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Showcasing education innovation at the World Humanitarian Summit

Editor's note: Today we feature a post by Jakob Uludag, Sustainability & CR Subject Matter Expert for Ericsson. With his background in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution, UN Sustainable Development Goal 16 on just, peaceful and inclusive societies is particularly close to Uludag's heart. The world is at a critical juncture, as we are witnessing the highest level of human suffering since the Second World War. For this reason, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon convened the first World Humanitarian Summit on May 23-24 in Istanbul.

Showcasing education innovation at the World Humanitarian Summit

Ericsson joined the summit alongside other businesses, international and regional organizations, humanitarian organizations, first responders, community networks and other members of academia and civil society groups. Here you can read reflections on the World Humanitarian Summit from  Elaine Weidman Grunewald, the Vice President of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility at Ericsson.

I had the privilege to lead Ericsson’s participation in a 24-hour Hackathon for Humanity that took place on the Sunday leading up to the first day of the summit. Together with Global Citizen, Ericsson supported the Educational Challenge (1 of 4 tracks) with a focus on how to improve how education is delivered in situations of humanitarian crisis and conflict.

The hackathon participants in the education track were encouraged to use innovative technology, design thinking, policy and social organization to create hacks that addressed one or more of the following issues;

  1. Increased access to safe, quality education and teachers/instructors;
  1. Increased or improved mechanism for the inclusion and integration of refugee and stateless children into national education systems;
  1. Host country language training and inclusion; and
  1. Financing and delivery of education in emergencies

I brought with me a great Ericsson team of experts, and together we offered various guidance to the participants, and the hack in Istanbul was a real kick-start for the global challenges we all have in front of us. Ericsson & Global Citizen will continue to work together in co-creating a more narrowed challenge to be launched on the World Refugee Day June 20.

I also had the privilege to represent Ericsson in the Innovation Market Place, which was part of the World Humanitarian Summit, and together with my colleague Ozan Yilmaz, we showcased Ericsson’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), focusing on - but not limited to – Connect to Learn and the Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative.


Alpha Bah – Chief IT Emergency Preparedness & Response Branch at WFP, stops by the Ericsson booth. Pictured in the middle, with Ozan Yilmas on the left and the author on the right.

In 2015, with the adoption of the SDGs, world leaders demonstrated that it is possible to come together and tackle global challenges. Now the challenge is to harness this momentum from last year and deliver the action that enures that no one is left behind. All of us have a role to play.

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