United Nations gathers actionable solutions for the world’s largest threats using Swae-powered global digital consultation

United Nations gathers actionable solutions for the world’s largest threats using Swae-powered global digital consultation

This world-changing digital consultation gathered 523 proposals from over 1,750 thought-leaders from more than 140 countries, and the best solutions were presented to the UN General Assembly.



In April 2021, we announced (see more here) a strategic partnership with the Brazil-based Igarapé Institute and the United Nations Secretary-General where Swae was deployed to canvass the voices of thought leaders in civil society, including leading private sector companies, philanthropic organizations, metropolitan authorities, parliamentarians, labor organizations, humanitarian and development agencies, and think tanks around the world, to source bold and actionable solutions to some of the world’s most monumental threats.

“The crisis of multilateralism arises because the global debate is decoupled with the real needs and immediate issues that affect We The Peoples”

Think tank, Argentina


A key priority of our partnership and the consultation exercise was to identify action-oriented recommendations to help the international community confront and adapt to new and emerging challenges, as well as bold actionable strategies to bolster the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Agreement.

We need a process to define the public and common goods that involves ordinary people from all around the world.

Private sector, Germany


Between April and May 2021, the public consultation powered by Swae generated 523 proposals from 1,759 thought leaders from 147 countries.

Marking the United Nations 75th anniversary, the UN Member States called on the Secretary-General to organize a digital public consultation to collect ideas and recommendations from civil society to advance our common agenda. The UN Secretary-General used this process to gather actionable ideas across 12 areas crucial to protecting and enshrining humanity’s collective future.

The UN needs to systematically take into account the opinion of small people and various ethnic groups so they have the opportunity to participate in decision-making. 

Parliamentarians, Uzbekistan

The consultation process began with outreach to the global public and a wide range of influential stakeholders across different sectors to gather views on the world’s most pressing challenges and priorities for building a better future. These groups included companies, philanthropic groups, non-governmental organizations, universities, unions, minority, disability rights activists, and others.

The proposals received were potential solutions to some of world’s most monumental threats that range from deepening inequality, nuclear conflict, climate change, and more. Many touched on improving existing multilateral cooperation to build a safer, fairer and more sustainable world.

The UN needs to adopt a more far-reaching strategy that brings civil society together and links its diverse voices to policy-making channels

Non Governmental Orgaization, South Africa

Results – What Swae Delivered

The We the Peoples consultation exceeded expectations in terms of the diversity of engagement and geographic reach of participants activating 30 civil society partners across the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Input was received from leading NGOs, impact investors, philanthropists, parliamentarians, city leaders, academic institutions and under-represented groups such as minorities, migrants and conflict-affected communities, on solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing the world and how we might adapt the UN and other multilateral organizations to problem-solve better.

To increase trust between people and government, decision making needs to be more open, inclusive and accountable

Non Governmental Orgaization, India

The proposals collected helped elaborate new ways to rapidly accelerate delivery of the commitments made by governments in the UN75 Declaration adopted by the General Assembly in 2020. 

The digital consultation received a very strong and healthy gender parity and participation rates amongst users, recording a 48% Female vs 50% Male participation rate.  

The highest sub-group of under-represented minorities participating on the platform and consultation were “Women and Girls.” 

What participants and Swae users had to say about our platform…

Impact – What the Consultation Resulted in

The cumulative results from the digital consultation and other tracks of consultations were aggregated into a final report – Accelerating Inclusive Global Cooperation (Summary of the We The Peoples Digital Consultation) – which was released by the UN on September 10th, 2021.

The Igarapé Institute, in consultation with a group of experts, helped narrow down a subset of top proposals for deeper consideration by the UN Secretary-General and presentation to the UN General Assembly.

Factors such as the specificity, possible impact, actionability, innovation, and transformative potential, as well as the level of engagement elicited from other participants, were some of the criteria used to shortlist submissions for deeper diligence and consideration.

Global challenges demand global solutions, and our team at Swae were very proud that our startup was able to rise to the occasion and support an international institution as important as the United Nations to carry out such an important and timely initiative.

We urgently need to improve the quality of exchange between the general public and decision-makers, and Swae helped make this a reality. The consultation helped prove that the speed, diversity and user experience of consultation processes can fundamentally improve, even for critical institutions such as the United Nations.

Beyond transparency and inclusion, I’m most proud that the results stemming from the consultation had a meaningful influence on the UN Secretary-General’s strategy and recommendations to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges. Much of his strategy references findings and recommendations from the digital consultation, and while this may have been possible without us, it would have been infinitely more challenging to execute without a platform like Swae

Swae’s Founder and CEO
Soushiant Zanganehpour



said Swae helped them convey ideas or changes they wanted to see take place at international organizations better than other collaboration channels and tools currently available to them.


said Swae helped them surface and discuss ideas that would not have otherwise surfaced using other collaboration channels that are currently available within other international organizations or through affiliates


said Swae made it easy for them to share their concerns as a global citizen into the future of global cooperation. 

…and increased their engagement, motivation and buy-in to the consultation process by sharing ideas through the platform.

See more stats in the full case study →

Swae is a game changer for global consultations and international decision making. By rapidly surfacing and strengthening crowdsourced ideas, the platform provides governments, companies and NGOs crucial information to take action

Ilona Sbazo
CoFounder & President

Key delivery partner for United Nations Digital Consultation

Swae is a critical step to take these kinds of debates to the next level. Swae provides an unprecedented opportunity to shape a new narrative for multilateral action.

Robert Muggah

Key delivery partner for United Nations Digital Consultation

Some of the Notable Digital Consultation Participants/Swae Users

The top proposals by votes seek to make the UN more inclusive, through a world citizens’ initiative, UN parliamentary assembly, and UN civil society champion.

A few of the notable people who engaged with the proposal; 

Stephen Pinker
Steven Pinker is a Canadian-American cognitive psychologist, psycholinguist, popular science author and public intellectual. He is an advocate of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind.
Homi Kharas

Homi Kharas, Senior Fellow at Brookings, suggested a strategic foresight centre within the UN to support the Secretariat as well as Member States.

Severin Sindizera

Human rights defender Severin Sindizera calls for financial and capacity-building support for indigenous peoples’ organisations.

Enyseh Teimory

Enyseh Teimory of Together First highlights three proposals backed by hundreds of organisations, including Avaaz, Greenpeace and the Open Society Foundations to create a civil society champion, a UN citizens’ initiative and a parliamentary assembly.

Andreas Bummel

Andreas Bummel of Democracy Without Borders highlights three proposals backed by hundreds of organisations, including Avaaz, Greenpeace and the Open Society Foundations to create a civil society champion, a UN citizens’ initiative and a parliamentary assembly.

Ingrid Vasiliu-Feltes

Ingrid Vasiliu-Feltes is calling for digital identity technologies to be harnessed for delivery of essential services.

Thomas G. Weiss.

Our top commentator is renowned global governance expert Thomas G. Weiss.

International Trade Union Confederation

The International Trade Union Confederation has added proposals on a new social contract, a global fund for social protection and a just transition to climate-friendly jobs.

Global Challenges Foundation

The Global Challenges Foundation has added proposals emerging from its worldwide search for global governance ideas.

Alyn Ware

Alyn Ware has proposed a Declaration on the Rights of Future Generations.

Nena Georgantzi

Nena Georgantzi is calling for a UN Convention on the Rights of Older Persons.

Top proposals by votes all seek to make the UN more inclusive, through: a world citizens’ initiative, UN parliamentary assembly and UN civil society champion.

For more of the details, please read the full case study. Please click the link below and let us know your comments and feedback.

If you want to get started with Swae, learn more here

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To mark UN75, the UN’s 193 Member States adopted a Declaration setting out a vision for achieving the future we want and the UN we need. In it, they note they have listened to the concerns and aspirations of the people, through the UN75 global conversation, and pledge: “We are here to respond.”

They also tasked the UN Secretary-General to report back by September 2021 with recommendations “to advance our common agenda and to respond to current and future challenges”. 


The Secretary-General launched Our Common Agenda, a process of consultation and reflection to generate ideas to inform his September 2021 report. This process is being led by the Secretary-General’s office with support from a network of global partners, including the United Nations Foundation, Igarapé Institute, Accord, Southern Voice, and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of the National University of Singapore.

The “We the Peoples” digital consultation is one part of this effort. Building on the UN75 global conversation, the consultation invites stakeholders from different sectors to develop practical recommendations to: accelerate delivery of the commitments made in the UN75 Declaration, together with the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Agreement; and to respond to new and emerging challenges.

Source: https://un75.online/take-action/

Swae Case Study: How LifeLabs Used Swae to Solve a Costly Industry-Wide Talent Retention and Attraction Challenge in Less Than 30 Days

Swae Case Study: How LifeLabs Used Swae to Solve a Costly Industry-Wide Talent Retention and Attraction Challenge in Less Than 30 Days

How LifeLabs responded to COVID-19, which compounded healthcare recruitment and retention challenges. 

In November 2020, Swae announced our partnership and pilot with LifeLabs to help crowdsource COVID-19 business and operation solutions directly from employees.

While remaining in full operation during COVID-19, LifeLabs had to continuously adapt to the ever-changing landscape with the health and safety of their customers and employees at top of mind. The team reacted swiftly by streamlining operational procedures, modifying their business model and services, and updating policies to remain agile and consistent. 

With great and persistent change comes the challenge of keeping everyone aligned. To support employees, the LifeLabs leadership team wanted to ensure they were hearing internal feedback quickly, addressing complex challenges collaboratively, and keeping an ear open for insightful ideas for improving the organization, all at the same pace of the changes required.

Swae was engaged to help them achieve these goals with a pilot program, formally launched in January 2021. The program was intended to help the LifeLabs team focus on the ‘Future of Work’ and understand how they could adapt processes at their labs and collection centers in a post-pandemic world.

The Swae pilot was initially sponsored by the company’s Lab Operations division. When it began, 28 leaders were invited to join a session to brainstorm, suggest, and collaboratively prioritize the most pressing problems and areas of concern while identifying potential solutions.


The top priority that surfaced through their efforts with Swae was the issue of attracting and retaining highly skilled Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists. This industry-wide challenge came from increased competition for these roles stemming from the global pandemic and existing long-term trends of increased scarcity for these roles that had been impacting the industry.

The concern of attracting and retaining trained Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists is not unique to LifeLabs. This is a challenge affecting the entire healthcare industry. 

According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, the medical industry has an aging workforce that is retiring earlier than expected. Referencing a Statistics Canada study, they found that as baby boomers move towards retirement, the supply of medical staff has not kept pace with the retirement rate.

The study found that the average retirement age for Canadians employed in health and social services between 1976 and 1980 was almost 65 years, but 10 to 15 years later the average dropped to approximately 62 years. This 3-year reduction and deficit significantly impacts the availability of Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists and other specialized medical staff to fill critical roles. 

A recent study on the Fastest Growing Industries and Professions in Healthcare by the Skilled Immigrant Infocentre also identified that Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists are among  the highest in-demand professions across the country. In British Columbia alone, they estimate 1,520 new job openings by 2025. While there is significant demand for these professionals, the supply of Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists has not kept pace. 

When Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists first join LifeLabs, they receive an investment in training and development within the first eight weeks of their employment. For LifeLabs to consistently compete and continuously improve as an organization, it was imperative that they continue to retain their in-demand and highly-trained employees.

Given the uncertainties in the market, this challenge proved very difficult to solve with simple solutions. 


When in doubt, innovate! This became LifeLabs’ motto as they addressed each organizational challenge head on. 

By using Swae’s platform, the discovery and brainstorming process uncovered several brilliant ideas from participants to effectively address the various problems they faced.

The group’s biggest area of focus was around talent retention and attraction. The idea that gained the most engagement and traction included offering a retention bonus and student loan subsidy or reimbursement to help newly-trained Technician students pay back a portion of their student loans if they remain employed at LifeLabs for a period of up to two years.

This idea can be a major incentive at any point of a person’s career, but is a definite advantage during times of great uncertainty. In addition, they thought this idea could help LifeLabs improve the incentives for retaining talent while also attracting new applicants.

Over the 30-day pilot, this specific idea gained over 50% engagement from the entire cohort, had an average vote of 82% from 14 managers, and allowed colleagues to collectively raise potential risks and easily discuss all facets of this potential solution in a constructive manner. 

This idea graduated into an official management review by the Vice President of Operations and Human Resources leaders. Together, leadership from across the organization conducted a light feasibility study to stress-test the idea and they now have plans to turn it into official company-wide policy. 


Once implemented, the idea could help retain up to 10 Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists per year, helping solve a particularly challenging industry-wide retention issue. This in turn could help LifeLabs repurpose scarce resources and re-investment in other areas to continue growing their business.

This potential solution could be a major win for the organization and will be closely monitored throughout the implementation of the policy to fully understand the overall impact more accurately and attribute any positive outcomes back to the Swae pilot. 

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Swae Partners With IdentityNORTH to Co-Create Their Virtual Summit

Swae Partners With IdentityNORTH to Co-Create Their Virtual Summit

How Swae is helping IdentityNORTH adapt their conference experience to a virtual summit due to the Covid-19 crisis


Over the past month, we’ve had the good fortune of meeting Krista Pawley and the incredible team from Imperative Impact, which is a high-touch advisory firm specializing in helping organizations design great cultures and stronger brands.

Imperative Impact designs and produces IdentityNORTH — a series of events and a community of innovators at the epicenter of digital identity and the digital economy of Canada. Leaders, companies, and big thinkers come together to in IdentityNORTH conferences to share and learn about the innovations that are shaping Canada’s digital future.

Their events touch on topics such as:

  • Digital ID & Authentication
  • Identity & Access Management (IAM) and Consumer Identity (CIAM)
  • The Digital Economy
  • Digital Transformation
  • Blockchain Tech
  • The “Internet of Things”
  • Emerging Standards and Technology
  • And many others…

    How Swae is helping IdentityNORTH adapt their conference experience to a virtual one due to the COVID-19 crisis

    This year, due to the risks and restrictions placed around large gatherings due to the COVID-19 crisis, IdentityNORTH has changed the flagship in-person summit into an entirely virtual experience.

    To ensure an equally positive and high-value experience for their participants online, IdentityNORTH partnered with Swae to bring the conference participants a pre-conference ideation and collaboration tool to help empower their virtual summit.


    How Swae will be utilized for the virtual summit



    In the weeks leading up to the conference as attendees register, they are invited to participate in co-creating the agenda for a portion of the conference, allowing the agenda to accurately reflect the attendee’s interests and learning goals.

    Using the Swae platform, attendees submit proposals for the “UnConference” portion of the event, sharing their big ideas for collaboration on the platform with other attendees. Together they will be able to select and join in on the conversation to vote for the ideas that interest them the most. The agenda ideas that gain the most crowdsourced comments, critical feedback, and votes by attendees are reviewed by the IdentityNORTH executive team and finalized based on a transparent set of criteria and metrics.

    The successful ideas and topics that are chosen and approved on the platform are turned into breakout sessions, essentially allowing the audience to dictate the content for the second day of the conference.

    The Swae platform allows conference organizers like IdentityNORTH to effortlessly gather ideas from the community to co-create the content while allowing attendees to have the ability to directly impact and shape the agenda. Rather than the typical one-directional survey, participants will be utilizing Swae to co-create ideas while allowing communities and groups to crowdsource ideas and make inclusive decisions seamless.

    The conference will take place from June 17–18, 2020, and all of us here at Swae are very excited about this partnership and the potential of supporting other conference organizers like IdentityNORTH. This is a huge opportunity to offer more inclusive experiences for attendees and conference organizers alike.



    Here’s how this all comes together: 

    If you desire to co-create your conference in the same way, click below and let us know more about you to set up a conversation with the Swae team!



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