How 11 Social Innovations were Featured at the UN Through a GIE Powered Global Competition  

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For the fourth year in a row Global Innovation Exchange facilitated the call for innovations for the recently held UN’s Science, Technology & Innovation Forum. From a pool of more than 350 applicants, 11 social innovations were selected to participate and showcase their work at the UN headquarters in New York on May 14 and 15. The call, which ran from March 6 to March 29, asked participants to submit their workable solutions to addressing one of five focal Sustainable Development Goals this year. 



The global competition for the STI Forum was hosted on a GIE Custom site and used GIE’s innovation profiles as applications for the call. These profiles serve as live digital pitch decks for each innovation and include basics, such as 1) the problem the innovation is trying to solve and 2) its competitive advantage. They also include a Milestones section, which highlights the key achievements of an innovation from the time it launched, such as funds raised, new countries implemented in, and recognitions received. You can see the innovation profiles for all applicants here.

GIE selected a shortlist of 35 innovations based on their GIE innovation profiles. “We are thrilled to have such a strong cohort of finalists, and we appreciate your work so much,” said Stephanie Rambler, Sustainable Development Officer at the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs. From this shortlist, the UN selected the 11 winning innovations.

GIE connected with many of the winning teams behind these innovations at the STI Forum. 


Both, Biolite and Broad Class, heard about the UN’s STI Forum call through GIE. Existing innovations on GIE contributed to 60% of the total applications and 10 of the 11 winners selected were also these existing GIE innovations.  


40% of the applicants added their innovation profile to GIE after the competition started. Innovation profiles like these were instantly and automatically featured on Global Innovation Exchange amongst nearly 11,000 innovations so they can benefit from the various offerings of GIE for free such as consideration for GIE’s Innovation Finder Service

This model for running a call for innovations, is the early iteration of GIE’s new concept for Universal Application, whereby entrepreneurs will be able to use their innovation profiles on GIE to apply for multiple funding opportunities. This will save them time while making it easier for funders and others to discover and support innovations more easily and quickly by benefiting from each other’s pipelines. Program managers will not only receive more applications but also be able to easily see the good fit ones thus saving them time while reaching more innovations. The connection to GIE not only saves entrepreneurs time, but also brings new exposure and opportunities for each applicant while simultaneously giving program managers the flexibility they need to create custom applications that build on the GIE innovation profile. 

“When we partner with someone to help them facilitate their call for innovations using GIE Custom, we are providing both a technology solution to make this an efficient process for program managers as well as bringing the applicants new opportunities for exposure and hopefully even partnerships or scale,” said Sweta Govani, lead for Global Innovation Exchange at Results for Development. “This is all part of our mission to help scale the most promising innovations who are addressing some of the worlds toughest challenges through a data-driven technology platform.”  

To learn more about GIE Custom, visit here and to learn more about how your program can use GIE’s Universal Application, email us.