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Horyou team is at the GES!

The entrepreneurship world is moving fast and social innovation is now a matter of survival for most businesses. The level of personalities attending the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) on its first day in the Indian city of Hyderabad, alongside Ivanka Trump, advisor to the President of the United States, and Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, who took to the stage to address a large number of businesspersons and innovators before the international media, was a strong sign of the importance that social entrepreneurship has now reached economically, as well as politically.

On the 29th of November, today, the summit will hear Yonathan Parienti, founder and CEO of Horyou, the social network for social good, who will raise the attendees’ interest in the topic of “Go For It: Tapping Alternative Financing Solutions” and announce the official launching of Spotlight, the first digital currency for impact that supports philanthropy and economic inclusion. «We are very happy to share Spotlight with the world, a digital currency that we put the necessary time and effort to develop and test, and that aims to bring equality and inclusion for millions of people in the next few years », announced Parienti.

Narendra Modi at the GES

«Think how much better the world would be if all of us, men and women, are empowered to dream big, aim high, and work together towards a more just and prosperous future», said Ivanka Trump in her speech on the opening day. Spotlight is perfectly in line with that statement in that it has been developed to financially support organizations, projects and people whose work is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals on empowerment. As economic inclusion is one of GES’s major themes, especially regarding empowerment and opportunities for women, Spotlight is to be showcased as an alternative solution, notably in generating social and gender equality.

Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the inviting country, highlighted the importance of private investment on promoting sustainable growth, especially in areas like sanitation, transparent policies and entrepreneurship. “Invest in India, for India and for the world”, he summoned.

GES is on!

We will keep you updated on Horyou’s contribution to the summit on www.horyou.com and our social media channels.

This year’s Responsible Business Forum (RBF), Asia’s largest gathering on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) held in Singapore this week, a city that next fall will also host SIGEF 2018. Yonathan Parienti, founder and CEO of Horyou, the social network for social good and organizer of SIGEF, was invited to be part of an exclusive group of 600 delegates to attend the event.

Responsible Business Forum (RBF), Asia’s largest gathering on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) was held in Singapore this week

«Our participation in the Responsible Business Forum in Singapore is a sign that we are following the right path. Both Horyou and SIGEF are typically in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which makes us very welcome there», says Parienti. SIGEF 2018 will be held on September 11th, during the chairmanship of the ASEAN Summit.

RBF will hold SDG workshops for all participants, as well as share commitments, report on progress and define a framework for measuring performance and impact of each goal through case studies and panels. The Forum approach is to provide integrated solutions to accelerate action. Businesses, governments, UN agencies, NGOs, investors and international experts will be presenting their success stories, as innovation and financing of SDG will be high on the agenda this year.

The event will comprise seven channels of debates, namely agriculture, food & nutrition; consumption, climate change, inclusive growth, cities and urbanization, and circular economy. Discussions will include green financing opportunities, cleantech and data philanthropy, while companies will showcase initiatives that prove they keep thinking ‘out of the box’, such as AkzoNobel, a coatings industry bringing solutions to smart cities and clean oceans, or MasterCard that is acting on gender equality and inclusion.

The business sector’s cooperation with other actors of the SDG ecosystem will be stressed by many speakers. «We have to translate the SDG into a language that the business community can understand», warns Meng Liu, head of Asia and Oceania Networks with the United Nations Global Compact. «In order to support their implementation, the business sector must go beyond CSR», adds Haoliang Xu, regional Director for UNDP in Asia Pacific.

According to the UNDP, business opportunities that align with SDG are valued at 12 trillion US dollars globally. «There is so much to be done. Horyou, with SIGEF and Spotlight, is a tireless supporter of SDG as it offers channels of communication and funding for many organizations and projects that help to achieve the goals», reminds Parienti.

One of the largest events in Central Asia, Expo 2017 Astana reveals the region to the world

Astana is one of the fastest-growing capitals in the world
Astana is one of the fastest-growing capitals in the world

Yuri Shurygin, a 38-year old Russian national, is the three-millionth visitor to the Astana Expo 2017, taking place in Kazakhstan’s capital city. The mark was reached on August 25, when Akhmetzhan Yessimov, Chairman of the event, congratulated Shurygin and offered him a special welcome gift.

According to the Astana Expo 2017 organizers, around 15% of the visitors are foreigners, most of whom from Russia, Kazakhstan’s closest neighbor. Seizing the opportunity, Yessimov reminded that one of the goals of the event was to increase the tourist flow to the country. He also celebrated the mark which surpasses the initial expectation of two milion visitors at completion of the first three months of the exhibition, which was August 4th. “EXPO 2017 met our expectations completely. The exhibition not only boosted job openings, but also incomes” he added. The multiplication effect, he said, was felt by local busineses of all sizes, while the hotels occupancy rate has doubled.

The previous day, Kazakhstan’s national pavilion greeted its one-millionth visitor.

While the exhibition will end on September 10th, raising hopes for the numerous events that are yet to come, Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan’s president, is said to have approved a plan for post-exhibition use of Expo 217 facilities, according to the local press. Three legacy projects are thus to take shape – the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC), the Future Energy international center for the transfer of green technologies and investment projects, and the International IT Startup Hub.

On September 5-7, Horyou will be hosting the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum (SIGEF 2017), at Rixos President Astana Hotel, to which hundreds of attendees are expected. (tickets here).

The Horyou’s 4th Edition of SIGEF will take place during EXPO 2017 Astana, in Kazakhstan. The Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum will discuss Future Energy, Smart Cities, SDGs, and lead official delegation to EXPO 2017 Astana. More information on www.sigef2017.com and consult agenda or register your attendance.

One of the largest Eurasian region business meetings to be hosted in Astana from 24-26 August.

Opening ceremony  of Eurasian Week
Opening ceremony of Eurasian Week

Focused on investment and export potential of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the Eurasian Week is a large annual business meeting aimed at developing the regional economy. The Forum offers opportunities for companies, entrepreneurs and investors to develop contact with other businesses and to discuss their development strategies in a context of global challenges. It will take place in the Congress Center annexed to the EXPO 2017 venue.

The organizers of the event expect to gather over 2,000 participants from 35 countries over international cooperative projects and business networking. It is also a dedicated space to discuss common regulations, get training and find supporters and funders for projects in various industries. On August 24th, the speakers will debate competitiveness and potential points of growth in the current economic scenario; the next day, the conference will cover free movement flows in EAEU and the 25th will be dedicated to the economy of the future.

Kazakhstan PM Bakytzhan Sagintayev
Kazakhstan PM Bakytzhan Sagintayev

The Forum’s speakers include: vice-prime ministers of EAEU member countries, members of EEC Collegium (ministers), officers of EAEU member countries’ ministries in charge of economic development, energy sector, communication, agribusiness and health, as well as heads of EAEU member countries’ regions and cities, officers of UN FAO, Unions and Association, and over 200 other business community officers and state agencies.

Throughout the 3 days of the event, an exhibition will showcase export opportunities, bringing together more than 300 companies from the Union Member States that have an export potential. The main areas of the exhibition will include energy, IT and telecoms, agriculture, food industry, transport and logistics, engineering and automotive industries, chemicals, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, metallurgy, mining, light industry, and wood processing. An innovative aspect of the Forum is that its participants will be able to invite any of the exhibitors for a bilateral meeting on the very site of the exhibition through an online appointment system.

The Horyou’s 4th Edition of SIGEF will take place during EXPO 2017 Astana, in Kazakhstan. The Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum will discuss Future Energy, Smart Cities, SDGs, and lead official delegation to EXPO 2017 Astana. More information on www.sigef2017.com and consult agenda or register your attendance.

The European Commission launched this week a report which addresses the challenges for the future of Europe regarding innovation and research.

The European Commission event took place in Brussels
The European Commission event took place in Brussels

Over 700 scientists, business leaders and policy makers have gathered this week in Brussels at the conference Research and Innovation – Shaping Our Future, where competitiveness, productivity and value generation were some of the key topics on discussion.

The report, entitled LAB – FAB – APP: Investing in the European Future We Want was initiated by an independent group of leading experts chaired by Pascal Lamy, President Emeritus of the Jacques Delors Institute. The document highlights the idea that part of Europe’s success is due to research and innovation as two thirds of economic growth achieved in the last two decades by industrialised countries are attributed to investments in this area. The document included 11 recommendations that focused on maximising the impact of EU investments in research and innovation in order to increase prosperity and solve the biggest societal challenges on the continent.

Apart from being pretty much focused on policies and research budgeting propositions, the recommendations address some of the Sustainable Development Goals such as education and human rights.

The 11 recommendations for the future of innovation are as follows:

*1. Prioritise research and innovation in the EU while taking them into account in national budgets, with emphasis on a doubling of the budget covering post-2020 EU research and innovation programme

  1. Build a true EU innovation policy that creates future markets

  2. Educate for the future and invest in people who will make the change

  3. Design the EU R&I programme for greater impact

  4. Adopt a mission-oriented, impact-focused approach to address global challenges

  5. Rationalise the EU funding landscape and achieve synergy with structural funds

  6. Simplify further, privilege impact over process

  7. Mobilise and involve citizens

  8. Better align EU and national R&I investment

  9. Make international R&I cooperation a trademark of EU research and innovation

  10. Capture and better communicate impact*

For Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, “Research and Innovation make a big difference to enhancing productivity, boosting competitiveness and tangibly improving our quality of life. Europe is a global scientific powerhouse, but we need to better reap the benefits of this knowledge by turning it into value for the economy and society through innovation.”

Horyou is the Social Network for Social Good, which connects, supports and promotes social initiatives, entrepreneurs, and citizens who help the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals to build a more harmonious and inclusive world. We invite you to Be the Change, Be Horyou!

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It might seem exaggerated, but fintech is going through challenging times. Since 2014, it has been pointed as an alternative for the increasingly regulated traditional financial markets and presented successful funding cases – at least, up to now. According to the research firm CB Insights, the investments on venture capital-backed fintech cooled off in the last quarter of 2015, despite reaching the best year in its history.

Besides, fintech might not be as “disruptive” as it wants to be. In a recent article published by The Financial Times, the venture capital executive Mark Tluszcz wrote about how “there has been very little innovation and nothing truly transformational” in fintech. According to him, most of their “hype” is not justified – they are just regular businesses.

What does innovation and transformation stand for, after all? Is it about processes, business models, solutions? For sure. But it is also about mission, values, culture, purposes. We can’t change the first ones without changing the latters, and this is why most fintech are being challenged right now. They are indeed presenting new market solutions and, at least technically, differentiating themselves, but with the same old thinking – profit for few and capital concentration.

The problem is “the same old thinking” – it doesn’t make sense for many actors in our globalized, sharing, collaborative society. It doesn’t sound interesting for the new generations, future clients and investors of this industry. We all like innovation, but we don’t want to use it for feeding the same vicious circle that created such global problems as poverty and inequality.

It is shameful that we, as an ever growing technological society, have 2,8 billion people living with less than 2 dollars a day. What is fintech doing to change this scenario?

A win-win situation

Last February, Horyou, the social network for social good, created the first global social currency, Spotlight. It is a fintech project, although Horyou is not a fintech company. Spotlight is a micro-funding tool that allows any member of the network to support social initiatives and non-profit organizations through a real digital currency. It also allows any member of the platform to get funds for their own projects and initiatives. And it opens a world of opportunities for investors thanks to its conscious capitalism background.

The innovation with Spotlight is it provides an alternative source of funding for hundreds of millions of entrepreneurs, youth, artists or organizations. It spreads innovation globally and it gives power and initiative to all its actors. “Spotlights is a revolution of internet which affects not only the Corporate Social Responsibility sector but the whole society on a global level”, says Yonathan Parienti, founder and CEO of Horyou.

There is hope. And that’s why I wish a long, long life for fintech, as it discovers the path that combines innovation, transformation and purpose for a better world.

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