As digital transformation grows at an astronomical rate, Google Cloud and SAP have partnered to launch global sustainability contest for social entrepreneurs that have revenue-generating ideas that use data analytics and machine learning.
According to the Global Footprint Network, the global demand for resources was 1.7 times more than what the Earth could support in 2018; by 2030, we may need two Earths to sustain our way of life. In response, the concept of the circular economy, where consumption and emissions are minimised through recycling, reuse, refurbishing and repair, has gained ground at a global level.
According to estimates, a circular economy that increases social well-being and economic output while fostering a healthy environment could generate $4.5 trillion of new economic output by 2030.
Sunil Geness, Head of CSR at SAP Africa, said urgent action is needed to ensure the world corrects to a more sustainable path and achieves the ambitions set out in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. “As a purpose-driven organisation, SAP is deeply committed to embracing the challenge of environmental responsibility and to put technology, people and passion to work to solve some of the bigger issues of the digital age.
Through our partnership with Google, we are hoping the launch of the Circular Economy 2030 initiative will ignite a new wave of inspiration and innovation among social entrepreneurs as we search for data-driven and technology-enabled solutions that can help the world run better and improve people’s lives.”
As part of the Circular Economy 2030 initiative, SAP and Google Cloud are working closely with experts in the fields of circular economy and sustainable development, including UN Environment, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the World Wildlife Fund, and the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data.
Google Marketing Director for Africa, Mzamo Masito, said: “We believe that with the help of modern technology, businesses can become positive catalysts for a more sustainable future. Our partnership with SAP will not only support social entrepreneurship but continue our commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and advancing a circular economy.”
The deadline for submissions is March 17th. Five finalists will be selected and announced at the Google Cloud Next Conference taking place from April 9th to 11th and will compete in a hackathon taking place in San Francisco on April 12th. Judges will look for original ideas that can benefit any aspect of the global economy. Proposals must include a viable business model, a vision for advancing Sustainable Development Goal #12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and should use both SAP and Google Cloud solutions to enable the idea at scale.
The winner will receive more than $100 000 in prize money and benefits, including participation in Google Cloud for Startups’ Bootcamp and one-on-one mentorship, and will be announced at SAPPHIRE NOW on May 7th. The remaining four finalists will each receive $25 000 in prize money.