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17/10/2020 Mikael Westerlund

Building a business based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

Take it from a company that is honest, real and relevant.
Building a business based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

We have now been building the foundation of Origin by Ocean together with Mari for about 2 years. LinkedIn actually reminded us the other day that we had a 2-year celebration since we connected. 

We did not know each other before we met at the Icebreaker VC profounder program in Porvoo, back in 2018. We needed to spend a good amount of time discussing a broad range of topics to align ourselves and to find out if we can work together. 

So, how did we approach this? Well, first and foremost we wanted to make sure that we as potential partners and founders have a value base that we can use as a common platform. We concluded on a set of values that we both stand for and that we can base all of the company’s activities around. Today, you can find these core values as the values of Origin by Ocean. These values are: Freedom, Fairness, Sustainability and Commitment, (Want to read more about what these mean to us? Click here)
What else did we do to facilitate this? Well, we used the United Nations Sustainability Goals as a framework. How do we as individuals, see these SDGs; are we aligned on them? Based upon this dialogue we concluded on the following SDGs as fundamental and core to the coming business and operations of Origin by Ocean.  


What benefits were there from founding our company on SDGs?

We have today a company that is honest, real and relevant. We attract people with a common value base. This is a great benefit to us considering our recruitment needs right now and going forward. The UNOPS Global Innovation Challenge for Advancing Resilient Infrastructure with Technology in the Face of Climate Change opened last year. We found that our company values and aligned SGDs enabled us to submit a proposal. We were selected as the 17th finalist out of hundreds and hundreds of proposals. 

Now, at the time of writing, we are participating in the UNOPS Global Innovation Boo[s]tcamp. We are extremely honoured to be part of this crew of 17 companies included in this phase. All finalists are worthy winners and we wish all participants all the best of luck in the coming down-selection to five companies. 

We are eager to continue to work with UNOPS going forward in our project. We are looking forward to the opportunities and connections that we can obtain through this fantastic network of extraordinary people. 

Mikael & Mari

Prototyping blue-green algae harvesting
Origin by Ocean announced winner of UNOPS Global Innovation Challenge