Last week over 250 people attended the world’s first Global Disability Innovation Summit in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. It was delivered by the Global Disability Innovation Hub (GDI Hub), which is born of the legacy of the 2012 Paralympic Games and aims to use technology to make a difference to the lives of one billion disabled people by 2030.
70 global experts convened to discuss everything from wheelchairs and wearable tech, to art, culture, charity, corporate and sport. Speakers from the World Bank, World Health Organisation, Leonard Cheshire Disability, the Red Cross, UNICEF, International Labour Organisation, Microsoft, Barclays, the BBC, Channel 4 and the British Paralympic Association, joined Paralympians, Comedians, Academics, Artists and local disabled people’s organisation to set out a new manifesto for disability innovation which puts disabled people at its heart. The event will now become bi-annual.
Lord Chris Homes, GDI Hub Chair said I’m absolutely delighted at the outstanding success of our first GDI Hub Summit. It was a complete sell out for two days of superb presentations from an incredible range of speakers including academics, Government ministers, broadcasters, tech companies large and small (and more). I am completely inspired by the potential for innovation through collaboration which is at the core of the GDI Hub Mission, with disabled people leading the way and completely involved at every stage.
Outcomes from the event were:
- GDI Hub will host the Enable Makeathon 2 with the International Committee of the Red Cross, led by UCL. This will provide teams from around the world the chance to come to London and help design new products and services that help people in conflict and post-conflict situations around the themes of Accessibility and Employability.
- Corporates can support the work of the Hub by sponsoring the Global Disability Innovation Accelerator, run in conjunction with PLEXAL.
- LCF and UCL have worked together to launch a new MSc in Design, Disability and Innovation, which will be forthcoming next year. We will post more information on this shortly.