The Call for Innovations for the SDGs 2017 is initiated by the UN in collaboration with the Global Innovation Exchange (‘the Exchange’). The Call selected concrete scientific and technological innovations to achieve the six SDGs that are the focus of the second Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs (STI Forum) in 2017, namely:
The 2017 Global Call for Innovations for the SDGs has now concluded
The response to the Call for Innovations 2017 was outstanding, in terms of number and quality of innovations, from many different regions. Over 130 applications were reviewed by the members of the review committee, and narrowed to 12 selected innovations. Many of the innovations showed exceptional promise as solutions for the featured SDGs.
Please browse the extraordinary community of global innovators who responded to this Call for Innovations, and who are already making the difference to those most in need around the world.
Selected Innovations for the 2017 STI Forum
The following innovations were chosen as illustrations of the broad and inspiring range of sectors, countries and sources of innovation in solving different challenges raised by the sustainable development, and their representatives were invited to come to the Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs in New York to present their innovations at a Special Event held at United Nations Headquarters on 15 May 2017:
Missing Maps: crowdsourcing digital map creation
Babajob: Informal Sector Jobs Marketplace
Virtual Farmers Market
Virtual Water Prospecting Program to locate naturally desalinated self-recharging & self-replenishing Water Sources
Farmer Query System
JokkoSante, pharmacy community
CodePhil: Digital Literacy in Rural Philippines for Sustainable Livelihoods & Community Resilience
What are the SDGs?
In September of 2015, the 193 countries of the United Nations adopted a new set of goals that are designed to achieve sustainable development for everyone globally by the year 2030.
“Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” contains 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are designed to shape the global efforts for development until 2030.
This year the 2017 STI Forum focused on the following six SDGs:
- Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
- Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
- Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
- Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
- Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
- Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
The SDGs are designed to be transformative, and change the way in which we develop our world. Innovation and technology are key to implementing the SDGs, and essential to the ambition of achieving the SDGs by 2030.
What is the STI Forum?
A Technology Facilitation Mechanism was agreed by the Member States as part of the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (outcome of the Financing for Development Conference, 2015). As a central part of this agreement, the United Nations will host an annual Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs (STI Forum).
The first STI Forum 2016 took place at the UN Headquarters, New York and involved some 450 participants in a discussion and networking platform for all actors in the field of science, technology and innovation including Member States, UN organizations, civil society, academia, industry and private sector, as well as accredited individuals. The Chair’s Summary of the STI Forum 2016 is available.
The STI Forum 2017 will also take place at UN Headquarters, New York and will address the six SDGs chosen to also be the focus of the subsequent High-Level Political Forum, at which the UN member States will annually meet to review their progress in implementing the SDGs.
The Member States established the STI Forum to "provide a venue for facilitating interaction, matchmaking and the establishment of networks between relevant stakeholders and multi-stakeholder partnerships in order to identify and examine technology needs and gaps, including with regard to scientific cooperation, innovation and capacity-building, and also in order to help facilitate development, transfer and dissemination of relevant technologies for the sustainable development goals."
What is the Call to Action?
The UN in collaboration with the Global Innovation Exchange held a Call for Innovations 2017 for innovators, scientists, entrepreneurs and sustainability change agents worldwide to submit their innovations as workable solutions for the six SDGs listed above.
The purpose of this Call for Innovations is to help to support existing innovative solutions by creating networks and communities among people who are developing technological innovations, those who can support or scale up such innovations, and those who need such innovations in order to implement the SDGs. Innovations are sought from diverse backgrounds, including women, youth, Indigenous peoples, and open collaborative networks.
Innovations were submitted between 24 February and 21 March 2017. The Call has now concluded. The selected innovators will be invited to participate in the STI Forum 2017 at UN Headquarters in New York. All innovators will be invited to join the Global Innovation Exchange.