Epic Wins Generation Girls
Frontier partnerships with a collaborative purpose: epic wins for every girl, everywhere.
We happily admit it - working across our vastly different organizations as co-leaders of the Generation Equality Action Coalition on Technology and Innovation for Gender Equality has been as invigorating as it has been challenging. Despite the challenges, we know that our commitment to collaboration and co-creation is essential to achieve our common purpose: epic wins for every girl, everywhere.
Author and game designer Jane McGonigal describes an epic win in her TED talk:
“An epic win is an outcome that is so extraordinarily positive, you had no idea it was even possible until you achieved it. It was almost beyond the threshold of imagination, and when you get there, you’re shocked to discover what you’re truly capable of. That’s an epic win.”
Two years ago, our Action Coalition united in a first public call to urge partners across industries and geographies “at the intersection of the digital evolution and gender equality, (to) commit to engage the diversity of girls and young women in their strength, our strength.” Girls in all their diversity, including as tech trailblazers are essential contributors as we innovate to achieve our epic wins.
Humbly, we are proud of the efforts, including designing a digital literacy equity outcomes fund - a Generation Equality joint commitment by Finland, UNICEF, and UNCDF. The fund is set to launch in 2023 with a pilot in West Africa, supporting private and non-profit business models that are intentionally addressing the gender digital divide and economic participation gaps.
With a human-centered approach to the fund design itself we are seating girls and young women at the design table to co-shape the fund’s outcomes that deliver their desired futures. From our perspective, this is the secret ingredient of epic wins – platforming grassroots knowledge and localized expertise as the bedrock of resilience and strength in the digital age.
In 2022, Digital Grassroots, a youth-led and feminist organization mobilized a cadre of 40 digital rights advocates from underrepresented communities to enhance their autonomy in digital citizenship and leadership. Frontier partnerships bring the best of grassroots organizations and pair them with government entities, private sector tech and design industries, and the impact investing ecosystem to deliver solutions that are bold and adventurous.
“If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”
The path toward gender equality is marked with many footprints, and we are truly grateful to all who walk with us. We look forward to meeting many more partners at intersections and crossroads in 2023, including as we shape the Global Digital Compact toward the 2024 Summit of the Future, as well as the Women Deliver Conference in Rwanda. Together, we’ll celebrate our epic wins, continue to think ambitiously, and imagine big.
About the Authors
Esther Mwema is a digital inequalities practitioner with expertise in internet governance, digital transformation, and innovation. She is founder and chief strategist at Digital Grassroots. She serves as a co-leader in the Generation Equality Action Coalition for Technology and Innovation for Gender Equality.
Riitta Swan is the Innovation Ambassador at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland. Her latest postings are as the Ambassador of Finland to the United Arab Emirates and Tanzania.
Patty Alleman is the Lead of Strategic Partnerships at UNICEF Office of Innovation. She is purpose driven, an optimistic futurist, and an inclusive connector!
UNICEF's Office of Innovation has an agile business architecture that aligns with diverse partners to boldly discover, co-create, and scale innovative solutions and technologies to deliver an accelerated pace of change for this and coming generations of children.