Question 3

Where can the UN seek support and partnership as it tackles the big 21st century challenges. Who are the key allies beyond the world of traditional diplomacy? How can it build the right coalitions to deliver its objectives? What can it learn from others about innovation, creativity and disruption?

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  • Sara Abdulla AlMheiri

    United Networks will require the use of diverse technology solutions to handle the 21st-century challenges. However, such a move will require partners who are experienced in the field of technology or those who understand its positive impact on their areas of operation. The partners may include leading technology firms, governments, and businesses that can foster education growth for the public. Also, partners will offer the tools that innovators in the various parts of the world will use to ensure creative ideas.
    United Networks needs to seek partnerships with entities that have shown serious interest towards making technology the mainstream tool for solving the daily problems of the people. The demonstrated success of partnership in various regions will be a point of reference to other parts of the world that may hesitate to adopt the technology. Many places may not embrace technology fully in their activities since the initial phase of implementation is associated with massive job losses. Therefore, the partners’ projects will assure the availability of jobs once the technology starts operating.
    The primary allies the United Networks will need are the issue-based alliances and a strategic convener for specific projects. Apparently, the traditional diplomatic partners derail progress since they cannot make decisions until everyone else agrees. In most cases, the issues that are passed for implementation go through many stages of dilution until they lack the initial functional properties for which they were intended. Alliances based on certain technological issues will ensure that ideas are passed through levels of deliberations with value addition at each stage. The strategic conveners will thus have the mandate of pooling resources and people so that the ideas are implemented.
    The United Networks can build right coalitions by having a strategic convener to represent them. The coalition members are to trust the strategic convener while the United Networks is behind the scenes in order to avoid conflicts. In most cases, having the presence of media in the various projects that the United Networks is trying to implement will send the wrong impression that it is interested in asserting its institutional power rather than helping the people. A neutral figure is vital to send the right message to the people. Therefore, by giving a full mandate to the strategic convener and the coalitions, the UN will register a high impact regarding the success of its projects.
    However, effects of technological change can result in political discontentment since the costs are greater than the benefits at the initial stage. Nonetheless, innovation and creativity give the people new and better jobs. There are various parts of the world that reveal the benefits of technology. For instance, Mombasa and Mumbai use Internet to connect light bulbs: an automation that saves time in fixing power breakdowns. Another example is the Brooklyn residents who use block-chain technology to trade solar energy. Chiefly, these examples indicate that technology is the best tool for enhancing peace and dignity.
    In conclusion, United Networks should seek partnership and support from entities that are interested and value the use of technology in order to effectively tackle the challenges of the 21st century. The best allies would be the issue-based alliances and a strategic convener. The former will enable the pooling of resources and people for implementation of better ideas. The latter will ensure that ideas are passed through levels of deliberations with value addition at each stage.