Top 20: Technology & Innovation against COVID-19

An army of tech-optimists, innovators and developers are gathering and building up in time record some the best solutions to tackle this pandemic.

Hundreds of innovations are being developed worldwide due to COVID-19, and we would like to share our top 20 technological innovations:

1. Stay Home Tours:

Innovation that allows you to discover virtually a city of your choice such as: Berlin, Bangkok or New York. As well as museums in different parts of the world.

This initiative raises funds to combat COVID and could make the full contribution through the Facebook platform ‘COVID-19 Fundraiser’ at the World Health Organization to help combat the coronavirus. Click here.

2. Corona central:

Brazilian platform that offers a free service that connects people with possible symptoms of COVID with doctors through a chat application (WhatsApp or Telegram). A few questions will be asked to confirm if the call needs to be forwarded to a doctor. If so, the conversation is directed to a request queue, to which the volunteer doctors have access. Click here

3. Cool Plans to Stay at Home:

Bobo Choses is a clothing company in Barcelona that wants to help keep children happy, have fun and explore their creativity during the quarantine. <Cool Plan to Stay at Home> asks families to send photos and videos of their best plans through Instagram, to help inspire other families around the world. Click here

4. We eat together:

Help local restaurants stay open. Launched by a group of restaurateurs who want to help small restaurants like themselves by selling vouchers, pieces of merchandise, or any other special offer, and asking people to redeem them when they open their doors again. You can even register your own restaurant. Click here

5. Innovation for Now:

Wirecard offers a range of low-cost solutions for merchants from the leading technology companies in Germany, who have been affected by COVID and who want to implement digital solutions quickly and easily. Click here

6. Craft tent:

The US-based event tent company USA Use medical and health apps to survive. It leveraged its strengths in custom manufacturing and wide format printing to produce new mobile infirmaries and direct access stores for Covid-19 detection. Click here

7. Masuno

Free and collaborative platform that preserves the most extensive knowledge about COVID for Colombia and the Latin American region. Combat fake news by centralizing all relevant information in one place. Click here

8. Mil Gracias

The Spanish agency Idear Ideas launched the #MilGracias initiative with the aim of exposing the small useful actions that other people do for us and giving them the opportunity to thank them in the way they want and to those they want during these times of crisis. Click here

9. Tuned.

Facebook launches its Tuned messaging app that allows couples to stay more connected, creating a digital scrapbook to help them better deal with social withdrawal and blockages. Click here

10. Did they Help? 

The website classifies companies and celebrities who have made positive changes and actions to support employees and society during COVID as ‘Heroes’, and those whose actions may have had a negative impact as ‘Zero’. Click here



11. Bluetooth Estimote:

The company created portable devices with passive GPS location tracking to improve workplace safety for those who must be located in a physical workplace while using isolation and social distancing measures. Click here

12. Make way for books:

Through this free application, parents have access to electronic books in English and Spanish that give them the opportunity to read to their children. Additionally, each book that is in the app is attached to an activity that helps extend the learning that comes with each book. Click here

13. Antibacterial gel donated:

In view of the increased demand for raw materials necessary for the prevention of COVID, the Mar del Plata-based craft brewery and distillery took the initiative to set aside the commercial production of beverages and alcohol products available to health centers and municipalities in charge of distribution. Click here

14. Contactless technology:

Etihad Airways tests new airport technology to identify travelers with COVID symptoms. Contactless technology can monitor the temperature, heart rate and breathing of any passenger. Click here

15. Bakery creates a new bread:

This Vietnam bakery invented a new type of pink bread, to reuse the huge quantities of dragon fruit that were not sold due to COVID, as the country closed much of its trade with China due to the coronavirus. Click here

16. Hilton y American Express:

These companies teamed up to provide one million hotel rooms in the United States from next week to the end of May, to provide first-line personal doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, and other medical practitioners a place to sleep. , recharge or isolate. Click here

17. The Russian Vkusvill supermarket: 

You want to install vending machines in residential buildings. The vending machines will be placed in buildings of at least 100 apartments and will supply around 70 Vkusvill products to better serve buyers during the closure of COVID in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Click here

18. Happy Hours Virtual:

Molson Canadian launches virtual happy hours to support local bars and restaurants in Canada. The Canadian beer company is rewarding the hosts of its virtual gatherings with a $ 25 gift card destined for their favorite local bar once the restrictions set by COVID-19 are lifted. Click here

19. Your Local Delivered: 

Is a free online community that connects local and independent businesses like UK pubs, restaurants, butchers, supermarkets with people who are quarantined at home. Click here

20. I give up my car: 

Fundación Ibercaja and the Red Cross have launched the ‘#YoCedoMiCoche’ campaign in Aragon, Spain, turning automobile engines into repair fleets for home delivery of basic products, both food and sanitary, cleaning and hygiene. Click here

 

Can you recommend a great initiative worth to be part of this list?

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The Global School Team

Top 10: systems thinking skills to cultivate in uncertain & tumultuous times

The discipline of systems thinking is more than just a collection of tools and methods – it’s also an underlying philosophy.

Many beginners are attracted to the tools, such as causal loop diagrams and management flight simulators, in hopes that these tools will help them deal with persistent business problems. But systems thinking is also a sensitivity to the circular nature of the world we live in; an awareness of the role of structure in creating the conditions we face; a recognition that there are powerful laws of systems operating that we are unaware of; a realization that there are consequences to our actions that we are oblivious to.

In general, the systems thinking perspective requires curiosity, clarity, compassion, choice, and courage. This approach includes the willingness to see a situation more fully, to recognize that we are interrelated. 

Ask yourself, how can I analyze the situation all of us are facing in order to have a better impact in my society?  Here we compile 10 recommendations by Dr Elizabeth Sawin, Co-Founder of Climate Interactive. 

 

1. Multisolving.

Do not sub-estimate any effort, any donation, claim, or a petition signed is important now more than ever:

How can my one action accomplish multiple goals? Micro: a donation to the local food pantry helps feed my community now and strengths our civic infrastructure for the future. Macro: a green stimulus could fight inequity, climate change & economic shocks.

2. Repurposing.

How can the structures we’ve built contribute to well-being now, under changed circumstances?

While students are at home, the school bus delivers lunch to the school bus stops throughout town. Unemployment system reshaped to also include freelancers. Also: Hotels used quarantine centers. Production lines retooled to make ventilators. Distilleries making hand sanitizer.

We are witnessing now collective efforts that confirm the power of our human creativity.

3. Visioning.

What do I really want to see in my life, my town, the world?

Daring to picture that in vivid detail even while having no idea how to get there. Without these visions, what are you multisolving or repurposing for?

Envisioning a renewed life fitting into a new world is key to guide your efforts. 

4. Orienting by ethics.

The practice of navigating by a moral compass. Ethics are ‘rules for what works’ in complex systems. You are unique and precious and so is every other being. No one is safe until everyone is safe. Equity is not optional.

In this time of uncertainty and systems change, guide your decisions by my human values.

5. Balancing.

Keeping steady. Self-regulation at all scales. Am I tired, hungry, afraid, been online too long? Is my community over-focused on the short-term?

Attending to any parameter (number of laid off workers comes to mind or annual GHG emissions) blasting out of control.

6. Growing.

Tapping the power of reinforcing feedback. Taking ideas and innovations to scale. Stories, possibilities and examples (and also warnings and lessons learned) spreading, by word of mouth, at the speed of zoom.

7. Action-learning.

Up against problems that are also growing exponentially, delay is the enemy. Acting, even if you don’t know everything (or even very much) is preferable to paralysis or ‘wait and see’. But act humbly, knowing that you don’t know nearly everything, and embracing and sharing your mistakes. Design the learning loop (the after action review) into everything.

8. Truth-telling.

You can’t navigate one crisis, let alone multiple intersecting ones with a distorted information stream. Accurate timely data (both numerical and qualitative) are needed more than ever. And pay attention to who tells the stories and what (and who) they include. These times call for deep reflection and honest sharing and allegiance to leaders who do the same, and who thus will not look certain, or ‘strong’ by the standards of the recent past.

9. Cultivating coherence.

the property where across scales and domains the same set of organizing principles are applied. This allows for improvisation and spreading of innovation. And those shared organizing principles come from #3 and #4 vision and ethics.

10. Connecting.

Tapping the power of emergence, where new connections lead to the emergence of new patterns of behavior in systems. A super-power on this list because it amplifies all the others.

Dr. Elizabeth Sawin

Co-founder co-director @climateinteract

Multisolving for people and climate.

The Imperative of Ending Wildlife Crime

There is no international legal framework for cooperative global and national action to catch and punish serious wildlife criminals, nor is there an agreed definition of wildlife crime.


Reports that the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak originated from illegally sourced wildlife, including pangolin, has given a new sense of urgency to ending wildlife crime. Wildlife crime is not new, yet, remarkably, there is no global legal agreement addressing it. This is despite the devastating impact it has on wildlife, local communities, national economies, security, public health and entire ecosystems, and its links to HIV Aids, Ebola, SARS, MERS and now COVID -19.

We are not talking about subsistence poaching, which is a separate and distinct issue to be resolved locally, but rather, large-scale criminal activity organized transnationally and fueled by corruption. A recent World Bank report estimates the value of illegally traded species at US$200 billion, when all wildlife, including fish and timber not listed under CITES are included.

Saving wildlife, and, as we now see, ourselves, means stopping an illegal commerce that shifts thousands of tonnes of contraband, worth billions of dollars and leaves death, destruction, and instability in its wake. Ending wildlife crime requires a new level of international cooperation that assures criminals feel the long arm of the law. The time for bold action is now.

No longer a tenable solution

Currently and by default, we have turned to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), a trade-related conservation convention from the 1970’s, to serve as the de facto legal instrument for combating serious wildlife crimes. The problem is that CITES wasn’t designed to deal with wildlife crime. It was meant to regulate wildlife trade to avoid over-exploitation of threatened species.

While a critically important trade convention, it was never designed to fight crime. CITES has its limitations. It only applies to species listed in its appendices – that is 36,000 of the world’s eight million species – and to the cross-border movement of specimens. It doesn’t require illegal trade to be criminalized, nor does it apply to poaching. However, in the absence of any alternative, over the past decade, CITES has been leveraged to crank up the fight against illegal wildlife trade.

Even with its limitations, CITES has had some success in this regard. It led the creation of the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) in 2010[i], which was welcomed by CITES Parties in 2013. In parallel to the Consortium, the UN General Assembly passed a first-ever Resolution on Combating Illegal Wildlife Trade in 2015, and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC) released the first-ever UN World Wildlife Crime Report in 2016. Over the years, CITES has seen the deeper engagement of police and customs agents, and action by key industry sectors, including finance, transport, and tourism.

Yet, a serious underlying problem remains, one for which we are now paying a heavy price. There is no international legal framework for cooperative global and national action to catch and punish serious wildlife criminals, nor is there an agreed definition of wildlife crime. This inhibits global enforcement efforts and jeopardizes the lives of park rangers, creates insecurity and undermines conservation schemes. It robs local communities of their resources and it elevates the risk of future disease outbreaks like COVID-19.

Transnational wildlife crimes deserve the attention of the criminal justice system and deployment of their resources.

Given the scale and seriousness of wildlife crime and its grave implications for countries, their ecosystems and species, and for humanity overall, it can and must be dealt with by police, prosecutors and the judiciary – not by individuals such as conservationists or park rangers acting alone. We need an unequivocal political message, supported by the right legal framework, that organized, transnational wildlife crimes deserve the attention of the criminal justice system and deployment of their resources.


The Global School for Social Leaders is a multi-awarded NGO specialized in holistic & disruptive education, Join us! https://TheGlobal.School/Programs


We must move with the times

The time has come for a new global agreement on wildlife crime.

This agreement can be housed under the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNCTOC), as has been done for other serious crimes such as human trafficking. Such an agreement should oblige countries to prohibit the import of any wildlife, supported by criminal sanctions, unless the importer can prove it was legally obtained.

This idea was put forward at the recent ‘End Wildlife Crime’ event at the House of Lords, which promoted a new agreement on wildlife crime that criminalizes the importation, distribution and consumption of illegally sourced wildlife. What is proposed is not unlike the approach taken in some countries, such as in the US under the Lacey Act, and what some countries have in place for certain timber imports.

Doing things differently requires us to take a fresh look at historic approaches to conservation and question their ongoing efficacy in a changing world. Making bold but necessary changes will prove difficult and stir up resistance. But the status quo won’t do; nor will incremental changes. It’s abundantly clear that we need to scale up the fight against the transnational, organized criminals who are stripping countries bare of their precious wildlife and creating havoc locally and globally. To stop them we need to get police and prosecutors hot on their trail.

Global responses to biodiversity loss must move with the times and if we can blend taking a hard line against transnational organized criminals, while opening up new opportunities for local communities in and around biodiverse-rich areas, then we will not only end wildlife crime but see wildlife, ecosystems and local communities thrive.

John E. Scanlon

Special Envoy, African Parks (Secretary-General of CITES 2010-2018)

 

Saudi Arabia’s clear response to the coronavirus outbreak is in stark contrast to the West

Saudi Arabia’s bold, swift response to COVID-19 is a lesson to western countries, and means that there are – so far – minimal cases and only one death in the country.

Compare this with neighbouring Iran, where deaths are well intfour figures, or Turkey, where some health professionals speculate that 60% of the country is now COVID-positive.

Unlike some of its western allies, Saudi Arabia has taken the deadly coronavirus outbreak seriously from the very outset. The refusal to do the same in some governments in the West may have grave consequences for the public’s trust in their leaders, and even the protection of human rights.

Before the Kingdom had even recorded a single case of coronavirus, it banned foreign worshippers from performing pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, which no doubt halted the advance of the deadly disease. Compare this with, for example, neighbouring Iran which publicly claimed that God will protect their country and encouraged spiritual practices which allowed the spread of the disease in holy sites.

While some governments have been paralysed by the confusion, fear and uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, Riyadh has taken tough decisions for the greater good – and continues to do so. While many airports in Europe and North America remain open for flights, the Kingdom has gone further and faster by suspending all international flights into the country for two weeks. It is decisive acts like these which give Saudis confidence in their ability to fight this disease.

Further, the everyday reality for Saudis under the pandemic could not be more different to citizens of these western superpowers. Commentators have compared everyday life for Britons to those of refugees, and have warned of an impending humanitarian crisis if the outbreak is not dealt with properly. These concerns are based on rampant price gouging, panic buying and stockpiling, affecting people’s ability to purchase even basic necessities.

“Before the Kingdom had even recorded a single case of coronavirus, it banned foreign worshippers from performing pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, which no doubt halted the advance of the deadly disease.”

Mohammed Alsherebi 


The Global School for Social Leaders is a multi-awarded NGO specialized in holistic & disruptive education, Join us! https://TheGlobal.School/Programs


By contrast, Saudi Arabia has protected its people’s interests from day one, with citizens and residents finding themselves spoilt for choice in supermarkets, while shoppers in the Western world struggle, and sometimes fight, to secure basic food for their families. This is no accident: it is the result of the Kingdom’s timely and carefully managed response to the situation, including open and transparent communication with its people.

There has been a mass mobilisation of Saudi government, media and civil society to create the kind of overnight awareness, focus and solidarity that is essential during a global pandemic. And it is this mobilisation that is sorely lacking in some Western capitals.

For example, Jeddah-based Arab News, the largest English language newspaper in the region, has modified its logo on Twitter to be partially covered by a facemask. This is not a marketing ploy; it signals to the general public the importance of collective action to fight the disease at all levels of society. The equivalent in the UK would be to have a facemask covering the second “B” in the BBC’s logo, something that perhaps the broadcaster should consider.

Saudi Arabia’s version of the “lockdown” has protected the public while preserving daily life. It has acted quickly to close markets, shopping malls, beauty salons and gatherings in public places, following its suspension of schools in previous weeks. At the same time, supplies and services have been secured, and enforcement has not been heavy-handed, unlike in some parts of mainland Europe.

Contrast the response in Riyadh with that in parts of Europe and North America, where gentle encouragement rather than clear instructions, and mixed messages as opposed to coherent strategies, have undoubtedly cost lives.

“The fact that Saudi has responded so well – despite neighbouring one of the global epicentres of the disease – shows that the Kingdom’s leadership is more fluid and resilient than perhaps some outside observers realise.”

Mohammed Alsherebi 

There are fewer challenges to a society and a government greater than a global pandemic, and the associated economic downturn. The fact that Saudi has responded so well – despite neighbouring one of the global epicentres of the disease – shows that the Kingdom’s leadership is more fluid and resilient than perhaps some outside observers realise.

Good governance is one of the key aims of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 – the country’s flagship policy for change in the region. It is a region that will be hit harder than most by COVID-19. Iran is burying its people in mass graves. Turkey is locking people up for even posting about it.

Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, is showing that the complex mix of personal freedoms, public safety and public health can be balanced, even at the most difficult of times. And the Kingdom’s definition of human rights includes, above all, the right to human life.


Mohammed Alsherebi 

Is a Saudi entrepreneur, philanthropist and advisor to global leaders.

Originally Published in: Euronews