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Celebration of World Humanitarian Day at the United Nations in New York, Friday, Aug. 19, 2016. (Stuart Ramson/AP Images for United Nations)

On the 4th of January this year, the latest UN International Days were celebrated officially for the first time. World Braille Day celebrates the inclusion of more than 1 billion people with some degree of visual impairment through the reading platform that gives them more chances to thrive.

The World Braille Day is the 161st UN International Day marked on the UN Calendar, and one of the many awareness days that contribute to spread the word about the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Agenda 2030.

The history of the UN Days goes decades back, the first being the UN Day, on October 24th, 1948, which was set to celebrate every year the anniversary of the Charter of the United Nations. Since then, the UN has maintained the tradition of reminding the world of and promoting actions for many of its challenges, including Education (January 24th), Women (March 8th), Health (April 7th) and Democracy (September 15th) – all closely related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The topics were typically decided in a General Assembly on proposition from one or more Member States, and their celebrations declared by the Organization’s specialized agencies including UNESCO, UNICEF, FAO or UNHCR, to name but a few, in relation to their mission statement.

Most UN Days celebrate specific historical facts that marked the related social movement and were officialized later. The International Women’s Day, for instance, has gathered more and more supporters throughout history and March 8th rallies around the world remember the early 20th Century feminists’ fight for gender equality (SDG 5). Celebrated on June 20th, the World Refugee Day goes back to the 1951 UN Convention, a few years after the end of WW2. They commemorate the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees, resonating with the motto of the Agenda 2030 “Leaving No One Behind”.

Are you interested in the UN Days? Want to learn more? To help raise awareness of such important topics, Horyou has created a Smart Calendar which every citizen can follow to promote every UN International Day. It is a gift from Horyou to change makers and social good doers around the world. To download Horyou’s smart calendar on your mobile phone, follow the links:

iOS Version: http://p21-calendars.icloud.com/published/2/EWIYUw8L9BlnwKA3Xp2oVJtl6GXimLbb1zx6TI_9wC9SuKr1cOOeXjS-J7cd01nkVM9IkxOiZJ5u0dTv3DpqFugkRzMFNe1n64wvvNFCJEc

Android Version: https://calendar.google.com/calendar/b/1?cid=aG9yeW91LmNvbV9zNGl0bWdpNWk3NWtkMmZtdWV2aGZpN3I0Y0Bncm91cC5jYWxlbmRhci5nb29nbGUuY29t

Along the same lines, we invite all social good doers to share their initiatives, inspiring thoughts and actions relating to the UN Days within our social good ecosystem on horyou.com, the social network for social good. In so doing, they may collect “Lights” from all continents, and receive HoryouToken (HYT), the first Utility Token supporting social and economic inclusion. They may also foster the SDGs through our “BlockChain with a Purpose”. 

Horyou is in Davos and has a lot to say about sustainable development

Sustainability has gained momentum on the WEF

It’s the 21st century and, more than ever before, economic development can’t dispense with sustainability. And the World Economic Forum in Davos is the right place to foster the UN Sustainable Development Goals as key to economic prosperity.

Horyou is there to talk about a most disruptive if innovative technology, namely the HoryouToken*, a cryptocurrency for Inclusion and Sustainability built on the concept of Blockchain with a Purpose. Horyou was invited at the Blockchain Economic Forum, taking place in Davos from 24-26 January to demonstrate in which ways HoryouToken can support and foster the SDGs. With a significant high profile audience, the event gathers heads of States, alongside government officials, investors, entrepreneurs and leaders of the new economy to review cutting edge topics in panels and roundtables, or during evening receptions and speed networking breaks.

Yonathan Parienti, founder and CEO of Horyou, is a speaker at the Blockchain Economic Forum in Davos

Yonathan Parienti, founder and CEO of Horyou, underscored the potentially strong impact of Blockchain technology on the UN Sustainable Development Goals to democratize the otherwise hectic funder/funded process. “It is not about speculation but about Blockchain applications with real value to society via providing support to constructive initiatives aimed at promoting sustainability and inclusion. Everyone can be a force for good, everyone can share inspiration and be a change agent”, he asserted.

A Spotlight on Climate Change and Environment

Prince William interviews Sir David Attenborough

This year, the World Economic Forum has provided a larger space to sustainability, proving that the global leaders are showing more concern to the future of our planet. Thus the presence of 92-year-old naturalist Sir David Attenborough, hardly a self-serving political star, who evoked the future of our planet in an interview with Prince William. “We have to recognize that every breath of air we take, every mouthful of food we take, comes from the natural world. And if we damage the natural world, we damage ourselves. We are one coherent ecosystem. It’s not just a question of beauty, or interest, or wonder – the essential ingredient of human life is a healthy planet”, he uttered.

Davos and the 2021 Sustainability Strategy

Davos, Switzerland

Since 2015, the WEF has developed a Strategy for 2021 that aims to ensure a highest level of sustainability for its offices and events, as well as to strengthen the integration of sustainability practices into its business processes and global operations. The strategy covers six priority areas comprising air travel emissions, sustainable design and branding, low impact ingredient catering, supply chain, natural energy resources and work-safety practices. Last year, the ISO 20121 meeting became independently certified “sustainable event management”. The Forum has since followed a strict methodology to set sustainability into its internal policies and processes, covering a range of event and activities, ranging from the materials used for temporary structures and decoration, to energy use, food and beverages, waste management, and transportation. In addition, the Forum has sought to ensure equitable procurement policies, fair employment practices, health and safety of its staff and participants, and meaningful engagement with local communities. The Annual Meeting’s carbon footprint is also measured and compensated for in an internationally recognized manner: having calculated the event’s footprint, the Forum then compensates it by buying the corresponding amount of carbon credits from South Pole, which supports emissions reduction projects.

* HoryouToken is listed on LAToken and CoinTiger

Horyou has always aimed to bring the best to its community. As a member of the Horyou team, I’m happy to highlight some of the most important facts, actions and events that have marked 2018:

Time to celebrate!

– The launch of HoryouToken, the Token for Inclusion and Sustainability, built on the concept of Blockchain with a Purpose. It’s a major step in Horyou’s history, considering that Blockchain is an innovative, groundbreaking technology that has the potential to benefit hundreds of millions of people worldwide. HoryouToken is now listed at LAToken and CoinTiger. Click here for more information and see our interview to Cointelegraph.

The 5th edition of SIGEF, the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum, which took place in Singapore, the innovation oriented metropolis in Southeast Asia. This year’s programme was one of the most technology-driven editions of SIGEF, addressing such issues as MedTech, Fintech and Blockchain, Smart Cities and Future Technology, Impact Investing, Future Energy and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and setting a trend for the next SIGEFs to come. See the SIGEF at a glance video on our YouTube channel.

SIGEF 2018 took place in Singapore

– Horyou’s growing global presence through networking events, international conferences and its continuously expanding community comprised of organizations, personalities and change makers! Horyou’s founder and CEO, Yonathan Parienti, started the year speaking about Sustainable Financing Alternatives at WSIS Forum 2018, and ended it with an interview on the Blockchain Media as a personality on the Blockchain Industry.

Yonathan Parienti speaks at WSIS Forum

– The strengthening of Horyou partnerships with new ones we welcomed throughout the year!

What’s to come?

The Horyou Team is excited and busy working on new projects for 2019! We are proud to announce:

– A Disruptive Innovation Media project that will bring news about Blockchain and Cryptocurrency, Technology and Science, Innovative Entrepreneurship and more themes that are changing the world as we know it.

– SIGEF 2019, to be held in Tokyo, Japan. Asia will be welcoming Horyou with open arms and helping our community to become even more global.

– Horyou Team will be present in Davos during the World Economic Forum, conducting meetings with international friends and future partners. If you go there, feel free to reach out!

HoryouToken

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

Stay tuned to our blog, our social media channels (Twitter, LinkedIn and Youtube) and Horyou, the social network for social good. And a Happy New Year to all of you, members, partners and friends!

On November 28th, the European Youth Award, one of the most important awards supporting young entrepreneurs, will be celebrating its 2018 edition in Graz, Austria, with an event focused on the future of digital technologies. The EYA Festival and Gala will gather digital experts, startups and disruptive project holders to celebrate young talents and join forces for a better world. A long-term Horyou partner, EYA’s project manager Birgit Kolb gave us this interview and talks about social entrepreneurship, digital creativity and the use of information for good.

Birgit Kolb, EYA project manager

What is the main purpose of EYA?

Digital technologies are most powerful tools to tackle the social challenges people face every day. EYA’s main purpose is to bring together young people sharing this view. We are the Internet of entrepreneurs who care, and by joining forces, we want to create a better world.

What is the connection between social entrepreneurship and digital creativity?

Powerful technologies should be used wisely to create more freedom and wealth. The European Youth Award celebrates the idea of improving society through new technologies. That may be mobile apps or the Internet of Things, digital communication channels or robots, there is a lot of creativity in the submitted projects. Huge positive impact on society can be achieved with state-of-the-art technology. EYA Winning Projects use digital possibilities in a very smart and creative way; they enrich them with social intention and thereby create awesome solutions to the challenges many people face.

We live in a world where information is key but could also be a threat if not used wisely. How are you approaching this?

EYA Winners are a positive example of using information wisely for a good purpose. We want to motivate and inspire others by putting them on stage. Take for example this year’s winner in the “Active Citizenship” category: Soliguide is a platform providing homeless people and refugees with helpful information and easing their lives. Or Blood Donor, a winner in the Fostering Health category: the app improves the communication between the National Centre for Blood Transfusions and the individual donors to share information if blood is urgently needed. It may be vital that certain informations reach the right target groups in time. These changemakers join the European Youth Award because they want to learn and take part in a community of people sharing that same inspiration.

Please mention some of the most interesting speakers or business cases that will be showcased this year.

The EYA Festival is a reunion of great people. They create a very special atmosphere of togetherness, creativity and fun. Personally, my favorite session is the EYA campfire, when EYA mentors like Belkis Etz and Markus Leitner (SKIDATA), Wolfgang Schaffer (bitmedia), Thomas W. Albrecht (TWA Mentale Innovation GmbH), Karim Taga (Arthur D. Little), Reinhard Mayr (COPA-DATA) and many other experienced business leaders will share their personal stories with the Festival Participants. I am also looking forward to the workshop with Sarah Klein and Eva Verfürth of Tea after Twelve. They will talk about how to counter fake news and drama – a superhot topic. Another highlight will be the workshop “Blockchain for social impact: does it make sense to move your project on blockchain?” conducted by Odeta Iseviciute. On Friday we will conduct for the first time the so-called “EYA Solution Jam”: Companies like Gofore, Mountain Marketing, HEIJAR, rsa SAT, the styrian SFG, the City of Graz and mladiinfo will present real-life business challenges. In a creative and productive process, the Festival participants will try to come up with smart solution concepts and new approaches. This is going to be super-interesting.

EYA is a Horyou Partner. If you want to become involved, contact them on this email address.

In an era of disruptive change, innovation and creativity are pivotal in the process of working together to find the right solutions to the challenges that it inevitably triggers.

Panel about the Sustainable Development Goals (SIGEF 2018 – Singapore)

The world is changing. While the realm of technology and information is expanding, many of us feel we are entering a new era that yet needs to be decrypted. I, myself, feel that my way of doing journalism is nothing short of obsolete, while many newsrooms nowadays rely on bots and digital engines to do part of the news-hunting that human beings would still be doing a not so long while ago. But journalists are not the only ones concerned. In Bangladesh, many workers are being deemed redundant in the apparel industry as machines are now performing their manual tasks. Likewise in Switzerland where pharmaceutical companies are firing at arm’s length due to the disruptive competition from MedTech startups. Which leaves me wondering if there really are ways to prevent the rise of unemployment, social unrest and poverty that these trends imply?

Yes, there are; and I am confident about that. The above examples are all picked off the media which, as we know, tend to be quite fussy about automation and robotics; but there is always a brighter side to things. Like, instead of the ‘robots are stealing human jobs’ speech, why not develop a ‘technology is helping us to work and live better’ discourse? From small villages in Africa to high-tech compounds in Europe, social innovation is a global reality, and it is building in us more hope into finding solutions for a far better quality of life than ever.

Consider SIGEF, the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum organized by Horyou; its 5th edition took place in Singapore, last September. Now a leading global event, SIGEF 2018 showcased examples of how human interactions with technology are liable to generate change for good. It also highlighted future energy solutions, smart cities accomplishments, and medical technology advances, while analyzing positive disruptive effects of Blockchain, and exploring promising areas of impact investing, in resonance with the UN Sustainable Development Goals that are set to shape better times to come.

The event notably introduced the realizations of noteworthy innovators such as Kavita Sinha, from Silver Spring Networks, who founded an NGO which uses brain implants to facilitate the inclusion of children with hearing disabilities, or Thuc Vu, co-founder and CEO of OhmniLabs’, who designed and set up an open innovation platform which calls on collaborations to make robotics more accessible.

In the words of Yonathan Parienti, founder and CEO of Horyou, the social network for social good, organizer of SIGEF, and initiator of HoryouToken, a cryptocurrency based on “Blockchain with a purpose”, SIGEF is a platform for the exchange of ideas and hope, where social innovation thrives to bring “real value for society while supporting constructive initiatives aimed at promoting sustainability and inclusion.” Initiatives like these can bring us together as a global society to share solutions and fast-forward thinking.

Events like SIGEF are crucial to show how social innovation can be initiated by everyone and, in most cases, it is sustainable and profitable. What we have learned after 5 years is that social innovation is a tool against ignorance and intolerance and to help open bridges to a healthier, smarter, and more inclusive society.

Be the change, be Horyou.

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