Global Think Tank for Sustainable Development

Acting as a virtual laboratory for civil society ideas on sustainable development, Think Tank AlterContacts aims to be the driver of positive change contributing to the SDGs. We identify institutional voids or societal problems that are not addressed, bring attention to them, and incubate possible solutions that could be adopted globally.

We innovate by simplifying. We generate laser-focused ideas to address broad challenges and develop highly tailored solutions with systemic impact. Our initiatives are registered by the United Nations as SDG Partnerships. Our rapid scale-up strategy for social impact is recommended in the United Nations SDG Good Practices network as an "example to follow and replicate by others across the globe".

"Development is sustainable if it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." – Report 'Our Common Future' by the Brundtland Commission, 1987

In October 2022, our co-founder carried out fieldwork in the village of Silleda, Galicia. We are very grateful to the wonderful people of Galicia for their hospitality, good spirit, and sharing their love for the region. Here we introduce local organizations and businesses.

We asked 260 children between 3 and 12 years old how they see the future of their village. All the children are students of the public primary and nursery school CEIP Plurilingüe de Silleda located in a region of Spain - Galicia. The event was part of the United Nations registered initiative - mOther Earth.

The findings of Think Tank AlterContacts have been referenced in the United Nations Report of the Secretary-General A/77/254 from 29 July 2022! It is an honor that our research now contributes to policy-making and shaping of Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development worldwide.

Sustainable Makeover aims to help girls and young women from all backgrounds to amplify their talents and natural beauty, gain confidence in themselves, and embrace their potential to be the leaders of sustainable change. The initiative is registered in the UN SDG partnerships system. The toolkits produced for the program will be integrated with the Encyclopedia on Sustainable Living in the Post-Pandemic World.

In June 2022, Think Tank AlterContacts launched an international project to revive rural areas and contribute to a green, digital and resilient recovery of its economy. It has been registered by the United Nations as an SDG Acceleration Action. You can learn about the initiative here.

From May 2020 until September 2021 we have been collecting insights from small business owners from different business sectors and countries to see how the COVID-19 pandemic affected their business, their life, and future. Now we are ready to present the insights.

Think Tank AlterContacts is preparing an Encyclopedia on Sustainable Living in the Post-Pandemic World. It is based on unique practices and lessons collected from certified experts worldwide. The goal is to bring knowledge and guidance to people from all backgrounds that would allow them to live happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives. The initiative is registered as the SDG Acceleration Action at the United Nations.

On 28 June, Think Tank AlterContacts presented the Lockdown Economy at the United Nations Conference celebrating Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Day 2021. We presented insights on entrepreneurship during the pandemic based on Lockdown Economy, the field research from 330+ entrepreneurs across 5 continents, 41 countries, and 78 different economic activities. Showing what role they are playing in restoring the global economy!

It is a collaborative program for young graduates of vocational and tertiary education. It is aimed to amplify the chances of success in the world of work. It equips them with a new systemic approach to goal setting, problem-solving, ideation, solution design, project planning, and personal or business development. The initiative is registered as SDG Acceleration Action at the United Nations.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the world as we knew it. Or has it? Perhaps, it has only disrupted the notions, rules, and beliefs by which the world is run. But once we let go of past conditioning, of things that are holding back our thinking and imagination - - for example that to contribute to a good cause we need financing and there is no other way - - we discover the true meaning our actions can have on society. In this TED talk, Julia Skupchenko shares her journey during the global disruption of 2020 and the role small businesses and grassroots initiatives play in building a new world after the pandemic, making it more equal and sustainable.

The UN Department of Social and Economic Affairs has registered Lockdown Economy as one of the SDG Good Practices, Success Stories and Lessons Learned. Our initiative has become one of the "inspiring breakthroughs and success stories that are showing results and impacts all over the world, and several good practices can be replicated and scaled up to address existing gaps and constraints."

Across the globe, young people are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the world of work. Recent graduates are struggling to enter the labor market. The current situation calls for a more efficient and dynamic education. We want to give young people opportunities to develop their potential to shape the future of the world.

The United Nations has registered it as an SDG Partnership in the framework of the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI).

The educational systems are struggling to provide students with the skills required in the modern economy. This Competition aims to prepare students for their professional life, providing them an opportunity to learn by doing. Students will actively address the current economic crisis and come up with sustainable, innovative and entrepreneurial ideas on how we can help small businesses around the world.

Finalist at the Stanford 2021 LEAD Incubator & Startup Accelerator program. The prototype is a gamified portal to navigate, select and access games and educational entertainment titles via a guided interactive experience. The curated pre-selection filters out titles that do not contribute to the well-being, growth or improvement of the users.

On 30 March 2021, the Lockdown Economy initiative by the Think Tank AlterContacts was chosen by the Dutch representatives in the European Parliament as the national finalist from the Netherlands for the European Charlemagne Youth Prize 2021. For its contribution to promoting European and international understanding and providing role models for young people living in Europe and offer practical examples of Europeans living together as one community.

To help small businesses and self-employed professionals overcome the challenges of the pandemic and reactivate the economy, in May 2020 we launched the Lockdown Economy. It is a global non-profit grassroots social-economic and educational movement.

The United Nations has recognized it as an Acceleration Action for the Sustainable Development Goals.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made confinement a defining part of our lives. The interaction with our families and friends happens digitally. The children are remotely- schooled, their parents are working from home. In many countries, mobility is limited to getting food and medical services. For the majority of the world’s population, that has become a reality because of COVID-19 but for people with disabilities, it has been the way of living long before.

Our idea is to provide a safe and entertaining environment where anyone can learn about complex subjects.

This is a one-level prototype. The idea is to provide a safe and entertaining environment where anyone can learn about particle physics. It serves as a prototype of a learning micro-module for the future "Info-verse”.

The mini game is available for free both in Apple and Google Store.

The goal of our project is to create opportunities to cover basic needs (food, shelter, medical support) for self-employed people who lost their source of income due to the pandemic. That will be done by enabling the government to outsource remote office tasks to freelancers and self-employed through existing freelance platforms.

Our proposal was submitted to the European Commission during #EUvsVirus online Hackathon 24-26 April 2020.

We aim to Empower Entrepreneurship across the globe. Our goal is to prototype a new economy, based on trust, where all agents -- entrepreneurs, freelancers, independent professionals and startups -- contribute to each other’s well being in a sustainable way. We believe that whatever their reason was to start on their own, the brave ones that do deserve genuine and high-quality support. On 10 September 2020, Think Tank AlterContacts was named the winner of a Bronze Stevie® Award as a Non-profit Organization of the Year 2020 in The 17th Annual International Business Awards®

Ignorance goes beyond illiteracy and innumeracy. It manifests itself in a lack of knowledge and an inability to process information. It affects the way we perceive reality, interact with and distinguish facts from opinions, and how we make decisions. Eradicating it is not just about producing new knowledge but about sharing it in a way that reaches the minds of people, about finding alternative ways of education. On 20 October 2020, Think Tank AlterContacts was named the Bronze winner as a Social Impact Startup of the Year 2020 in the 13th Annual 2020 Women in Business and the Professions World Awards®.

In January 2020 we tested a new campaign #MyFirstJob #TenYearsIn. In this campaign, we ask people with over ten years of experience to share, in a short video, what is the reality of the job like. It is aimed at children who are deciding which profession or education path to choose. In most cases, it will define their lives, ability to support themselves financially and find fulfillment in what they do. We make this choice early on, often having an illusion of how the work-life is going to be. The more people contribute with their videos, the more children will have an idea of what is right for their future. Right now we are planning to make it an international campaign in multiple languages.

Shared Access to Intellectual Property is a consortium proposal. The goal is to set up a transparently governed organisation to work on a shared and open set of standards and protocols to connect the dots of design, specifications, hackers, repairers, manufacturers, to unbind in the material world the same kind of transformation that the World Wide Web brought to the information ecosystem. The approach is based on the success stories of other initiatives like the World Wide Web consortium and LINUX, among others.

Lockdown Economy Books

featuring collections of interviews with small business owners from each location. Available on Amazon.

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