As the uncertainties and challenges of the modern world continue to mount, the need for proactive, cross-sector cooperation has never been greater. This year's European SDG Summit, which took place between 26-30 October 2020, invited business leaders and EU policymakers to actuate plans for a sustainable future. It was organised by CSR Europe, the leading European business network for Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility.
Every year the European SDG Summit connects over5,000 individuals and organisations. Under the banner: 'Impactful Partnerships to Build Back Better', this year's all-virtual edition brought together high-level speakers and thought leaders across a variety of industries. It used solution-driven discussions to advance the objectives set out by the Paris Agreement, a progressive framework which strives to limit global warming, and the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, which collectively confront today's greatest humanitarian and environmental issues.
Excitingly, this year Samsung secured a 90-minute spot on the European SDG Summit's mid-week roundtable, 'Empowering innovators and start-ups for global good'. The event created the opportunity for startups, venture capitalists and corporations to strategise ways of maximising their SDG impact. Six startups from two ofSamsung's support programmes – Samsung for Impact and Extreme Tech Challenge – featured at the roundtable.
From Samsung for Impact, outstanding startups Planet Heroes, Emovo and FIMO Health all took to their screens to shed light on their activities, discuss their motivations for driving social change and explore the challenges they face. Let's take a closer look at what they do:
Planet Heroes is a global eco-crowdfunding platform that enables users to donate money to volunteers taking on clean-up projects in their local area. Participants can upload photos of their projects and receive donations from other members of the online community.
Emovo is a Swiss startup developing robotic rehabilitation and assistance technology for stroke victims. Its first device – Emovo Grasp – is a portable orthosis using artificial tendons, to bring self-support and movement to people with motor impairments.
The Fimo App, created by German startup Fimo Health, is designed to help people who suffer from fatigue. Paired with a smartwatch, the app measures and evaluates all the factors, from exercise and sleep to temperature, which may be triggering fatigue, and recommends ways of managing and reducing its effects.
Samsung for Impact is a European programme designed to discover and assist startups dedicated to social causes. In supporting forward-thinking, often local-impact businesses, the initiative empowers the growth of sustainability infrastructures on regional and national levels too.
Three winners from Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) – ReWire, SPRKGlobal and MicroGenBiotech – also presented their views and ideas at the event. ReWire is a digital banking platform designed for migrant workers, SPRK Global is a food oversupply redistribution service that uses AI to predict demand patterns and reduce wastage, and MicroGen Biotech develops microbial products to protect food safety and increase soil health.
Extreme Tech Challenge, founded by Young Sohn, Samsung President, and Bill Tai, Partner Emeritus at Charles River Ventures, is the world's largest startup competition for entrepreneurs addressing global issues. Inspired by the 17 SDGs, the non-profit initiative offers contenders the opportunity to raise capital, network and advance sustainability innovations.
It was really inspiring to see so many social impact enterprises contribute, collaborate and confront some of the greatest – though often unseen – challenges of today. The European SDG Summit helped to energise both individual and collective efforts in the journey to achieving a more sustainable and inclusive world reality. We can't wait to see more from these incredible initiatives in the months and years to come!
Got something to say about the European SDG Summit or startups involved in sustainability and social good projects? Tell us in the comments below!