Decades of wars, occupation and crises have caused suffering for millions of people in the Arab region. Across the region, communities have been robbed of hope and the belief that we can have a say in our futures.

How can we help reclaim our hope?

We are seeking socially innovative ideas that could help millions of people across the Arab region to reclaim hope in their societies, restore belief in a dignified and prosperous future, and revive their will to assume a role in shaping this future.

This is an open challenge inviting submissions of suggestions that can contribute to positive change.

Participants are invited to submit ideas and proposals in the form of videos. The winning proposals will be presented at ESCWA. The challenge organizers will support innovators to implement their proposals.

How to participate?

Register and send a short video (90-270 seconds) in Arabic, English or French that clarifies:

  • What your idea or suggestion is;
  • How it contributes towards restoring hope (providing evidence if possible);
  • What is required to implement it.

What problems are we aiming to solve?

Problems; Phases and time line

Who can participate?

The challenge is open to individuals of all ages and backgrounds.

Collective proposals from teams of any size are also welcome. Participating teams should clarify whether they represent a specific entity (educational institution, company or think tank).

Participants can submit more than one proposal.

How are proposals evaluated?

A panel of experts and practitioners from different backgrounds will evaluate ideas and projects according to criteria that include potential impact, novelty of ideas, feasibility and scalability.

What happens if you win?

  1. The owners of winning proposals (or a team member for collective submissions) will be invited to present their proposal and ideas at an ESCWA high-level event in 2022.
  2. The organizers will seek to support winning participants in implementing their proposals.

If you have any questions, please write to 

What is social innovation?

Social innovation can be defined as new solutions (products, services, models, processes and initiatives) that can meet social needs more effectively than existing solutions while simultaneously leading to new or improved capabilities and relationships. Social innovation enhances society’s capacity to act.

Incorporating social innovation within actions for change in the Arab region makes it possible to achieve real transformation and restore hope to its communities. Social innovation can be applied in many forms and sectors. Ideas for social innovation might include:

  • Social enterprises: initiatives aiming to improve social/environmental well-being and reinvesting profits to create positive social change;
  • Digital tools: digital devices, platforms and tools that enable existing and new social innovations;
  •  Advocacy: activities aimed at influencing the decision-making within political, economic and social institutions.

Get started!

To submit your ideas, register for this challenge and click on "post idea." You will be able to edit your video submission until the final submission deadline.

Register here

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