People already have extraordinary solutions in progress to our most complex challenges. Let’s find them and get the job done.

by Megan Smith, U.S. Chief Technology Officer

The 17 Global Goals for dignity, prosperity, and justice for all people and the planet. Each goal has a robust set of targets and indicators to help measure progress.

In two short weeks, we received more than 800 submissions from individuals and teams from over 100 countries.

14 women and men, hailing from 6 continents, came to UN Headquarters on Sunday 27th of September to share their solutions-in-progress.

Meet the Solution-Makers

Below is a round-up of the tremendous work being driven by 14 Solution-Makers — followed by the full Solutions Summit video with each of their 3-minute lightning talks recorded live from UN Headquarters.

Agnes Nakirya | African Prisons Project | Uganda

The African Prisons Project upgrades the legal knowledge of prisoners & increases empathy across the prison ecosystem.

Tarik Nesh-Nash | Legislation Lab | Morocco

Within two months,, the Moroccan constitutional crowdsourcing initiative, was visited by more than 200,000 people and received more than 10,000 proposals.

Christian Benimana | African Design Centers | Rwanda

African Design Centers focus on integrating local tradespeople into the design and build process — in a movement called Local Fabrication, or LoFab.

Xi Li | Baidu Recycle | China

The Baidu Recycle App is working to change consumer behavior and improve the health outcomes of millions of workers in the informal sector.

Beno Juarez | Floating Fab Lab | Peru

The world’s first Floating Fab Lab will serve as a testbed of the intersection between the latest technologies in digital manufacturing and ancient ecosystems and cultures.

Susan Graham | Biocarbon Engineering | United Kingdom

The founder of BioCarbon Engineering, Lauren Fletcher, explains how the team is using emerging technologies to plant one billion trees (~570,000 Hectares) per year.

Princess Abze Djigma | AbzeSolar | Burkina Faso

AbzeSolar provides solar lighting, solar energy and solar water heating solutions across 3,500 female-run cooperatives in Sub-Saharan Africa in collaboration with UNDP.

Lalit Sharma | Freshwater Recharge Wells | India

The design of the Freshwater Recharge Well is completely open source.

Sanjay Banka | Banka BioLoo | India

Nearly 600 million people in India defecate in the open; Banka BioLoo offers an affordable, sustainable alternative to improve health and security.

Bart Weetjens | APOPO HeroRATS | Belgium

This video demonstrates how an African Giant Rat is trained to correctly detect tuberculosis.

Annamarie Saarinen | BORN Project | United States

The Newborn Foundation has successfully shifted policy and rolled out universal pulse oximetry screening for newborns across the United States and is running pilot trials across 50 delivery sites in rural China.

Rainer Sternfeld | Planet OS | Estonia

Planet OS indexes the public web for geospatial sensor datasets.

Laura Boykin | Computational Food Security | Australia

Laura works with African scientists throughout East and Central African to anchor the use of high-performance computing for food security and to build on-the-ground capacity.

Nnameka Ikegwuonu | ColdHubs | Nigeria

Nnaemeka recounting the story of how the clock continues to tick for the tomato.
We were joined by a powerhouse audience of senior policymakers with the means to pave solid regulatory foundations, investors who care deeply about long-term change and impact, industry leaders who are able to deploy quickly and at scale, and civil society leaders with strong, grassroots community networks.

The Workshop

We need you

Solutions Summit Event Video. Cover Photo: Ryan Panchadsaram, Megan Smith, Susan Alzner, Puneet Ahira, Kathy Calvin, Susan Myers, UN Special Adviser Amina Mohammed, and Ambassador Macharia Kamau.

Practice makes permanent; and even in the few days since we went live, our Solution-Makers are getting valuable feedback and support — and we are already starting to see signs of this method taking on a life of its own.

Global Goals Launch at UN Headquarters. Animation and Projection Design by 59 Productions.

This account will be maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and will serve as an archive of Obama Administration content.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store