The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and Open Geneva have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote the education and practice of open innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The document was signed by United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNITAR, Mr. Nikhil Seth and the President of Open Geneva Association, Dr. Thomas Maillart in May 2021.
This agreement formalises, establishes and enhances the ongoing cooperation between the two partners, to design and run open innovation practices with sustainability, including inclusivity, accessibility, spaces of non-judgement and of shared practices, as well as with participatory and bottom-up approaches.
The Agreement is complementary to the recently signed Agreement between UNITAR, the Geneva School of Economics and Management of University of Geneva and the School of Economics and Management of Tsinghua University, aimed at setting global standards for SDG Education and open innovation.
The parties have established a track record of designing and running open innovation practices that involve multiple stakeholders as well as participatory and bottom-up approaches.
Through implementation of the MoU Agreement, stringent performance measurements on the ways open innovation fosters the SDGs will be established, through certificates of participation and of achievement to beneficiaries. UNITAR and Open Geneva will collaborate on common research and development on open innovation performance, including regarding collective intelligence stemming from expertise and cultural background diversity, effects on cultural change including inclusion of large populations in the innovation process for the SDGs and for business and consumer engagement.
Among other forms of cooperation, research & development will be explored around developing technologies to track activities, measure performance and record achievements by individuals and groups of innovators, supporting the development and establishment of open innovation standards and governance.
The signed MoU Agreement will globally expand the practice of open innovation through hackathons, and will set research and technological foundations for the standardisation of the practice of open innovation for the SDGs. For this purpose, new synergies and collaborations with international organisations and private sectors are procured to emerge.