Inspiring innovation with Unicef
03 Oct 2017
For the past month, a team of us have been working on an initiative spearheaded by serial tech entrepreneur and co-founder of EnterpriseAlumni Emma Sinclair MBE and Unicef UK. The ongoing conflict in Syria has caused the largest humanitarian crisis since World War 2. Right now, 50 million children have been uprooted from their homes, face unimaginable hardship and are not attending school. Emma Sinclair, Unicef’s business ambassador has seen this first hand when she recently visited Azraq camp in Jordan, a country home to 650,000 Syrian refugees. Inspired by her visit, Emma is raising funds to help roll out ‘innovation labs’ where these young people can receive support, seed funding and training in valuable digital skills. It’s Unicef UK’s first crowdfund and it’s incredibly exciting for us to be able to play a small supporting role making sure news of it reaches the right people. Talking about her recent visit to Azraq, Emma said: “The projects the refugees are already rolling out with little or no resources to improve life in the camps are incredible. I was blown away when I saw some of their creations. A movie projector made with cardboard, tape and an old magnifying glass, and an air conditioner unit made from a scrap of solar panel, loose wires, a tiny fan and a battered base from a cool box were stand-outs for me. Imagine what they could do with more funding and resources.” For us at Harvard, it’s been a complete privilege to offer support on this campaign. We have been working closely with Emma and the Unicef team to both drive awareness of the crowdfunding attempt, as well as shine a light on the issue and the role technology can play in driving change. The campaign offers a solution to a global problem many of us are watching unfold, unsure how we can possibly help. For this reason, getting involved pro bono seemed like a no-brainer. If you want to get involved too, you can make a donation; the crowdfund ends on 6th October (that’s this week!). Check out the video below to learn more...