Time to act. Tech can help to find solutions to UN Sustainable Development Goals

Energy from pee, scan avocados from your phone, connect refugees with their families, get a SMS that a missile is on its way, share food you don't eat with your neighbors. The startup and tech community as well as investors met at STHLM Tech fest in Stockholm and discussed how to solve the real problems in the world with help of tech.

The world's leaders last year agreed to the sustainable development goals (SDGs) to frame their agendas and political policies over the next 15 years. To reach them 2030 we need to start finding solutions today. All of us. 

As Ban Ki-Moon said: 

We are the first generation that can end poverty, and the last that can halt climate change

Gapminders showed us with statistics that the world is not getting worse, less people live in poverty and less people die from natural catastrophes. But the fact that 300 million children are starving, 3 million people die of air pollution every year and that 1 billion people have no where to live makes that to no excuse to not care or take action.

On STHLM Tech fest many startups addressing these problems presented their pitches. Here are some of the solutions:

The process of finding family members after been torned apart has been very difficult and done with just paper and pen. REFUNITE have started a global online database and now over 100 000 refugees are registered every year. 

1/3 of all food is wasted

To address all food waste, over 30% of all food is thrown away, there were many different solutions. Olio approached this problem with a "Tinder for Food" app where users shared their food. There was another startup that had a photo scanning service that helped user to not only look at the best before date but get the actual status of the food. 

Blokable takes a fraction of the time to build compared with site built construction.

The prediction is that 2050 75% of us will live in cities, today it is around 50% globally. In Sweden it is as high as 86%. The cities already now have hard to keep up with the urbanization and not enough homes are built. Blokable had a solution to make it faster to build homes with a modular building system. 

1.2 billion people around the world currently lack access to electricity. Trine had a solution for energy, making it easy to invest in solar energy for emerging markets. 

There were also solutions that were really smart but I got tears in my eyes hearing about them. That they have to exist. One was to get a SMS when a missile is approaching your home town to give you time to escape. 

To see more examples, see the recorded sessions

What Niklas Zennström said I will take with me, 

Refuse to be part of the generation that are aware but does not take actions.

So think about which of the goals you want to work for and start testing different ideas for solutions already today.

Written by Hanna 

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