Launch of ‘Geek-For-Good’ Open Design Challenge

Dec 29, 2016

29 December, Beijing – China’s first ever UN-led open design challenge kicked off today in Beijing, designed  to provide a platform to galvanize citizen engagement and inspire people to find tech-based innovative solutions for some of the toughest development challenges in China.

Supported by technology giant Baidu, “Geek-For-Good” was launched by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in China, encouraging people across the country to utilize design thinking and innovative concepts such as reverse engineering to design, adapt and prototype public services. It invites Chinese individuals or teams with a passion for tech-based solutions to submit a proposal to tackle a development challenge in China on the official website (innovation.baidu.com) by March 10, 2017. Specifically, solutions should utilize new technologies and provide innovative plans to address challenges in four focus areas: poverty, transport, disaster management and environment.

“The competition will provide a platform to combine advanced technology with the innovation power from Chinese community-led groups to find solutions for some of the toughest development challenges in China,” said Patrick Haverman, Deputy Country Director of UNDP China.

The shortlisted individuals and teams will then have the opportunity to pitch their solutions in front of a top-notch judge panel comprised by renowned international and national experts from the technology, investment, and development world at the Responsible Innovation Summit, which will take place in April 2017. Eight winners (two from each category) will be selected, with each provided a seed funding of 100,000 RMB to materialize their solution ideas. These winners will also get advisory support from both UNDP and Baidu during the implementation period.

Across the world, prize challenges are designed to galvanize individuals, inspire ambition and provide a platform for innovative solutions. There are many successful prize challenges in the past including the UNDP “Big Ideas Competition for Sustainable Cities”. Leveraging on cutting-edge technology and UN’s development expertise, “Geek-For-Good” will be the first one focusing on promoting sustainable development in China.

For more information about the competition, please visit: innovation.baidu.com

Contact information

Ms. ZHANG Wei, Chief Communications Officer, and UNDP China Tel: +8610 8532 0715, Email: wei.zhang@undp.org

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