Zero Exclusion, Zero Carbon, Zero Poverty

The other day, my colleagues in the European Innovation, Technology, and Science Center Foundation Inc. (EITSC) and I had the pleasure to meet with Luis Oquiñena, executive director of Gawad Kalinga, and Fabien Courteille, 3Zero agenda manager and partnerships for ACTED Philippines. The two gentlemen informed us about an innovative proposal by the Philippine and French civil societies. I am excited about their activities and plans, and would like to share them with you.

Luis and Fabien reminded us that we live in times where the impact of our actions as individual nations can be felt across the globe, both in the positive and the negative. They added that we are slowly awakening to universal issues concerning the global economy, our environment, social justice and equality. But still, very few are taking brave steps to solving these issues. They invite us to be part of the solution, which we took seriously, given the fact that if we are not part of the solution, we are part of the problem.

Gawad Kalinga and ACTED have launched the Triple Zero Movement: Zero Carbon, Zero Exclusion and Zero Poverty, last January through a summit that was well-attended by key stakeholders in the local and international scene. They are now giving a more concrete form to their movement through the Triple Zero House, which will be the physical and central venue for learning, collaboration and action toward the most pressing issues of our society today.

The 3Zero Global Alliance promotes new approaches to contemporary challenges, while radically reshaping the way individuals, businesses and communities live, work and interact:

Zero Exclusion—because the vulnerability of marginalized populations can be reduced through the promotion of inclusive institutions, governance mechanisms, policies and concrete actions;

Zero Carbon—because we want to pass on to our children an economy that respects natural balances, an ecologically sound development model and a global governance of the common good;

Zero Poverty—because poverty is an intolerable waste of talent and the reproduction of poverty from generation to generation is not inevitable.

What are the objectives of the 3Zero House that will be unveiled in Mandaluyong on October 24?

Gather—be a collective hub aiming to unite various stakeholders and fuel conversation around common goal and agenda. The 3Zero House will be a place where silos will be broken and innovative collaboration be fostered;

Consolidate—serve as a resource center, a directory of social enterprises, civil society organizations, service providers, local and international agencies and other partners. It will benefit students, staff, incubators and guests;

Train—offer a space devoted to the development of human capital. Through a series of short online and offline certified courses, developed in partnership with the private sector and academia, participants master a set of work skills chosen to maximize their adaptability to the jobs of the future. (This objective is very much in line with the vision of EITSC when the foundation was formed in 2002, and here we see areas of cooperation);

Incubate—be a space for experimentation, trial and error, ideation and prototyping. It will contain a 3Zero Lab to empower and support projects in their infancy and equip social enterprises and personal mentoring, lectures and workshops, as well as shared services;

Accelerate—help push new projects forward through their most advanced stages into completion, providing mentoring by experts in their respective subject matter, and connections with strategic partners from supply to distribution;

Inspire—work beyond the confines of the 3Zero House to inspire take-up of the 3Zero ethos in conferences, focus group discussions, campaigns and lobbying where everyone is held accountable for their responsibilities to make a better world for present and future generations. (This objective is of great interest to EITSC also, given our focus on sustainable development and inclusive growth, addressing the needs of poor communities close to the operations of business across the country).

In this context, I would like to add that Gawad Kalinga is present in almost every province in the country, engaging 10,000 barangays in over 3,500 communities and affecting 350,000 families. Gawad Kalinga has more than 4,000 volunteers on ground, going where help is needed the most. In our promise to leave no one behind, GK does not hesitate to enter some of the most troubled and war-torn areas. GK communities are known to be zones of peace, and we have successfully transformed slums into peaceful and productive communities. In other words, Gawad Kalinga can become an ideal partner of businesses that wish to help poor communities.

EITSC will participate in the event on October 24, and will keep you informed of our next steps, trusting that businesses and communities will partner with us down the 3Zero journey. Feedback is welcome; contact me at schumacher@eitsc.com or contact Fabien Courteille directly at Fabien.courteille@acted.org

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