Science Policy

The Day One Project is going international!

08.16.22 | 3 min read | Text by Maeve Skelly

The Day One Project is going international! My colleague Josh Schoop and I will be spending this week in Mexico City with our partners at Unlock Aid, where we’ll be co-hosting the Reimagining the Future of Global Development Moonshot Accelerator. This will be our eighth accelerator cohort, and the very first in-person group. 

We’re convening a group of 70 entrepreneurs, innovators, policymakers, and funders from around the world to think big about the future of global development and how government, business, industry, and aid can meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. With the recent passage of a historic investment in the transition away from fossil fuels, the time is now to act on the biggest threats facing humanity. Sitting squarely within ‘the decade of delivery’—the remaining years we have to achieve the SDGs— this moonshot accelerator serves as an important call for action. 

Our goal for this accelerator is to disrupt. We aim to generate new models to seed, scale, and implement catalytic solutions. The inspiration for the design of this accelerator comes from the “moonshot” model that the Kennedy administration pioneered to put the first man on the moon. A moonshot has since come to mean solving a daunting problem in an accelerated time period, requiring breakthrough, innovative, and radical thinking. If the past decades have not delivered the necessary change, then we have to shoot for the moon.

Over the course of the week, we’ll be working with the accelerator cohort to develop their own moonshots in health, the green economy, biodiversity, food and water insecurity, and more. These moonshots will be the building blocks for a Global Development Outcomes Marketplace, pitching funders and policymakers on new ways to unlock innovation in global development. Innovation here involves so much more than just new technology – it means new systems, processes, cooperation, organizing, and change, while ensuring that diverse perspectives are leading the way forward. 

We’re really invested in these ideas and the people driving them, so here’s a sneak peek at a couple innovative groups joining us in Mexico City: Instiglio, headquartered in Bogotá, Colombia, is experimenting with new global development systems, like innovative financing methods, while SwipeRx in Indonesia is dedicated to revolutionizing the pharmacy industry with a tech-based solution. There are, of course, so many more groups who’ll be discussing and testing their ideas in-person, and the goal is to channel this cohort’s diverse expertise to create high-level, actionable recommendations for funders and multilateral organizations that center equity and outcomes. 

I’m most excited to hear from experts and entrepreneurs from all over the world on what has been holding back progress despite attempted solutions, and I look forward to collaborating on what a new set of systems could look like. I’m excited to learn from our inspiring cohort, and to build mutual understanding across sectors to find ways to improve current solutions and break ground on a new path forward.I have high hopes that this accelerator will reinvigorate global development and uplift new voices and ideas in order to build a more prosperous planet. I resonate strongly with the voices of young people demanding urgent climate action worldwide–it’s time to harness this momentum to make sustainable, transformative change. Follow the journey of our first in-person accelerator on Twitter.