The SDG Accelerator Lab under the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Turkey Office was launched by an event on 3 September 2019 in Istanbul. UNDP will open Accelerator Labs in 60 countries.

Istanbul, 3 September 2019  - At about 10 years to the 2030 deadline, UNDP launches a global initiative to accelerate the progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. UNDP builds Accelerator Labs within its offices in 60 countries to find solutions to such global problems as climate change and growing inequalities. As a part of this network, UNDP Turkey Accelerator Lab was launched on 3 September 2019.

At the event moderated by UNDP Turkey Goodwill Ambassador Mert Fırat, representatives of ministries, ambassadors, UNDP’s private sector partners, international financing institutions, UN Agencies, participants from social good, innovation and enterprise ecosystems had the opportunity to meet one another, discover the Accelerator Lab, make suggestions on this new global initiative, and meet UNDP Turkey Accelerator Lab team.

Underlining that the Accelerator Lab would support Turkey in overcoming development challenges, UNDP Turkey Goodwill Ambassador Mert Fırat said: “While we are working to realise the 2030 Agenda and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we observe that traditional approaches to development issues do not work against today’s social and environmental problems. Problems in the 21st Century rapidly evolve, get associated with others in such a way that may make efforts unfruitful. UNDP set out to establish Accelerator Labs in 60 countries to make good use of the remaining limited time, find more innovative solutions, test such solutions more rapidly, and address those that have not been addressed. We are lucky that one of those labs will be in Turkey.”

Providing information on the Accelerator Lab and explaining why UNDP engaged in the initiative at this moment, Mr. Claudio Tomasi, UNDP Turkey acting Resident Representative, said: “The network of Accelerator Labs will be at the heart of all UNDP activities in the years to come. We will step up our progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by testing and finding new solutions within weeks or months, not years. We will increase our impact through new partnerships in this initiative while continuing to work with our reliable national and global partners. The innovation ecosystem in Turkey is advancing every day. If we are to effectively fight todays problems, which no one organisation can overcome alone, we should look for new opportunities, solutions, partnerships. We hope that you will be a part of this exciting initiative and support us in devising more effective solutions to Turkey’s social, economic and environmental problems. We expect your contributions at all levels ranging from exchange of ideas to offering comprehensive solutions in the field.”

Based on the idea that new approaches are needed to find solutions to the complex problems of the 21st Century, the Accelerator Labs will be the largest learning network of its kind in the world. Being established in 60 countries, the Labs will engage in work in 78 countries. New partnerships will be established to develop innovative solutions on such issues as circular economy, youth employment, climate change, urbanisation, plastics pollution in the seas. The power of local ideas and innovations, collective wisdom, new data sources and experiences will be utilised to expeditiously and effectively overcome the problems.

Accelerator Labs are established by funding from the Qatar Fund for Development and German Cooperation.

Please visit acceleratorlabs.undp.org for more on UNDP’s accelerator labs.

For more information contact:

Faik Uyanık/ faik.uyanik@undp.org / +90 312 454 1166

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