United NationsDepartamento de Asuntos Económicos y Sociales Desarrollo Sostenible

6th Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals

Tue 04 May 2021, 9.00 am — Wed 05 May 2021, 6.00 pm
Virtual event UN DESA




The sixth annual Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs (STI Forum) will be held from 4 to 5 May 2021. The Forum will be convened by the President of ECOSOC His Excellency Mr. Munir Akram who has appointed two co-chairs - H.E. Mr. Andrejs Pildegovičs, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Latvia to the United Nations, and H.E. Ambassador Mohammad Koba, Charge d’Affaires of the Indonesia Mission to the United Nations. As per its mandate, the Forum will be organized by the UN interagency task team on STI for the SDGs (IATT), convened by UN-DESA and UNCTAD, and the 10-Member Group of high-level representatives appointed by the Secretary General. 

As in previous years, the theme of the STI Forum will be closely aligned with that of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), to be held from 6-15 July 2021, but have an exclusive focus on the role and contributions of science, technology and innovation. Accordingly, the theme for the STI Forum 2021 is: “Science, technology and innovation for a sustainable and resilient COVID-19 recovery, and effective pathways of inclusive action towards the Sustainable Development Goals”.

HE Mr Andrejs Pildegovics
H.E. Mr. Andrejs Pildegovičs

Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Latvia to the United Nations, Co-Chair of the 2021 STI Forum

H. E. Mr. Mohammad Koba
H. E. Mr. Mohammad Koba

Ambassador, Charge d’Affaires of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, Co-Chair of the 2021 STI Forum

STI Forum is part of Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM)

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development launched a Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM), which had been established by the Addis Ababa Action Agenda in order to support the Sustainable Development Goals. Member States agreed that it would “… be based on a multi-stakeholder collaboration between Member States, civil society, the private sector, the scientific community, United Nations entities and other stakeholders and will be composed of a United Nations inter-agency task team on science, technology and innovation for the sustainable development goals, a collaborative multi-stakeholder forum on science, technology and innovation for the sustainable development goals and an online platform.”

The collaborative Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (STI Forum) is convened annually by the President of ECOSOC and expected to “discuss science, technology and innovation cooperation around thematic areas for the implementation of the sustainable development goals, congregating all relevant stakeholders to actively contribute in their area of expertise.” It will “provide a venue for facilitating interaction, matchmaking and the establishment of networks between relevant stakeholders and multistakeholder partnerships in order to identify and examine technology needs and gaps, including with regard to scientific cooperation, innovation and capacity-building, and also in order to help facilitate development, transfer and dissemination of relevant technologies for the sustainable development goals”.

Member State Briefings

30 March 2021
25 February 2021



Video messages by STI Forum 2021 Co-Chairs

H.E. Mr. Andrejs Pildegovičs, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Latvia to the United Nations, Co-Chair of the 2021 STI Forum: Video

H. E. Mr. Mohammad Koba, Ambassador, Charge d’Affaires of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, Co-Chair of the 2021 STI Forum: Video

3 May 2021

(New York)
Title Organizers Registration link Description/
Concept note 
7:45-9 am

Harnessing Science for a Sustainable Future:  Bridging the Policy, Research, and Community Divide

UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Springer Nature

Link  Concept note  
8-9 am

Roundtable with 10-Member Group on Technology and Innovation Report 2021 -Catching technological waves: innovation with equity


Link Concept note,


8-9 am

Will Multilateral Governance of Digital Technology Close the Digital Divide?

Civil Society Financing for Development Group, Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration (ETC Group), Society for International Development (SID), Major Group on Children and Youth (MGCY)

Link Concept note Recording
8-9:30 am

Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for SDGs Roadmaps


Link Concept note  Summary
9-10:30 am The Future of Post-COVID Innovation Finance – Global Innovation Index 2020 / 2021

Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Republic of Indonesia, WIPO

Link Concept note Summary
9:30-10:45 am

Fostering STI Ecosystems for Impact: Enabling Technologies advancing Human infrastructure 

Engineering for Change, ITU, ASME

Link Concept note  
11-12 pm

New Technologies, Ethics and Policy Engagement for Sustainable Development: An Interdisciplinary Model for Engaging with the Technology Community


Link Concept note  Summary
11-12 pm ICTs for Inclusive, Resilient and Sustainable Societies and Economies (WSIS Action Lines for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals) ITU, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNDP and other partners Link Concept note  
11-12.30 pm

Vaccines: A case for Science, Society and Policies Interactions in the Quest of STI for SDGs

Oswaldo Cruz Foundation – FIOCRUZ, International Science Council (ISC),  G-STIC

Link Concept note   
11-2 pm

Empowering Climate Action of Citizens/Youth and Communities with Science, Technology and Innovation

International Association for the Advancement of Innovative Approaches to Global Challenges (IAAI), Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action, UN Habitat,  UNESCO MOST, ECOS – Education, Communication and Outreach Stakeholders Community, ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability, Climate Chain Coalition, GloCha Foundation NY, Generation Next Voice of Youth, GloCha Tech GesmbH public-benefit corporation

Event link Concept note Summary 
11-2 pm

The Place of the Civil Society in using Science, Technology and Innovation to achieve sustainable and resilient COVID-19 recovery, and the SDGs: imperative of paradigm shifts to leave no one behind

Afrihealth Optonet Association, Society for Conservation and Sustainability of Energy and Environment in Nigeria (SOCSEEN), Dr Uzo Adirieje Foundation (DUZAFOUND)

Link Concept note Summary
12-1:30 pm Covid-19’s tsunami of new technologies: for the common good or corporate interest? ETC Group, Women Major Group, CSO FfD Group, MGCY,  
Link Concept note  Summary
12:30-1:30 pm

The Era of Quantum Information Technology - Promises and Pitfalls

International Telecommunication Union (ITU), UNDESA

Event page

Concept note

12:30-2 pm

COVID-19 and SDGs in Africa: new frontiers and directions for STI policy

Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex, Universities of Sussex, College of London, and Johannesburg

Zoom link



Concept note Summary
3-4 pm

Feet on the Ground: How to Connect with a Global Network of Local, Technically Trained Partners in the Time of COVID and Beyond

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Link Concept note Recording

4 May 2021

(New York)
Title Organizers Registration link Description/
Concept note 
8- 9 am

Capacity Building in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for SDGs

UNESCO, UNCTAD, UN IATT Workstream 6 on capacity building in STI for SDGs


Link Concept note, Flyer Summary
8-9 am 

African digital entrepreneurs: leading the way for COVID recovery and SDG Acceleration

International Trade Centre with partners

Link Concept note  
8-9 am

Governance of emerging climate technologies in the context of sustainable development

Carnegie Council on Ethics in International Affairs (CCEIA), UN-ESCAP

Link Concept note  Recording
12:15-1:15 pm

Innovating for Peace: Innovative methods and new technologies in support of implementing SDG16

Permanent Mission of the Republic of Turkey, Permanent Mission of Qatar (co-sponsor), Innovation Cell/DPPA, Co-sponsored by


Meeting ID: 953 197 0732

Concept note  
12:30-1:30 pm

From COVID-19 Emergency Response to Integrated Action to Address Zoonotic Diseases - The FAO/IAEA Experience

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)

Link Concept note Summary
12:30-2 pm

Building an Effective Way Forward for Indigenous Peoples to Participate and Contribute with their Knowledge and Experience, By Leveraging the Power of Science, Technology, and Innovation to achieve SDGs


Link, Event link Concept note Summary
12:30-2:30 pm

Inclusive Pathways for Steering STI for SDGs: Evidence, Tools and Policies

STRINGS (Steering Research and Innovation for Global Goals), Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, University College London, United Nations Development Programme (co-sponsor)

Event link Concept note


Global survey

12:45-3 pm

Looking beyond COVID-19: Integrated pathways to address health, economy and climate 

Permanent Mission of Belgium, Permanent Mission of Brazil, 

Link Concept note  Summary
1-2:30 pm

Engineering – Bridging the Gap for a Sustainable and Resilient Recovery

World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO), UNESCO, 

Link Concept note  
1:30-3 pm

How to tame frontier technologies - lessons from the field

ETC Group, Women Major Group, CSO FfD Group, MGCY,

Link Concept note Summary
2-3 pm

Digital Cooperation to leave no one behind: Implementing the Secretary-General’s Roadmap

Office of the Secretary-General's Envoy on Technology Webex link 
(Event number: 1290597981, Event password: 2021DCLN)

UN webcast 

Concept note



5 May 2021

(New York)
Title Organizers Registration link Description/
Concept note 
8-9 am

Harnessing Foresight for Building Back Better


Permanent Mission of Finland to the UN, UN Global Pulse


Link Concept note   
8-9 am

Gender Equality in Science, Technology and Innovation: Towards an Inclusive STI Ecosystem and Connectivity for All

8-9 am

Advancing Decent Work through Digital Wage Payments

Permanent Mission of the State of Qatar, Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines, ILO

Link Concept note Summary
12:30-2 pm

Space for the Great Reset: Boosting sustainable economic growth for a resilient COVID-19 recovery

United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) Link,
Webex link
Concept note Summary
12:30-2 pm

Realizing the Potential of Open for Equitable, Resilient Recovery

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), United Nations Dag Hammarskjold Library, Biblioteca Hernan Santa Cruz, UNECLAC

Live Concept note Summary
1:15-2:45 pm

Artificial Intelligence in the face of Covid-19 and beyond

Permanent Missions of Bhutan, Jamaica, Senegal, Singapore and Slovenia to the UN and the Office of the Special Representative of the OECD to the UN


Link Concept note   
7-9 pm

Future Urban Design to promote achievement of the SDGs through STI

Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations, The Engineering Academy of Japan, UNU Tokyo, UNDIO


Link Concept note  Summary


The Virtual Innovation Exhibit showcases the 25 winners of the STI Forum Call for Innovations hosted by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) in collaboration with the Global Innovation Exchange (GIE). The 2021 Call sought innovations developed or adapted to address COVID-19-associated disruptions, while the 2020 Call focused on innovations for transformative change to support the SDGs. Almost 1,000 applications were received during the two years, indicating the diversity, dynamism and depth of the initiatives underway. The winning solutions from both years have adapted to address the impacts of COVID-19 and will remain relevant beyond the pandemic as they promise to help accelerate progress towards one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals.

In this series of six panel discussions, the winning innovators will share their expertise around five development areas: 1) food systems; 2) vulnerable communities; 3) education; 4) maternal, child and newborn health; and 6) environment. Moderated by thought leaders, innovators will explain their cutting-edge initiatives and share insights from their experience implementing development solutions in a rapidly changing context around the pandemic.

Please see 2020/2021 winners below and refer to programme for details. Please click here for (Livestream) of virtual innovation exhibit. 

2021 Winners

Beyond the pandemic within Pandemics (Zimbabwe) - Beyond the pandemic serves the needs of LGBTIQ communities by providing medical supplies, ART, PrEP, HIV counselling and treatment, human rights violation response, and provision of food packs.

Colourful Giggles Nutrition (Nigeria) - A ready-to-eat cereal company meant to tackle malnutrition and hidden hunger in Nigeria.

DeafTawk (Singapore) - DeafTawk is an online sign language interpretation service that aims to empower the deaf community across the globe.

Fightback Online System (Nepal) - Fightback is a social enterprise that reduces the risk of sexual, gender-based violence in Nepal. They offer innovative training for girls and women in schools and workplaces plus workshops for parents, teachers, and boys to shift gender-based norms and strive for a more equitable, safe society.

GH4STEM JUNEOS CHALLENGE (Ghana) - A 15-episode practical STEM reality TV series that features 100 Junior scientists across Ghana, 65% of which are girls. These junior high students use local materials such as pencils, potatoes, salt, alcohol, LED bulbs, paper, torchlights, footballs, flowers, etc. in thrilling practical STEM experiments to highlight the applicability of STEM to everyday life.

Kriya™ (India) - Empathy Design Labs has developed a wearable and non-invasive screening patch - KRIYA™ for rapid pregnancy monitoring by expecting parents and clinical Obstetricians. Early alerts and timely actions can save the lives of millions of babies who are stillborn due to delays in reaching care providers.

M-SCAN (Uganda) - M-SCAN is a low-cost mobile phone-based ultrasound system that seeks to reduce maternal mortality through early detection and easy accessibility to affordable ultrasound services mostly in rural areas.

'Pursukoon Zindagi' (Peaceful Life) (Pakistan) - Mental Health, IRD Pakistan - The Pursukoon Zindagi (PSZ) program aims to bridge the mental health delivery gap by increasing demand for services and building capacity for a task-shifting approach that utilizes community health workers to deliver mental health services in under-resourced settings.

Survivors' Quick Access to GBV Services during Covid-19 Pandemic in Kenya (Kenya) - Healthcare Assistance Kenya (HAK) utilizes the latest technology to bring communities together to prevent and respond to GBV through its Toll-Free Helpline 1195 for protection of women, girls, men, and boys against GBV. HAK assists survivors virtually to access GBV services on referral basis with an aim of preventing infections such as HIV/AIDS.

Swarmob (Chile) - Swarmob is a blended learning platform that helps K12 schools transform the curricular teaching by creating online projects with an impact on the UN's SDG within a collaborative network of schools and purposeful organizations.

2020 Winners

Build Up Nepal-Building the Way out of Poverty (Nepal) - Breaking the poverty cycle in rural Nepal by creating jobs in construction for poor families.

EL-kanis and Partners (Nigeria) - Builds platforms that open new opportunities and create economic sustainability for poor rural smallholder farmers and families by integrating them into a broader AgriFood system and connecting them to stakeholders who mutually benefit.

ERTH (E-waste Recycling Through Heroes) (Malaysia) - ERTH is a digital platform that provides a free/on-demand electronic waste recycling service to individuals and businesses and pays them in cash.

HarvestPlus (Biofortification) (Uganda, Colombia, India, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Brazil, Rwanda, Zambia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Bolivia, and Nicaragua) - HarvestPlus uses conventional breeding to enrich everyday food crops with vitamins and minerals (biofortification) to transform food systems and fight nutrition insecurity - affecting 3 billion people globally who cannot afford a healthy diet.

Kitkit School by Enuma (Kenya, United Republic of Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, and Bangladesh) - Kitkit School, a winner of the Global Learning XPRIZE, is a proven tablet-based application that engages and empowers ALL children to master foundational literacy and numeracy skills, regardless of their abilities and circumstance.

Kitovu Technology Company (Nigeria) - Kitovu is a social enterprise that uses data to eliminate guesswork and supply chain inefficiencies in African agriculture to enable smallholder farmers to make more money off their farms.

Lejan Energy LTD (Kenya) - A renewable energy company recycling biomass waste into biomass briquettes which are of high calorific value, economical, 100% eco-friendly for use by factories and institutions reducing carbon emission and deforestation.

Practical Education Network (Ghana) - PEN equips Ghanaian STEM teachers to learn, design, and share hands-on activities which complement the national curriculum and are created from low-cost and locally available materials.

(SCOPE CODA) Conditional On-Demand Assistance Solutions (El Salvador, South Sudan, Uganda, Tajikistan, Madagascar, and Democratic Republic of the Congo) - CODA (Conditional On-Demand Assistance) Services is a digital solution designed to simplify and streamline nutrition programme guidelines and the recording of individualized beneficiary data.

Sustainable Social Enterprise Model for Sanitation that Benefits Low-to-Middle Income Populations & Especially Women (Nepal) - A social enterprise model for public toilets piloted in Nepal that incorporates additional revenue streams with waste-to-value technology (biogas), bundled services (shops), gender-inclusive design, & a cleaning compliance program.

BEMPU HEALTH (India) - The TempWatch is a novel, continuous temperature-monitoring bracelet which alerts if the newborn is hypothermic, thereby empowering the caretaker to warm the baby with KMC well before hypoxia, hypoglycemia, poor growth, or death can occur. In light of the Covid 19 crisis, Tempwatch is immensely instrumental as it warns parents against probable infections and reduces needless visits to the health centre.

Ubongo: Edutainment Made in Africa, for Africa (Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Nigeria, Malawi, and Zambia) - We leverage the power of entertainment, the reach of mass media and the deep insights of kid-centered design to bring fun, localized entertainment-education to millions of kids in Africa.

Wanji Games (Uganda, Pakistan, Ghana, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Zambia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Kenya, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Malawi) - The Wanji Games platform uses basic telephony to provide interactive narratives through spoken audio. This allows a geographically remote audience with limited literacy access to engaging entertainment-education in their own spoken language.

We Care Solar (Nepal, Liberia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe) - An economical and portable power unit that provides health workers with highly efficient medical lighting and power for mobile communication and medical devices.

Technology for Social Change and Development Initiative (Nigeria) - An experiential learning program that provides digital skills training, job matching and entrepreneurship acceleration to women across Africa. The program aims to provide economic prosperity and financial freedom to 5 million girls and women over the next 10 years, effectively bridging the gender divide within the technology ecosystem.

The Sixth annual Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (STI Forum) will be held from 4-5 May 2021 in entirely virtual format. The event will be webcasted (UN Web TV).

Member States

There is no need for Member States to register for the STI Forum as they will receive the link to the virtual platform through the “ECOSOC meetings” page in the e-deleGATE Portal (edelegate.un.int). Please note that only the members of the delegation who intend to speak during the virtual meetings should log into the “Interprefy” virtual platform. Other members of the delegation may view the proceedings on the webcast (UN Web TV) and would not need to join the virtual platform. Please see the participant guide for more information.

UN agencies/IGOs/IATT/10 Member Group/others

There is no need for UN agencies/IGOs to register for the STI Forum as they will receive the link to the virtual platform through the “ECOSOC meetings” page in the e-deleGATE Portal (edelegate.un.int). Please note that only the members of the delegation who intend to speak during the virtual meetings should log into the “Interprefy” virtual platform. Other members of the delegation may view the proceedings on the webcast (UN Web TV) and would not need to join the virtual platform. Please see the participant guide for more information.

IMPORTANT: IATT members or other representatives from UN entities, the 10 Member Group, and invited speakers and panelists without access to the e-deleGATE Portal can contact: Mr. Arthur De La Cruz (delacruza@un.org) or Ms. Adi Ziona Adamit (adi.adamit@un.org), Division for Sustainable Development Goals, UNDESA.

STI stakeholders

A selected number of representatives will be able to make interventions and access the virtual platform (registration closed). All other STI stakeholders will be able to follow the proceedings through the webcast (UN Web TV). For more information, please contact: Ms. Naiara Costa, Outreach and Partnerships Branch, Division for Sustainable Development Goals (DSDG), UNDESA (naiara.costa@un.org).


This is an entirely virtual event and journalists can follow the event via webcast (UN Web TV).


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