On Monday 10 September 2018, several experts from government organizations, civil society and the private sector including start-up managers, business leaders and entrepreneurs got together to brainstorm on the modality of establishing an Innovation for Children Fund in the country with UNICEF support. The objective behind the establishment of an Innovation for Children Fund is to sponsor child and adolescent-focused innovative solutions to confront the challenges facing children and meet children’s immediate and future needs in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The morning session was opened by remarks from Dr. Bahman Eshghi, Secretary-General of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Dr Pedram Soltani, First Vice-President of Iran Chamber of Commerce, and Dr Will Parks, UNICEF Iran Representative. In his opening remarks, Dr Parks, emphasized on the importance of seeking innovative solutions for children’s issues and said: “Today, in order to find solutions to the complex problems facing children around the world, we are in need of innovative approaches and creative solutions.” He pointed out to the evolving global landscape and highlighted the need for a coordinated and connected approach in all sectors to support innovation for children and create an enabling environment for creative solutions to children’s problems.
In their speeches, Dr. Soltani and Dr. Eshghi expressed the strongest support from Iran and Tehran Chambers of Commerce to UNICEF’s innovation initiative and hoped the initiative can outpace the rates of progress for children in Iran.
The one-day brainstorming workshop was hosted at Tehran Chamber of Commerce and facilitated by Mr. Ibrahim Mahgoub, UNICEF Egypt Innovation consultant, who presented the principles of an Innovation Fund to the audience and shared several successful experiences of UNICEF Egypt’s Innovation initiative with participants. Mr. Mahgoub appreciated existing skills and expertise in the field of Innovation in Iran and said: “The collaborative spirit among the private sector, civil society, and the government, as well as, the speed of establishing the Innovation for Children in Iran Initiative, set an inspiring example on how Public-Private Partnerships can accelerate innovation for development.”
The afternoon sessions were followed by group discussions to examine the various parameters of a potential Innovation for Children Fund, including the overall objectives of the fund, its sources of investment, managing and monitoring the fund, as well as the fund’s application process and assessment of proposals. The group discussions provided an excellent opportunity for all the collaborators to showcase the available opportunities and expertise for establishing the Innovation for Children Fund in Iran.
The brainstorming workshop on establishing an Innovation for Children Fund in Iran was part of a tripartite collaboration between Iran Chamber of Commerce, Tehran Chamber of Commerce and UNICEF Iran Office. The findings of this workshop will be shared in a report with the participants and will guide them in the next steps of establishing the fund itself.
Please read more about UNICEF Innovation Fund at www.unicefinnovationfund.org