The Challenges

ITU Telecom World 2013 Young Innovators Competition

The competition aims to identify projects with demonstrable potential to make a real impact in the field of one of six Global Challenges addressing world developmental issues. These challenges have been defined with input from industry, UN agencies and sector experts. They reflect both the reality of increasing convergence between technology and vertical sectors, and ITU’s ongoing commitment to harnessing the power of ICTs for socio-economic development.

Expert knowledge partners will help select the most promising candidates and ensure solutions are fit for purpose in meeting each specific challenge.

Improve employment opportunities for young people and migrant workers

High rates of youth unemployment are becoming a social emergency. Many young people seek better opportunities abroad, but migrant works are often vulnerable to fraud, inadequate social protection, difficulties in transferring funds or finding work upon their return. How can ICTs be used to improve youth employment prospects and empower and protect young migrant workers?

This challenge is organized in collaboration with the International Labour Organization, International Organization for Migration, and Ooredoo.

Reduce food and water wastage at individual and retail level

Almost a third of all food produced in the world is lost or wasted in current systems of food production and consumption. This is often due to retailers or individuals discarding food that is fit for consumption, despite expiration date management or improved production processes. How can we use ICTs to reduce the amount of food wasted?

This challenge is organized in partnership with FAO – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, YPARD – Young Professionals’ Platform for Agricultural Research for Development and the Carrefour Foundation.

Facilitate access to public services for the elderly

Senior people utilize online services less frequently than other groups of population. Addressing elderly people’s concerns about using these services, as well as improving the efficiency and decreasing cost of provision of these would allow greater political participation and enhance governments’ transparency and accountability. How can connected technology enhance the access to and the delivery of public services for the elderly?

This challenge is organized in collaboration with G3ict – the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies and Aging 2.0.

Improve natural disaster prediction and response

Predicting natural disasters before they strike is vital to ensure correct preparations and an adequate response. First responders, those arriving first at the scene of disaster, often rely on outdated and inefficient radio equipment to communicate. How can we use connected technologies to improve current prediction systems and create user-friendly communication systems for first responders?

This challenge is organized in collaboration with United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Télécoms Sans Frontières, DuPont Sustainable Solutions, and Microsoft Lync.

Improve road safety for both drivers and pedestrians

Around 1.3 million people die each year on the world’s roads and millions sustain non-fatal injuries, particularly young people. Technology has focused on innovation within the automotive sector – it now needs to drive the road safety debate. How can we use technology to make the roads safer for both drivers and pedestrians?

This challenge is organized in collaboration with The World Health Organization, heading the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety.

Protect sensitive personal data and inspire the creation of local digital content

We have created vast amounts of digital content, including cultural, educational, scientific and administrative resources, as well as technical, legal, and medical information. It is all vulnerable to loss or misuse, and must be preserved and protected. Creating digital content drives the economy, but digital devices unequipped for local content (especially in non-Latin scripts) are holding back local development and infrastructure. How can we use technology to safeguard existing personal data and other forms of digital content without compromising on its availability? How can ICTs inspire the creation of local digital content and bridge the content divide between cultures?

This challenge is organized in collaboration with ITU-IMPACT and AllTheContent.