Grassroots technology for the SDGs at Innovation Hub

Friday, 13 July 2018

New York | OICT | DM

A stove that simultaneously cooks food and sterilizes drinking water.

A free, web-based platform that produces megacity-scale visualizations of disasters in real time.

Innovative technologies like these have the potential to transform the world and they were just two of the novel solutions on display at the Innovation Hub in the UN Headquarters Visitors Lobby, 4-6 June.

The exhibition was coordinated by the Office of Information and Communications Technology in the Department of Managementwith support from Qlik Technologies, Inc. It featured 11 winners of a global innovation challenge to develop grassroots technologies to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Innovation Hub also featured state-of-the-art analytics applications designed to inform decision-making on a wide range of substantive issues. All are from a Qlik-developed bulb that, once planted, immediately produces data like soil moisture and ground temperature to Unite Analytics, the UN self-service visualization platform that departments and offices can use to develop and publish dashboards for internal collaboration and reporting. 

Some of the other winning global challenge solutions included:

  • an interlocking stabilized soil block technology that can be used to build environmentally sustainable tanks;
  • the world's first commercially scalable biodigester that utilizes animal, green, and human waste to produce renewable biogas for daily cooking; and
  • a groundwater monitoring solution that improves the quality and value of water, sanitation, and energy services in emerging markets.

“We need partnership with everyone to support our work at the UN,” said Atefeh Riazi, Assistant Secretary-General and Chief Information Technology Officer, during her visit to the Innovation Hub. “Based on these innovative yet simple solutions to complex problems, I’m very optimistic that if we work together we can solve the big problems of sustainable development.”  

The Innovation Hub was part of the third annual Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (STI Forum). Hosted by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the STI Forum brings relevant stakeholders together to share in sustainability technology and explore collaboration efforts to achieve the SDGs.

To meet the SDG innovators, watch DESA's Facebook live event.