Illuminating 'unknown' domains of impact and uncovering new practices and pathways for transformative innovation for children
The only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing.
UNICEF’s Global Innovation Strategy looks “to identify gaps and opportunities and uncover unproven approaches and technologies to be explored.” This is the focus of the Innovation Nodes. The nodes inquire about realms of impact for children yet to be explored and discovered, launching new areas of expertise in emerging domains with unknown impact on innovation for children.
We collaborate with pioneering organizations to explore and probe “known unknowns” and “unknown unknowns”.
These new transdisciplinary collaborations will reduce our ignorance, risks, and opportunity costs and increase impact for children.
The transdisciplinary approach to research and innovation includes multiple perspectives and diverse knowledge systems - resulting in new conceptual, theoretical and methodological insights that transcend traditional discipline-specific domains and practices, as illustrated by McPhee et al. (2018).
Transdisciplinarity requires participants to challenge assumptions, including their own, thereby encouraging mutual learning and nurturing an open, holistic and integrative ethos to knowledge co-production and innovation.
Examples of areas of Innovation Node exploration
Harvard CBE piloted the first Innovation Node, dedicating a multi-disciplinary team covering business and life sciences expertise. The collaboration undertook analyses of the global market and private and public sector pathways to examine how to maximize worldwide access to ground-breaking diagnostics for pregnant women emerging from research.
The potential benefits of biotechnology for children
Biotechnology harnesses cellular and biomolecular processes to develop technologies and products that improve our lives and the health of our planet. Advances in biotechnology offer potentially game changing benefits for energy, agriculture and food security, healthcare, and environmental protection. At the same time, it raises new safety and ethical concerns, and issues around intellectual property rights. What are the potential benefits of biotechnology for children?
Mycellium in material, health and food science
Mycellium are fungus fibres that resemble fragile roots. Fungal solutions have improved our health (antibotics and anti-viral compounds). Mats of mycellium can filter out heavy metals and break down toxins. Intense R&D on mycelium are leading to new materials and new edible products that are sustainable, economical, high-performing and ethical. How might accelerated innovation in this space benefit children?
Get in touch to learn more about Innovation Nodes and opportunities for collaborations.
Tanya Accone, Senior Adviser Innovation
Robyn Lui, Innovation Specialist - Node Engagement