Making Great Progress – UNDP Social Innovation Platforms

As many of you know, we’ve been busy working for the Agirre Lehendakaria Center (ALC) in Bilbao on the emerging global SIPs or Social Innovation Platforms which takes an innovative portfolio approach to global “wicked problems” aligning to the United Nations SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).

In light of what’s been discussed at COP26 it’s great to see that we’re starting to see how the work of the SIPs can help global communities build in future-proofed concepts and build more inclusive communities. Hopefully long term this will have a positive impact on local communities and the environment.

A great example of how the UNDP SIPs are building momentum is the great work the that the Baltistan Foundation team are doing on the ground in the Hushe Valley in Pakistan. After extensive listening and sense-making by the ALC team, I have been supporting the team on the ground with co-design and prototyping of three key strands of work: (1) production of apricot oil, (2) production of herbal teas and (3) tunnel farming. To put this into perspective, The Hushe Valley is in a remote part of Pakistan beside the iconic K2 and Himalaya mountains, so not only remote, but has extreme weather, poor infrastructure and low levels of income.

In the Hushe Valley, food security is a priority as well as creating sustainable income, and the team are working closely with local farmer and women only co-operatives with the overarching aspiration of building sustainable production of high quality products such as apricot oil that can be sold as an export products bringing much needed income into the region.

Work is gathering pace and the first plastic tunnels are being erected to test growing vegetables and fruits in the winter months – bear in mind that some of these test villages are located over 3000m and temperatures can drop to -18C! It will be great to see how we can support the team and co-ops through further co-design and prototyping over the coming months.

Additional to this SIP work in Pakistan, we’re also working for ALC in Thailand and Indonesia co-producing new prototypes again for food security (Thailand) and green/blue economy and sustainable tourism in Indonesia.

If you’re interested in our work at the Zano Collective or want to chat about how we can help you in developing social innovation ideas and co-design, follow us on our LinkedIn page, through our website (Get In Touch) or via our main email: