SIGEF 2017

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.

A two-day event will discuss challenges faced by children in urban areas; they will include a Hackathon and roundtables on innovation.

Girl in a Turkish language class in a refugee camp in southern Turkey
Girl in a Turkish language class in a refugee camp in southern Turkey

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Kazakhstan will host a two-day event on Innovation and Technology for Children at Astana EXPO 2017. On the 18th and 19th of August, international and local experts in technology, innovators and entrepreneurs will join thought leaders and members of the academia, along with public sector officials to discuss the challenges faced by children growing up in cities.

On the 18th of August, young programmers from Astana, Almaty and other Kazakhstan cities will compete in a hackathon entitled “Innovating for children in an Urban World”. Participants will offer prototype solutions to children’s challenges in urban areas that range from tackling air pollution and improving safety to providing accessible transportation and safer streets for children.

Adolescent girls use cellphones and tablets in the Za’atari camp for Syrian refugees
Adolescent girls use cellphones and tablets in the Za’atari camp for Syrian refugees

The 19th of August will organize talks on “Advancing the Rights of Children through Innovation” and will gather international speakers from UNICEF, Google.org (Google’s charitable arm), Project Connect (global mapping project on schools’ internet connectivity), the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, and Youth Policy Labs (a global think-tank on youth) to share their expertise on expanding opportunities for children and youth through innovation.

UNICEF Talks will also feature promising change-makers, start-ups, corporate and public sector pioneers from Kazakhstan who will discuss challenges and opportunities in the country’s emergent innovation ecosystem.

UNICEF innovation for children at Astana Expo

Time: 09:30-18:00

Date: 18 – 19 August 2017

Place: Creative Energy Pavillion, Expo

Speakers: International speakers from UNICEF, Google.org (Google’s charitable arm), Project Connect (global mapping project on schools’ internet connectivity), The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, and Youth Policy Labs (a global think-tank on youth).

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 latest Green Transition Scoreboard® (GTS) found that private green investments now total more than $8.1 trillion USD ($8,133,456,730,370).

Published annually since 2009 by Ethical Markets, the GTS is a global measure of private green investment in five green sectors: 1) Renewable Energy, 2) Efficiency, 3) Life Systems (water, waste, recycling, community investing, e-learning and fintech), 4) Green Construction, and 5) Green Corporate R&D. Government investments have been omitted wherever possible and technological criteria are strictly applied.

Sector Amount US $


Renewable Energy – $3,427,534,992,202

Energy Efficiency – $1,748,904,490,919

Life Systems – $1,660,880,346,366

Green Construction – $914,736,379,757

Corporate Green R&D – $381,400,521,125

Grand Total – $8,133,456,730,370***

The aggregated total is tracked by Ethical Markets Media Certified B Corporation’s team of experts and global advisory board, led by CEO Dr. Hazel Henderson, futurist/author and former US government science policy advisor.

Henderson said “The green economy is growing faster than anyone realizes. We knew that this good news on the progress of the global green transition couldn’t be fully covered by mainstream financial media and news programs whose advertising is still from fossilized sectors.”

GTS co-author Tim Nash, The Sustainable Economist, adds “Although the USA is expected to fall behind due to federal policies that put obsolete industries like coal ahead of thriving green sectors, large corporations are stepping up to invest billions in more efficient technologies.”

The full 2017 GTS report titled “Deepening Green Finance” can be downloaded free here: 2017 Green Transition Scoreboard Cities and states worldwide are now leading, energized by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and many others. The UNEP Inquiry on Design of a Sustainable Financial System is successfully engaging conventional financial markets. Co-director Dr. Simon Zadek welcomed the release of the GTS report, “With a changed political landscape, the case for green finance has to be strengthened, so your work is very important and has to be widely used”.

The GTS report traces private money shifting from incumbent fossilized sectors to emerging green opportunities. Financial firms are being forced to innovate as pressure grows from all sides.

Activist ethical investors and divestment campaigns are getting louder. New pressure from above is driven by the National Development Commitments (NDCs) signed by 194 governments under the UN COP 21 and 22 climate accords and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Pressure is also coming from below with the rise of Silicon Valley’s Fintech100, including crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending, and reward currencies.

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. Horyou is also the host of SIGEF, the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum, taking place in Astana, Kazakhstan during the EXPO 2017, from 5-7 September. We invite you to Be the Change, Be Horyou!

One of the youngest and fastest-growing capitals in the world, Astana, in Kazakhstan, impresses by its landscapes, as well as its warmhearted people and state of the art architecture.

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

A major oil, coal, uranium and gas producer, Kazakhstan faces a good challenge in showing the world how to promote alternative energies in a global warming scenario as until September, Expo 2017 will attract around 95 countries and up to 5 million visitors. The event structure includes 80,000 personnel and a 173 hectares for the pavilions. Participants will have the chance to be presented with a wide variety of projects from companies and countries on the subjects of renewable sources of power, conscious consumption and technology.

It is in that context that the host city for Expo 2017 will be welcoming tourists, government officials, entrepreneurs and scientists to the biggest gathering on energy in the world this year. One of its most important side events will be SIGEF 2017, the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum by Horyou. It will contemplate Future Energy, Smart Cities and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Astana has been preparing for the event for years, not only by building infrastructure but also by committing to provide its visitors with an overall good experience that minimizes the impact on the environment. One good example is the agreement signed a year ago with the International Labor Organization, regarding sustainable tourism, whereby the country commits to promote green energy solutions in hotels and to organize a conference on tourism and future energy.

Since it is the first time that an exhibition of this kind is taking place in a former Soviet Union country and Middle Asia Region, the organizers are eager to show more than expected from a world class fossil fuel producer. “We already use these technologies in the construction of buildings for the exhibition: embedded photovoltaic panels, installed wind turbines and geothermal systems,” said Aydar Marat, representative of the Astana EXPO-2017 committee.

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 United Nations Development Program, in partnership with “MEGA Silk Way”, Künde, “Public association of disabled people “Bakyt” and the Medical Center of Mental Health, have organized a crowdfunding campaign to open a coffee shop in Astana that promotes the integration of people with special needs. The coffee shop is Künde Café, an inclusive socially responsible café in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Students of Nazarbayev University promote events to raise funds and awareness to the project
Students of Nazarbayev University promote events to raise funds and awareness to the project

Künde Café is an innovative social entrepreneurship projects that offers work opportunities to people with mental or special development needs, in order to better integrate them in society.

The project started one year ago in collaboration with the Astana Medical Center of Mental Health, providing opportunities to people with special needs who are part of the Medical Industrial Workshops. One of the partners is Künde, a network comprised of 102 workshop personnel, their parents and friends, as well as psychologists and psychiatrists, along with students of Nazarbayev University and catering professionals.

Besides raising funds for the project, the campaign aims to increase awareness of the issues that people with mental and development needs face everyday. A concert was held within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), whose core message is to ‘Leave No One Behind’ and thus help provide good health and well-being, decent work and economic growth, and reduce inequalities, wherever they are needed.

Promotion piece about the café
Promotion piece about the café

“When given an opportunity, people with special needs can become fully included into the society, and bring in transformative ideas, great knowledge and a wealth of experience. UNDP has been working to create and promote such opportunities for people with special needs for a long time and in over 170 countries around the world“, stated UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Norimasa Shimomura.

“My aim is to work in the social café, get on my feet, make money, and improve my quality of life. I want to achieve all of that by myself. I would like to create a family. My goal is to achieve all of that and not give up,” declared Kuanysh Nogaibayev, one of the future workers at Künde Café.

To date, approximately 600,000 people with special mental needs live in Kazakhstan. Less than 3% of those people have jobs. When launched, Künde Café will give them an opportunity to provide for themselves and their families, to socialize, and to successfully integrate into society.

If you would like to support this campaign, become a part of Künde’s success story, and be a donor, go to this link.

News from Astana is a content project by Horyou, the social network for social good and host of SIGEF 2017, the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum. The 4th edition of SIGEF will take place in Astana, Kazakhstan, from 5-7 September.

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