The Sustainable Development Goals represent an initiative of the United Nations Organization (UN) to raise the standards of human development. They refer to 17 global goals where technology could contribute. That is precisely the focus of Honduran entrepreneur, Lucía Gallardo. This young woman has created the start-up named “Emerge” to help solve social problems with the use of emerging technologies such as Blockchain, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Through her enterprise, Gallardo tries to close the gap between these tools and people who work on projects with high social impact, especially in underdeveloped countries like her native country, Honduras. Two of the main targets of Emerge are women and marginalized communities, whom they endorse through technology and counseling. Gallardo explains, ”We capture the realities where technology is implanted. We understand that a solution for Mexico is not the same as for Uganda. We know the contexts in which solutions are implemented are very important.” Thanks to this initiative, Gallardo has become one of the winners of the Latin American Innovators Under 35 from the MIT Technology Review LATAM edition.
One of the areas where Emerge has specialized is the digital identity for refugees and migrants. To tackle that situation, the company created the “Homeward” platform, which promotes the granting of accesses to resources and employability within these collectives. Another one of the enterprise's action points is food transparency, for which “Theseus” was created, a system that improves global movement of food products by reducing waste. Also the consumers are allowed to know in-depth information about the production and transportation of their groceries. Lastly, using the “Trusted Voices” platform, Emerge strengthens and protects the custody chain of all sources used by journalists and communication media.
Within the 17 global goals set by the UN, Gallardo's project has the potential to guarantee a healthy life and promotes wellness, the enhancement of continuous, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, dignified and productive employment along with protection, promotion, and establishment of the sustainable use of ecosystems and the promotion of pacific and inclusive societies that embrace sustainable development.
The CEO and founder of HAG Consulting & Venture, Panamá, Rodrigo de Alvarenga, also a member of the jury for the 2019 Latin American Innovators Under 35 assesses that the products Gallardo created can have a “strong positive impact."