#UNDP4Future: What we’re doing today

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Filed under: Development 2.0 Governance Social innovation

undp4future event noah raford speaking

“We see what we want to believe” Noah Raford talks cognitive and social biases at #UNDP4Future (Photo: John A. Sweeney)

In June, I was part of the team behind Foresight for Development –Shaping the New Future, a research and development event held in Istanbul.

Our key aim here was exposing our colleagues to a new trend we like to call “the gentle art of foresight.”

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Film fatale: How one filmmaker made history

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Filed under: Climate change Gender equality Social inclusion

the filmmaker

“Being a woman movie director, it is particularly important to me that women are portrayed in a dignified manner, as fighters, as heroines—the way they are in their real lives.”

In 2013, award-winning filmmaker Biljana Gavranlieva directed After the Rain – the first-ever documentary made by a Macedonian director about climate change.

The film, which was produced with the support of UNDP, the Global Environment Facility, and the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning, shows the lives of four women between the ages of forty and eighty, who work as farmers in the country.

Last month, we sat down with Biljana, to discuss the making of the film, its impact, and why women should be at the forefront of efforts to adapt to climate change worldwide.

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From silk to alternative energy: New routes for Azerbaijan

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Filed under: Development Environment

solar panels in azerbaijan

Solar energy in Gobustan, Azerbaijan (Photo: UNDP in Azerbaijan)

From its significance to the silk trade routes in the 13th century, to its rise as a great energy producer during the first oil boom of the 19th century, Azerbaijan has long been known for its geo-strategic position in the world.

Today, with the successful completion of the Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan pipeline, this has never been truer.

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Minding the gap: Georgia takes a page from UK’s innovation guidebook

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Filed under: Development 2.0 Guest posts Social innovation

georgia's innovation team

Innovation in action: “…focusing on the processes not just the outcome, and putting citizens at the heart of its approach”

From county councils to government departments, institutions in the UK are thinking more and more about how to develop innovative solutions to the key problems faced by their citizens.

Increased fiscal pressures and heightened citizen expectations means doing more with less.

The conventional stereotype of a public servant being resistant to innovation and prone to inertia is totally out of date.

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Thinking differently: Nudging in Belarus

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Filed under: Development 2.0 Social innovation

simon's visit to belarus

Simon Ruda in Belarus: Read how the UK Government is nudging people to pay their taxes

A good friend, a professor and doctor, once told me:

“The longer I live, the more I realize how complex and strange people’s behaviour is. Actually, it seems that no one really knows why human beings do what they do.”

I agree with him to a certain extent. People do often behave inconsistently, and the human mind remains the most undiscovered and mysterious place on the planet.

But if we are brave enough to make the journey, what we discover is an invaluable resource that can help us understand why people behave the way they do.

It can also help steer them towards the choices that may benefit them, and the society at large.

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From cocoons comes silk: Sustainable tourism and the women of Misi

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Filed under: Development Social inclusion

village women do traditional sewing

Read about more of the sustainable tourism projects that we are supporting

The small, charming village of Misi, with its 1,200 residents and ancient history, has great potential for attracting visitors from nearby Bursa, the fourth largest city in the country.

In fact, over 2,500 tourists now visit the village every weekend.

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Peace through technology: By whom, for whom?

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Filed under: Development 2.0 Guest posts Social innovation

participants at build peace 2014

Last year’s Build Peace: Read more about how technology is offering new venues for social change

The next Build Peace conference will take place on 25-26 April 2015 in Nicosia, Cyprus and already counts on the support of the UNDP in Cyprus office.

Where Build Peace 2014 aimed to demonstrate the potential of using technology for peacebuilding in terms of ‘breadth’ of initiatives and ideas, Build Peace 2015 will begin to examine issues of ‘depth’ – how the use of technology is resulting in the creation of alternative infrastructures for peace.

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Healthy choices: Optimizing decisions in an area of uncertainty

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Filed under: Development Guest posts Health HIV

summer school participants on a roof in venice

Life in Venice: Applicants from WHO European Region Member States shared ideas and meals during the summer school

Early last month, I was honoured to have the opportunity to represent Bosnia and Herzegovina at Observatory Venice Summer School 2014, a six-day networking and educational event.

Thanks to the financial assistance of UNDP in Europe and Central Asia‘s HIV, Health and Development team, I was able to meet with more than 40 specialists from the global health sector.

I also got the opportunity to exchange knowledge and experience with like-minded representatives of some key health organizations from around the world.

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Big hits and blunders: A social innovation lab in Armenia

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Filed under: Development 2.0 Social innovation

a kolba lab lesson

Making the big pitch: Using storytelling to pitch an idea at Kolba’s prototyping event in Vanadzor (Photo: George Hodge)

When UNDP in Armenia launched Kolba over a year ago, it was the only social venture incubator and design lab within the organization.

Twelve months and a lot of (emotional) scars later, we thought it was time to share some of our big hits and blunders.

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