRED (The National Council to Prevent Discrimination) to work on anti-discrimination issues, as well as support programs for women and thus motivate more drivers to join its platform.
As you can see, with the technology and communication portals at our fingertips, there are so many direct or indirect ways to impact the UN SDGs.
As mentioned, this is just the tip of the iceberg for this series. I'll be sharing more ideas and projects that help to fulfill the 17 SDGs in the near future. If you have any you think fit our series, don't hesitate to share them with me personally at email@example.com, we love to find likeminded partners in our endeavours.
If you liked this post, or you want to transform your own great idea, groundbreaking project or future-focused company, contact us to explore how we can work together.