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The Relevance of SIGEF Davos

SIGEF Davos 2019

What do disruptive technologies, inclusive finance, women empowerment and the UN Sustainable Development Goals have in common? SIGEF, the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum, set up for the first time in Davos on January 22nd, 2020, brought stimulating insights into the common threads that run through all four topics.

The shared sentiment was/is that an inclusive world can definitely be shaped with the joint effort of all stakeholders from both the public and private sectors. With it, gender equality and wide access to new technologies would be bolstered; financial means and business opportunities would be open to all; and many an environmental and social challenge would be overcome.

More and more, we see a large number of major global corporations, including some emblematic companies like Philip Morris International and Nespresso, both of whom were among SIGEF Davos sponsors, are determinedly headed in that direction. Through strengthened ties within vulnerable communities or via investing in the provision of more sustainable products, they have realized how important it is to embrace the challenges of our times. Startups and fintech organizations including Fintech4Good, as well as NGOs led by WWF and Women Deliver, or media such as Devex and CBS, or again international agencies the likes of Geneva Chamber of Commerce and OECD, are walking the walk, and showing that, undoubtedly, an increased level of social and environmental commitment does help come to terms with inequality.

A few years ago, it would have been unimaginable that the finance and business worlds would seriously get to grips with social inclusion, or deal with environmental issues, or again bolster community empowerment or, even more unpredictably, use disruptive technologies for good. As Yonathan Parienti, founder and CEO of Horyou, the social network for social good, puts it: “Capitalism is changing, and it is becoming more inclusive and more aware of society’s needs”.

That is the relevance and legacy of SIGEF Davos.

The Horyou Community has much to celebrate – from our global reach to our successful activities, we are proposing effective solutions for better times to come

SIGEF 2019 by Horyou

2020 is starting on a positive note: Horyou is growing bigger, more global, and it is spreading a positive message to the planet and its people. We have much to celebrate, and we would like to share with you the main highlights of the year that has passed:

  • HoryouToken, the digital currency for Inclusion and sustainability, was successfully launched worldwide and presented to the main global Blockchain audiences, in events including WSIS Forum 2019, Matinée Fintech, Blockchain Economic Forum and Chain Plus.

  • The 6th Edition of SIGEF took place last September in Tokyo, one of the worlds’ most innovative metropolis, covering critical global topics like Artificial Intelligence for Positive Change, Fintech and Blockchain, MedTech, SDGs, Sustainable Lifestyles, Sports for Good, Future Energy and Smart Mobility. Extensive converage and info on our SIGEF website.

  • Horyou community has expanded and strengthened its presence in Asia Pacific and Africa. Yonathan Parienti, Horyou’s Founder and CEO, and the Horyou team presented initiatives and shared inspiration in global events including the Future Here Summit, Oxygen 2050, Doing Good, Doing Well and many others.

  • Horyou media presence was stronger and much more diverse – from Asia to the Americas, in Japanese, English, French, Arabic and many more languages, we made our voice heard.

  • Horyou TV launched new documentaries and raised awareness about urgent causes such as Plastic Pollution and Refugees.

  • Our community has grown bigger, with more members, partners and personalities.

2020 full of surprises

The Horyou Team is now preparing its very first projects of 2020. We are proud of what we’ve achieved so far and we will bring even more visibility to our community and our projects this year through:

  • The Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum – SIGEF – will have a special edition in Davos on January 22nd, during the World Economic Forum. Book your tickets and be part of one of the most important international gatherings fostering the UN SDGs, Sustainable Innovation and Blockchain for Good.

  • The next full edition of SIGEF will still take place in Dubai! Follow SIGEF 2020 Twitter account to know more.

  • Expect more partnerships, events and networking projects supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals, economic inclusion and social entrepreneurship all around the world.

Follow our blog, our social media channels (TwitterLinkedIn and Youtube) and Horyou, the social network for social good. The Horyou Team wishes a Happy New Year to all of our members and partners around the world!

A recently launched documentary shows how a couple of artists is changing the landscape of the dying rural ‘pueblos’ in Spain

The documentary is directed by Alfonso Kint

After many years living in the city, Alfonso and Lucía were tired of the busy, dirty streets, the noise and the lack of connection that define virtually any metropolis in the world. Like all artists, they needed inspiration and space to create – also like most artists, they didn’t have much financial means. Then, Lucía has discovered herself pregnant and that changed everything. After little Greta was born, the couple moved to Torralba de Ribota, a 100 inhabitants’ town in Aragon, Spain and went to live in an old house that belonged to Lucía’s grandmother.

How many of us have a country side heritage?”, asks the recently launched documentary “Soñando un Lugar” (In English, Dreaming of a Place), presented this week to a selected audience in CCCB, in Barcelona. Through the 7-year filming and editing process, Alfonso has realized he was telling a bigger story than his family’s: the one of the dying pueblos, small rural Spanish towns that are almost deserted.

Fields are not worked anymore, as the young people moved on to more “reputable” jobs in the city. The dry earth is shown as a scar of old times, when the land provided all the food: potatoes, beans, nuts. Some of the remainders still breed bees and goats, but they are few. There are not enough hands anymore.

Full of empty houses and kept alive by the old neighbours’ memories, Torralba de Ribota had no children, though no future. The arrival of the small family started to shake things up – as Alfonso filmed the documentary, Lucía was creating an innovative project that aimed to transform the ancient pueblos in stages for artistic residencies and projects, while little Greta built her own fantasy world among hills, art and meaningful conversations with the elders. After them, many others came: musicians, performers, painters started to search for houses in the town. One of the biggest challenges was to find houses to buy: telephones didn’t work anymore, people were not reachable. Most buildings were kept closed and empty. Many of them remain so.

As the project “Pueblos en Arte” flourished, the life of the town has changed – connections between old and new started to be made, artists had space and time to create, children had access to nature and played ‘like the old times’. More towns were added to the project, that now has 6 ongoing projects, a patronage funding plan and high hopes for the future. “We want to start a dialogue between city and town”, said Alfonso, who’s now touring though Spain to promote his film.

Horyou, the social network for social good, promotes artistic projects with social impact related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The documentary “Soñando un Lugar” helps communities and cities to become more sustainable and self-sufficient (Goal 11).

A global claim has been echoing for many years: since 2000, when the UN launched the Millennium Development Goals, the world hasn’t seen such public debate about the need to commit to social and environmental targets. As the years have passed and global leaders have complied with the reviewed and renamed Sustainable Development Goals, society started to be bolder about expanding the commitment to a better future.

In the last few years, more companies have been vocal about their own actions thanks to an increased responsiveness of their stakeholders: investors, clients and civil society who demand more engaged action for the SDGs.

Clients and consumers are the first group to put pressure on the private sector, carefully choosing ecofriendly products and brands. Last September, 87 companies, including Danone, Amazon and IKEA, committed to set climate targets across their operations and value chains, setting zero net emissions by 2050. A recent Accenture survey shows that 80% of consumers believe it’s important or extremely important for companies to design environmentally conscious products. It affects the whole supply chain: from lighter and smaller packaging that will require less material to components that are recyclable and reusable.

Jobseekers are another important group that influences companies’ commitment to sustainable actions. MBA graduates are now able to see if corporate social responsibility strategies are legitimate or pure PR – and choose companies they want to work for accordingly. A 2015 survey covering more than 3,700 MBA graduates shows that 64% of them don’t think businesses are making enough efforts to address environmental challenges. Recruiters are getting used to questions about these CSR policies and are feeling the need to develop their employer’s branding, the capacity to attract talented people, investing in real sustainable actions.

Finally, there is the deciding factor for many businesses: money. Asset managers are increasingly taking sustainability into consideration when shaping their investment strategies, according to a recently published article in the Financial Times. Some of them, like Hermes, are launching SDG Equity Funds focused on small and medium-sized companies engaged with the UN Goals. Others, like the Scandinavian investment group Summa, are focusing on some sustainable development areas like infrastructure and innovation (goal 9). These initiatives follow the launch of UN Impact, a program that aims to channel funds to SDG-related projects and companies.

Other funding opportunities like HoryouToken, the utility token 100% dedicated to inclusion and sustainability, are also spotting projects and actions that resonate with the UN SDGs. Built on the concept of Blockchain with a purpose, HoryouToken supports and promotes social and economic inclusion while enhancing a positive circle of interactions benefiting civil society, social entrepreneurs and social good doers.

To know more about HoryouToken, click here.

    SIGEF2019
    in Tokyo to Shape a Smarter Future

    The Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum is set to tackle some of the most critical contemporary issues in plenary sessions dedicated to Artificial Intelligence, FinTech, Sustainable Lifestyle, Health Technologies, Smart Technology and Smart Cities, Sports for Good, Renewable Future Energy and Opening New Roads for Sustainability.

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    New York, September 13, 2019 —The path to fostering a better future for all implies the search for urgent appropriate solutions to the greatest challenges that humanity has faced since the beginning of time: namely, social inclusion and sustainability. And that path inevitably goes through designing a smarter future for all.

    This is the stance of SIGEF, a leading world forum on social innovation and global ethics, and the reason why “Together Shaping a Smarter Future” is the theme of its sixth edition. Its purpose is to promote private, public and citizen endeavors, in all areas of socio-economic activity, toward designing, developing and implementing smart environments, innovative solutions and devices that lead to that hopeful end. The exploration and promotion of smart solutions have thus logically led Horyou, the Social Network for Social Good and Horyou Foundation organizers of SIGEF2019, to pick Tokyo, Japan, home of Smart-Tech if ever there was one, to be its venue.

    In that respect, SIGEF2019 is set to tackle some of the most critical contemporary issues in plenary sessions dedicated to Artificial Intelligence, FinTech, Sustainable Lifestyle, Health Technologies, Smart Technology and Smart Cities, Sports for Good, Renewable Future Energy and Opening New Roads for Sustainability. Inspiring stakeholders, including world experts, will share their most effective experiences and visions with a global online, offline and on the spot audience, while solutions will be proposed and strategies will be deliberated.

    SIGEF2019 will be held on September 19 at the Tokyo Prince Hotel, after an opening reception conducted at the Swiss Residence of the Ambassador, on September 18. It will entail the active participation of an international array of government authorities, business executives, international organization representatives and academia, as well as representatives of civil society and a number of experts and proponents of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

    “SIGEF has always exposed innovative and stimulating discussions about the social, economic and technological opportunities and challenges that reflect the most important needs of our society. In 2019, our Horyou Change-Maker Community is proud to organize SIGEF in Tokyo to discuss feasible strategies to reach the Sustainable Development Goals and to build a fairer future for the next generations. We truly believe that, together, we can shape a Smarter Future for All,” says Yonathan Parienti, Chairman of SIGEF Organizing Committee and Founder and CEO of Horyou.

    “Some of the confirmed SIGEF 2019 speakers include H.E Mr. Jean-François Paroz, Swiss Ambassador to Japan, Hon. Takuya Hirai, former Minister of Information Technology, Science and Innovation, Hon. Kenzo Fujisue, Member of the House of Councillors Japanese Parliament, Ms. Rebecca Shaw, Chief Scientist of WWF, visionary Artist Akira Hasegawa, Lifestyle model and influencer Ms. Lee Levi, Fintech innovator Mr. Roger Ver, Artificial Life Researcher Mr. Takashi Ikegami, Sustainability advocator Ms. Raquel Blanc, Vice President External Affairs Philip Morris International, Sports for Good advocator Mr. Saud Alsubaie, Director of Social Responsibility Department at Al Hilal Football Club, Women Empowerment Champion Ms. Yaye Soukeyna Toure, Innovator Dr. Hideto Tomabechi, Public Diplomacy Professor Dr. Nancy Snow, Robotic and Liver Surgeon Dr. Dmitri Alden, Mr. Magnus Magnusson, UNESCO’s Director for Partnerships Social and Human Sciences (remote intervention), World Record owner of Jumping Box, Mr. Iketani Naoki, Social Entrepreneur Joseph Mercorella, CEO of Lumary and Mr. Masaya Mori, Global Head, Rakuten Institute of Technology Worldwide.

    “SIGEF has always exposed innovative and stimulating discussions about the social, economic and technological opportunities and challenges that reflect the most important needs of our society. In 2019, our Horyou Change-Maker Community is proud to organize SIGEF in Tokyo to discuss feasible strategies to reach the Sustainable Development Goals and to build a fairer future for the next generations. We truly believe that, together, we can shape a Smarter Future for All,” says Yonathan Parienti, Chairman of SIGEF Organizing Committee and Founder and CEO of Horyou.

    SIGEF2019 Organizers and Main Sponsors:

    Horyou, the Social Network for Social Good
    Philip Morris International
    Horyou Foundation
    HoryouToken
    Cognitive Research Labs, Inc

    Contact:
    Vivian Soares, Horyou Media Relations
    media@horyou.com
    +41 (0) 22 321 98 20

    Horyou is proud to support the global efforts to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages (SDG3). As part of our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals, we invite Dr. Alexey Kulikov from the United Nations Interagency Task Force on Noncommunicable Diseases, based at the World Health Organization, as a guest writer.
    Growing ageing populations have resulted in a 30%
    increase in the global prevalence of mental health disorders since 1990
    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health disorders account for 30% of the non-fatal disease burden and 10% of the overall disease burden, worldwide. Mental health disorders include depression, anxiety, bipolar affective disorder, schizophrenia and other psychoses, dementia, and developmental disorders, including autism (1).
    Growing ageing populations have resulted in a 30% increase in the global prevalence of mental health disorders since 1990 (2). The heavy burden of mental disorders and small proportion of national budgets earmarked for mental health (less than US$2 per person per year in low and middle-income countries) has resulted in a substantial gap between the need and availability of mental health disorders and treatments (1). Half of all mental health conditions start by 14 years of age but most cases go undetected and untreated due to the lack of mental health care available in many countries. Mental health is an integral part of an individual’s capacity to lead a fulfilling and productive life, and persons with untreated mental disorders experience an average of 10-20 years reduction in life expectancy (3).
    The high burden of mental disorders is not just of public health concern but has growing economic implications, too. Common mental disorders alone cost the global economy US$ 1 trillion per year, resulting in increased health and welfare expenditures as well as reduced economic productivity (4). Persons with mental health conditions are more likely to exit the labor force, miss days of work or perform at a reduced capacity while at work.
    The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), the Ministry of Health of Jamaica and RTI International developed a pilot Mental Health Investment Case in Jamaica in 2018. The investment case modeled clinical interventions selected by Jamaica’s Ministry of Health to scale up treatment of mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and psychoses disorders. The selected scale-up of interventions was projected to cost approximately 16 billion JMD in the next 15 years but also to lead to large economic productivity and social benefit gains valued at approximately 60 billion JMD over the same period (5). The take-away point from this study in Jamaica is that the benefits of mental health treatment significantly outweighed the costs by 375%.
    The need to address social and economic challenges posed by mental disorders was highlighted during the High-level Meeting of the UN General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in 2018 (6). Together, UNDP along with WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, and the WHO Secretariat for the United Nations Interagency Task Force for the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases (UNIATF) is developing the methodology for mental health investment cases to enable national governments to develop national mental health investment cases to strengthen their responses to mental health disorders and promote health and well-being.
    Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages is the Sustainable Development Goal #3
    Capitalizing on UNIATF’s experience in development of national NCD investment cases, mental health investment cases will assist national governments in estimating the “hidden” cost of mental disorders resulting from labor force reductions, presenteeism and absenteeism. Based on empirical, nationally owned data and WHO and UNDP tools, analyses from mental health investment cases will identify the leading behavioral, social and environmental risk factors in a country and propose concrete national policies and relevant clinical interventions to combat mental health disorders. From these analyses, an estimation of the return on investments (ROIs) of scaled-up action for the treatment and prevention of mental disorders will be calculated. These ROIs will compare the monetary value of health impacts and economic outcomes of scaled-up interventions with the cost of these interventions. As in the case of NCD Investment Cases, ROIs will allow ministries of health to make compelling economic arguments for taking multi-sectoral and holistic action to promote, protect and restore mental health.
    By Alexey Kulikov, Jenna Patterson, Mark Humphrey Van Ommeren,Dudley Tarlton and Nicholas Banatvala 
    1. World Health Organization, 2014. Mental health atlas. Available at https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/178879/9789241565011_eng.pdf
    2. World Health Organization, 2019. Investing in Mental Health for Sustainable Development. Available athttps://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/324949/WHO-UHC-CD-NCD-19.99-eng.pdf
    3. Firth, J. et al., 2019. A blueprint for protecting physical health in people with mental illness.. Lancet Psychiatry.
    4. Chisholm, D. et al., 2016. Scaling-up treatment of depression and anxiety: a global return on investment analysis. Lancet Psychiatry.
    5. Scaling up treatment for depression, anxiety and psychosis in Jamaica: A return on investment analysis, 2018. RTI International.
    6. United Nations General Assembly resolution 73/2. Political declaration of the third high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases. A/RES/73/2 (10 October 2018) from undocs.org/en/A/RES/73/2

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