Mexico City Report Out: Moonshots seem impossible until they are done 🚀
Last week, in partnership with the Day One Project, we brought together 70+ innovators from 40+ organizations from 25+ countries to reimagine the future of global development. This is what happened.
Dear Unlock Aid community,
Last week in Mexico City, in partnership with the Day One Project, we brought together over 70 innovators representing more than 40 organizations from 25+ countries across six continents to participate in our SDGs Moonshot Accelerator – and to discuss what’s needed to achieve the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and climate targets by 2030.
Hitting these goals within the decade is the true moonshot. And we know that to do this will require hundreds of big bets to be successful – that we’ll need to incubate new ideas, scale shovel-ready ones that are already having an impact, bring in new voices to set the agenda, and use new financing mechanisms that drive results. It was inspiring to hear the progress that innovators around the world are already making, but there’s still so much to be done.
Here is how we structured our time together to reimagine a better future:
We spent the first day using our moral imagination to engage in blue-sky thinking. In a world where we get to start over, what would be our top priorities? What metrics would we use to hold ourselves accountable? How would we allocate our time, money, and talent? What role would major global development funders play? We used this first day to envision what’s possible – and not to feel constrained by what is.
On day two, we talked about the structural barriers that perpetuate broken status quo models. Achieving big goals in the timeline required will be an enormous undertaking, so we used this day to identify what’s standing in the way of progress. We navigated from discussions about how to maximize transparency to enhance equity to barriers that keep technology innovators from deploying their solutions at scale. We also discussed examples of models that have worked that should be adopted, replicated, and made the norm.
On day three, we brought it all together and discussed the road ahead. We presented our individual moonshots – early-stage big bets, as well as developed, shovel-ready solutions that funders need to support today to help us achieve the SDGs and meet climate targets. We discussed critical ideas that are missing from the ecosystem – for example, global development outcomes-based marketplaces that enable investors and funders to buy outcomes instead of pay for inputs. As a community, we identified many of the policy changes that decision makers need to embrace to move us to a more innovative, outcomes-oriented, and equitable future.
Our strategic advisor Nasra Ismail helped us understand how we can transform ideas into sustained change and action through the power of coalitions.
One thing was clear from this event: global development is changing. We’re at an inflection point. Look out for news from us in the weeks to come regarding what’s next. We’ll be rolling out a suite of policy recommendations for major multilateral banks, U.N. agencies, bilateral funders, impact investors, and others who know that achieving the SDGs and climate targets by 2030 is not only necessary, but non-negotiable.
We’re building a movement and we need everyone who is committed to reimagining the future of global development to get involved. Thank you to all of the innovators who participated – some flew for 40+ hours just to attend this event, showing their commitment to reform – as well as the policymakers, funders, and sector leaders like Project Drawdown who joined us.
A better, more equitable future that delivers outcomes is possible when we unlock the innovation and resources we need. We’re looking forward to working with you to make this happen.
Chief Operating Officer
P.S. We’d love to keep you up-to-date as we make new announcements and share more information. If you don’t already receive our emails, please make sure you sign up!