Propelling Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for Sustainable and Inclusive Development


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Some ideas on how Science Technology and Innovation can accelerate the SDGs, on the event of the launch by UNDP at the Social Good Forum

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Propelling Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for Sustainable and Inclusive Development

  1. 1. Propelling Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for Sustainable and Inclusive Development 28th Sep 2015 Social Good Summit #SDG #2030NOW Chamindra de Silva Snr. Director, Virtusa Corporation Director and Secretary, Sahana Foundation Twitter: @ChamindraS
  2. 2. A lot of goals! And a lot of work to be done.
  3. 3. Simplifying to one of the key root causes ´The world is running out of resources to support us all and these are some of the direct and in- direct consequences of that ´We need 1.5 Earths today to support global consumption Ref: Global Footprint Network A root cause for Poverty, Hunger, Health, Clean Water, Depletion of Water/Land Life , Inequality and Conflict
  4. 4. To simplify the equation ´Either we reduce the Consumption and/or apply STI or the ecosystem we know as Mother Earth will balance that equation for us by reducing P Impact To Lower the impact 1. Lower the Consumers 2. Lower the consumption 3. Apply STI
  5. 5. To change things on the ground to me there are only three major actors Individuals ´ Well known stuff ´ Reduce Energy Consumption ´ Reduce/Recycle Waste ´ Invest in Green Consumer Goods (Cars) ´ Invest in Sustainable Homes (Solar) ´ Invest in Recyclable Goods ´ Advocate the cause with you friends, family and with your company ´ Act: Buy from companies that have good track records on Sustainable production ´ Innovate: Sustainable Innovation Corporates ´ Well known stuff ´ Invest in Green Energy ´ Reduce/Recycle Waste ´ Zero Emission Operations ´ Apply New science and Technology, Innovate your approach to production to reduce the impact ´ Optimize Business Process UN Orgs, EU, Governments ´ Create an competitive advantagefor sustainable companies and nations Off these three we individuals have the larges role to play
  6. 6. How can STI Help engage individuals to lower Consumption Advocate the Cause Gaps: ´ There are so many things I could do, what exactly should I do? ´ How do we get peoples attention to this? Act: Buy from Sustainable Companies Gaps: ´ How do I know what companies are destroying our world and which are helping? ´ How can that be integrated into my purchase decision so it is in my face? Technologyand Innovation is needed to address these gaps
  7. 7. An opportune platform for social change Smart Phone (iPhone and Android) are used mostly in affluent communities
  8. 8. More mobile devices than people in the world Especially the case with Affluent Societies which we especially need to engage in the SDGs
  9. 9. One Idea: We need a effective Mobile App to engage people on the SDGs ´I need a tool to give me a realistic simple things I can do in my neighborhood, nation ´It should be addictive and fun for me to use daily ´It should recognize me for everything little thing I can do make a impact ´It should help me engage socially with my neighborhood, friends and family ´It should encourage me to buy from companies contributing to make my world more sustainable We need something beyond Facebook or Twitter to give us Structure To Act
  10. 10. Kinda like this.. To help connect the dots We need a SDG social and gamified app with 3rd Party Integration APIs
  11. 11. Possibly as fun and addictive as this.. A version for kids could be an Augmented Reality Plant vs Zombies
  12. 12. We can make the world better by what we choose to buy ´ Problem: Consumers do not have this information at hand today to make ethical purchase decisions ´ Technology need to connectthe last mile ´ Technically not hard ´ Global Compact or similar creating a reporting service ´ Web Service standard for SDG compliance reporting What if Amazon, IKEA and Target integrated with this service online?
  13. 13. Corporates and Entrepreneurship: Innovation of today is about balance… ´ The primary driver for Business Innovation is still Profitability and Shareholder value ´ However what is point if at the end you have created a world where that value buys you less ´ Sustainable solutions also often mean reduced cost ´ So innovation is needed to create solutions and product lines with sustainable growth models ´ Utilization of renewable resources / Green Energy ´ A significant reduction in carbon emissions ´ Green friendly technology (e.g. e-waste) ´ Optimized processes, analytics and just in time utilization of resources ´ Recycling of waste ´ Payback to the earth when you can’t Innovation = Sustainable Innovation Or it is just a short sighted gain
  14. 14. What does Sustainability mean to Virtusa 13countries.       24  locations.            10,188  seats. 850,899  square  feet.   “To reduce our environmental footprint, demonstrate ethical maturity and respect all.” Lower Emissions Less   Energy Less Water Less Waste 45% reduction  in  GHG   emissions  per  full   time  employee 47%   reduction  in   energy   consumption  per   full  time   employee 22%   reduction  in   water   consumption  per employee* 21,830  kg of  e-­‐waste   donated  for   recycling Virtusa  Environmental  Footprint  (FY11-­‐FY15) * Water datais from FY12-FY15 Recycling  12,240  kg  of  paper  helped  to  save   210 fully  grown  trees     21,428 liters  of  oil 48,873 kWh  of   electricity 388,005 liters   of  water 37 cubic  meters  of   landfill * Paper recycled at Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore andColombo ATCs from 1-Jan-2011to 31-Mar-2015 21,830  kg   of  e-­‐waste  recycled,   equal  to  the  weight  of  4   African  Elephants Carbon  Disclosure  Project     Virtusa has been disclosing its GHG emissions to the CDP since 2011. In 2014 our score was 84 out of 100, an increase of 14% from last year’s score. CDP scores are an assessment of the quality and completeness of a company’s response. 48 49 5359 74 84 0 50 100 2012 2013 2014 Supply Chain Virtusa 31* *31 points higher than the supply chain average
  15. 15. What Sustainability Means to Virtusa (cont) ´ Reduces the quantum of work needed to deliver the same result to clients ´ Help reduce the number cycles need to get the desired quality ´ On-Demand Test and Production Environments Optimize  our  service  lines Innovated in the areas of - Platforming and Productization - Test optimization and automation - Code quality and reuse - Shifted to Cloud for our operations Making  talent  future  ready • 850  Internships • Campus  Education Programs Creating  a  digitally-­‐inclusive  socity • 70  School  IT  Labs • 15,000+  Student  &  teachers  trained   • 17,000  +Training  hours   Technology   for  good • Open  Source  Disaster  Management • Open  Source  Education • (Drug) Rehabilitation • Energy  Efficient  Application  Design • Solutions   for  reconciliation  post  conflict Social  responsibility  focus
  16. 16. Applying our Professional skills for a better tomorrow Sahana Disaster Management System ´ Actively contributed to the world's first Disaster Management System used in over 20 countries for disaster preparedness and management. ´ It was started by the Sri Lankan IT industry to help the country recover in the immediate aftermath of the 2004 Indian ocean earthquake and tsunami. Reconciliation through sports ´ The first multi-purpose multimedia digital scoreboard in Sri Lanka was developed by Virtusa for the 24th Division of the Sri Lankan Army, providing an innovative scoring solution to nurture sports facilities for civilians in Mannar as a part of the reconciliation and development in the North and East of Sri Lanka. Arambaya / RMS ´ The Rehabilitation Management System (RMS) enables effective rehabilitation of individuals using dynamic profiling, biometric recognition and the use of 'sound-like' algorithms to oversee the safekeeping of ex-combatants. Green UI ´ Saving energy through responsible consumption ´ GreenUI is a UI energy efficiency rating application that can monitor the energy consumption of different formations on a UI using RGB Energy Efficiency as the unit of measurement.
  17. 17. Akura School Management System ´ Akura is an open source school management system that helps schools manage administrative tasks more efficiently. ´ It was donated to the Ministry of Education and then deployed to schools around in Sri Lanka. Digital Reach ´ Digital Reach has helped to enable IT in many rural schools in Sri Lanka and India. ´ Promotes digital literacy through access to useful information technology. Supporting IT Education in the community One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) ´ Aided the OLPC project by performing QA on the system and generating over 800 test cases, which have enabled children in impoverished areas to access education through technology.
  18. 18. What new STI advances can we utilize to accelerate SDGs A few examples for enterprises and home…
  19. 19. Energy efficient systems via IoT ´ The industrial sector spends over 60% of its electricity usage to run electric motors. ´ In the buildings sector, 90% of all building controls today are energy inefficient. ´ With the right tools, reduce energy consumption in these sectors by up to 25%. How? The Internet of Things (IoT) ´ 4.9 billion ‘things’ connected to the internet - mobile phones and computers to industrial machines and building automation devices ´ Analysts expect this number to reach 25 billion by 2020. IoT enables the Automation of Energy Saving Modernize power distribution infrastructure with smart grid technologies that minimize power loss and optimize power reliability.
  20. 20. Smart Devices/ IoT Lagoon ´ Track your water usage using sensors that alert you when there is a leak ´ Save money on water bills ´ Reduce water wastage Dash ´ An app that connects your car to your smartphone, turning any car into a ‘smart car’ Rachio ´ WiFi sprinkler controllers ´ Save 20%-30% on water usage Smart Blub ´ A responsive light bulb loaded with light and motion sensors.
  21. 21. Big Data Analytics to identify Waste Example: PowWow Energy ´ Collects data from assembled smart meters. WiFi sprinkler controllers ´ Detects water leaks from irrigation systems used in agriculture ´ Sends SMS alerts to the farmer when leaks appear. Data Analytics can play a big role in optimizing resource utilization.
  22. 22. Cloud Computing is also a Green Solution ´ Resource virtualization, enabling energy and resource efficiencies. ´ Automation software, maximizing consolidation and utilization to drive efficiencies. ´ Pay-per-use and self-service, encouraging more efficient behavior and life-cycle management. ´ Multitenancy, delivering efficiencies of scale to benefit many organizations or business units.
  23. 23. Green Building Architecture ´ Cut down urban resource use dramatically, making urban expansion sustainable. ´ Alter building construction processes to reduce energy consumption by making use of existing natural light and ensuring adequate insulation. ´ Source construction materials from urban waste and landfills. ´ Ultimately, Green Architecture will allow for all buildings to be “passive” - not requiring significant additional emissions for their production and use. Reduce energy consumption for artificial lighting and climate control
  24. 24. Waste-Sourced BioFuel / Pyrolysis ´ Technology is now able to turn biomass waste such as paper, grass or wood chips into gas and eventually ethanol. ´ The processes for conversion use much less water and has a smaller carbon footprint than traditional ethanol production. ´ Plants are significant stores of carbon, and deforestation is a huge contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and consequently climate change. ´ Forests can still be kept standing, but agricultural and food crops cannot. ´ PYROLYSIS allows for offsetting some of the carbon release associated with agriculture
  25. 25. EV Corporate Fleets ´ The introduction of Fully-Electrical Vehicles (EVs) has enabled organizations to develop zero-emission transport fleets. ´ North American governments are partnering with corporations to quickly build up their use of EVs. ´ The use of EVs has also been shown to be extremely cost-effective, which is getting more corporations interested in converting all their major vehicle fleets to electric. ´ Some of the major corporations looking at EV fleets are PepsiCo, Comcast and AT & T.
  26. 26. STI is not a magic bullet ´ STI out of the context of SDGs can do more bad than good ´ If we just focus on productivity/growth without worry waste and resource consumption, STI can accelerate negative effects to SDGs ´ Evaluation of the benefits of STI needs to look at the big picture of the supply chain. ´ Do not outsource your negative SDG impacts ´ Certain STIs advances make us worry about the Impact to the SDGs ´ Arms Trade, Underground Web, Illegal organ transplants, Extremist Advocacy ´ Some we are not sure of yet ´ Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Genetic-Engineering There should be easy code of conduct on STI Use and Gov, UN, etc should promote fair competition
  27. 27. Example: H-FOSS code of conduct ´ Our primary goal is to help victims through the direct and indirect use of humanitarian free and open source software (H-FOSS) ´ We will keep tools simple, end user usability the focus and alleviation of suffering for victims the goal ´ We support open standards and will seek to implement and test them in advance in preparation for collaborative response ´ We will adhere to global and local cultural norms of respect and etiquette in our interactions with other developers, users, and responders. ´ We will try our best to not become a bottleneck or a single point of failure in deployment and development by promoting training and good documentation practices ´ We will honor our commitments when volunteering by ensuring that we understand what is expected of us, and the time and effort involved. ´ We will support and promote local capacity building and diversity in our communities It is important to have a code or shared value system to keep competition healthy to the cause Private sector competition is good for the consumer, but not at the cost of the world we live in!
  28. 28. Advice for young innovators ´ STI is not the ultimate goal ´ Evaluate your solution to see what negative impacts it might have on the SDGs and strive to build a social enterprise ´ Strive for carbon neutrality of your solutions ´ Strive to create a win-win-win for yourself, your customers/humans and the environment Or you will not have a world to enjoy your profits
  29. 29. It can still be geeky cool and make you rich! TESLA Motors ´ Innovative Green Products ´ A social conscious advocating Green Energy ´ Enabling the Green Revolution with innovation in battery technology ´ All whilst satisfying they affluent customers with a wow set of features ´ 0-60 in 5.2 Secs ´ “Ludicrous Mode” add-on does it in 2.8 Secs pulling 1.1Gs One of the most innovative companies today has made sustainability a business advantage
  30. 30. Investments in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) yields multiple benefits to a Nation ´ STI Skills and Education creates higher incomes and employment ´ reduces poverty and help people meet their basic needs, including food security, health and education ´ Improves economic mobility of the poor ´ STI Application in Industry and Home ´ Can help energy efficiency, reduce waste, mitigate climate change and promote sustainable development pathways ´ A STI Empowered Society ´ Promotes transparency, good governance and accountability We need more STI investments
  31. 31. Thank you for listening.. Email: or Twitter: ChamindraS #SDG #2030NOW LinkedIn: