Children in Uganda gather around to use UNICEF’s solar-powered Digital Drum, at Bosco Youth Centre in Gulu, northern Uganda.

Children in Uganda gather around to use UNICEF’s solar-powered Digital Drum, at Bosco Youth Centre in Gulu, northern Uganda.

Over 500 leading thinkers from the technological, academic, corporate, development and humanitarian world are convening in Helsinki today to unlock the way new technologies can drive change for the world’s most vulnerable children.

Technology and new ways of thinking can help us reach the most marginalized children faster and more efficiently than ever before,” said Yoka Brandt, UNICEF deputy executive director. “Sharing innovations with children and making them part of the solution can help us turn cycles of poverty into cycles of prosperity and progress, not just for them but for their communities and nations.”

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Organized by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and UNICEF, ‘Start Up To Scale Up’ is the first global summit on innovations for children and youth.

It aims to:

  • Raise awareness of the potential impact innovations can have on improving children’s lives and realizing their rights;
  • Create new partnerships to advance and scale up innovative solutions for children;
  • Activate support from partners to help amplify proven, high-impact innovations for children worldwide; and
  • Develop new localized innovations that will help lift children out of poverty.

We are happy to host this event in Helsinki,” said Lenita Toivakka, Finnish Minister for Foreign Trade and Development.

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Participants will examine which opportunities from the technological and private sector can have the biggest impact on children over the next five years, how a more connected world can deal with more frequent emergencies, how wider connectivity affects learning, and how to prepare a more resilient planet.

They will also explore emerging areas such as: social data; access to information through satellite infrastructure; wearables for personal and planetary health; games and behaviour change; the role of entertainment and media in scaling up innovations for children; learning in 2020 and beyond; and the future of jobs and job training.

The summit is held in collaboration with Slush, a start-up and technology conference held in Finland every year bringing together entrepreneurs and international investors.

Photo courtesy: UNICEF

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