Skip navigation
ECOSOC Innovation Fair


30 June – 3 July 2008

To showcase best innovative experiences and mobilize a wide range of stakeholders in support of successful development activities, the United Nations organized an innovation fair during the main part of the annual substantive session of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). This fair was organized as a parallel event to the High-level Segment that included the second Annual Ministerial Review of ECOSOC on "Implementing the internationally agreed goals and commitments in regard to sustainable development". Both events took place at the United Nations Headquarters, allowing interaction between policy makers and authors of innovative experiences.


  • To provide the opportunity for the private sector, foundations and other civil society organizations to share examples of innovative products, approaches or practices and to disseminate them more widely to Member States and other actors.
  • To raise the awareness of decision-makers at all levels, civil society actors, and of the public at large to potential solutions for achieving the United Nations Development Agenda and promote the transfer/sharing of knowledge, expertise and experience through networking and peer-to-peer learning.


The UN Economic and Social Council aims to bring together all development actors, be they governmental or non-governmental, from around the world. Consequently, a wide range of institutions were invited to take part in the Fair: governments, international and regional organizations, private sector entities, academia, civil society organizations, foundations, and the media. The participants showcased specific innovative products and projects in the field of sustainable development.

What type of innovative approaches/projects/products will be showcased?

  • The innovative approaches/tools/projects which were showcased at the Fair focused on the following thematic areas:
  • Industrial development and environmental sustainability: pollution management; energy use; corporate social and environmental responsibility;
  • Consumption and production patterns/life styles in relation to climate change;
  • Inequality and poverty and environment: linkages with desertification/human settlements/slums; integrated community-based development including access to safe drinking water, sanitation and health services;
  • Sustainable agricultural development, water/natural resources management, soil and land degradation; relation with desertification, biodiversity and climate change, as well as with the social development agenda;
  • Biodiversity: Forest and ecosystem protection; conservation; sustainable use of biological resources; valuation of environmental services;
  • Protection of atmosphere and fight against climate change: adaptation and mitigation; natural disaster management
  • Technology and sustainable development: access to and transfer of environmentally sound technologies; role of ICTs.

In addition, these innovations should meet the following criteria:

  • Create a more conducive and enabling environment for improvement, potentially leading to policy change through legislation, regulation or resource allocation;
  • Showcase sustainability, replicability, participatory and multistakeholder processes;
  • Promote partnerships to link activities with other stakeholders.