Looking at COVID-19 from another perspective
Be inspired by the insights of UBS Global Visionaries
UBS Global Visionaries are leading change-makers with innovative solutions to some of the world’s most challenging social and environmental problems. They work in diverse areas from food waste, vertical farming and lab-grown meat, to solar grids, eco-fabrics and ocean plastic. Many of them are responding to the COVID-19 crisis in remarkable ways, both helping their communities and adjusting their businesses to survive.
Watch this series of short videos or visit the special Coronavirus page.
Dr. Suzan Murray
Suzan leads research into coronavirus and its transmission to humans for Washington’s Smithsonian Institution and has even spoken about this at the White House. “As a veterinarian I’ve always known that I would work to save the lives of endangered species, I didn’t know that I would have the opportunity to affect human lives as well,” she told our webinar.
Mette is CEO of Too Good To Go – the world’s largest anti-food waste app with more than 20 million users around the globe. She told us how the app is now helping restaurants by letting them sell takeaways; and she is talking to the government in her native Denmark to save the next generation of start-ups.
Kennedy is the founder of SHOFCO – a grassroots non-profit that empowers Kenya’s slum dwellers by providing essential services such as healthcare, clean water and education. He describes Covid-19 as a “ticking time bomb” as social distancing would not be possible in slums where some 50 families share one toilet. However, he hopes early action “might save us”.
Dr. Sebastian Groh
Sebastian runs SOLshare, which enables people to trade surplus solar energy in Bangladesh. In this webcall, he explains how the country’s lockdown led to a huge exodus to rural villages increasing demand for his grids’ electricity. He expects SOLshare to play an increasingly important role in future as the pandemic’s impact on the economy could reduce government spending on 1/3 electrification.
Victor set up AYINET to promote peace and provide medical help for survivors of northern Uganda’s long conflict. However, they are now trying to educate people about the virus and prevent further unrest. He told us that restrictions on movement could spark revolt because people were so poor they could not stay in without food and “allow their children to die”.
Dr. Patrick Meier
Patrick’s organisation WeRobotics trains local communities to use drones to deliver aid and healthcare in developing countries. He has extensive experience of disaster relief but says the current pandemic is an “unprecedented” challenge due to its global nature. He also told our webcast that the lockdown of international aid workers demonstrated the need to empower local people to use tech.
Enrique’s social enterprise Isla Urbana installs rainwater harvesting systems in Mexico. This is critical at a time when we are all being urged to wash our hands frequently – but some people only rarely get water from the tap. In this video, he also opens up about the stress of running a business during such uncertainty.
Paul is the chief executive of Rising Academies which sets up and runs schools in several African countries. In this webcall from Ghana, he talks about the challenge of lockdown homeschooling in developing countries where only one in eight people has internet access. Rising Academies has responded by giving lessons via radio and SMS.
Architect Alan is co-founder of MASS Design Group, which has designed buildings to prevent the spread of diseases like ebola and cholera. In this webinar, he explains how MASS is now sharing their expertise for those creating field medical facilities to deal with COVID-19, and other badly-affected industries such as restaurants.