Hyundai Motor Company and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have celebrated one year of their partnership through the “for Tomorrow” global project aimed at spreading messages of sustainability to people around the world and turning their proposals for sustainable local innovations into globally impactful initiatives.
Over the past year, for Tomorrow, via 91 UNDP Accelerator Labs in 115 countries, has connected innovators from around the globe who are solving local challenges by making cities more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. The UNDP Accelerator Labs are a driving force behind the identification of local innovators in the Global South. They have learned from these innovation-seekers who face the effects of climate change, poverty and other challenges, and contribute to the sustainable growth and management of their communities.
Marking the one-year anniversary, Hyundai Motor and the UNDP Accelerator Labs virtually hosted the livestreamed event, Dialogue for Tomorrow, during the 76th annual United Nations General Assembly on September 29.
“At UNDP, we believe bottom-up innovations are critical if we want to accelerate progress towards the Global Sustainable Development Goals,” said Joseph D’Cruz, the UNDP Special Advisor for Strategic Planning and Innovation. “We designed this one-year anniversary to connect the members of the for Tomorrow community, strengthen the bonds that hold us together and foster solutions that are driving the much needed change in cities and communities around the world.”
Thomas Schemera, Hyundai Motor Company Executive Vice President and Global Chief Marketing Officer, said: “Celebrating one year of the for Tomorrow platform is a meaningful milestone for our entire team. We’ve had the opportunity to review, engage and enable innovators who have worked diligently to create a more sustainable future across the globe. As a sustainable tomorrow can’t be achieved without a concerted effort, we’re thrilled to have played a role in creating a platform that cultivates civic innovations and corporate citizenship on a global scale.”
The Dialogue for Tomorrow was part of the UNDP’s annual official events schedule as well as an official part of the UN Innovation Network Program during the UNGA.
The various grassroots solutions submitted to the for Tomorrow project include:
- Solar Tuk Tuk – a solution that transforms motorcycle taxis in Central America into solar-powered electric vehicles, reducing CO2 emissions and noise pollution
- Solar e-Cycles – solar powered electric cargo tricycles in Kenya for those with mobility needs, access to electricity and revenue
- Imagination Solar Car – Sierra Leone’s first locally made solar powered car, built with bamboo sticks and outfitted with a large solar panel to promote clean and pollution-free transportation
- Informal DIY Remote Gas Stations – mobile gas stations in Indonesia’s rural areas created with jerrycans and other recyclable materials to address the shortage of rural gas stations
“These solutions come from people, bottom up, which are informal, organic and creative, but also sustainable, practical, resilient and holistic,” said Paola Constantino, Head of Solutions Mapping for the UNDP Accelerator Lab in Guatemala.
Benjamin de la Peña, CEO of the Shared-Use Mobility Center and Chair of the Global Partnership for Informal Transportation, said: “The mission of the Global Partnership for Informal Transportation is to elevate informal mobility and change people’s perspectives on these homegrown transportation solutions; to value the innovation and inventive energies of these emergent systems.”
Benjamin de la Peña and Paola Constantino exchanged views on informal transportation, participants’ grassroots solutions and their impacts on cities and urban lives. The panel discussion was followed by a live Q&A session, during which the selected innovators of the for Tomorrow community shared their ideas and discussed the potential of grassroots solutions to address today’s most pressing sustainable and equitable challenges.
Since its inception in September 2020 at the 75th UNGA, the for Tomorrow initiative has promoted over 72 grassroots innovators in 44 countries globally by sharing their stories and allowing them to connect through the platform with other innovators.
For Tomorrow welcomes proposals through September 2022 from around the world. To learn more about for Tomorrow and its presence at UNGA, please visit www.fortomorrow.org
About the United Nations Development Program Accelerator Labs
UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet. In 2019, UNDP set out to build the world’s largest and fastest learning network on wicked sustainable development challenges. Co-built as a joint-venture with the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany and the Qatar Fund for Development, the UNDP Accelerator Lab Network is covering 115 countries, and tapping into local innovations to create actionable insights and reimagine sustainable development for the 21st century.
Read more about the UNDP Accelerator Lab Network: https://acceleratorlabs.undp.org/