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UNICEF brings together bright minds in Uganda to tackle tough problems

This week we are proud to introduce you to Elizabeth Gore who is part of our 9 to Watch series – a set of interviews that highlights 9 incredible innovators from around the world.

Photo credit: Michael Muller, UN Foundation
Photo credit: Michael Muller, UN Foundation

Elizabeth is simplifying the UN for you.

With a career that has involved transforming complex issues like malaria prevention or supplemental vaccine campaigns into something that can be digested by mass media, she’s perfectly set up to introduce cutting-edge entrepreneurs to the byzantine depths of some of the world’s largest bureaucracies.

Elizabeth now leads the UN Foundation’s Global Entrepreneur Council, a group of notable change makers, like Warby Parker Co-Founder Neil Blumenthal and Global Health Corps Co-Founder Barbara Bush, who each serve for two-year terms. In 2014, the group is applying their skills in a number of concrete ways to influence change, such as My World 2015 or through collaboration with local entrepreneurs to find sustainable solutions whose size can vary according to the problem at hand.

She believes that only through a collaboration of different types of minds, who might otherwise not even venture down the hallways of policy change and ‘acronymification,’ can we start to rethink old problems in new ways.

WATCH Elizabeth as she creates new modes of collaboration and connects people and systems for greater impact.

Elizabeth shares some key findings on why partnering is now easier than ever, and the game-changing effect of a solid model for agency-wide innovation:

On taking cross-sector partnerships to the next level:
“I agree with you on the fact that this is not new. What is new, I think, is first that we live in a digital ecosystem now. So sharing and collaborating is just easier. The second is all the discussion and healthy debate around open source […] Sometimes there is an apple to orange phenomenon with regard to the for-profit and non-profit sectors’ approach to open source, however, even in the entrepreneur landscape you are seeing them create technology, make money, go post-IPO and then say, you know I’m going to open up the technology. This is a fresh debate and a conversation in progress but I really think it will make collaboration happen at a completely different level.”

On UNICEF’s own model and why it rocks:
“I think that where UNICEF is out front is actually the model of how to scale innovation […] Every single thing that the UNICEF Innovation team has figured out is online: their principles, their projects, their ideas, the FailFaire where they share lessons learned…to me, it’s the model of innovation. And the fact that they are putting it out for the world to see, I think, is incredibly impressive. Beyond that, I could go into all the different ideas and concepts, from UReport to School in a Box, but frankly the game changer is the model of how to get all those brilliant ideas out there.”


Check out the full 9 to Watch series here


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How to win a private screening of Star Wars: Episode VII (Video)
UNICEF brings together bright minds in Uganda to tackle tough problems