For the past 20 years, Palladium has committed 1.5% of its profit before tax to the company’s global giving platform. Through this platform and in partnership with the Kyeema Foundation, Palladium funds humanitarian relief efforts, supports community projects nominated by employees, and runs an annual Challenge Fund to tackle a major global problem.
The future demands new thinking, new approaches, and new solutions, and every year, Palladium brings in ideas from across its global network to source innovative responses to global challenges through the Palladium Challenge Fund. Typically, the Challenge Fund has focused on one key theme or problem, but 2022 called for proposals under two themes: ‘Measuring the Value of Nature’ and ‘Jobs for Refugees’.
“It’s critical that we address the timely needs of refugees, while at the same time, stay focused on the ever-present climate crisis,” explains Palladium Managing Partner Sinéad Magill. Last year, Palladium offered awards of up to AU$75,000 for organisations with innovative approaches to valuing nature or getting refugees into jobs.
“The Challenge Fund gives us an opportunity to look at and support an innovation that our teams are excited about, something cutting edge in areas where we want to get involved in what other organisations are thinking or doing. It’s uncovered some really interesting and important projects,” Magill adds.
Six winners were chosen by the 2022 Challenge Fund selection committees, which were made up of Palladium staff members from different regions with speciality knowledge and experience.
Measuring the Value of Nature
The three winners of the ‘Measuring the Value of Nature’ theme will be developing tools and programs that measure and manage nature-based solutions and initiatives.
FarmTree will pilot and test their FarmTree Tool in Ethiopia’s coffee system, which will help integrate carbon and biodiversity credits and certification and improve agroforestry planning and management for up to 12,000 coffee farming households.
Space4Good will develop their 'Carbometrica' Measurement, Reporting & Verification tool for remote-sensing biomass and carbon assessment of agroforestry and afforestation projects. Palladium funding will help support the development of a new AI and machine learning algorithm for the South East Asian eco-region.
Treeconomy plan to develop an AI machine learning tool for tree detection and measurement for mixed UK woodlands. Funding will go towards labour costs, remote sensing data, and ground-truth data capture. This will ultimately help reduce costs, increase speed and accuracy for forest surveys and carbon calculations, and reduce barriers of entry for rural landowners and farmers.
Jobs for Refugees
The three winners of the ‘Jobs for Refugees’ theme will be creating more inclusive employment solutions for refugees and internally displaced people.
Incluyeme.com plan to partner with the National Technological University of Argentina, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and 600 employers to train and place Latin American refugees in well-paying jobs. The project will help build local capacity and relationships across the university, private sector, and refugee-serving groups to train and place marginalised populations in growing digital sectors.
CONCAT Tech will focus on training and placing female Palestinian refugees in the tech industry, to showcase a scalable social enterprise model that can reduce barriers to women's representation in the sector. It has strong replication potential in the growing digital industry, which has two million open development roles.
Lira-Magoya Investments in Uganda will provide training, employment, and sales opportunities in cassava farming and processing for refugees from South Sudan. Palladium funding will help provide training in cassava production and processing, distribute seeds (often drought resilient) to out growers, and expand cassava processing capacity. The project will also improve nutritional outcomes as farm families consume the cassava they grow and increase farm incomes by selling a portion of production.
Projects and organisations such as these and others supported by the Palladium Challenge Fund play a critical role in solving some of our most pressing challenges and ensuring that local needs are met with sustainable solutions. Watch this space for more updates and stay tuned for the announcement of the 2023 Palladium Challenge Fund themes.
For more information on the Palladium Challenge Fund, visit Let’s Make it Possible or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.