Who cares about the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)?
I certainly didn’t before last week, and my guess is that many of you don’t either. However, my experience taking part in the UN Week Digital Media Lounge changed that for me. And I think there are some reasons why you entrepreneurs and technologists might want to care as well.
What does Mashable have to do with World Hunger:
When Mashable partnered with the United Nations Foundation and the 92nd Street Y, the idea was to bring the development strategy conversation out of the privacy of the UN and into the public sphere through blogging and live streaming content. Bloggers and journalists were given access to experts and a wide range of panelists. Mashable even created a new Social Good tab on their website.
And so, I joined some of the top online voices in tweeting, live blogging, and facebooking on what we thought was most relevant to our respective networks.
I think the food and tech community could play a major role in helping to actualize the MDG goals, most specifically those related to food security and agricultural development. The United States has committed $3.5 billion (part of a $22 billion global commitment) over the next three years as part of the Feed The Future initiative to sustainably combat poverty and hunger. USAID will be launching Development Innovation Labs to bring together social entrepreneurs, researchers, and agency staff to collaborate on new approaches for addressing development challenges.
What this Means for The Technologists:
Get ready to get your nerd on. These major organizations have budgets and seriously large goals. They are looking for game-changing innovators to tackle challenges related to information flow, data management, collaboration, realtime data, metrics, and innovation. They need web development partners.
What This Means for Startups:
There is an entire world of untapped opportunities. Every one of these major development organizations are looking for innovative, realtime tools/partnerships. I encourage you all to get out there and start talking to them.
Feel free to contact me if you have specific questions about organizations. I would be thrilled to point you in the right direction. In the meantime, check out this great map of food security initiatives from Farming First to get a better idea of the organizations involved in food security, their goals, and how much money they are planning to put toward each of these goals.