Swae featured in the Guardian UK Newspaper

Swae featured in the Guardian UK Newspaper

The $1.8m prize aiming to tackle global threats to humanity – winners revealed

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The Global Challenges Foundation’s New Shape Prize, which seeks ideas to tackle global threats through cooperation, received more than 2,700 submissions from 122 countries. But what are the aims of the award – and the inspiration behind it?

Climate change, politically motivated violence and extreme poverty are some of humankind’s most pressing challenges – but what are the best ways to deal with these 21st-century problems? And what sort of institutions can people around the world trust to tackle them effectively?

On 29 May 2018, the New Shape Prize awarded a total of $1.8m in prize money to three entries* who proposed new forms of global governance to address those challenges.

The organisation behind the prize, the Global Challenges Foundation (GCF), was set up in 2012 by Swedish financial analyst and author Laszlo Szombatfalvy to explore new ways to tackle the most serious threats facing humanity.

The vice-chair of the Global Challenges Foundation, Mats Andersson, says: “We don’t have the toolbox today to deal with global risks. The only tool we have is the United Nations. The UN was founded 70 years ago to deal with the challenges we had at that time. Now we need something better and more powerful.”

Another GCF board members is renowned environmental scientist Johan Rockström of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, he says: “We have entered a fully globalised stage of human development, at a special juncture where our social, political, economic and environmental pressures are right at the ceiling of what the social and biophysical world can cope with.” Rockström, who is also professor of environmental science at Stockholm University and an international researcher on global sustainability issues, adds: “Are we, as a humanity, able to destabilise the whole planet?”

In 2016, in an effort to catalyse new thinking around the collective management of global catastrophic risks, the foundation launched the New Shape Prize competition. It aims to reshape the future of global governance, by inspiring ideas around different forms of cooperation.

“Prizes have a historic track record in spurring on innovation,” says the foundation’s executive director Carin Ism. And the economic incentive is only a part of it. “[Prizes] have tended to create community around an issue, increasing the talent pool but also [connecting] individuals thinking about the same topic who had not known about each other.”

The Global Challenges Foundation wants to act as a convener for the best thinking, in order to uncover advances in contemporary global governance. “We want to see who is also thinking about decision-making and the way we make and enforce those decisions,” she continues.

From 2016-17, GCF invited submissions proposing new forms of global cooperation. In total, the competition received more than 2,700 submissions from 122 countries. They were assessed by 10 regional review panels, each including experts from civil society, politics, academia and international organisations.

The overall criterion for the competition was to design governance models capable of tackling these global challenges, rather than trying to solve individual problems. The proposals should also be acceptable to the international community, with the potential to be implemented in the near future.

For Rockström, the implementation issue was particularly challenging. “We felt that it was necessary to avoid blue-sky type utopian ideas. You could think about many ideas that are intellectually appealing – for instance, let’s abolish nation states – but we had to be pragmatic and have something that can stand a chance of implementation in the real world.”

The 14 shortlisted entries represented cutting-edge thinking on global governance and were proposed by some visionary and innovative thinkers with backgrounds in social science, ethics and law.

Many of the entries built on work already done by the UN or other global institutions such as the World Bank. Some looked at ways to tackle the most important issues for local communities and involve them in the process. Others explored better means by which citizens can participate more fully in democracy; and others sought new ways to tackle poverty.

The projects often incorporated emerging technologies, such as blockchain and AI that could enable communities to have direct and secure access to decentralised forms of governance.

These projects were presented at the New Shape Forum, which took place in Stockholm, Sweden, from 27-29 May. Some of the world’s most significant thinkers in the sphere of global governance took part in this forum, with Michael Møller, director-general of the UN office in Geneva, giving a keynote speech.

The general public was invited on the first day to voice ideas on how global cooperation could be improved, and how threats to humanity could be tackled more effectively. That same day, finalists presented their proposals for feedback and input from the public. These proposals were presented to the final jury, consisting of representatives from all over the world, with the shortlisted candidates honoured in an awards ceremony.

The forum is, however, just the start of the process to find a New Shape for global governance. The Global Challenges Foundation will convene working groups to refine some of the New Shape ideas; and its Educator’s Challenge is asking teachers and lecturers – of all disciplines – to create knowledge about global governance and positive ways in which it can be reformed.

“We all want a safe tomorrow,” says Ism. “We cannot ensure this unless we tackle the root cause of our global challenges: the limits of current frameworks for global cooperation.”

On Tuesday 29 May 2018, the New Shape Prize awarded a total of $1.8m in prize money to three entries: Global governance and the emergence of global institutions for the 21st century, by Augusto Lopez-Claros, Arthur Lyon Dahl and Maja PCE Groff; A truly global partnership – helping the UN do itself out of a job, by Natalie Samarasinghe, and AI-supported global governance through bottom-up deliberation, by Soushiant Zanganehpour. The Global Challenges Foundation remains committed to supporting the reworking and refinement of the best ideas toward more holistic models that emerge from this process.

The regional panel of judges (pictured main) were: (L-R) Fredrik Karlsson, head of projects, GCF; Maina Kiai, chair eastern/southern Africa; Folke Tersman, board member, GCF; Emil Andersson, project coordinator, GCF; Darynell Rodríguez Torres, chairperson Latin America; Penda Mbow, chair western Africa; Jens Orback, chair western Europe; Azita Raji, chair North America; Ulad Vialichka, chair eastern Europe; Lan Xue, chair east Asia; Magnus Jiborn, consultant, GCF; Hajer Sharief, chair North Africa/Middle East.

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Sr Full-Stack Developer

Job Description

Swae is an inclusive decision-making platform combining anonymity, AI and collective intelligence to help users collectively build powerful bottom-up solutions to influence the decision-decision-making outcomes, while helping organizations unleash the creativity of their stakeholders, discover unrevealed truth, data and well crafted bottom-up solutions, so they can make more intelligent decisions around products, services, policies, and strategy. Our 1.0 product has been a responsive web app supporting bottom-up ideation, inclusive innovation and bottom-up decision making inside some very large organizations. We have successfully integrated this 1.0 version into various types and sizes of organizations – from small and large multinational companies to local and national associations and organizations – in order to demonstrate operational and commercial viability.

Based on the learnings and insights garnered, we understand the limitations of this 1.0 and are now ready to build Swae 2.0. We’re looking for a high-caliber senior full-stack developer to help us with this.

This individual has strong expertise in Node.js, React, DevOps, and AWS.

This person will make sure new concepts are implemented correctly, are scalable, and are generating the right product results.

Initially, this is a 2-month contract position with a strong possibility of extension and conversion into a full-time role (including equity options) with the founding team.

Broad Responsibilities: 
• Web development, product and feature development and AI integration into web app 
• Sprint Planning 
• Rapid prototyping of abstract concepts 
• Writing high-quality, maintainable, scalable and reusable code and libraries for future use 
• Writing and maintaining documentation to describe program development, logic, coding, testing, changes, and corrections 
• Contributing to the design of new features and enhancement 
• Producing a clean, responsive, graphically-rich, functional and easy to use web UI without a dedicated designer 
• Writing and maintaining documentation to describe program development, logic, coding, testing, changes, and corrections

Qualifications & Requirements 
• min 5+ years full-stack experience, with experience architecting front-end logic and designing and building scalable applications from end-to-end 
• Portfolio of front-end work (Demonstrated experience in building simple-yet-powerful user interfaces) 
• Comfort with the entire web development process (design, development, deployment) 
• Strong proficiency in Node.js, React, NoSQL databases 
• Expert knowledge of Python, Django, AngularJS, HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript 
• Enjoy writing unit tests 
• Experience with test driven and agile development methodologies 
• Expertise with AWS 
• Familiarity with several related libraries, frameworks and tools (e.g. Bower, Grunt, Git/GitHub, JSON APIs) 
• Demonstrated ability to write manageable, modular, and secure code along with automated unit tests 
• Excellent collaboration and communication skills 
• Ensuring product quality, maintainability, performance, scalability and extensibility

Extra Points 
• Experience working on data science, or any kind of AI/NLU/NLP projects (e.g. working experience in Python software development, Python Packages and Libraries) 
• Understanding of modern methods in NLP tasks and latest libraries, e.g. language recognition, stemming & morphological segmentation/parsing, text categorization, clustering, summarization etc. 
• Passion for inclusive decision-making, decentralization, institutional, political or organizational innovation and/or governance 
• Experience working in a startup environment

Key Traits 
• Energized by complex problems, working with new technologies and unconventional thinkers 
• Trustworthy, empathetic, and mature – ability to form meaningful working relationships 
• Strong sense of ownership. No excuses attitude to getting things done (founder mentality) 
• Hacker mentality; Comfortable with experimental approaches to product and feature development; enjoys prototyping, demonstrated through examples and portfolio 
• Hunger for knowledge. We encounter the unknown on a daily basis 🙂 
• Has track-record for picking up new technologies 
• Excellent communication skills 
• Have deep empathy for others 

Application

To apply for this position please send us your CV and cover letter.

Skills

• Node.js 
• React/Redux 
• Javascript 
• Amazon Web Services (AWS) 
• NoSQL databases 
• DevOps 
• CI/CD 
• Full-stack Development

 

Compensation

  • Compensation is contingent based on the successful candidate’s experience.
  • We are targeting $6-8K CAN per month depending level of candidate’s experience
  • Initially, this is a 2-month contract position with a strong possibility of extension and conversion into a full-time role (including equity options) with the founding team.

More about Swae What We’re Building

The platform re-engineer’s decision making to make it more inclusive and circumvent the traditional limitations hierarchies (inherent biases, internal politics, etc.), to provide a more direct, transparent, and efficient pathway for ideas to go from the bottom to access institutional support.

Swae anonymizes users, walks them through a methodical discovery process to articulate their idea, improves the quality of their initial idea with NLU/NLP functions, and allows the crowd to weigh in on ideas expressed anonymously, leveraging collective wisdom for efficient and meritocratic due diligence. The ideas that receive the most engagement automatically escalate up to a decision making round or feasibility round.

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AI / NLP Developer

Job Description

Swae is an inclusive decision-making platform combining anonymity, AI and collective intelligence to help users collectively build powerful bottom-up solutions to influence the decision-decision-making outcomes, while helping organizations unleash the creativity of their stakeholders, discover unrevealed truth, data and well crafted bottom-up solutions, so they can make more intelligent decisions around products, services, policies, and strategy. Our first product, slated to ship in Q1 2019, is a responsive web app supporting bottom-up ideation, inclusive innovation and bottom-up decision making inside some very large organizations.

We’re initially looking for a high-caliber part-time senior candidate to join our team and act as an AI / NLP Researcher & Developer. Together with the CEO and technical lead, this self directed learner will be responsible for helping build a solid NLP pipeline, identifying and integrating relevant NLP/NLU algorithms into our product, building new models, and scoping out the development of new algorithms from the ground up.

This individual will share the responsibility with the founder for developing and advancing the research behind Swale and other NLP / NLU and machine learning-based components of Swae.

This individual considers themselves an AI and NLP expert with strong computer science fundamentals and experience building and applying machine learning algorithms and libraries. They have meaningful experiences in Python, including exposure to predictive statistics and machine learning algorithms.

This versatile and can-do individual is comfortable wearing both developer and researcher hats – helping grasp problems, experimenting, building prototypes and implementing the results in C# or Python code (at least at the proof-of-concept level).

This person will make sure new concepts are implemented correctly, are scalable, and are generating the right results/accuracy thresholds.
Initially, for the first ~6 months, this individual will help us improve our beta commercial product by identifying and integrating relevant NLP/NLU algorithms into our product, building new models, and scoping out the development of new algorithms from the ground up. During this phase, this role will be “hands on keys” as well as researching, writing deploying code and building prototypes of our concepts. After this phase, we expect this position to become a full-time role and potentially have managerial implications. Having an ability to hire and bring great technical people together on a team may be an important function of this role.

Broad Responsibilities

• Researching machine learning methods to solve challenging problems like language augmentation, document summarization, concept matching, etc.
• Developing, training and running machine-learning model
• Rapid prototyping of abstract concept
• Writing and maintaining documentation to describe program development, logic, coding, testing, changes, and corrections
• Helping to create reusable code and libraries for future use

Requirements
• 3+ years of professional experience in machine learning and natural language processing; 2+ years of working experience in Python software development, Python Packages and Libraries
• Understanding of modern methods in NLP tasks and latest libraries, e.g. language recognition, stemming & morphological segmentation/parsing, text categorization, clustering, summarization etc.
• Demonstrated ability to translating research into prototypes and testable models (through transfer learning methodologies, etc.)
• A knack for doing more with less
• Strong understanding of the entire web development process (design, development, deployment)
• Experience with supervised and unsupervised learning
• Experience in developing projects on AWS and Google Cloud
• A portfolio of AI / NLP / NLU projects to demonstrate

Qualifications
• Bch/MSs in NLP, ML, TM or Computational Linguistics.
• Excellent fundamentals in computer science, algorithms, and software design
• Ability to learn new technologies or concepts quickly and independently

Extra Points
• An M.Sc. or Ph.D. in Computer Science or Computer Engineering
• Passion for inclusive decision-making, decentralization, institutional, political or organizational innovation and/or governance
• Experience working in a startup environment

Key Traits
• Energized by complex problems, working with new technologies and unconventional thinkers
• Trustworthy, empathetic, and mature – ability to form meaningful working relationships
• Strong sense of ownership. No excuses attitude to getting things done (founder mentality)
• Hacker mentality; Comfortable with experimental approaches to product and feature development; enjoys prototyping, demonstrated through examples and portfolio
• Hunger for knowledge. We encounter the unknown on a daily basis 🙂
• Has track record for picking up new technologies
• Excellent communication skills

Application

    To Apply for this position please send us your CV and cover letter.

    Skills

    • Rapid Prototyping
    • Research and Development,
    • Natural Language Processing,
    • Natural Language Understanding,
    • API,
    • Supervised and Unsupervised Learning,
    • AWS,
    • Machine Learning Data Science Python R,
    • Deep Learning with TensorFlow,
    • Machine Learning Algorithms,
    • Deep Learning,
    • Artificial Neural Networks

    Compensation

    • $30k – $50k
    • No equity

    More about Swae What We’re Building

    The platform re-engineer’s decision making to make it more inclusive and circumvent the traditional limitations hierarchies (inherent biases, internal politics, etc.), to provide a more direct, transparent, and efficient pathway for ideas to go from the bottom to access institutional support.

    Swae anonymizes users, walks them through a methodical discovery process to articulate their idea, improves the quality of their initial idea with NLU/NLP functions, and allows the crowd to weigh in on ideas expressed anonymously, leveraging collective wisdom for efficient and meritocratic due diligence. The ideas that receive the most engagement automatically escalate up to a decision making round or feasibility round.

    Never miss a post

    Subscribe to keep your finger on the tech pulse.

    We think you’ll love the Swae newsletter. Or unsubscribe in 1 click.

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