Large group of people on and in front of a stage smiling for teh camera in front of two Zero Project logos.

©Pepo Schuster, austrofocus.at

Vienna 24th February 2020.

The second global Zero Project call for nominations on the topic of education for people with disabilities resulted in 468 nominations from 106 countries. The most innovative submissions were presented at the 9th Zero Project Conference which took place from 19th to 21st February 2020. More than 800 people from over 80 countries took part at the United Nations in Vienna, Austria, to discuss, exhibit and present models that support inclusive Education.

Over 30 conference sessions discussed inclusive education

Throughout the three days, more than 30 sessions, including presentations of innovations and specialised forums, discussed the many sub-themes of inclusive education. All sessions were recorded and will be shared on the Zero Project YouTube channel in the coming weeks.

Over 80 projects collected their awards

More than 80 Awardees were in Vienna in person to collect their award from Martin Essl at the dedicated award evening and gave their backstage comments to the waiting camera crews.

The videos were online on the Zero Project Facebook page within 24 hours of the ceremony and have been watched more than 60,000 times!

Parliament

Kicking off the Zero Project Conference activities, five winners of the Zero Project Award had the opportunity on Tuesday to present their initiatives at the Austrian Parliament, a joint event organised by the President of the National Council Wolfgang Sobotka, the Essl Foundation and the Sinnbildungsstiftung on the topic of education, inclusion and digitalisation.

Zero Project Impact Transfer

This year for the third time, alongside our partners Fundación Descúbreme and Ashoka, we ran the Zero Project-Impact Transfer programme. Ten projects from nine countries are participating in this 6-month programme, consisting of training, mentoring and networking support to help them prepare to replicate their innovations in other countries and contexts. You can find out more about this year’s participants at http://impact-transfer.org/zero-project/

Youth Participation

For the first time the Zero Project officially introduced youth participation to the conference. Over the course of three days,12 youth advocates joined us on stage at the award ceremony and also played an integral part in our social media activities. In addition to that, the youth advocates discussed best practices and shared concepts, experiences and tools that have worked to increase Inclusive Education.

 Africa Forum, Start-Up Forum, ITU Forum and much more…

Among many other exciting sessions during the 3-day conference was the Africa Forum, which presented several successful inclusive education initiatives working in sub-Saharan Africa and discussed the challenges and opportunities for scaling and replicating these.

At the Start-Up Forum, one of the fast-paced sessions on Thursday, entrepreneurs pitched their technological solutions to a panel of experts from the corporate and impact investment world, who then provided thorough questioning and constructive feedback.

The ITU Forums interactive panel discussion explored the factors needed to build an ecosystem supporting innovative ICT accessibility solutions and the challenges and opportunities facing accessible ICT solutions.

Performances, Movies, Yoga, Light for the World/Bank Austria

Inclusive dance performances, an inclusive sunrise yoga session and a short movie provided diverse entertainment for the conference participants.

On Friday evening, everyone who still had energy left was invited to enjoy the closing event, a presentation of the HerAbilities Awardees, hosted by Light for the World together with the Zero Project and supported by UniCredit Bank Austria.

 

Stay tuned over the next few weeks while we bring you all the best bits from the Conference, with clips, photos and sessions soon to be available online!

 

For further information, please contact:

 

Michael Fembek

Zero Project, Director

Essl Foundation

m.fembek@zeroproject.org