Showcasing AGI Projects

 

Interview with Antti Hellgren

Aalto Global Impact organized in co-operation of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland an outreach event for United Nations Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing (ICESDF) on April 3-4. The purpose of the event was to stimulate new partnerships, strategies and innovations for financing sustainable development.

In addition to the official program consisting of several interactive discussions and workshops, Aalto Global Impact organized two clinics open for all participants to visit. In clinics participants could get familiar with with AGI, and with a recently launched Aalto University’s project called New Global, as well as World Vision’s Weconomy Start program. New Global and Weconomy Start share similarities in providing support for private companies to expand to resource-constrained emerging markets.

We talked to Antti Hellgren who works as project administrator in the New Global project, and was representing the project in the outreach event.

Antti, why did you choose to showcase The New Global and Weconomy Start in particular? Both projects share the goal of co-creating innovations and new sustainable business models in resource-constrained low income emerging markets. This opens up new business opportunities for Finnish companies, and delivers social impact through inclusiveness and co-created solutions in the target communities.

Can companies and NGOs work together? Non-traditional partnerships between companies and NGOs play a crucial role in entering and co-creating innovations in challenging markets. Their relationship is interdependent and complementary, enabling both parties an access to crucial resources which they otherwise do not possess.

What was the highlight of the outreach event for you? I had an opportunity to meet several guests from similar organizations that we currently partner with in the New Global project and hear about their success stories. Moreover, I was delighted to see that the importance of private sector involvement in development work is recognized at UN level, and policy development is taking place in order to support such activities in the future.

How did people who visited your clinics perceive them? Both The New Global and Aalto Global Impact were received with enthusiasm among the guests. Also other cross-disciplinary projects in the field of development work at Aalto University were praised.

The New Global is an innovation project integrating academic research and private sector business development to jointly innovate in fast-growing emerging markets.

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