Think Tank AlterContacts operates as a virtual laboratory of ideas, incubating initiatives that contribute towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030.
We develop practices for sustainable actions, helping communities to become more resourceful, and shorten the path to a more prosperous world. Our methods to achieve maximum impact using minimum resources are recommended by the United Nations SDG Good Practices Network as "an example to follow and replicate across the globe". In December 2022, the United Nations Economic and Social Council granted Think Tank AlterContacts Special Consultative Status.
Discover what we mean by Sustainable Development in Action and the nonprofit initiatives we do.
Tap into our expertise and know-how through our Advisory and training programs.
What we earn by providing our services, we use to fund our nonprofit initiatives.
Experts and Partners Network
AlterContacts acts as a laboratory of impact ideas. It is fueled by a network of conscious people in 40+ countries: inventors, scientists, entrepreneurs, TED speakers, independent professionals, world-award winners, PhDs, scientists, and researchers who graduated from distinguished universities, forward-thinking institutions such as the Singularity University and Institute for the Future. Among our Partners are local communities, municipalities, NGOs, foundations, educational institutions, and sustainable, socially responsible businesses.
Think Tank AlterContacts was founded in April 2019 in Amsterdam. It is run by Massimo Mercuri, the Chairman of the Board of Stichting AlterContacts Foundation, and Julia K. Skupchenko, the Head of SDG Partnerships. Additionally, AlterContacts has an Expert Advisory Committee and a Volunteer Consultative Committee.
AlterContacts is a civil society or professional partnership (VOF) registered by the Chamber of Commerce of the Netherlands on 5 April 2019 with the RSIN number 859968741. Recognized by the United Nations as a Non-Governmental Organization.
Stichting AlterContacts Foundation is a private nonprofit foundation. It was officially registered by the Chamber of Commerce of the Netherlands on 4 May 2021 with the RSIN number 862573737.
To confirm our commitment to conduct all our activities in a responsible and sustainable manner with well-assessed long-term implications on people and the environment, we have our principles, values, and behaviors written in the Charter. It is applicable to everyone who is directly involved in our activities: co-founders, board of directors, experts, advisors, members, volunteers, partners, and suppliers. Additionally, we have started the process of validating our Partner's commitment to the UN Ten Principles, to align the mission with a joint vision.
Transparency & Reporting
We stand for full transparency and report our actions regularly. You can find up-to-date tracking of our actions and in-depth reporting on our everyday contribution to SDG on our LinkedIn page and other social channels.
Let's build a better world together. For any questions, comments, ideas of cooperation: email@example.com
Achievements & Awards
In December 2022, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) adopted the recommendation of the Committee on Non- Governmental Organizations to grant special consultative status to Think Tank AlterContacts. Now we can provide written and oral consultations to the United Nations, organize side events, and much more to make voices heard.
You can find us on the Open Think Tank Directory of On Think Tanks, a global platform dedicated to promoting better-informed policy. We support the commitment to fostering transparency in the think tank sector.
Erasmus+ Grant for Cooperation partnerships in Higher Education 2022-2025
Think Tank AlterContacts got awarded the ERASMUS+ Grant for KA220-HED with the project PREVIEW - Promoting Resilience and Employability in uniVersity.
EU Break Fellowship Program 2022
The co-founder of Think Tank AlterContacts, Julia Skupchenko, has been selected to participate in The Break 2022 Fellowship Programme with the program mOther Earth to revive rural Spain. During the fellowship in October 2022, we carried the fieldwork in the village of Silleda in the region of Galicia.
In October 2022, Think Tank AlterContacts won the Gold Award as the Non-Profit Organization of the Year in the 12th Annual 2022 Business Excellence Awards for the social impact initiatives with global reach and strong positive impact on sustainability.
Together with volunteers of Think Tank AlterContacts, we won the Gold Award for helping small businesses during COVID in the 14th Annual 2022 Golden Bridge Business and Innovation Awards. We were also awarded Bronze for the best non-profit response to COVID. Our efforts reached 75 000 people in 42 counties and 17 languages. It brought them hope, encouragement, and much-needed ideas.
Lockdown Economy Challenge: Sustainable and Innovative Entrepreneurship for Students has been recognized as a case study for Accelerating Education for the SDGs in Universities by SDSN. The program facilitates a successful school-to-work transition. It has been implemented in six universities, involving 400 students across Europe and Latin America.
Grand Award 2021
In September 2021, the 18th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business honored Think Tank AlterContacts with Grand Award as the Non-profit of the Year. It also awarded the co-founder of Think Tank AlterContacts, Julia Skupchenko with a Gold Stevie Award Winner in four categories: Woman of the Year; Female Thought Leader; Female Executive of the Year and Mentor of the Year 2021.
Presented at United Nations MSMEs Day 2021
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 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."
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.
AlterContacts Academy for Sustainable Development was registered as a partner of the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative. HESI was created in the run-up to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). The partners of the initiative are UN-DESA, UNESCO, UNEP, UN Global Compact's Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative, UNU and UN-Habitat.
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.
Social Innovation Tournament
Lockdown Economy Challenge was nominated for the Social Innovation Tournament 2021 of the European Investment Bank Institute. For its innovation in scaling social impact initiatives.
iF SOCIAL IMPACT PRIZE
Lockdown Economy initiative is nominated for iF SOCIAL IMPACT PRIZE which aims to publish and support projects that contribute to our society.
Hero of the Year 2020
On 20 October 2020, the team of the Lockdown Economy received the Gold award in the 13th Annual 2020 Women in Business and the Professions World Awards®. In the category "Hero of the Year | Helping Others During COVID-19".
Startup of the Year
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®.
Non-profit Organization of the Year
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®
Our proposal on Economic resilience of self-employed professionals during COVID-19 was submitted to the European Commission during #EUvsVirus online Hackathon 24-26 April 2020.
We track and measure our own contribution to Sustainable Development Goals. Our recent SDG Baseline Assessment - which reflects how aligned our operations and strategies are with ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption - on SDG Action Manager by Global Compact received 88.6%.