The international community will soon agree on a second round of shared international goals that will focus global development and humanitarian efforts on a new agenda. This new agenda sets out a series of thematic areas that aim to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 and deliver on the promise of sustainable development. The goals will serve to rally the world around a new global partnership that offers hope and a role to every person. These new goals represent a major shift in the delivery and thinking on humanitarian assistance and development aid. This “Post 2015” movement spreads the responsibility to every country and becomes central to their national interest agendas. It also presents an opportunity for the development community to think and act differently.
Since the Millennium Development Goals were launched in 2000 the world has witnessed a series of dramatic shifts that present new opportunities for radical new thinking and delivery models to change lives for the better. The Internet was a nascent information sharing technology in 2000. It is now a robust vertebra of an ever-expanding global economic, social and information infrastructure. With the Internet came revolutions in software, mobile technology, entrepreneurship and more recently big data. The power to access information, learn and take action at an individual level has never been so great. This acceleration has ushered in an unprecedented era of innovation first in business and now in humanitarian and development work.
These shifts, sometimes seemingly small, in creating and delivering new products, processes and services have the potential for exponential development impact. With these developments in view the UN Foundation has made a commitment to support the humanitarian and development community in identifying and scaling innovations to deliver impact on the new sustainable development goals (SDGs). It has done this by first leading a comprehensive study of the United Nations and the humanitarian/development space to gauge the status of innovation: including definitions, opportunities and barriers. The study found that innovation – whether improved processes, products or methodologies – was happening across the funds, agencies and programs, particularly at the country level.
On these findings it then began to address these barriers by building and uniting a community of private sector pioneers to work together towards scaling the most successful innovations. This work brings together private sector partners with experience in scaling innovations and an internal core of innovators from within the UN system. To move this work forward the UN Foundation is launching a signature multi-stakeholder, global innovation platform that will align to the 2015 international development goals (SDGs). The focus will be on identifying, showcasing and scaling innovative social ventures by harnessing the UN’s global breadth and reach.
This panel will present the latest thinking and approaches to scaling complex social solutions and discuss the challenges, opportunities and potential of digital technologies to achieve greater impact.
Moderator: KYRA KASZYNSKI, Client Relationship Executive
Deloitte Services Limited
Kyra manages Deloitte’s relationships across the United Nations system. She previously helped to develop and manage Deloitte’s first global innovation program. Throughout her career Kyra worked at start-ups and small companies in a variety of industries including technology, life sciences, and entertainment. She built her communications expertise as the co-founder and president of Eye Music and later honed her skills at Burson-Marsteller. Kyra’s desire to achieve social impact led her to be a founding board member of YouthAssets, a non-profit dedicated to serving orphans and vulnerable children in Southern Africa by leveraging mobile technology. Kyra holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Vermont and a master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of International Affairs. She recently moderated a panel at UNHCR’s 2015 Innovation Jam on “Why Humanitarian Innovation Matters” at Georgetown University.
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JAY CORLESS, Senior Director for Innovation
United Nations Foundation
Jay Corless is Senior Director for Innovation at the UN Foundation. In this position he seeks to identify, showcase and scale social innovations that deliver impact on international development goals. His professional work spans two decades within the UN System and the private sector. He has broad work experience in communication, online technologies, cultural diplomacy, design innovations, policy development and project management.
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At UNESCO, in 1995, he launched the Organization’s first generation website, oversaw the deployment of the agency’s first content management system, and developed both the internal and external communication strategies for the Specialized Agency. In 2002 he devised the Organization’s U.S. re-entry public information campaign. The successful campaign contributed to the U.S. Government’s decision to rejoin UNESCO after an 18-year absence. On U.S. re-entry he became the English Spokesperson to then Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura. He also coordinated two United Nations Pavilions at the World Expos of 1998 and 2005.
After a thirteen-year career with UNESCO, Jay decided to leave the Organization determined to find new ways to address global development challenges. His research led to an M.A. from London’s University of the Arts where he authored a study, supervised by the U.K. Secretary of State for Media, Youth and Sport, on the policy impacts of international treaties on local creative, cultural and design organizations. After his studies he held management roles with the London Design Festival, Design Miami and Design Philadelphia where he promoted novel thinking on networking, partnerships and fundraising. He also filmed, edited and authored an online documentary on the role of design in shaping the future of American cities entitled Cities x Design. More recently he has contributed to UN publications on policy design, project design and the Creative Economy.
BROOKE CUTLER, Deputy Director
Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA)
Brooke Cutler is the Deputy Director for MAMA, the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action. Brooke leads MAMA’s work in global learning and is responsible for developing and deploying strategic support to organizations around the world that are using mobile technology to improve maternal, newborn and child health. Additionally, Brooke works with the MAMA country teams in Bangladesh, South Africa and India to develop evidence based tools and resources and is leading the launch of MAMA’s newest country program in Nigeria.
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STEPHEN COLLER, Senior Manager
Stephen is a technologist, solutions architect, and product designer. He brings together strategic, creative and technical skills to help leaders in the Public and Private sector understand how innovation and digital capabilities can help transform their businesses for the better. Stephen has worked with a diverse range of companies over the past 20 years, cultivating deep experience in R&D, lean start-up, digital transformation, and people-centric design. In 2007, Stephen co-founded the Advanced Technology Incubation Group at Microsoft where he facilitated rapid incubations in Education, Healthcare, Energy Services and Cognitive Analytics, taking them from ideation, through prototype to commercial development and launch. Stephen joined Deloitte after launching a personalized services start-up for Bill Gates. Stephen is a member of Edge.org and an advisor on developer ecosystems and distributed innovation to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank and the LongNow Foundation.
Stephen is a technologist, solutions architect, and product designer. He brings together strategic, creative and technical skills to help leaders in the Public and Private sector understand how innovation and digital capabilities can help transform their businesses for the better. Stephen is a member of Edge.org and an advisor on developer ecosystems and distributed innovation to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank and the LongNow Foundation.
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