UNDP & Hyundai Motor Company partner to celebrate, crowdsource and accelerate grassroots innovations.

for Tomorrow

Watch: "for Tomorrow: the Documentary"

A film about the faces of real change

The Documentary is an 80-minute-long film narrated by Daisy Ridley (Star Wars) celebrating grassroots innovation that moves us toward a safer, more inclusive, and sustainable planet.

The film makes the argument that local innovators hold the knowledge to address some of the world’s toughest development challenges. By changing our traditional understanding of what an “expert” is, the film advocates for policy makers to build on everyday inventions and the wisdom of people around the world. The film makes the case for the imperative to learn from innovators of all backgrounds in order to make progress on the promises made through the Sustainable Development Goals.

The film follows five inspiring innovators in Azerbaijan, India, Peru, Sierra Leone and Viet Nam, supported by the UNDP Accelerator Labs, as they design frugal, home-grown solutions to address the challenges that affect them and their communities. From Trinh Thi Hong in Viet Nam, who saw mountains of waste in her neighborhood and created a soap-making business that employs over 400 people, to Emmanuel Alie Mansaray in Sierra Leone, who imagined a world with sustainable energy and built a solar-powered car from scrap, to Jamila Mammadli, a wheelchair user who brought accessibility to the metro system in Baku, Azerbaijan, they show us glimpses of what a more sustainable future can look like.

The film captures the vision and work of UNDP’s Accelerator Labs, urging decision-makers to listen and learn from local voices and keep the promises made with the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Awards and Accolades:

The "for Tomorrow: the documentary" has won a total of seven awards last year at the Cannes World Film Festival, the New York International Film Awards, and the Montreal Independent Film Festival. It also won 13 awards across five countries, including the Gold Anthem Award, which is hosted by the Webby Awards, and the Jury’s Award at the Quetzalcoatl Indigenous International Film Festival in Mexico last month. It was also selected for nine international film festivals, including the Swiss International Film Festival, the Bridge of Peace International Film Festival in France, and the Nepal Human Rights International Film Festival. Most recently, for Tomorrow also won the South by South West (SXSW) Innovation Awards in the Media category which recognizes outstanding projects, products and creative endeavors that advance innovation and improve comms.

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Meet the innovators featured in the movie

Charu Monga (Pithoragarh, India)

Professor Monga is ensuring that children in remote areas have the tools to develop their problem-solving skills thanks to her educational backpack. In addition, a solar lamp is incorporated into the design to help students travel safely from school in areas where power outages are frequent.

Emmanuel Alie-Mansaray (Freetown, Sierra Leone)

Tackling air pollution, 24-year-old self-taught engineer Emmanuel built the Imagination Car, Sierra Leone's first locally made solar car, entirely from waste. Driven to address other issues in his country, he also built eight legs for amputees, and a solar-powered lamp. He is currently raising money to expand his project.

Jamila Mammadli (Baku, Azerbaijan)

A writer and disability rights activist, Jamila advises the city of Baku to create a more inclusive subway system. Sharing her personal struggles, she is collaborating with local authorities and engineers to design an app for people with disabilities to get assistance on the metro.

Trinh Thi Hong (Da Nang, Vietnam)

Noticing the pile of garbage and the stench of the streets, Hong found a way to turn food waste into cleaning products. Her business transforms 109 tons of waste into 51,000 liters of product every month. It has created employment opportunities for more than 400 women, giving them financial independence and new skills.

10 de Agosto Farming Association (Ancolaca, Peru)

This agricultural association is making the village of Ancocala agriculturally self-sufficient by structuring terraces based on traditional Inca knowledge. Located in the Andes, a region affected by climate change and water scarcity, the terraces help recycle irrigation water and protect crop fields from extreme weather conditions.

The for Tomorrow Journey So far

The UNDP Accelerator Labs and Hyundai Motor Company launched "for Tomorrow" in 2020 to showcase the work of people who are making the world a better place. Today, for Tomorrow launches a film to showcase how our partnership has evolved & and share some of the exciting innovators that are taking steps to turn everyday challenges into solutions for a sustainable future.  To learn more visit here

Meet some of the changemakers and their solutions

Green mobility through loans for female entrepreneurs
Safa Tempo electric busses, traditionally driven by women, help address the air pollution problem in Kathmandu, Nepal. But getting bank loans is nearly impossible for these women. Sonika and her partner Tiffany have created a micro-loan system to help them reinvest in their busses. They’re levelling the social and economic playing field while fighting climate change.


Lighting the future with solar street lights
Like in many areas with limited infrastructure, life in small Nigerian villages can come to a standstill with sunset. By teaching communities how to build and maintain their own solar-powered street lights, Onah Angela Amaka has helped many villages take back the night.


Healing Waterways by Engaging Youth
Education is critical to a better tomorrow. Joaquin Cochero’s AppEAR solution brings environmental education to a new generation. This mobile app uses a game-like approach to engage youth in monitoring Argentina’s waterways and wetlands.


Creating clean domestic fuel from repurposed waste
Fuel is scarce in Nigeria. People often have no choice but to cut down trees to burn. Felix Nnworie advocates using briquettes made from domestic waste as a clean substitute. This will reduce deforestation by turning waste into an efficient and sustainable energy source.


Working together for a better tomorrow

From climate change to grappling poverty and inequality, local communities in the global south are facing the century’s biggest challenges. At the same time, they innovate, create, and pass on knowledge and solutions to address needs unmet by policies and market access.

Whether these are indigenous farmers in Ecuador using traditional knowledge to protect crops from animals and floods, informal workers in Ghana creating value from waste or grassroots communities in the Philippines inventing new business models by repurposing old machines. These solutions have the promise and the opportunity to contribute significantly to economic growth, environmental protection, and social inclusion, which are all key ingredients to sustainable development.

Indeed, bottom-up innovations local by nature and relevant by necessity should be sustained and where possible, not just transferred but adapted across regions, SDGs, and ecosystems.To  achieve this, UNDP through the Accelerator Labs is looking into, learning from, and building upon these local solutions rather than supplying or importing these from the outside.

And to accelerate and keep up with the pace of change, UNDP together with Hyundai Motor Company launch “for Tomorrow”, an initiative dedicated to celebrating bottom-up innovation, connecting local innovators who are creating solutions for a more sustainable future, and advancing these solutions to reach the ambitious goals set out in Agenda 2030.

UNDP and Hyundai Motor will support solutions shared on the “for Tomorrow” platform by advancing, sharing and building upon them with the help of the UNDP Accelerator Labs, a global network of 92 labs that are tapping into local innovations to create actionable insights and reimagine sustainable development for the 21st century.

Find out more. Visit http://www.fortomorrow.org

The for Tomorrow Launch Event

September 22, 2020: The official launch of the “for Tomorrow” platform  at the UN General Assembly. 

The launch event was moderated by Lucy Siegle, British journalist and broadcaster with guests, Joseph D’Cruz, Special Advisor, Strategic Planning & Innovation, UNDP, Wonhong Cho, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Hyundai Motor Company, Jessica Alba, entrepreneur and sustainability advocate,  Basma Saeed, Head of Solutions Mapping, UNDP Accelerator Lab Sudan, and Rex Lor, Head of Solutions Mapping, UNDP Accelerator Lab Philippines. Watch the full event recap below. 

The Inaugural Signing Ceremony

An official signing ceremony was held as well on 22 September 2020 between Hyundai Motor Executive Vice Chairman Euisun Chung and UNPD Administrator Achim Steiner online during which they discussed the future of partnership and global cooperation for sustainability. Actress, activist, and social impact entrepreneur Jessica Alba, officially endorsing ‘for Tomorrow’ and British journalist Lucy Siegle, who moderated the conversation, were also in attendance. Watch the event recap below. 

Watch the full event recap here.
Find out more about the partnership here


Share Your Solution

We are looking for innovative, on-the-ground responses to the everyday challenges our cities and settlements face in building a more sustainable, inclusive, and safer society. Visit here to add your solution.