How to Reduce Wealth Inequality Without Charity
In these years an immense focus is on wealth inequality and how the gap between rich and poor continues to increase. It is a great problem to be solved, especially as the living standards of the less fortunate could obviously increase with more equal wealth distribution. There are undoubtedly humans suffering from this growing wealth gap, humans who possess capabilities to change the world, but their capabilities are constrained by limited financial opportunities. It is important to emphasize that the wealth gap will not reduce without efforts, both infrastructural efforts but equally important the individual’s own effort – you cannot expect to obtain better conditions in life without putting in an effort.
Wealth Inequality is Evident
Global wealth statistics are difficult to validate as wealth is measured differently across countries and regions, nonetheless, even if the numbers were corrected it would not change the significance of the global wealth inequality. The wealthiest ~0.7% of the global population owns 46% of the global assets equivalent to $129T (see Figure 1). While 70% of the global population owns merely 3% of the global assets. These numbers will naturally never be equalized as various factors determine individual prosperity including individuals’ capabilities. However, we should enable equal opportunity and access to growing one’s prosperity.
The technological and especially the information technology evolution has ensured more equal distribution of information and knowledge. Earlier in history knowledge was preserved the most prosperous individuals where all information was only accessible physically. With the PC and the internet, most humans have equal access to information, which consequentially leads to more humans being well-informed – if they desire or put a minimal effort into obtaining this information. With the internet and the easy access to information and data, critical human problems have become more apparent, one of the most significant problems is the growing wealth inequality. After increasing the equality of information access the next natural step is reducing the wealth inequality, which will undoubtedly increase general living standards.
Making Investing Inclusive
At Clockwork we are concerned about how excluding and complex financial products are, especially when it comes to trading and investing. The existing solutions appeal to the few and not to the many. To enable financial inclusion, we have to create solutions which do not require thorough technical understanding and competencies to participate. No matter what country, town or area most people are fully occupied by non-financial jobs and possibly family activities as well, which only allow a very limited amount of personal time to spend on e.g. investing activities. Thus, it is crucial that products and services are immensely easy and simple to use otherwise people will not adopt the product or service. Here is the key: to have more people to invest the investing product i.e. trading platform has to become immensely simplified and easy to use. The critical approach to obtain such simplified trading platform is to work hard on the user interface to provide people easily accessible user experience. So, Clockwork is putting great emphasis on the user interface and developing the simplified trading platform.
are the three keywords to Clockwork. We are completely transparent with all costs and all information to the users. So, the users know exactly how and why they are charged on any given transaction on the platform as well as being informed on any rule, law or operation that might affect the individual user – again, this information will be heavily simplified and understandable compared to other complex trading platforms.
No user is too small or irrelevant for Clockwork to serve. We want to serve everyone regardless of their net worth. Thus, everyone has a chance at growing their prosperity on the Clockwork trading platform and with our simplified communication trading and investing become inclusive.
At Clockwork we are putting a lot of emphasizing and time into simplifying the user interface by cutting out all unnecessary details and information as well as making the design easily accessible and intuitive to interact. With simplified and inclusive user experience, the Clockwork trading platform is opening up trading and investing to the many to participate.
The wealth inequality is evident and the gap between the rich and the poor continues to increase. Less than one 1% of the wealthiest individuals own almost half of the global assets. One of the main causes of this growing wealth inequality is the complexity and exclusiveness of financial products and markets.
Clockwork makes trading and investing inclusive for everyone by the simplified and easily accessible trading platform. No one should be excluded.
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ServeOnSalt: What re the SDG’s we are working with?
At ServedOnSalt our main purpose and goal are to develop a cheaper alternative to firewood cooking in refugee camps and rural areas by providing a cooking solution where solar energy is stored thermochemically in a salt hydration process. Our vision and hopes with developing the ServedOnSalt solution are firstly to sustain a better cooking culture in refugee camps and secondly to improve well-being and aid progress in alternative energy sources.
When working towards this goal and vision we include relevant sustainable development goals (SDGs) to ensure ourselves that the ServedOnSalt solution makes a sustainable and substantial impact. The SDGs furthermore gives us some ambitious requirements and challenges to work with when developing the solution, which in turn hopefully will result in a stronger, better and more encompassing solution.
Regarding working with SDGs, we do so both directly in relation to the solution itself, but also indirectly due to the context in which the solution will be introduced. The sustainable development goals of which we aim to contribute to, directly and indirectly, are given below with an introductory clarification to how we will involve them.
We want to provide our solution to refugee camps and rural areas with no access to electricity and where meals and food therefore currently are prepared over an open fire. This practice is not only inefficient but also polluting and bad for the health and well being of people around the open fire. Smoke from open fires causes respiratory diseases, along with malnutrition this is one of the biggest factors worldwide for child mortality. Our solution aims to be a cheaper and cleaner alternative to firewood cooking, and in this way free up resources for e.g. better and more nutritious cooking.
- SDG 2 – Zero hunger by providing energy for cooking to people without electricity.
- SDG 3 – Good health and well being by enabling clean cooking and avoiding smoke from open fires which causes respiratory diseases.
- SDG 7 – Affordable and clean energy for all.
Women and children spend up to six hours a day collecting firewood in the current practice in refugee camps and rural Africa. On these tours of collecting firewood the women and children are in an exposed situation and can sadly become victim to gender-based violence and sexual harassment. We want to remove the need for this collection and thereby both freeing up time for children to go to school and for women to go to work. Furthermore, by reducing the need for firewood we want to combat deforestation from firewood collection.
This contributes to:
- · SDG 4 – Quality education by freeing up time to e.g. education for children.
- · SDG 5 – Gender equality by eliminating the task of gathering firewood we avoid exposed situations for children and women.
- · SDG 15 – Life on land by reducing deforestation from firewood collection.
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With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility… And potential!
A unique role in society and culture
The film and media industry has always had a unique role in culture and in the shaping of public sensibilities. Films can actually affect mentality, and by posing a good example, not only on-screen, but off-screen as well, the industry has the potential, and perhaps responsibility, to promote more climate-friendly behavior. This potential is relevant in Denmark, where there is pride connected to being a front-runner against climate change.
The industry is polluting pretty excessively
Today the industry pollutes by using electricity, electronics, and plastic, costume design and transportation, etc. The numbers on the impact of the Danish industry are largely unknown, something we are working on changing, but in Belgium, it was calculated that an average film production emits around 70 tons of CO2, equivalent to the yearly emissions of 10 households pr. year.
It will be cheaper in time
Adjusting the mentality within the industry, much as the mentality of many consumers has already changed, and focusing on sustainable production and concepts like the circular economy will lower the costs of production.
How sustainable filmmaking is contributing to the SDG’s – It’s pretty down to earth.
Our consulting is based on the SDG compass, working with easy-to-grasp steps within the industry. Apart from consulting, we of course practice what we preach and use sustainable suppliers, hop on a train when possible and use best practices for sustainable production in the making of our own films. Working with the processes of decision-making in different phases of production will result in contributing to the fulfillment of the SDG’s.
SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production
By focusing on the choices that are made during production-phases, we want to create and support ‘responsible consumption and production’ within the industry of film and TV. We wish to motivate the industry to act in a more sustainable way, and to help them to use natural resources with more care, think about the use of plastic and catering on set, recycle waste and materials and in general keep track of their CO2 emission, for which we are developing a tool that makes it easy to report and document and thereby easier to change.
SDG 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
These choices have much to do with goal 11 as well, respecting local nature and environment when choosing and using locations and working with the local society in order to do as little damage as possible. Even better, consideration for SDG 11 can actually contribute to local communities when thinking about it as a partnership where all can enjoy the benefits of a circular economy.
SDG 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnerships for sustainable development
Alongside the development of tools that support the industry in sustainable decision-making, we participate in a global green media network, with the purpose of creating strong partnerships working towards common sustainable standards. In that way, we contribute to goal 17, and ‘strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnerships for sustainable development’. We are part of the ‘Global Green Media Production Network’, working with eg. Hong Kong, South Africa, and Finland, and work closely with European initiatives within the frames of the industry, academia, and the EU.
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Why Reboo’s product will contribute to more sustainable consumption and production in the food delivery market by 2030
Reusable food and beverage packaging made out of the biodegradable bamboo fibre.
The first priority of Reboo is contributing to the development of the 12th SDG – “Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns”. Reboo will also have a considerable impact on the Sustainable Development Goal no. 14 – “Life below the water”.
Specifically for the SDG no. 12 Reboo will contribute to ensuring that the current material needs of the hospitality industry and takeaway (i.e. Food delivery) Industry do not lead to an over-extraction of resources, indeed improving resource efficiency, reducing waste and fostering sustainability practices in the industries above mentioned. With Reboo’s products, we’d like to contribute to reducing the material footprint, material footprint per capita and helping to achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of a natural resource by 2030 in the takeaway or “take-out” food market. Based on several studies (Cassidy and Elyashiv-Barad, 2007), it has been estimated that over 7.5 billion single-use extruded polystyrene (EPS)1 containers are used annually in the USA. Taking into account their extraction and processing, this is equivalent to the emissions of 297 Mt. of CO2 eq. per year (Gallego-Schmid, A., Mendoza, J. M. F., & Azapagic, A., 2019). According to other studies the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain are among the top 13 world consumers of takeaway food, with an expenditure of €9.9 billion in 2014, expected to increase by 17% by 2019 (Gallego-Schmid, A., Mendoza, J. M. F., & Azapagic, A., 2019; Lago et al., 2011; Riera, 2015). Reboo’s products aim to totally substitute the single-use plastics (e.g. extruded polystyrene, polypropylene) takeaway containers, allowing a more efficient use of 100% natural resources as bamboo and natural binders (e.g. cornstarch and/or bio-resins) avoiding not only the above-mentioned material footprint but also substantially reduce the waste generation through prevention, reduction and reuse of Reboo’s products over and over (target 12.5 of the 12th SDG).
Furthermore, we expect to use in our production process 100% biodegradable (i.e. natural) materials without (or limited)2 chemicals throughout Reboo’s product life cycle, thus significantly reducing their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impact on human health and the environment (Target 12.4 of the 12th SDG). Finally, concerning the Sustainable Development Goal no.14, if consumers will use and re-use Reboo’s food containers, the impact of single-use plastics containers that might pollute our oceans and seas will be seen a deepen decreases anyhow (Target 14.1 of the 14th SDG).
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Uninets: A note sharing and tutor platform
A note sharing and tutor platform for university students.
Education as we know it. The hundreds year old institutes. The political and economic systems behind it. The history of those privileged to attend it, and those not so fortunate. It is all changing as we know it. Is it changing for better or for worse? One might argue for both sides.
On the one hand, we have never had more girls in school, across the globe. We have never had as high attendance for the third world countries. We’re seeing a paradigm for a more equal world, of equal opportunities than ever before. But then on the other hand… We still have a long way to go.
We need to do better. I am not saying a little note sharing site like Uninets is going to change anything here and now. But perhaps what it is founded on, just might! And what is that? Share economy. If we can share knowledge between one another, if we can “donate” it in the form of an e-book that I, sitting in Copenhagen pay for, and share for free with someone who needs it for his studies in Cuba, without it being copyright infringements, we are well on our way. You can lobby for, plan for it, or push for it politically, to have cars that emit 7-10% less Co2 by 2025. Or you can use a ridesharing service tomorrow, leave your own car parked at home and save the Earth from much more than 7-10%. The strength is in numbers and collective effort, and whether it being saving Co2 emission or helping widen access to education, the principle remains.
I dream of a world where all courses can be taken online for free byways of self-study. That a kid can grow up in Honduras, and if they have access to the internet, they can get as good of an education as someone on Harvard.
Written by Zarko Zaharov
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Wair: How the SDG’s are giving sustainable startups many opportunities
Panel debate at IDA Respond Festival
WAIR – upcycled shoes from textile waste
A couple of weeks ago, we were in a panel debate at the IDA Respond Festival, where the theme was: What is Sustainability. A broad theme indeed, and the debate touched upon many subjects, among them – the UN Sustainable Development Goals (hereafter called the SDG’s).
Especially on this topic, the debate got heated and people had strong opinions – both in favor and against the SDGs. There is definitely both pros and cons of the SDG’s, but no matter how you feel about them, they have proved to be a sustainability framework with an extremely broad application. In a very short amount of time, the SDG’s have become something that everyone – all around the world – is talking about.
As a start-up within the sustainability sphere, we have already been facing the SDG’s many times in our relatively short lifespan of 6 months. Everything from the co-working space we are working in (DISIE) to accelerator programmes, funding competitions, and events we have participated in, are often centered around the SDGs. It has therefore been important for us to be able to explain how WAIR is working towards these goals in order to gain access to all these opportunities.
SDG wall at DISIE
We, therefore, thought that we would share our answers when we are asked which SDG’s we are working towards and how WAIR can contribute to fulfilling these goals:
SDG #12: Responsible Production and Consumption
With WAIR, we are trying to fight the excessive resource usage and waste creation that is often seen in the linear fashion system. We do this by upcycling textile waste, which results in a reduction in our need for new resources while it also diverts valuable materials from landfills and incinerators.
SDG #13: Climate Action
A big part of our concept is shoe-upcycling workshops, which we believe is a great contributor to climate action. This is due to the fact, that it allows consumers to build awareness about the problems of the fashion industry while also teaching them how to be a part of the solution. The goal of the workshop is to involve the consumers in the manufacturing process by giving them the opportunity to choose textile waste and create their own upcycled shoes.
SDG #9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure Upcycling of textile waste is not something that a lot of companies set out to do – which is mainly due to the lack of scalability of this practice. Since we see a huge environmental and social potential in upcycling of textile waste – we don’t let this fact discourage us. Instead, we try to find new ways to make it economically viable on a bigger scale – so we can lead the way towards a fashion upcycling industry that is possible for many companies to enter.
SDG’s can be used in many ways. Some use it to develop their sustainability strategy and others use it as a communication tool for their sustainability efforts. For WAIR, they have not been the starting point for our concept – meaning that when we developed the idea – we leaned on tools such as Cradle to Cradle and Eco-Design and research on fashion upcycling. However, being able to connect these sustainability efforts with the SDG’s, has given us a lot of opportunities already. It is, therefore, safe to say that they have had a big impact on WAIR, and we believe that this impact will only become bigger in the future as more and more organizations embrace the SDG’s.
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Tribe Takeaway: Zero Hunger, the world’s greatest solvable problem
The social takeaway experience – order a meal to share a meal with a starving child.
Even though humans produce enough food to feed the entire planet, still 16 million children risk dying from starvation and right now 3 million children die of starvation on a yearly basis – this means, that one child dies every 10 seconds.
Do more, do right, do impact. Tribe Takeaway believes in the power of connecting people and the power of sharing, and that is why the core concept is “Order a meal to share a meal”. By ordering at Tribe Takeaway a child automatically receives a nutritious meal. The meals are being distributed to the children by the United Nations World Food Programme, who typically receives fortified biscuits or other food not requiring cooking if they are particularly vulnerable to malnutrition. In more stable situations the meals can be school meals to children in the form of breakfast, lunch and additional take-home rations. Our focus is on children as they become undernourished faster than adults meaning they are at a much higher risk of dying from starvation.
To do more, to do right, to do impact, Tribe Takeaway’s purpose is to help end world hunger by bringing the world closer together, as one tribe, saving children meal by meal.
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SoilSense: Why showering less won’t save the world
SoilSense is developing the world’s most affordable irrigation sensor system, that enable farmers in emerging economies to reduce water usage and increase yield.
The UN predicts that within 10 years we will run 40% short on our global freshwater supply. Reducing your time spent showering, unfortunately doesn’t solve this issue since 70% of all freshwater consumption stems from irrigation in agriculture. However, water consumption in agriculture can be reduced significantly by applying the correct amount of water at the right time – so-called “precision irrigation”. At SoilSense we are addressing the global shortage of freshwater by helping farmers irrigate smarter, thereby ensuring more available freshwater for additional food production – thereby targeting SDG6 as well as SDG2.
What is SoilSense?
Specifically, we’re addressing SDG2 & 6 by developing a sensor-based hardware and software system to assist farmers in emerging markets to irrigate smarter, which not only leads to saved water but also increased yield. Based on our sensor measurements we help farmers irrigate smarter by presenting simple data of whether their irrigation is excessive or too little via WhatsApp or web interface. In practice, we’ve carried out pilot projects in Zimbabwe and Peru, where farmers have already achieved direct water savings of more than 40%. Even for the small family-driven Avocado farms that we work with, this water savings of a single farm equals the complete freshwater consumption of 55 Danish households.
We’re developing a tailored and affordable solution to democratize the access to sensor equipment, something that has previously been too expensive for our target group. By doing so, we enable small and medium-sized producers to better compete against large commercial farms – who currently use such equipment – and enable them to produce crops more sustainable both from an environmental and an economic perspective.
What are we looking for?
We’re currently in the phases of planning our next pilot project in East Africa that will serve as a proof of business. For that, we are looking for ambitious and self-driven students who want to take an active role in shaping our business model and establishing the right strategic partnerships. If you want to spend your time making a sincere impact and work with a business in an emerging market, come by our stand at the CBS Entrepreneurial Day 2019 or reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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