SEED Symposium and International Awards Ceremony 2013
31st October 2013, United Nations Office,
In support of the Global South-South Development Expo
"Green Entrepreneurship: Local Solutions that Make a Difference"
On October 31, the 2013 SEED Symposium and International Awards Ceremony took place in Nairobi in the framework of the Global South-South Development Expo (GSSD Expo) organized by the UN Office for South-South Cooperation and hosted by UNEP. At the heart of this international forum was the showcasing of successful Southern-grown solutions to address the Millennium Development Goals.
The SEED Symposium aimed to foster the Green Economy and encourage the growth of socio-environmental entrepreneurship. In the framework of the GSSD Expo Solution Forum, the one-day event focused on green and social entrepreneurial (Triple Bottom Line) solutions to accelerate the transition to the Green Economy. It brought together about 170 people from a range of sectors including finance, capacity building, research, government, civil society and legal organizations with hands-on grassroots entrepreneurs, the 2013 SEED Winners.
It was opened by Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNEP, who stressed that development is as much about social and environmental advancement as economic progress and illustrated that the SEED Winners are examples of the reinvention of the economy with sustainable development as the new paradigm.
The speech was followed by a keynote address of Martha Isabel Ruiz Corzo, Community-Based Conservation Advocate and 2013 UNEP Champions of the Earth Laureate from Mexico, and two panel discussions led by international speakers from diverse backgrounds:
- Thomas Yatich, Programme Manager, Social and Environment Section, EU Delegation Kenya
- Moustapha Kamal Gueye, Policy Specialist, Green Jobs, International Labour Organisation
- Martha Isabel Ruiz Corzo, Community-Based Conservation Advocate, Mexico - 2013 UNEP Champions of the Earth Laureate
- Tacko Ndiaye, Policy Adviser on Sustainable Development, UN Women
- Séliatou Kayodé-Anglade, Senior Investment Officer, Industries, and Services division, African Development Bank
- Lorna Rutto, CEO, EcoPost (SEED Winner 2010)
- Tomas Sales, Manager Private Sector Regional Programme, UNDP African Facility for Inclusive Market (UNDP AFIM)
- Evans Wadongo, Chairman, and Executive Director of Sustainable Development For All, Kenya (S.D.F.A Kenya) - Use Solar, Save Lives (SEED Winner 2011)
In the afternoon two parallel solution fora took place, where international experts from governmental and non-governmental organizations as well as from industry and academia discussed ideas and solutions concerning "Capacity building for social and environmental entrepreneurs" and "Financing green and social entrepreneurship":
- Zainab Bachoo, Senior Associate, Anjarwalla & Khanna
- Mpoko Bokanga, UNIDO Representative to Kenya, Eritrea and South Sudan
- John Logan, Country Director, Techno Serve Kenya
- Dr. Wilber Lwande, Senior Scientist, and Programme Leader, Applied Bioprospecting Programme, ICIPE Kenya
- Aliya Anjarwalla, Senior SME Advisor, GVEP (Global Village Energy Partnership)
- Emma Caddy, Low Carbon Enterprise Fund - Environmental Resources Management (ERM)
- Laure Bitetera Kananura, GEF SGP National Coordinator, Rwanda
- Ashley Olson, Innovation Portfolio Manager for Africa, Root Capital
During the Symposium the 2013 SEED Award Winners - small, medium and micro social and environmental enterprises - demonstrated their products and services in a ‘marketplace‘, and took fully on board the South-South solutions agenda, sharing ideas and planning collaboration
The Symposium was coupled with the announcement of Hisense and UNEP to extend their agreement to promote sustainable development for another three years. Finally, there was a celebration of the thirty-five 2013 SEED Winners at an international awards ceremony, generously supported by SEED's Corporate Sponsor Hisense. The SEED Winners were selected by the SEED International Jury from nearly 500 applicants from 85 countries.
The framework of the Global South-South Development Expo and its focus on solutions, could not have been more fitting for the subsequent International SEED Winners‘ Workshop: in the course of two days the 2013 SEED Winners readily shared ideas and experience about how to deal with problems and several already started putting in place plans for closer collaboration over the coming months.
A report of the events outlining the conclusions of the discussions during the symposium will be available shortly.