Emerging Technologies for the Global Goals

A +SocialGood Series on #SocialGoodTech

Technology is constantly emerging and evolving, creating endless challenges and opportunities for our world and those working to protect it. It is important to keep track of technology trends and to explore how they can progress our vision for a better world by the year 2030. In 2018, +SocialGood worked with its global community to identify emerging technologies, examine their use globally, and inspire new ways these innovations can be used to further development.

Each month followed a specific emerging technology, and its impact and potential to help solve the world’s big problems.

January — Blockchain: Blockchain is a revolutionary new way to structure data, allowing global citizens around the world to share a digital ledger to track transactions through a network of computers. Blockchain has the potential to limit the need for the central authority figures that currently manage these relationships. From fighting hunger to global health, organizations and entrepreneurs are already exploring how this emerging technology could transform the development space.

February — Mobile Technology: Mobile technology has become more common than working toilets. Mobile phones have connected people worldwide to vital information, financial resources, and life-saving networks. Join +SocialGood this month to explore mobile solutions, from messages for maternal health to collaborative disaster reporting.

March — Robotics and Driverless Cars: 2017 was a year of extreme progress on the development and production of robots worldwide. Robots are becoming more accurate, sophisticated, and effective, making them potentially useful in a host of development programs. Innovators are realistically imagining a future where robots can diagnose diseases, prepare meals, and deliver aid. These capabilities could allow robotics to take workers out of dangerous humanitarian settings while maintaining essential services.

April — Digital Currency, FinTech, and Financial Inclusion: In April, the global organizations will be coming together to explore how to combat poverty and finance development worldwide. Along this theme, +SocialGood will look at emerging technologies in digital currency and how those innovations, from bitcoin to other forms of e-commerce, can be used as tools for a more prosperous and inclusive future.

May — 3D Printing: 3D printing has the potential to transform the physical world, with its capabilities become more advanced and affordable each year. Organizations worldwide are exploring how this emerging technology can be used to reduce waste, develop emergency shelter, and quickly deliver materials to hard-to-reach areas.

June — Sustainable Living , From Cities to Farms: From pollution-cleaning buildings to smart pasture operations, new innovations are transforming the places we eat, sleep, and live. Join +SocialGood this month to explore how new materials, technologies, and ways of thinking are making our cities and farms more sustainable and equitable.

July — Big Data: The world has big goals, from ending poverty to combating climate change. Goals this big need measurement capabilities large enough to track them. That’s where Big Data comes in. By giving leaders more information about challenges and potential solutions, data has the ability to make decisions more evidence-based, creating more effective and efficient solutions for the world.

August — Drones: Drones can travel unmanned to deliver materials, gather information, and even serve as food. This emerging technology is being used around the world to fight climate change, combat poverty, and deliver aid. Explore the many ways drones are transforming the humanitarian sector with +SocialGood.

September — Renewable Energy and Local Climate Solutions: Climate change is a formidable challenge. As global leaders gather in San Francisco for the Global Climate Action Summit, +SocialGood will take a look at the renewable energy and local climate solutions that are working to make our planet healthier, our populations safer, and our societies more resilient. From algae-powered energy production to mobile flood barriers, we’ll be exploring the important and creative ways people are standing up for our planet.

October — Apps and the Sharing Economy: Apps have changed the way many of us live, from ordering food to transportation to the ways we connect with our friends and family. Apps also have the potential to transform how we give back, collaborate, and view society around us. Join us this month to explore how apps like ShareTheMeal encourage philanthropy and how the sharing economy can make our world more equitable and inclusive.

November — Virtual and Augmented Reality: Technology has continuously shifted how we view and interact with reality. This relationship has become even stronger with the onset of virtual and augmented reality technology. These new technologies are improving healthcare, connecting populations through new powerful forms of storytelling, and more. This month we will look at the many exciting ways these new innovations can shape our futures.

December — Tomorrow and Beyond: The last month of the year will be a moment to reflect on the emerging technologies and innovative solutions highlighted in 2018, as well as a time to look forward to the future and the transformations it could bring. +SocialGood community members, experts, and NGO leaders will join together to examine the technologies of tomorrow and how we can work together to create a better world by the year 2030.



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A global community of changemakers united around a shared vision for a better world in 2030. A project of the UN Foundation in support of the United Nations.