Middle East & North Africa

UN Agencies, MIT Solve partner with the Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity to revolutionise social innovation

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UN Agencies, MIT Solve partner with the Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity to revolutionise social innovation

HANNOVER, Apr 25 2018 (WAM) - The Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity has unveiled key partnerships with eight entities of the United Nations and Solve, an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, during a private event hosted by the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit, GMIS, at the Hannover Messe 2018 in Germany. This announcement reaffirms the importance of achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, by enabling and inspiring a worldwide community of makers to create transformative solutions to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.

The initiative was first launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, on the sidelines of the inaugural Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit, held at the Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi in March 2017.

A humanitarian champion who has impacted and improved the lives of over 130 million people across 116 countries, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has placed great emphasis on the role of innovation to reshape industries, and strengthen economies and societies. By bringing together manufacturers, startups and entrepreneurs, and governments and NGOs to enable global collaboration and partnerships, the initiative will create an ecosystem to unlock and accelerate innovation designed to enhance global prosperity through product innovation.

The initiative combines the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Maker Challenge, an online open-innovation platform through which ‘makers’ and innovators will apply a design-thinking approach to solve specific real-world challenges; and the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Prosperity Award, a prestigious global accolade that recognises and rewards social innovation, and promotes the benefit that manufacturing brings to humanity.

The eight UN entities that have partnered with the Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity are the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, UNIDO, the Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD, the International Telecommunication Union, ITU, UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre, UN-Habitat – United Nations Human Settlements Programme, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR, and the World Food Programme, WFP.

These organisations have developed four themes surrounding major challenges faced by Least Developed Countries, LDCs, that are collectively home to 880 million people, and whose path to sustainable development is strewn with obstacles that must be overcome through transformative innovation. The initiative invites world-leading manufacturers and entrepreneurs to adopt one of the global themes identified by the partner UN agencies, and work alongside them through an integrated open-innovation platform that enables ideas to be shared and solutions to be co-created.

The themes include Sustainable Energy, Digital Divide and Digital Literacy, Rural Transformation and Zero Hunger, and Sustainable Cities.

The Sustainable Energy challenge will tackle how renewable resources can be applied for humanitarian action, while also reducing inequalities through economic prosperity and industrialisation. The second challenge, Digital Divide and Digital Literacy, will focus on ensuring underserved communities and vulnerable populations have access to digital innovation capacity that accelerates digital transformation, thereby narrowing the digital skills gap in the context of emerging technologies.

As for Rural Transformation and Zero Hunger, the challenge will focus on promoting and enabling inclusive rural transformation in an increasingly urbanised world and enable investment in smallholder farmers, with a focus on developing entrepreneurship in agribusiness, specifically for women and young people, and achieving the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger. Lastly, the Sustainable Cities challenge will tackle how cities can become incubators for innovation and growth, and drivers of sustainable development.

MIT Solve is working with the Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity to bring together problem-solvers and innovators to work with stakeholders and technical experts to design and manage each challenge.

“By creating an innovative global community of makers dedicated to spreading prosperity across the world, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity is designed to promote unconventional thinking, develop unobvious partnerships, and drive unexpected outcomes,” said Badr Al-Olama, Head of the Organising Committee for the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit.

“It will unite the world’s leading manufacturers, innovative makers and entrepreneurs, governments, UN entities, academia, and philanthropists. Together, they will drive an innovative ecosystem built on collaboration and partnership, and committed to empowering all members of society to play an important role for global good.”

“We are honoured and proud to be partnering with key UN entities to advance our shared mission – to build a stronger, better, more prosperous, more equal, and more empowered world. These entities have the insight, experience, and expertise to pinpoint challenges that have the greatest impact on societies across the world; and by expanding this global partnership with MIT Solve, the Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity can ensure that solutions which emerge have the greatest potential for changing and improving lives”.

The comprehensive partnership and associated themes were announced in the presence of Li Yong, Director-General of UNIDO, and Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Industry, as well as world-respected thought-leaders, ministers, academics and business executives.

WAM/Nour Salman

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