Zero Project logo for digital use
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You can download the Zero Project logo in two different versions for use in digital and print media via the links below. Should you require the logos in a different format, contact the Zero Project Team at email@example.com.
Suggested alternative text for the Zero Project logo:
Zero Project logo: "Zero Project" written in green font above the claim "For a world with zero barriers", and next to an illustration of a green seedling breaking through a circle.
What we do:
Our mission is working for a world with zero barriers. Worldwide, the Zero Project finds and shares solutions that improve the daily lives and legal rights of all persons with disabilities.
The Zero Project's mission is working for a world with zero barriers. Worldwide, the Zero Project finds and shares solutions that improve the daily lives and legal rights of all persons with disabilities.
The Zero Project's approach is research-driven and aims to identify, curate, and share inclusive solutions, as intended and encouraged by Article 32 of the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). In order to achieve this objective, the Zero Project engages with a worldwide cross-sectoral network of innovators, decision-makers, and opinion leaders.
Each year, the Zero Project selects, communicates, and shares innovative solutions that support the rights and lives of persons with disabilities. The research is centred around the following four topics in a 4-year cycle: Independent Living and Political Participation, Education, Employment, Accessibility. Since 2020, in addition to these four topics, ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) is covered every year.
The Zero Project was initiated by the Essl Foundation in 2008, with its mission centred on the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and its commitment to a world with zero barriers. The Essl Foundation MGE gemeinnützige Privatstiftung is an Austrian Foundation established in 2007 by Martin and Gerda Essl, and their children, for social purposes and scientific research. Its mission is to support social innovation, social entrepreneurship and persons with disabilities.
In 2008, the Essl Foundation started the Zero Project.
The vision of Zero Project is: “A world without barriers.”
Zero Project wants to improve the rights of people with disabilities all over the world.
The basis for this is the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which is a Convention of the United Nations.
People with disabilities are often disadvantaged.
However, there are always new and useful solutions to eliminate such disadvantages.
These solutions are the focus of the Zero Project.
Zero Project searches for, selects, and shares the best solutions and ideas.
Zero Project Awardees
In 2022, 76 solutions from 35 countries have been selected as Zero Project Awardees (out of 381 nominations). This year's theme is Accessibility.
Zero Project Network
The Zero Project Network brings together experts from more than 100 countries worldwide and all sectors of society.
Zero Project Database
The Zero Project Database comprises curated and peer-reviewed solutions from more than 100 countries.
Zero Project Database
The Zero Project Database also encourages users to connect with innovators.
The total number of nominations from 2013 – 2021, as part of the annual research and selection process.
Zero Project Conference
The Zero Project Conference 2020 welcomed a live-audience of 800 people from over 80 countries.
Martin Essl is the Founder of the Essl Foundation, which through the Zero Project is committed to a world with zero barriers.
As an entrepreneur – and coming from an entrepreneurial family in Austria – Martin Essl is well-known for his dedication to social responsibility and modern arts. After selling the bauMax conglomerate in 2015, Martin Essl now concentrates on philanthropy and real estate investing.
Martin and Gerda Essl, together with their children, established the Essl Foundation in 2007. The Essl Foundation supports social innovation and social entrepreneurs, with a focus on persons with disabilities and employment.
Currently the Zero Project is the Essl Foundation's main focus. It is also a member of "Sinnstifter", a joint initiative by twelve Austrian Foundations that co-finance social innovations. Moreover, the Essl Foundation is a member of the Disability Thematic Network Group within the European Foundation Centre (EFC).
Furthermore, Martin Essl supports Ashoka Austria and has co-initiated the "Haus der Philanthropie", which translates to House of Philanthropy. It is a co-working space for charitable foundations in Vienna.
Click on the link to download a photo of Martin Essl:
Michael Fembek is the Director of the Zero Project.
With a background in managing foundations, he outlines the strategic goals of the foundation, which is committed to a world without barriers for all. Being committed to disability inclusion, Michael became the Chair of the Thematic Group on Disabilities within the European Foundation Centre (EFC) in 2015.
As the former Editor-in-Chief of "Gewinn", an Austrian business magazine, Michael has been keen to pair his entrepreneurial ambitions with value and purpose. Consequently, in 2009 he initiated "Sinnstifter", a project by Austrian philanthropists, and launched the annual Austrian Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Guide. His work with foundations was further enriched when in 2014, he co-initiated the Austrian philanthropic association, called "Verband für Gemeinnütziges Stiften", where he serves as Vice President. In 2016, he co-initiated the Haus der Philanthropie, a novel co-working space dedicated to NGOs, as well as the Sinnbildungsstiftung, a foundation focusing on innovations in education, on which he currently serves as a Board Member.
Michael Fembek holds a graduate degree in Economics from the Vienna University of Economics and Business.
Click on the link to download a photo of Michael Fembek: