UNDP, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany (BMZ) and Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) host a virtual event to launch research ‘Collective Intelligence for Sustainable Development’

New Yor– The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Accelerator Lab Network and its founding investors the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany and the Qatar Fund for Development hosted a virtual event to launch Collective Intelligence for Sustainable Development: Getting Smarter Together, a comprehensive research over 277 case studies that presents how diverse collective intelligence approaches are being used to speed-up progress on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The main speakers in attendance were Achim Steiner​ Administrator,​ United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), His Excellency Khalifa Al-Kuwari, Director General for Qatar Fund for Development and Dr. Jürgen Zattler, ​Director General for International Development Policy, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) who shared their remarks on the imperative of accelerating progress towards the SDGs thanks to approaches like collective intelligence.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the UNDP Accelerator Labs Network was on hand to support communities as they rapidly adapted, improvised and innovated to find often surprising solutions to respond to the virus,” says UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner.  “The challenge now is to sustain and scale-up this unprecedented innovation surge — part of the solution lies in better harnessing the ‘collective intelligence’ distributed across local communities and organisations. By analysing and comparing the methods and tools employed by over 200 private and public sector organizations in this discipline, these two new reports open a new window on how emerging collective intelligence approaches such as Artificial Intelligence, crowdsourcing, and remote sensing can tackle some of the world’s most difficult challenges – from climate change to poverty and inequality and beyond.” shares Achim Steiner​ Administrator,​ United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

“Technology, like art, is a soaring exercise of the human imagination. The Collective Intelligence report is a means to utilize the promise of collective intelligence to help hasten development and urgently overturn the retrogressing trends on numerous SDGs. The Qatar Fund For Development is proud to be a core investor to the UNDP Accelerator Labs, and it is with enormous pride that we observe the Labs push forward its operations. “ said His Excellency Khalifa Al-Kuwari, Director General for Qatar Fund For Development.

“Only collectively we will be able to find suitable solutions for the complex problems of today and tomorrow. UNDPs Accelerator Labs set an important impulse in the ‘Decade of Action’ to join forces to work together towards achieving the SDGs.” concluded Dr. Jürgen Zattler, ​ Director General for International Development Policy, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The Sustainable Development Goals demand financial resources, and they equally require the mobilization of intelligence. This publication series is a call to make it standard practice to channel the innovations, knowledge and contributions of people across the globe, to get serious about the move toward real time data, and to find responsible ways of using artificial intelligence to elevate human intelligence.  If we want to put this planet on a more sustainable & equitable path, we need to get smarter together.

The event also featured Gina Lucarelli, UNDP Accelerator Labs Team Leader, Kathy Peach, Director of Centre for Collective Intelligence Design, Nesta, members of the UNDP Accelerator Labs from Argentina, Tanzania and Ukraine and partners on the ground for interactive collective conversations about how citizen science, crowdmapping and combining multiple datasets are used to monitor air quality, improve waste management and reduce open burning.