A year ago, the United Nations Technology Innovation Lab in Espoo was officially launched at SLUSH. This year has been a period of profound growth for the UNTIL Lab network. We are, more than ever, resolute to develop innovative technology tools to support Member States in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
UNTIL is creating innovative technologies to benefit Member States and advance the SDGs because we have a deep appreciation of the incredible and valuable role technology has in advancing humanity and overcoming today’s global challenges.
We will continue to champion new ideas with all actors of local and global technology innovation eco-systems with strong commitment to inclusivity. It is encouraging to see a growing contingent of tech innovators around the world who are sharing the UNTIL purpose and philosophy that, I believe, is very well summarized in the following paragraphs:
When technology succeeds in solving a problem in our lives, it becomes invisible.
The ticking of a clock so constant as to fade into the background.
Too often, we begin to take this transformative force for granted. But technology is not, by nature, an inclusive phenomenon. Its availability in every context cannot be assumed.
And as the clock ticks on unnoticed, lives are lost.
The right combination of capabilities and conditions must be created to give technology a more humane dimension and allow the benefits it can confer to be enjoyed more widely.
The right connections must be made, at the correct moment.
This is our role at UNTIL. Until technology includes all.
With this in mind, I write to invite you to attend UNTIL events at this year’s SLUSH, which will take place at the Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre on November 21-22. Come and meet us at the UNTIL booth (location: 7A.28) and at a number of important side events to which you are invited to attend.
Launch of Tech Diversity and Inclusivity report:
“UNTIL: Inclusion and Diversity Pays”, the first side-event, will occur on November 18, 17:00-19:00. UNTIL and Miltton will host an event to launch the first Tech Diversity and Inclusivity report. The reception will take place at Miltton in Helsinki, the award-winning branding and communications agency has also kindly supported UNTIL’s with branding and communication strategies. The report shows how you can reduce biases in tech and increase your impact. It offers ideas on how to create diverse and inclusive workforces. Please register here.
Another side-event we are proud to sponsor concerns the importance of promoting entrepreneurship for young people living in fragile countries. The event is co-hosted by the Aalto University Entrepreneurship Platform. The event will examine what works, what doesn’t, and why support for entrepreneurialship in fragile contexts is more important than ever. Held in Helsinki on Friday, November 22, 14:00-16:00, you can register here.
Accelerating progress to the sustainable development goals by increasing diversity and inclusion in technology
The official UNTIL side event on Friday November 22, 9:10-11:30, Siipi 101CD Auditorium at Messukeskus. You do not need a SLUSH pass for this event. Part of the event will show how technology and innovation is helping also the mission of UNAIDS. There will also be discussions about eliminating biases in tech with a keynote speech from Finland’s Government.
Finally, below is a brief schedule of activities at UNTIL’s booth at SLUSH. Location: at the central hall in Messukeskus Conference Centre, booth number 7A.28:
Thursday 21st Nov
UNTIL Theme: Peace and Security
Friday 22 Nov
UNTIL: Circular Economy
If you are unable to attend SLUSH I nonetheless hope you will follow us online at https://until.un.org and at www.twitter.com/UNTILabs (our handle is @UNTILabs) and help spread the word through social media through the #maketechinclusive hashtag.
"The advances of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, including those brought on by a combination of computing power, robotics, big data and artificial intelligence, are generating revolutions in health care, transport and manufacturing.
I am convinced that these new capacities can help us to lift millions of people out of poverty, achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and enable developing countries to leap‑frog into a better future."
23 March 2018, New York