UN Global Pulse repositions as the Secretary General’s Innovation Lab, transitioning offices and expanding innovation efforts for a UN 2.0

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In 2022, UN Global Pulse evolved from an initiative focused on data and artificial intelligence for crisis response to a wider role serving as the Secretary-General’s Innovation Lab. UN Global Pulse is now a worldwide network to advance responsible innovation in the UN’s work to protect people and the planet.    

The shift to a full lab is a natural evolution of over a decade of teamwork and experimentation. Having started with studying big data signals, we advanced to using machine learning technology to predict humanitarian scenarios. With unconventional data sources such as satellites and radio, we continue to co-create with colleagues across the UN family. Moving forward, cutting-edge data and artificial intelligence initiatives remain the center of our work.

However, the world is changing fast, often in alarming ways, and we believe we must be able not only to react to crises but to foresee them. Existing approaches are no longer enough. This is why, along with partners, UN Global Pulse will pioneer new methods to support the transformation of the UN through capabilities such as data, digital, innovation, foresight, and behavioral science.

The repositioning of UN Global Pulse as an innovation lab has also required the team to transform how it operates. While our Headquarters were historically situated in New York, we have now downsized this office to focus our impact on UN operations and communities on the ground. This shift also allows our expanding teams in Finland, Indonesia and Uganda to deepen collaboration in support of a forward-thinking and proactive UN 2.0.

As we begin 2023, UN Global Pulse’s foundation is strengthened. With renewed donor and partner support our team will grow in the year ahead. Our portfolio realignment is also creating space for new projects and possibilities. As the UN renews its way of operating in the 21st century, we will be at the forefront of more networked, inclusive, and effective multilateralism – for the sake of people and planet.  

We encourage you to watch this space for a new web presence that reflects our transformation, filled with stories and insights from our innovation efforts. If you’re interested in collaborating with the team or if you have any questions about our recent transformation, please reach out to us at: info@unglobalpulse.org

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