September 17, 2021 - The UNDP Seoul Policy Centre hosted an interactive virtual impact ecosystem mapping dialogue across four cities in the Asia-Pacific - Seoul, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore - to explore the challenges and opportunities of data flows that are essential to reinforce the private sector’s alignment to SDGs in the Asia-Pacific region.
The dialogue was organized as part of the Youth Co:Lab initiative, co-led by UNDP and Citi Foundation since 2017, to empower and invest in youth entrepreneurs across the Asia-Pacific to create innovative and sustainable solutions towards achieving the SDGs through leadership and social innovation. The Korean chapter of Youth Co:Lab, led by the UNDP Seoul Policy Centre, seeks to support young and innovative impact-driven startups from Korea and developing countries tackle global development challenges.
This year, the event was streamed live as a side event of Try Everything, a global startup festival launched by Seoul Metropolitan Government.
The dialogue brought together ecosystem stakeholders from around the region, including startups, investors, accelerators, government representatives, international organizations and academia, all aiming to collectively map out the current status of local impact ecosystems and discuss tangible actions towards a more sustainable and inclusive growth of impact-driven startups and surrounding ecosystem enablers.
In four city-by-city impact ecosystem mapping sessions, participants discussed how access to SDG-data affect efforts to support impact-driven entrepreneurs and what can be done to improve the collection and sharing of SDG-data.
“By collectively sharing our knowledge and experiences, best practices and challenges, to move towards a strengthened ecosystem for social entrepreneurship, we hope to inspire young minds and future generations to continue developing innovative solutions that will help accelerate the achievement of the SDGs,” said Anne Juepner, acting Director of UNDP Seoul Policy Centre.
In the wrap-up plenary dialogue and showcase session, participants acknowledged the need for more systematic and active data sharing among different sectors in order to create a strengthened enabling environment for entrepreneurs to align their business with the SDGs. The session further highlighted partnership efforts to foster data sharing for the SDGs and showcased examples of SDG-aligned solutions created by young entrepreneurs from the Asia Pacific region.
The Impact Ecosystem Mapping Dialogue complements the broader 2021 Impact Collective, a six-month online investment and acceleration program for impact-driven startups looking to scale in the Asia Pacific region. Impact Collective is a special iteration of Urban Innovation Challenge: Citypreneurs Seoul programme, which Youth Co:Lab supports as a Global Expansion Partner. Among 50 teams that have reached the main round of the program, the top 20 teams and their innovative solutions, selected as a result of the demo days in November, will be sponsored by Youth Co:Lab for opportunities to expand their reach more widely within the Asia-Pacific region.