Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 17 focuses on strengthening the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development. Innovate: “New Approaches to Canadian International Cooperation” symposium and Devlab held in June 2018 at the Simon Fraser University Vancouver, Canada brought together social innovators, researchers, entrepreneurs and technology experts. It focused on how new technologies and social innovations enhance the delivery of Canadian aid, transform global development and fuel innovation in support of partnerships for sustainable development.
The symposium comprised panel presentations on four themes: collaboration and partnership, engaging the private sector, big data and information technology and project delivery. Different teams were formed whereby innovative ideas were cultivated leading to the development of proposals and idea presentation to a panel of expert judges. At the end of the symposium, not only one but two teams (Eco Hub and Stories Untold) were awarded $10,000 each.
Dr. Samuel Owuor from the University of Nairobi, Kenya participated in the panel discussions and shared on M-Pesa which is a money transfer Technological Innovation and its impacts on livelihoods more so in the remote areas of Kenya.
Being one of the volunteers at the event, I got an opportunity to participate in different group discussions that were taking place during the sessions. The Queen Elizabeth Scholars were also given an opportunity to give a brief description of their various research projects and also their experience in Canada.
The symposium brought up the need to invest in sustainable innovations in the international development space and integrated research in development processes. Collaboration between different sectors including the private sector was also pointed out for instance in the creation of awareness around environmental sustainability. The importance of gender inclusion and creation of long term impacts and community development more so in the developing nations were highlighted.
Approaches such as new innovations, the use of technology and social media to influence projects and share information are some of the ways to foster global partnerships in different sectors.