Global Think Tank for Sustainable Development
Think Tank AlterContacts contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through research, publications, initiatives, and facilitating constructive dialogue on Sustainable Development worldwide. Our key initiatives are aimed at Empowering Entrepreneurship, Eradicating Ignorance, and helping organizations to instill the mindset of sustainability, track and measure their contribution to the UN SDGs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the world as we knew it. Or has it? Perhaps, it has only disrupted the notions, rules, and beliefs by which the world is run. But once we let go of past conditioning, of things that are holding back our thinking and imagination - - for example that to contribute to a good cause we need financing and there is no other way - - we discover the true meaning our actions can have on society. In this TED talk, Julia Skupchenko shares her journey during the global disruption of 2020 and the role small businesses and grassroots initiatives play in building a new world after the pandemic, making it more equal and sustainable.
The educational systems are struggling to provide students with the skills required in the modern economy. This Competition aims to prepare students for their professional life, providing them an opportunity to learn by doing. Students will actively address the current economic crisis and come up with sustainable, innovative and entrepreneurial ideas on how we can help small businesses around the world.
Finalist at the Stanford 2021 LEAD Incubator & Startup Accelerator program. The prototype is a gamified portal to navigate, select and access games and educational entertainment titles via a guided interactive experience. The curated pre-selection filters out titles that do not contribute to the well-being, growth or improvement of the users.
On 30 March 2021, the Lockdown Economy initiative by the Think Tank AlterContacts was chosen by the Dutch representatives in the European Parliament as the national finalist from the Netherlands for the European Charlemagne Youth Prize 2021.
To help small businesses and self-employed professionals overcome the challenges of the pandemic and reactivate the economy, in May 2020 we launched the Lockdown Economy. It is a global non-profit grassroots social-economic and educational movement.
The United Nations has recognized it as an Acceleration Action for the Sustainable Development Goals.
Hero of the Year Award
On 20 October 2020, the team of the Lockdown Economy received the Gold award in the 13th Annual 2020 Women in Business and the Professions World Awards®. In the category "Hero of the Year | Helping Others During COVID-19".
The COVID-19 pandemic has made confinement a defining part of our lives. The interaction with our families and friends happens digitally. The children are remotely- schooled, their parents are working from home. In many countries, mobility is limited to getting food and medical services. To compensate for the lack of movement people exercise in the solitude of their living rooms. For the majority of the world’s population, this has become a reality because of the highly contagious nature of COVID-19. For people with disabilities, it has been the way of living long before. Our idea is to provide a safe and entertaining environment where anyone can learn about complex subjects.
This is a one-level prototype. The idea is to provide a safe and entertaining environment where anyone can learn about particle physics. It serves as a prototype of a learning micro-module for the future "Info-verse”. You can read more about the game here. The game is available for free both in Apple Store and Google Store.
We invite collaborators who would like to work further on developing a series of micro-learning games. Please email to Massimo Mercuri.
The goal of our project is to create opportunities to cover basic needs (food, shelter, medical support) for self-employed people who lost their source of income due to the pandemic. That will be done by enabling the government to outsource remote office tasks to freelancers and self-employed through existing freelance platforms.
Our proposal was submitted to the European Commission during #EUvsVirus online Hackathon 24-26 April 2020.
We aim to Empower Entrepreneurship across the globe. Our goal is to prototype a new economy, based on trust, where all agents -- entrepreneurs, freelancers, independent professionals and startups -- contribute to each other’s well being in a sustainable way. We believe that whatever their reason was to start on their own, the brave ones that do deserve genuine and high-quality support. Not as a one-off but consistently along their entrepreneurial journey. We don’t promise anyone the mountains of gold. Instead, we help them learn, connect and grow in what they do.
On 10 September 2020, Think Tank AlterContacts was named the winner of a Bronze Stevie® Award as a Non-profit Organization of the Year 2020 in The 17th Annual International Business Awards®
Ignorance goes beyond illiteracy and innumeracy. It manifests itself in a lack of knowledge and an inability to process information. It affects the way we perceive reality, interact with and distinguish facts from opinions, and how we make decisions. Eradicating it is not just about producing new knowledge but about sharing it in a way that reaches the minds of people, about finding alternative ways of education. Through our initiatives and campaigns, we hope to bring knowledge and a fact-based approach back to various spheres of life, all ages, and countries.
On 20 October 2020, Think Tank AlterContacts was named the Bronze winner as a Social Impact Startup of the Year 2020 in the 13th Annual 2020 Women in Business and the Professions World Awards®.
In January 2020 we tested a new campaign #MyFirstJob #TenYearsIn. In this campaign, we ask people with over ten years of experience to share, in a short video, what is the reality of the job like. It is aimed at children who are deciding which profession or education path to choose. In most cases, it will define their lives, ability to support themselves financially and find fulfillment in what they do. We make this choice early on, often having an illusion of how the work-life is going to be. The more people contribute with their videos, the more children will have an idea of what is right for their future. Right now we are planning to make it an international campaign in multiple languages.
Shared Access to Intellectual Property
HEPHESTOS.io is a consortium proposal. The goal is to set up a transparently governed organisation to work on a shared and open set of standards and protocols to connect the dots of design, specifications, hackers, repairers, manufacturers, to unbind in the material world the same kind of transformation that the World Wide Web brought to the information ecosystem. The approach is based on the success stories of other initiatives like the World Wide Web consortium and LINUX, among others.
"If each of us helps somebody else once per day, the World would really be different." In this book, we put together twelve stories from small business owners in the Netherlands. From the most recent ones recorded in March 2021 to our initial interviews in June 2020. You will meet and get insights from inspiring makers facing the multiple lockdowns; find out how they deal with down-time and unexpected growth; what or who is helping them in their journey; and how they see the future playing out. From conscious food and beverage businesses to sustainable fashion and tableware to a social IT enterprise — we tried to bring you a wide variety of stories and ideas.