The Global Goals Jam, a meeting of young people between 18 and 30 years, took place simultaneously in several countries on 18 and 19 September.
This fourth edition was very different from the previous ones in that it was held online, due to the health alert. This was the first time it was held online. Despite the challenge it presented, it was a great success in terms of participation. Over 100 young people came together virtually to work on this global initiative of collective intelligence and design. The goal was the same as in previous editions: create ideas that provide solutions to challenges associated with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Given the unique character of the meeting, held in digital rooms, both organisers and participants made a more significant effort to facilitate participation, interaction and familiarity. Ultimately, the participants of the Global Goals Jam had fun, engaged more than ever in finding solutions and valued the experience very positively.
This is the third consecutive year in which Distrito Castellana Norte (DCN) collaborates with Impact Hub in developing the activity, submitting challenges related to the SDGs, with Madrid Nuevo Norte as the setting for implementing the solutions, ideas and initiatives put forward by the participants. Madrid Nuevo Norte seeks to be a sustainable and innovative project. Therefore, one of DCN’s key aim is to engage young people in rethinking the city.
The participants, from different cities and nationalities, worked for two days divided into nine teams, each with a different challenge. In total, four different challenges associated with four SDGs (3, 5, 8 and 11) were addressed. DCN proposed two challenges that were tackled by five teams.
Manuel Rodríguez, DCN’s Social Innovation Manager, and Javier Dorao, Innovation and Sustainability Coordinator presented the challenges. Both acted as challenge owners.
The first challenge posed by DCN, associated with SDG 8 (“Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”), consisted in finding solutions to bridge the employability gap between Madrid’s northern and southern neighbourhoods leveraging the employment opportunities that Madrid Nuevo Norte will generate.
Contributing towards more job opportunities for all inhabitants is essential for achieving a more cohesive and socially sustainable city. Therefore, Madrid Nuevo Norte is a unique opportunity to generate wealth for the city and its inhabitants and bridge the gap between the north and the south.
DCN’s second challenge, associated with SDG 11 (“Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”), focused on designing tools and actions to raise property developers’ awareness about the importance and cost-effectiveness of sustainable construction.
Although external facilitators (people outside the organisation behind the challenge) were in charge of communicating with the teams and coordinating each working methodology and phase, DCN’s support was critical. The teams’ challenge owners played a crucial role in the development of the event. They explained the challenge in detail to the young people and helped each team solve all the emerging questions about the challenges and the project.
Online programs and tools were also crucial for the provision of the activity and development of the event based on seamless and organised communication between the working groups and all participants. Different tools were used to communicate, exchange information, dialogue and, ultimately, work online.
Following the two-day event, each team selected and pitched the most innovative idea to a jury of experts for 3 minutes.
The two most innovative, promising, inspiring and meaningful ideas were selected and awarded prizes. One of the two selected was DCN’s “The bus of change”, which focused on challenges for sustainable cities and communities. It was presented as a tool to convince reluctant partners about the cost-effectiveness of sustainable construction. The future of the capital was rendered through virtual reality and a tour of Madrid, illustrating the benefits of sustainable construction for the environment. “Faced with a tough challenge, they provided a very concrete, realistic, high-impact solution, based on different profiles,” highlighted the jury.
Although only two ideas won awards, all could generate change. Today, more than ever, there is a need to address the challenges for future transformation through entrepreneurship and innovation. The young people who try to make the world more sustainable through their ideas will live in the cities of the future. Madrid Nuevo Norte is the future of the city of Madrid. We are prepared to make it as sustainable as possible.
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