Start-ups, tech investors explore how businesses can advance the SDGs

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Start-ups, investors and the tech industry can be a powerful force to reduce poverty, generate economic opportunities and protect the environment, underscored leading innovators and entrepreneurs at the Citypreneurs “TECH4GOOD: Innovate Locally, Impact Globally” conference session held at CES Asia this week.

CES Asia 2019, held on June 11-13 in Shanghai, China, focuses on the latest innovation in AI, 5G, vehicle tech and startups from around the world. This year’s show features more than 550 exhibiting companies, including more than 115 startups, representing the full technology ecosystem.

Jointly-hosted by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific - East and North-East Asia Office (UNESCAP-ENEA), the Seoul Digital Foundation (SDF), the World Smart Sustainable Cities Organization (WeGO) and the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA), the two-day conference session addressed the potential of harnessing technological changes to bring successful, lucrative, inclusive and environmentally-minded solutions to the rising inequalities and sustainable development challenges faced in the Asia-Pacific region.

“The technologies displayed and discussed at CES Asia show us the incredible power of innovation to transform lives, economies, and the planet. However, whether the impacts of this transformation are positive or negative is up to innovators, companies and governments. Together, I believe we can leverage these innovations for good, starting at the local level, to help the world achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for a more sustainable and inclusive future,” said Mr. Sangmin Nam, Deputy Head of ESCAP East and North East Asia Office.

“Startup Park at CES Asia 2019 provides a platform for a diverse group of startups to debut products on a global stage, find investors and forge partnerships,” said Ms. Karen Chupka, Executive Vice President, CES. “Our partnership with Citypreneurs shows our commitment to sustainability and inclusion as part of CES Asia.”

At the conference, representatives from the public and private sectors, city leaders and UN representatives discussed the vital role of sustainable businesses in solving urban challenges, particularly with regards to urban development, public-private-people partnerships, and the use of emerging consumer tech such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things and blockchain. They also explored how impact-driven business models can utilize sustainability investments to create positive social and environmental outcomes, as well as the risks and potentials of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and emerging technologies in shaping a sustainable and inclusive future.

The conference marked the official start of the global expansion of the Citypreneurs program inaugurated in Seoul in 2017. Past Citypreneurs winner EIDWare also showcased their innovations at CES as successful examples of how businesses can simultaneously achieve social impact and market-rate returns.

The Citypreneurs initiative is part an ongoing effort by ESCAP to promote SDGs innovation to entrepreneurs and investors, as well as bring forward creative solutions that can make cities better and accelerate the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the region.

For more information visit: https://www.citypreneurs.org

For media enquiries, please contact:
Ms. Charlotte Arribe, Sustainable Development Consultant, ESCAP East & North-East Asia Office, Incheon, Republic of Korea T: (82) 32 458 6604 / E: [email protected]