Technovation Challenge 2017: Sustainable Development Goals

By: Maggie Jaris

Let’s talk about the focus of this year’s challenge — Sustainable Development Goals (which you may have seen referred to in our materials as SDGs)! This year we’re challenging young women around the world to apply their creativity, ingenuity, and determination to develop a solution to a problem that falls into one of six SDG tracks: poverty, the environment, peace, equality, education, and health.

These tracks are taken from the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals — a set of goals to promote peace, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.

We are asking students to focus on these six tracks because we believe that tying this year’s challenge to global initiatives will help underscore the international nature of the program, the power of collective work, and the need for socially-conscious design. We want to invite young women across the world to see themselves as people who can solve big problems — and help them understand that they can start to solve them now.

The UN has defined targets to achieve for each of their Sustainable Development Goals. Technovation teams will be doing their part to help reach these targets in the 6 tracks we’ve selected, and to make a difference. The global problems we’re facing are large and numerous — but we believe that young women have the ideas, drive, and determination to lead the change for a better world.


Frequently Asked Questions about the Sustainable Development Goals

I have an idea that I think fits into two (or more) tracks. What should I do?

It’s great that your idea addresses so many problems! However, for the purposes of Technovation, you’ll have to pick one SDG track to focus on when you submit. During the submission process, you’ll be asked to explain which SDG your app aligns with and explain how it aligns — for this question you should focus on one issue. After the program, we encourage you to keep developing your app and to keep working to solve multiple problems!

My app idea doesn’t align with any of these tracks. What should I do?

The SDG tracks are pretty broad — consider what is at the heart of the problem your app is trying to solve. If your app idea really doesn’t address an issue related to peace, education, health, poverty, equality or the environment, consider how any or all of those six issues do affect your community and start the ideation process again. Ask yourself where you see these issues being challenged in the world today.