Katharina Cavano l Palladium - Feb 14 2024
Introducing the 2023 Palladium Challenge Fund Winners

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.

Every year, Palladium brings in ideas from across its global network to source innovative responses to global challenges through the Palladium Challenge Fund. The theme for the 2023 Challenge was “Technology for Humanitarian Action” and the judges were looking for proposals that use technology—whether a new innovation or a way to scale something already tried—to increase the impact of humanitarian crisis response. Special attention was paid to proposals that empower local communities and offer long-term solutions.

“Recent disasters have made it clear that the humanitarian community needs to adapt to the myriad pressures exacerbated by climate change and global instability,” explains Palladium co-CEO Sinéad Magill. “There are answers in the use of technology, and particularly in collaboration with local communities.”

Globally, experts are working hard to stretch the available funding and explore how technology can enable faster and more impactful humanitarian action. This has included shifting thinking from response to preparation, early warning analysis, and anticipatory response activity.

The response to the Challenge was overwhelming and the judging team, made up of Palladium staff members from different regions with speciality knowledge and experience, had an impressive shortlist of winners to choose from. Congratulations to the winners:

Uncharted Waters
Based in Australia, Uncharted Waters uses digital twins, or virtual models, to identify the impact of climate volatility on water and food security. The non-profit plans to pilot the use of localised digital twins, to monitor the impact of emerging regional climate hazards, water and food security, or geo-political instabilities around the world. The goal is to provide policy makers and society with timely information about risks and to increase support for climate action.

Practical Action
The project will document indigenous practices and integrate them into AI to create an automated dashboard called 'Heat AI.' The Nepalese organisation’s dashboard will also collect, analyse, visualise, and disseminate findings related to heatwaves, using data from various sources and input from local users. The AI system will monitor environmental conditions, forecast risks, and recommend ways to prepare humanitarian actions.

“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,” says Magill. “I’m thrilled with the outcome this year and look forward to seeing how these two projects progress over the coming months and years.”

Watch this space for more updates and stay tuned for the announcement of the 2024 Palladium Challenge Fund theme.