IVA team contributes to solution to UN Sustainable Development Goals

During the autumn, IVA participated in the Hack for Earth competition, a global hackathon aimed at finding solutions to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, supported by the UN and the Swedish pavilion at Expo2020 in Dubai.

With a team consisting of IVA members, teachers, students and professors from KTH and AFRICA DESIGN, the IVA team won the education category with the contribution UN-EduPass - a system to increase the mobility of young students through a global translation standard for grades and other qualifications.

After this autumn's win, the next step awaits the IVA team. Build for Earth is an accelerator programme to work on the winning ideas from each category. Margareta Norell Bergendahl, IVA Fellow and Professor Emeritus at KTH, led the IVA team towards the win and is looking forward to the next stage of the work.

What is special about Hack for Earth?

- To anchor the competition, they first turned to a global audience, asking thousands of people around the world what their wishes for the future were, and built the hackathon from there. It's a process that really starts from what people dream about.

- Hack for Earth has also managed to interest many partner organisations, which is how IVA got involved, which is a good way to spread ideas. It's a truly global project, not based on the commercial outcome, but focused on making a difference. There is also a systematic process to get real results out of the competition, with the next stage being Build for Earth, starting now in January with the support of a structured accelerator.

What were you looking for when you formed the IVA team?

We were looking for diversity in order to deliver the best possible solution, so we were looking for diversity in both age and international/cultural background. In the end, the team consisted of IVA members, students, professors and teachers from KTH, researchers and students from Africa Design, representatives from industry and Vinnova, members of IVA's Student Council and Technology Trainees.

Tell us about your winning entry - UN-EduPass.

- UN Edu-Pass is a platform for translating qualifications via the platform but also grades via a converter. The aim is to increase mobility, which in turn strengthens democratisation by making it easier for people from, for example, the African continent with professional skills or other education to apply for university courses worldwide.

What has this experience given you personally?

I think it's been an extraordinary experience precisely because we've put together such a diverse team. We've really taken advantage of that in our work and made sure that everyone's different perspectives have helped us to develop the UN-EduPass idea. One important aspect is that the younger members of the team really take the lead - which they do with flying colours!