L o a d i n g . . .
 Innovation
Services
The innovation services carried out by WTT consist of a varied set of actions ranging from the development of open calls for the selection of innovative solutions to the acceleration of projects, including mapping, strategy design, active search for calls for proposals, the creation of experimentation spaces, knowledge management, among other projects.

The focus of this area of WTT’s work is on dialogue with communities, civil society organizations, multilateral agencies, companies and international organizations to create opportunities for implementing innovations with a focus on socio-environmental impact. These innovations can be either incremental and complement projects that are already underway, or contextual, i.e. developed specifically to respond to a problem adapted from one context to another. The range of services below shows a wide variety of methodologies, projects and links.

Projects
1st Brazilian Forum on Mission-Oriented Innovation

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On October 30 and 31, WTT kicked off an important moment in its history. After a long process of collective construction, the 1st Brazilian Forum on Mission-Driven Innovation was consolidated. The unprecedented event took place at Inova USP and sought to contribute to the qualification and dissemination of the practice of mission-driven innovation in Brazil.

Missions use innovation to solve a challenge or promote large-scale social or environmental change, are ambitious, measurable, and have a limited timeframe in which to be achieved. They require an active role from the public sector in their definition and leadership, but also require the collaboration of private actors, academia and the third sector in orchestrating resources and multi-sector efforts.

In partnership with various actors from the public and private sectors and civil society organizations, WTT and Auspin sought, at the Forum, to build paths that would bring the country closer to adopting this agenda, which is so important for its future.

On the first day of the event, the debates focused on the experiences of organizations and social movements. Present were representatives from organizations such as the Regional Institute of Smallholder Farming (IRPAA), the Interstate Movement of Babassu Coconut Breakers (MIQCB), the Health and Happiness project, the Black Coalition for Rights and the Sustainable Amazon Foundation (FAS), among many others.

The lectures “Science, Technology, Society and Innovation: recent debate”, by Janaina Oliveira Pamplona da Costa (UNICAMP) and “Live Governance from the perspective of Sustainable and Healthy Territories: the experience of FIOCRUZ and the Traditional Communities Forum”, by Sidélia Silva and Ariane Rosa Martins (Observatory of Sustainable and Healthy Territories of Bocaina/FIOCRUZ) were presented, and then we went on to debate activities and exchange experiences.

On the second day, there were around 90 participants from public bodies, development agencies, academia, institutes, companies and social movements. In addition to the participants from civil society organizations present on the first day of the Forum, there were also representatives from institutions such as the Climate and Society Institute, the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, SEBRAE, the Global Compact, the National Confederation of Industry, The Nature Conservancy FINEP, IDB Lab, CNPq, Petrobras, Embrapii, among many others.

On the morning of the 31st, the events focused on presentations about the current context of missions. Caetano Penna, from Delft University, addressed the global context of the topic, while Maycon Stahelin, from Embrapii, presented issues relating to the national scenario. In the afternoon, the guests were divided into the thematic tables Amazon, Industry, Energy Transition, Agriculture and Health for closer debates on experiences and expectations of the missions approach in these themes.

“The Forum was great, it exceeded our expectations. We were especially pleased with the broad participation of civil society and academia in the discussions. We hope that the event will be a watershed in the inclusion of these actors in the construction of the mission-driven innovation agenda in Brazil,” said André Wongtschowski, WTT’s innovation director.

 

 

Water+ Access

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Water+ (Água+) was WTT’s first project using the impact challenge methodology – a logic that has subsequently influenced various other initiatives by the organization throughout its history. Started in 2017, Água+ sought to invert the vector of innovation and started from local challenges to look for innovative solutions that responded to problems that social organizations and territories experience on a daily basis.

Thus, WTT created an open call to select innovative solutions to the challenges of community water management in the Amazon and the Brazilian semi-arid region. In the community model, the communities themselves self-manage their supply systems. The call received more than 100 applications, 7 of which were selected to be implemented in different locations and by different field organizations.

The projects ranged from photovoltaic water pumping technologies to innovations dedicated to water quality treatment in the semi-arid region. Água+ was carried out between 2017 and 2021 with funding from the Coca-Cola Institute and the participation of allies such as the Avina Foundation, Sisar Institute, CPCD, Centrais da Bahia, Amazonas Sustainable Foundation, Health and Happiness Project, among others.

Sustainable Cotton

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WTT’s first project with food systems and agroecology, the Sustainable Cotton Challenge allowed important relationships to be built with partners who would become key to WTT in the following years. As with Água+, the Sustainable Cotton project followed the logic of impact challenge, this time focusing on cotton production in agroecological consortium based on the work of the NGO Esplar and farmers’ associations.

As well as being a pioneer in working with agroecological cotton, Esplar is an organization that works with the Participatory Guarantee System (SPG), recognized by the Brazilian Government. In this system, by following a series of criteria, farmers achieve organic certification in a self-managed way.

In view of the social and productive challenges facing these farmers in the Sertão Central and Sertão dos Crateús (Ceará, semi-arid region in Brazil), WTT carried out diagnoses, an open call for innovations and pilots of solutions on site. One of the distinguishing features of the challenge methodology implemented by WTT is that it goes into the field to invest in pilots, encourage experimentation, and coordinate processes for improving and adapting solutions so that the functionality of the proposals evolves even after the formal closure of the project.

Implemented between 2018 and 2019 with funding from the C&A Institute, Susntable Cotton piloted projects ranging from a manual cotton harvester to a management system for cotton associations.

Resilient Cities

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As part of the project coordinated by the Avina Foundation with funding from BIDLab, WTT held a challenge in Salvador (Brazil) to promote technological and sustainable initiatives linked to the circular economy.

Through an open call, the selected projects were: GBcycle, which contributes to water and sewage treatment, Combra Food, which is dedicated to digitally integrating small producers into the food supply chain, and Wakanda, which promotes women’s financial autonomy.

The challenge developed and coordinated by WTT arose from the Regional Network of Resilient Cities, created by the Avina Foundation in partnership with the Resilient Cities Network. Once the challenge in Salvador was over, WTT also held a workshop in Buenos Aires on the challenge methodology so that the Argentine capital could manage its own project and call.

WTT’s participation in the initiative resulted in the systematization of the Resilient Cities process and the application of a system modeling methodology to identify how and what the potential impact of the innovative solutions selected in each of the challenges would be in each of the cities.

Better Together Challenge Mapping

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The Better Together Challenge was carried out by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and BIDLab on the theme of migration. The project aimed to select innovative solutions to problems related to the Venezuelan migrant diaspora in 10 countries in the region.

In order to enrich the range of proposals and participants, WTT joined the project at the invitation of the Avina Foundation to use its expertise to map organizations, initiatives and people who had the potential to submit creative projects for the challenge. This active search within the call demonstrates the versatility of the innovation services provided by WTT throughout its history.

Haiti Initiative

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Between 2019 and 2020, WTT coordinated the Haiti Initiative through the invitation of the Avina Foundation, which established the work in the country as an ethical imperative. This way, the partnership with WTT came to energize this challenging line of work from Avina Foundation. The idea was to create a strategy that would understand the challenges faced by Haiti and point to new ways of finding solutions from the ground up and in the light of the experiences of other countries in the region, which ranged from on-site mapping to South-South cooperation.

To this end, WTT undertook an end-to-end trip to Haiti and designed a strategy for sanitation, cisterns and food security projects. The initiative marked WTT’s critical position towards international development in the country and solidified the understanding that the development of technologies appropriate to the context and taking into account local autonomy were, more than ever, essential in the Haitian case.

Chaco Innova

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Chaco Innova was born in 2021 from the collaboration between WTT and the Nanum Mujeres Conectadas trinational project, which operates in Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay. Using the impact challenge methodology, WTT and Nanum developed the Chaco Innova open call with funding from BIDLab to select innovative solutions that could be built with local actors based on the traditional knowledge of the people who live in the Gran Chaco region.

The challenge focused on three main areas: climate adaptation, commercialization and institutional strengthening.

Projects were received from 42 organizations, 5 of which were selected to implement pilots: Wingu (Argentina), whose project consists of a handicraft marketing system and the digital transformation of communities; Fundación Capital (Paraguay), which is dedicated to female empowerment through financial education and inclusion; Caminnos (Bolivia), which proposes working with the art of communities through blockchain, offering unique digital pieces to strengthen artistic production and ancestral knowledge of the Chaco; AdApp (trinational), a project that consists of a collaborative rainfall and hydrological data system to generate flood alerts, as well as providing access to a management calendar and good practices for goat and beekeeping activities carried out by women in the territory; and finally, Comagua, a data platform on water management and planning for isolated communities developed together with Ingeniero Sin Fronteras Argentina.

In addition to the pilots, WTT is the innovation focal point organization of the Nanum network of organizations and seeks to create bridges between the Gran Chaco Americano and Innovation Ecosystems across the continent.

Climate Solutions Lab (Impulsouth)

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Climate Solutions Lab is a project acceleration laboratory coordinated by WTT in partnership with South African professor Phumlani Nkontwana, which serves as a platform to promote innovative solutions from young leaders from Madagascar, Niger, Uganda, Zambia, the Dominican Republic and Guatemala in the context of climate change and the contexts of each country.

The project is part of Impulsouth, an initiative of the Avina Foundation and the UN University (UNU) on climate action with funding from Canada’s International Development Research Center (IDRC). The initiative aims to qualify the countries’ commitments to climate change (NDC) in the 6 countries.

Climate Solutions Lab provides a space for experimentation and innovation so that young leaders from these countries in Africa and Central America/Caribbean can receive resources, mentoring, learn about methodologies and create connections in order to advance climate solutions for their territories.

With two classes taking place between 2022 and 2024, Climate Solutions Lab brings together innovators from a South-South cooperation perspective: how can young people from countries in the Global South find and develop solutions to similar challenges? At the same time, one of the project’s strengths is based on the differences in context, background and experience of each participant, which enriches the meetings and exchanges.

Find out about the projects and inspiring stories of 9 young people from the lab’s first class, originally published on the Impulsouth project webiste:

GUATEMALA

Unleashing Change through Community Action: The Story of Rocío Silva and Her Contribution to Building Resilience Updates

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Strengthening Climate Action at the Local Level: An Inspiring Example of Corayma De Dios Estrella Herrera from the Dominican Republic

MADAGASCAR

Turning Ideas into Action: Jonathan’s Message of Empowerment for Climate Action

Livaniaina: A Catalyst for Change in Beekeeping in Madagascar

ZAMBIA

Taking Climate Action in Zambia with Owen Machuku: Seeds of Resilience.

Innovation, Empowerment, and Climate Change: Philippa’s Story

UGANDA

Empowering Rural Communities: Annet Dianah Nannono’s Vision for Climate-Smart Agriculture

NIGER

Catalysts of Change: The Visionary Work of Zeinabou M. Noura in Bridging Medicine and climate action

Greening the Future: Meet Mariama and E-Himma Platform’s Innovative Approach to Tackling Land Degradation and Rural Poverty through Forest-Based Solutions

Regenerative Food Businesses

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Alongside other international organizations, WTT is part of the Regenerative Food Business Consortium. This collective impact initiative is made up of entities that have been working with new perspectives on food systems and that understand Regenerative Food Businesses (NAR, in portuguese and spanish) as initiatives that prioritize the centrality of nature in the business approach to food production. In NAR, the conservation, restoration and strengthening of ecosystems are central to the activities, purposes and value proposition of the business.

The Consortium has been working on mapping, impact investment and knowledge management, prioritizing gender and regeneration issues within this approach. The network is coordinated by the Avina Foundation with funding from Canada’s International Development Research Center. In structuring the network, WTT coordinates the group’s knowledge management and community of practice pillar, which aims to strengthen the ecosystem of businesses operating from the regenerative agriculture paradigm in the Pan-Amazon and Central American Dry Corridor.

www.regenerativo.org