How the Private Sector is Advancing the SDGs: An Interview with JPMorgan Chase’s Emma Klauber

By Ashley Bass, +SocialGood Connector & Emma Klauber, Tech for Social Good | Emerging Talent Programs | JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The United Nations is calling on companies to play a big role in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, and business operational practices are just one piece of the impact pie. As world leaders and stakeholders continue to discuss how to make progress on the Goals, it’s an opportune moment to reflect on how companies have already embraced them across sectors and around the world.

JPMorgan Chase is one company that is leveraging its expertise in financial markets to promote sustainable business practices and help clients raise the capital they need to invest in projects and initiatives intended to achieve positive environmental and social outcomes. In early 2020, for example, the firm announced its plans to facilitate $200 billion in financing in 2020 to drive action on climate change and advance the objectives of the SDGs. JPMorgan Chase also offers programs for their employees to allow them to partake in their communities’ growth in a sustainable, inclusive way. For example, the Tech for Social Good initiative helps address tech skills gaps among youth in underrepresented communities. One of its signature programs is GenerationTech, a tech design challenge for high school students to brainstorm creative solutions for social good challenges.

I recently spoke to Emma Klauber, one of the team members at JPMorgan Chase’s Tech for Social Good, about the company’s work in advancing the SDGs:

Ashley Bass: During the most recent GenerationTech events, students worked in teams to create a solution that addresses a UN Sustainable Development Goal. What were some of the solutions that teams came up with?

Emma Klauber: In December 2020, we held our first virtual GenerationTech for students in Wilmington, Delaware and Columbus, Ohio. Teams of 3–5 students were assigned one of four UN Sustainable Development Goals. The winning solutions for each goal were:

Quality Education — the team recognized that many U.S. students and families do not have regular access to technology or Wi-Fi. They designed a website to connect donors and companies with schools that need extra support.

Reduced Inequalities — the team created a mobile app to make donating more accessible and mainstream for consumers to contribute to nonprofits working to provide equitable access to basic human needs like food, healthcare, and education.

Zero Hunger — the team devised a mobile app to promote awareness of food scarcity and food insecurity. App users participate in a number of challenges/games to earn points which translate into donations for food charities. A leaderboard is published to keep participants motivated.

Good Health and Well-Being — the team built an app with the goal of reducing injuries and death caused by substance abuse from behind the wheel of a car. The app works with car insurance companies to accumulate awards for safe driving practices and app companies to implement driving modes on phones to eliminate distractions.

Q: Are there any plans to continue to expand GenerationTech especially now that the outreach is done virtually?

A: We are working on more opportunities for American students in different cities to work together on social good solutions. We are also planning to open these events to our JPMorgan volunteers.

Q: The newly launched Youth Talent Network is a great way to keep young people connected and engaged. Are there any plans to engage young people through continuous collaborative programming during this virtual pivot?

A: Not yet ready to announce our plans for 2021

Tech for Social Good at JPMorgan Chase

Tech for Social Good recently celebrated 10 years engaging employees to lift up communities, empower people through technology and give back to the cities where we live and work. Tech for Social Good runs several social good programs including Youth Programs like GenerationTech, Code for Good, and Force for Good that engage full-time employees through skilled volunteerism. Employees have the opportunity to work with students, community members and nonprofits to ideate and build solutions for social good challenges.

GenerationTech

GenerationTech is the Tech for Social Good team’s signature youth program, designed to inspire students within 14–18 (with the corresponding authorization and/or release from the parents or guardian -if applicable) to explore STEM and learn about what it’s like to be a technologist at JPMorgan Chase. Students work in teams to create a solution that addresses a UN Global Development Goal. With the support of a JPMorgan Chase employee coach, teams use a wire-framing tool to design the front end of their app or website that would help solve this social good challenge. For example, in the past, this program developed an app that allowed users to identify local suppliers of imperfect produce and suggested recipes to use the produce in a meal to address the UN Global Development Goal of No Hunger. The participating teams get to present in a series of judging rounds and winners are selected based on social impact, innovation and creativity, among others.

In 2019, GenerationTech expanded its geographical reach to engage nearly 800 young people in JPMorgan Chase tech center locations around the world such as: Bournemouth, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Columbus, Delaware, Glasgow, Jersey City, London, Plano, and Tampa. Typically held at JPMorgan Chase offices, students have the opportunity to feel welcomed in a professional setting and engage with tech employees from diverse job families, seniority, and personal backgrounds. The in-person experience of the event is an important element of the event for youth and employees alike. Students who participate in the event leave with a new sense of confidence about their ability learn new tech skills, collaborate with local peers, and create a pathway to achieve their educational and professional goals.

Technology, creativity, critical thinking and communication skills are all essential to succeed in any professional industry, whether media, art, engineering, space, sport and, like JPMorgan Chase, finance. No matter what type of job interests a student, having exposure to technical skills will assist in achieving that goal and GenerationTech can be the starting point on that journey.

Pivot during COVID-19

At the start of 2020, the youth team was excited to expand the program and continue running in-person events for students local to our technology centers. Then the pandemic hit and the program had to pivot to a virtual model.

In collaboration with the Code for Good team, a 24 hour hackathon for university students, the Youth team pivoted and prepared to run the event through an online hackathon platform and video conferencing tool. The virtual format offered JPMorgan Chase several new exciting opportunities for the program such as:

● Extended, more technical version of GenerationTech

Without the barriers of a physical space and one day timeframe, a longer, three week version of GenerationTech was designed which engaged a new set of JPMorgan Chase volunteers from the Expert Engineer (E2) Community to support students in learning basic code to create their projects. E2 is a development program for high-performing technologists looking to stay on a technical career path. The program aims to advance the technologist’s strategic influence and technical acumen as well as build a community of technical experts. As part of their continued education and training, E2 candidates share their subject matter expertise with colleagues and local community members.

In the extended version, students will work in teams of 4–6, again assigned to a JPMorgan Chase technologist to serve as a team coach and advise the team as they shape their project for a UN Global Goal. Using a toolkit provided by the Tech for Social Good team, students will use light programming and freely available tools to design their app or website. Throughout the three weeks, students will stay connected with their team members and participate in virtual check-ins to received support and guidance as their solution is developed.

By the assigned deadline, teams will submit a presentation of their solution to JPMorgan Chase’s judges and winning teams will be selected based on innovation, technical solution, and quality of presentation.

A pilot of this program kicked off in October for Glasgow students. The Tech for Social Good team plans to replicate this version of the program for US students in 2021.

● Virtual, one day event

While the team explores the ways that GenerationTech can be extended and deepened, plans were put into place to offer the one day event to virtual participants in our target markets. Employee volunteers will be trained to mentor their student teams over a video conferencing tool, rather than a JPMorgan Chase campus.

One day virtual GenerationTech events are planned for several locations: Bournemouth, Columbus, Delaware, and London in fall 2020. The virtual format allows the Tech for Social Good team to reach students in locations outside of our tech center markets and bring young people into our Youth Talent Network from all over the United States and United Kingdom.

Youth Talent Network

JPMorgan Chase recently launched the Youth Talent Network as a way to stay connected to young people who participate in our programming. Although our efforts in the youth space have always been, and remain, philanthropic — we also have an opportunity to thoughtfully build a talent pipeline. Students ages 13–17 (currently available only to those in the US and UK) who join the Youth Talent Network will be informed of additional JPMorgan Chase youth events and educational opportunities available to them based on interests, location and age. We aim to stay in touch with youth interested in careers in technology and finance and invite youth to continually engage with us as their skill set and professional goals evolve. If you are a student in the US or UK and would like to join the Youth Talent Network, please register your interest here, with the corresponding authorization and/or release from your parent or guardian (if applicable).

JPMorgan is addressing several SDG goals such as SDG 4 Quality Education, SDG 10 Reduced Inequalities, SDG 2 Zero Hunger and SDG 3 Good-health and well being. Now let’s hear from Emma Klauber, JP Morgan Chase during our virtual interview as she discusses the SDG Goals that the Tech for Social Good team are currently addressing.

How the Private Sector is Advancing the SDGs: An Interview with JPMorgan Chase’s Emma Klauber

By Ashley Bass, +SocialGood Connector & Emma Klauber, Tech for Social Good | Emerging Talent Programs | JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The United Nations is calling on companies to play a big role in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, and business operational practices are just one piece of the impact pie. As world leaders and stakeholders continue to discuss how to make progress on the Goals, it’s an opportune moment to reflect on how companies have already embraced them across sectors and around the world.

JPMorgan Chase is one company that is leveraging its expertise in financial markets to promote sustainable business practices and help clients raise the capital they need to invest in projects and initiatives intended to achieve positive environmental and social outcomes. In early 2020, for example, the firm announced its plans to facilitate $200 billion in financing in 2020 to drive action on climate change and advance the objectives of the SDGs. JPMorgan Chase also offers programs for their employees to allow them to partake in their communities’ growth in a sustainable, inclusive way. For example, the Tech for Social Good initiative helps address tech skills gaps among youth in underrepresented communities. One of its signature programs is GenerationTech, a tech design challenge for high school students to brainstorm creative solutions for social good challenges.

JPMorgan is addressing several SDG goals such as SDG 4 Quality Education, SDG 10 Reduced Inequalities, SDG 2 Zero Hunger and SDG 3 Good-health and well being. I recently spoke to Emma Klauber, one of the team members at JPMorgan Chase’s Tech for Social Good, about the company’s work in advancing the SDGs:

Ashley Bass: During the most recent GenerationTech events, students worked in teams to create a solution that addresses a UN Sustainable Development Goal. What were some of the solutions that teams came up with?

Emma Klauber: In December 2020, we held our first virtual GenerationTech for students in Wilmington, Delaware and Columbus, Ohio. Teams of 3 to 5 students were assigned one of four UN Sustainable Development Goals. The winning solutions for each goal were:

Quality Education — the team recognized that many U.S. students and families do not have regular access to technology or Wi-Fi. They designed a website to connect donors and companies with schools that need extra support.

Reduced Inequalities — the team created a mobile app to make donating more accessible and mainstream for consumers to contribute to nonprofits working to provide equitable access to basic human needs like food, healthcare, and education.

Zero Hunger — the team devised a mobile app to promote awareness of food scarcity and food insecurity. App users participate in a number of challenges/games to earn points which translate into donations for food charities. A leaderboard is published to keep participants motivated.

Good Health and Well-Being — the team built an app with the goal of reducing injuries and deaths caused by substance abuse from behind the wheel of a car. The app works with car insurance companies to accumulate awards for safe driving practices and app companies to implement driving modes on phones to eliminate distractions.

Q: Are there any plans to continue to expand GenerationTech especially now that the outreach is done virtually?

A: We are working on more opportunities for American students in different cities to work together on social good solutions. We hope to pilot a three-week version of GenerationTech for students across the country to collaborate.

The pandemic has affected youth in many ways. Let’s take a look at how JPMorgan Chase Tech for Social Good Youth Programs Adapted in 2020.

Pivot during COVID-19

At the start of 2020, the youth team at JP Morgan Chase was excited to expand the program and continue running in-person events for students local to our technology centers. Then the pandemic hit and the program had to pivot to a virtual model.

In collaboration with the Code for Good team, a 24-hour hackathon for university students, the youth team pivoted and prepared to run the event through an online hackathon platform and video conferencing tool. The virtual format offered JPMorgan Chase several new exciting opportunities for the program such as:

● Extended, more technical version of GenerationTech

Without the barriers of a physical space and one-day time frame, a longer, three-week version of GenerationTech was designed which engaged a new set of JPMorgan Chase volunteers from the Expert Engineer (E2) Community to support students in learning basic code to create their projects. E2 is a development program for high-performing technologists looking to stay on a technical career path. The program aims to advance the technologist’s strategic influence and technical acumen as well as build a community of technical experts. As part of their continued education and training, E2 candidates share their subject matter expertise with colleagues and local community members.

In the extended version, students will work in teams of 4 to 6 individuals, again assigned to a JPMorgan Chase technologist to serve as a team coach and advise the team as they shape their project for addressing a UN Global Goal. Using a toolkit provided by the Tech for Social Good team, students will use light programming and freely available tools to design their app or website. Throughout the three weeks, students will stay connected with their team members and participate in virtual check-ins to receive support and guidance as their solution is developed.

By the assigned deadline, teams will submit a presentation of their solution to JPMorgan Chase’s judges, and winning teams will be selected based on innovation, technical solution, and quality of presentation.

A pilot of this program kicked off in October for Glasgow students. The Tech for Social Good team plans to replicate this version of the program for US students in 2021.

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.