Tech Collaboration for Greater Good
UNICEF-Arm provides Davos with model example of private- and third-sector partnership
"In Indonesia, we used (our partner) Arm's support to RapidPro -- the mobile tech programming tool -- to track, in real-time, that country's largest-ever measles and rubella vaccination campaign"
Since its inception in 2006, UNICEF Innovation has made a concerted effort to partner with like-minded people to innovate for impact on the lives of the most vulnerable children and young people everywhere.
Fast-forward 13 years and this desire was no less evident in last month’s invitation-only World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in the Swiss Alpine resort of Davos.
In an early morning roundtable moderated by Wall Street Journal editor, Nikki Waller, the executive director of UNICEF, Henrietta H. Fore, made an impassioned appeal to leaders of the technology community.
Fore’s speech served as a rallying cry to the technology industry to champion the needs of children and young people by collaborating across sectors to create innovative technology solutions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Highlighting the UNICEF-Arm 2030Vision initiative and Generation Unlimited’s Promising Ideas (vis-à-vis expanding digital connectivity), Fore remarked
The executive director went on to ask the audience to lend some thought to six thought-provoking questions about the roles they could potentially play in helping to match their “technology and innovations with the needs of young people.”
Davos: The Players
Organised by UNICEF’s partner, Arm, and the SDGs communication platform, Project Everyone, the roundtable was co-presented by speakers such as Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, Richard Curtis, co-founder of Comic Relief and founder of Project Everyone and Dominic Vergine, head of sustainability and corporate responsibility at Arm.
Distinguished guests included Kumi Nadoo, secretary-general of Amnesty International, Hans Vestberg, chief executive of Verizon, along with senior representatives from Accenture, Amazon, Dow Jones, Facebook, HP, LEGO Foundation, Salesforce and the World Health Organisation to name but a few.
Davos: The Theme
For more than four decades, participants in the WEF’s annual meeting have come together at the start of each year to address the most pressing issues on the industry, regional and global agendas.
This year, the WEF – whose mission is to “improve the state of the world” – convened under the theme, “Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
Countless initiatives of global significance have been launched on the Davos stage. By citing the UNICEF-Arm partnership as a model private sector-third sector technology collaboration, UNICEF hopes that Fore’s address will kick-start a broader top-down conversation in the technology sector about the commercial benefits of harnessing the private sector to drive economic growth for the public good. In other words, doing good is good business.