United Nations ESCAP Technology and Innovation Chief honored with prestigious Social Innovation Award

New York (ESCAP News) – Today at the World Economic Forum Sustainable Development Impact Summit, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship announced its awardees for social innovation. The awardees include experts who are working to solve the world’s most pressing challenges with technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Now in its third decade, the Schwab Foundation has introduced three new award categories along with the established category of Social Entrepreneur of the Year: Public Social Intrapreneur, Corporate Social Intrapreneur and Social Innovation Thought Leader. These new categories recognize and support an ecosystem of social innovation to accelerate the world’s collective progress.

Jonathan Wong, Chief of Technology and Innovation at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission (ESCAP), was honored with the inaugural Public Social Intrapreneurship Award in recognition of his work at ESCAP supporting governments in the Asia-Pacific region to harness the power of social innovation and entrepreneurship in pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Throughout history, technologists, innovators and entrepreneurs have been the backbone of economic growth. However, this was often to the detriment of society. Carbon dioxide emissions dramatically increased in step with the industrial revolutions, and income inequality is growing. If we are to meet the ambitions of the SDGs, this must change. The shift from innovation to social innovation is an evolution in thought but a revolution in impact,” said Wong. “I am humbled and honored to receive this prestigious Award which I accept on behalf of my ESCAP colleagues and the policymakers who we serve. With their leadership, commitment, drive and professionalism, we have built a dynamic social innovation movement in the Asia-Pacific to achieve the SDGs.”

“Social entrepreneurs are no longer working in isolation – the Schwab Foundation recognizes the champions of social innovation in the social sector, but also in business, government and academia. We see social innovation as an ecosystem of pioneering actors with a common purpose,” said Hilde Schwab, Co-Founder and Chairperson of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.

ESCAP’s technology and innovation work programme supports policymakers on a broad range of topics including science, technology and innovation policy; digital economy development; and social enterprise, inclusive business and impact investing ecosystems. A key principle of this work is to channel these innovation agendas not only for the economy, but society and the environment. Additionally, ESCAP’s work abides by the principle of “leave no one behind” to ensure that the very poorest benefit from innovation and has a specific gender dimension through an initiative on catalyzing women’s entrepreneurship.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Ms. Kavita Sukanandan, Public Information Officer, Strategic Communications and Advocacy Section, ESCAP, T: (66) 2 288 1869 / E: [email protected]