Tech + Data

How Helping Government Disrupt Itself Accelerates Progress on the SDGs

Apolitical launches first of Its kind peer-to-peer platform for governments everywhere

There’s a reason the word ‘disrupt’ has become one of the words of the decade. Whole sectors have been changed fundamentally – retail, travel, transport, hospitality, logistics – you name it, it’s been disrupted. Today, the good idea or the new solution can spread around the world like wildfire, courtesy of compelling and beautiful technology. Learning and sharing has never been easier.

Except: government.

Every day all over the world government employees, without meaning to, often reinvent the wheel. While the rest of the world races ahead, for public servants the sharing of lessons learned or ideas that work is haphazard or, worse, non-existent. Work is often siloed and collaboration slow or painful.

Apolitical was founded to solve this problem. Public servants feel isolated while being asked to tackle some of the world’s most complex problems. We interviewed countless people in more than 30 governments – both in the global north and south – and they told us what they want: “faster” and more “delightful” ways to find curated solutions, and to be able to connect with people behind them.

Co-designed with public servants around the world, Apolitical’s online platform is built around the critical policy topics of our time – think public-private partnerships, or climate change, or refugees – and connects public servants at all levels of government to people tackling the same problems elsewhere. It brings together ideas, people and evidence in an inspiring way that encourages action. It is inspired by the aesthetic and agility of consumer tech. And it is based on the belief that with problems becoming more global, and solutions increasingly underpinned by new technologies and business models, what’s working in one government is increasingly likely to hold lessons for others.

Apolitical wants to help government to disrupt itself and help governments share they lessons they are learning in making progress towards the SDGs.  They were recently named one of the most disruptive companies in the world by the Disrupt 100 Index which stated that Apolitical “could potentially impact everyone on the planet” – just like the SDGs.

One of the most powerful resources we have at our disposal to deliver the SDGs is the collective experience of tens of thousands of people working on the 17 Goals in countries all across the world. A peer to peer platform can bring together that hive of minds working on the SDGs across the globe – the biggest resource available to any government anywhere.

This post is part of the “SDG Solutions” series hosted by the United Nations Foundation, Global Daily, and +SocialGood to raise awareness of ways the international community can advance, and is advancing, progress on the Sustainable Development Goals. As the international community prepares to gather at the UN for the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development from July 10-19, this series will share ideas and examples of action. Previous posts in the series can be found here.

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