Reboot Accelerator: Mobilizing Youth to Use Technology for Good

This week during the 74th United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York City, the UN Technology Innovation Labs (UNTIL) program, the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth (OSGEY), and SAP joined together to inspire and activate a global audience for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), sharing new opportunities to help the world reach its 2030 agenda.

Mobilizing Engagement Through the Reboot Program

“It’s time to come together to accelerate impact for the SDGs. It’s time to reboot everything,” said Salem Avan, director of the Strategy, Policy, & Governance Division, Office of Information and Communications Technology, United Nations. “The Reboot program aims to mobilize purpose-driven engagement to develop innovative business concepts and applications using the emerging technologies to create solutions that can scale impact for the SDGs. In the process, today’s youth can inspire sustainability leaders in industry, government, and NGOs by taking real action toward their bold new vision for a sustainable future.”

UNTIL and its partners will work in synergy with the Reboot Accelerator. The UNTIL program operates under the UN Office of Information and Communication Technology and functions as a startup environment that provides a platform for collaborative problem-solving among UN resources, the private sector, academia, and civil society.

Building on the Reboot the Earth Youth Climate Hackathon

The Reboot Accelerator is inspired by the first global project: Reboot the Earth, a youth hackathon that mobilized more than 1,000 young people from around the world to work with UNTIL, in collaboration with SAP, to develop innovative designs and solutions that address UN Global Goal 13: Climate Action.

A social coding event, Reboot the Earth brought young computer programmers, scientists, and other interested youth together under the auspices of the UN to improve upon or build new software solutions that address the current climate crisis. Through a series of technological challenges across four continents, young people, including students, were presented with the opportunity to use open data and tech concepts to solve local climate challenges that were unique to each location and community’s needs.

Reboot the Earth winners were showcased at New York during UN General Assembly week at the UN Youth Climate Summit, UN Climate Action Summit, and SAP — among other venues. These young climate-action troops inspired government leaders, corporate executives, startup founders, academic thought leaders, and purpose-driven activists with their climate solutions and passion for positive change.

Coming Next: Reboot the Oceans

The Reboot Accelerator project aims to mobilize socially-conscious students and young social entrepreneurs to develop inspiring solutions that reimagine how the latest digital technologies can address the challenges of UN Global Goal 14: Life Below Water.

UNTIL and SAP anticipate Reboot the Oceans joining Reboot the Earth for showcases in Davos, Switzerland, during the week of the World Economic Forum in January 2020, where socially-conscious students, startup founders, academic thought leaders and researchers, SDG champions in industry, and sustainability visionaries among NGOs will be encouraged to be part of the Reboot Accelerator.

“SAP shares a joint commitment with UNTIL to mobilize youth for good,” said Ann Rosenberg, senior vice president and global head of SAP Next-Gen, SAP University Alliances, and UN Partnerships at SAP. “We are mobilizing our network of more than 3,800 educational institutions in 117 countries, including over 150 SAP Next-Gen Labs and hub locations at universities and at partner and SAP locations, and more than 170 SAP Next-Gen Chapter institutions, to scale up engagement with the Reboot Accelerator program around the world.”