Crowdfunding Academy goes global!

Oct 29, 2015

As development challenges are becoming more and more complex, affecting countries all over the world, development organizations need to be able to respond to them quickly and with effective solutions. In these conditions, thinking outside the box should become the rule, rather the exception. So, what are the new ways to address the problems? And just as importantly, how to finance innovation and development?

Keeping all this in mind, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Croatia together with the UNDP Innovation Facility, the Istanbul Regional Hub and 12 countries around the world will explore the possibilities of innovative financial models: crowdfunding, bitcoins, cryptocurrencies, mobile paying… just to name a few. The project is supported by the generous donation of the Government of Denmark.

Connecting the world

UNDP teams from Colombia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Lebanon, Egypt, Yemen, FYR Macedonia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Nepal are all part of the global project titled Innovation in financing development: Crowdfunding Academy which will take place in Istanbul, 7-11 December 2015.

Their projects range from IT education for people living in slums, to ensuring water supply, from the provision of solar energy solutions to schools to the adaptation of the retirement home.

Besides learning about the latest trends in financing development, the teams will also learn how to turn their projects into (successful!) crowdfunding campaigns.

Why Global Crowdfunding Academy?

You might be asking yourself why we are doing all this, and after all, why is crowdfunding so important to UNDP?

We are not only talking about the innovation, instead, we are trying to make it happen in practice. The idea for the Global Crowdfunding Academy was born after the success of the national Academy organized in spring 2015 in Croatia, and which already proved its success. Of the 14 teams that have completed our educational program, first one Lighten the Load was a great success, and two ongoing campaigns: Taste of Home and STEMI are going into the same direction.

Taste of Home aims at creating job prospects for refugees and integrating them into society by opening catering and restaurant in Croatia. STEMI is a robot that you can make on your own at home, and the idea behind it, is to learn children about science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

These campaign are also examples of how new technologies, platforms and solutions can be powerful agents of change in the local communities which often lack the necessary funds to achieve it.

So called ‘end-users’ of crowdfunding are at the heart of the process, engaged equally in finding solutions, as well as the initiators of the projects.

Therefore, in the next several months, UNDP with its partners will use crowdfunding as a test for novel ways of improving public services, enhancing quality of life, enabling education and protecting environment.

Hopefully, local organizations, communities, schools and individuals will show how synergy can impact the lives of people around the globe!



For more information about financing innovation follow us on UNDP Croatia website, @UNDPhr, and don't forget to use hashtags #CFacademy and #inno4dev.