The global humanitarian charity has launched the CauseTech.net community and portal site where innovators, researchers, IT professionals, academics and others can work together to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems.
The open innovation portal is dedicated to making the most of diverse and collaborative thinking to identify, invent and adapt technologies to help UNICEF with its work in approximately 150 countries. Participants will be able to share ideas and discuss and vote on solutions.
How it Works
Once registered, community members can submit ideas and technologies to solve a need and/or take part in one of the global challenges. Among the current challenges on the site are requests for simple ways of connecting vulnerable and isolated villages with adequate water supplies, sanitation and basic health care.
“UNICEF is committed to ensuring innovative solutions be scaled to address needs for all,” said Dr. Sharad Sapra, director of the UNICEF Global Innovation Center. “Despite incredible developments and technological advances across the globe, there are still many populations that are remote and deprived.”
Challenges and Contests
In addition to ongoing challenges, the portal will also run timed contests. The first of these gets underway on June 1 and will be a search for alternative energy solutions for Burundi. Currently, only three percent of the African country’s population is connected to the electricity grid.
To find out how UNICEF hopes to foster and harness new ways of thinking via open innovation, click here.