On the sidelines of the annual United Nations Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI Forum), representatives of governments, the United Nations system, the private sector and academia focused on the creation of objectives of sustainable development within the framework of the TSIs. Participants explored concrete examples of these networks and reflected on the challenges and opportunities for innovation for the SDGs.
The side event was held on May 13, 2019 at United Nations Headquarters in New York, United States, co-hosted by the Permanent Missions of Denmark and Mexico, the United Nations Foundation and HelloScience. Martin Bille Hermann, Permanent Representative of Denmark, stressed the importance not only of innovation, but also of partnerships and networks. He said that we need to “decipher the code” of SDG 17 (Partnerships for Goals) to achieve all other sustainable development goals.
He introduced the term “technical development” that the Danish government has introduced in its humanitarian work, which is to use technology for development. He warned that technology in itself does not mean innovation, because innovation is so much more than that, given the importance of partnerships and rooted in the challenges the world needs. solutions. He added that sometimes partnerships with the private sector in the terms used by private sector actors were essential and that sometimes the failure of these partnerships was nobody’s fault; we must strengthen the capacity of the United Nations to act as a catalyst for innovation by harnessing the opportunities and mitigating the risks of technology through partnerships.
Satya Tripathi of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) said SDG 17 is “the mother of all the SDGs”. He said the “reputational risk” associated with the partnership is in fact a mask to mask the lack of UN performance. He said the UN should take steps to establish a partnership with the private sector, which accounts for 70 percent of GDP. He also stressed the need for a platform bringing together the 350 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the world, which account for 80% of our carbon footprint, to face sustainable economic growth. . Tripathi concluded by stressing that the UN has the power and responsibility to produce the stories needed to catalyze investments in the SDGs.
Jennifer Costley of the New York Academy of Sciences presented “Vision 2030”, a multi-stakeholder partnership that is evolving from creation to creating working groups and regular meetings for members. The partnership aims to transform the use of technology to support the achievement of sustainable development goals and exploit the business opportunities of these by identifying and developing technologies that have a positive impact.
Chris Fabian, co-founder of the Innovation Unit of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), said that in 2014-2015, UNICEF had started creating a venture capital fund, but with donors instead than private investors. He said the SDGs appeared to pose a risk of “zero traction” when they are not translated into the language of the private sector. He said the UNICEF fund was addressing this “vocabulary issue” by combining SDG language and private sector language. He added that the fund also aimed to create a “culture of failure” within the UN, as it allows a culture of experimentation, essential for innovation.
Alfred Birkegaard Hansted, of Novozymes, recalled that the UN was created in the ashes of the Second World War to prevent another world war and did an excellent job in this regard. But, he warned, the biggest risk facing the world is not a global war, but climate change and a wider environmental crisis, and the interest and investment of the UN must be to adapt to it.
Henrik Juul Nielsen, GRUNDFOS, presented Hello Science, a platform created by Novozymes to accelerate the development and deployment of technologies to solve global challenges by connecting people and resources. The platform is designed to share expertise, technology and resources to create an ecosystem of partners who together develop sustainable solutions.
Source: SDG Knowledge Hub.