We are Majamba of Switzerland and we believe that celebrating human achievement is a good thing. For example, if you jump higher or run faster, you get a medal. If you excel in Business, you make lots of money and sometimes you even get some recognition. You innovate, you get accolades and your achievement contributes to the rankings of nations in various leagues and tables. But if you “Innovate for Good”, you probably spend most of your time either trying to raise enough funds to get the basics done or explaining your vision to people with a quizzical look on their face.
It takes a special type of person to go beyond random acts of kindness to devote a lifetime on building an organisation that is focused on sustainability and is also financially sustainable. Especially when it’s not easy to raise funds from Banks or Private Equity firms as the return on investment is not so clear to them. What is clear is that different people do not share a common definition of “What’s Good?”
So in 2012, after two years of preparation, we launched a series of tests & experiments, to find out what motivates people to do something good, what they consider to be good and of course, what can be done to scale up good projects.
Market Test one (Paléo 2012)
Market Test two (Paléo 2013)
Fairfundr Test Launch at Swissnex / Swiss Consulate India (2014)
OneMillionSparks Community (crossed 200,000 in 2015)
Twitter Community for testing ideas (2015)
And by early 2015, after studying many successful ventures and over 1,000 interviews, we established that Innovators who are able to create partnerships to get good done are more likely to be successful than those who try to get everything done themselves. And through an iterative process the 8 categories of doing good emerged. These  8 categories were divided into two groups. Basic Needs: Food & Shelter; Health & Good Living; Safe Communities; Education. And Sustainable Living: Environmental Balance; Startup Support; Art, Music & Culture; and Clean Energy. Then armed with this insight that partnerships matter, we reached out to companies, governments and NGOs to create alliances. Next we achieved a series of breakthroughs that started with the Government at the City, State and Federal level in Switzerland to various international organizations in Geneva and New York. These organisations together with over 20 companies provided us with encouragement and supported us to further scope the GoodFestival.
Thanks to the support of United Nations Department of Public Information (UNDPI), we were able to align the 8 categories of the GoodFestival: Food & Shelter; Health & Good Living; Safe Communities; Education; Environmental Balance; Startup Support; Art, Music & Culture; and Clean Energy to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), signed by around 190 countries in September 2015 in New York. This also allowed us to identify the target audience for GoodFestival. GoodFestival is for the sustainable innovators. The Artists, Entrepreneurs, Scientists, Writers, Doctors, Filmmakers and other practitioners, the “doers” who are building a better world. It does not matter whether the business model is for-profit or non-profit; whether the Innovator is established or a start-up; or she/he is an artist or a business person or both. The only thing that matters is that the initiative is contributing to a better world. And the aim of GoodFestival is to connect the Innovators to Fans, Funds & Fame.
So what’s good? Any project, product or service that fits in the following 8 categories:
1. Food & Shelter: Your project, product or service ensures access to food or durable buildings to those in need; particularly the poor and people in vulnerable situations. This could include collecting and distributing good food that is unsellable. Maybe you are leveraging new technology or new business models to provide basic products & services to your local community. The GoodFestival “Food & Shelter” category is aligned to the UN SDGs 1, 2 & 6.
2. Health & Good Living: Your project, product or service is focused on improving the overall health of specific communities. You are focused on preventing infectious diseases, and providing safe affordable drinking water and access to sanitation. Maybe you are supplying modern health care. Your initiative is educating the next generation of health care professionals. You are creating a Sharing Economy community to reduce consumption and preserve resources. The GoodFestival “Health & Good Living” category is aligned to the UN SDGs 3, 6 & 12.
3. Safe Communities: Your project, product or service is reducing all forms of violence. You want to end abuse, exploitation and trafficking. Your project focuses on ensuring that everyone has equal access to opportunity. You are focused on promoting the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, gender, disability, orientation, race, origin, religion, economic or other status. The GoodFestival “Safe Communities” category is aligned to the UN SDGs 5, 10 & 16.
4. Education: Your project, product or service provides education and training to local communities. Your project perhaps trains people on the job to gather new skills. You are working on eradicating gender inequality. Perhaps you are training a new breed of teachers. Maybe your project is focused on ending all forms of discrimination against all women, girls and the LGBT community. The GoodFestival “Education” category is aligned to the UN SDGs 4, 5 & 8.
5. Environmental Balance: Your project, product or service is supporting communities to adapt to climate change by conserving and recycling all water, evaluating new methods of food production, or protecting marine eco-systems. You take a pragmatic approach that focuses on action and positive results. Perhaps you are learning methods from indigenous and tribal communities to enlighten everyone. You are passionate about reforestation, restoring degraded forests, sustainably managing existing forests, and substantially increasing afforestation. You get the need for biodiversity. The GoodFestival “Environmental Balance” category is aligned to the UN SDGs 13, 14 & 15.
6. Startup Support: Your project, product or service is focused on supporting startups and establishing companies to harness new opportunities. You are making it easy to do business at the City, Regional, National or International level. You are addressing youth unemployment and underemployment. As cities shift focus to become more sustainable, the job market shifts. Your initiative is creating and/or filling those jobs to ensure the city’s stable economic future. Perhaps that includes creating new Public-Private partnerships. The GoodFestival “Startup Support” category is aligned to the UN SDGs 8, 11 & 17.
7. Art, Music & Culture: Your project, product or service is promoting Art, Design, Culture, Fashion, Sculpture, Music, Books, Dance, Film or Sports. You are using the power of music, film or any art form to bring people together to get good done. Your project can have a rural or an urban dimension or both. You are finding innovative ways of building an audience and raising funds. You want to build an international audience for your initiative. The GoodFestival “Art, Music & Culture” category is aligned to the UN SDGs 9, 16 & 17.
8. Clean Energy: Your project, product or service is making clean and renewable energy available to the masses. You are looking at more efficient ways of generation, transmission, storage or consumption of energy. Your initiative may include Solar, Wind or other clean generation technologies, smart gird or new storage approaches. You may be working on cleaner more efficient ways for cooking, heating, lighting or transportation. Perhaps you are focused on intelligent consumption. The GoodFestival “Clean Energy” category is aligned to the UN SDGs 7, 9 & 11.