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Intuition

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1. General

Category

SDG 1: No Poverty

SDG 2: Zero Hunger

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being

SDG 4: Quality Education

SDG 5: Gender Equality

SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

SDG 15: Life on Land

SDG 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal

Category

Foundations, Philanthropists & Non-Profits

2. Project Details

Company or Institution

motherWild, LLC

Project

Intuition

General description of the AI solution

Intution is an application that would form the core of motherWild, an AI Powered Virtual Marketplace driving mobile non-profit donation transactions to projects and causes the donor is most interested in investing in based on philanthropic preferences, goals, and expected returns

Website

http://motherwild.org

Organisation

motherWild

3. Aspects

Excellence and Scientific Quality: Please detail the improvements made by the nominee or the nominees’ team or yourself if your applying for the award, and why they have been a success.

The AI involved in 'Intuition' is machine learning and the algorithm will learn by ingesting data and information collected and normalized according to a set of standard attributes measuring key performance indicators about marginalized and underrepresented women’s economic progress which will align to the Global Development Goals.

As more data is collected through intuition, it will be able to generate predictions and insights into future revenue, distribution, and outcomes signaling the success of the donor's investment in improving social justice for women, improving life on land, and counteracting climate risk. I would estimate the TRL for Intuition is a 2-3 based on field research and case studies conducted in Kenya from 2019, motherWild owns the trademark for Intuition but no further IP protection is yet in place.

Last year in the non-profit sector, the number of online donor transactions completed through mobile device increased by 50% while the number of donations completed through desktop browsers decreased by 10%. Moreover, more than half of all nonprofit website traffic last year came from mobile and tablet users.

Scaling of impact to SDGs: Please detail how many citizens/communities and/or researchers/businesses this has had or can have a positive impact on, including particular groups where applicable and to what extent.

Scientists estimate 40% of the world’s natural conservation landscapes are located on indigenous lands, the large majority of those spaces in the Global South. As our planet increasingly faces exigent threats from pandemics, climate change, rampant poaching of iconic wildlife, and deforestation, preserving these wild landscapes is more important than ever, and, at a global scale. The biggest barrier to sustainably counteracting environmental threats is pervasive poverty among the local indigenous community landowners. Poverty is disproportionately destructive to women and girls who are the primary caretakers and important ecosystem custodians.

Although women in the Global South are vital in protecting the world’s remaining wild spaces and vital natural resources, their role is largely overlooked by both the global conservation and international development communities. These women are artisans, creators, and caretakers but patriarchal societal norms, lack of gender-lens data, and limited access to education and income-generating opportunities conspire to drive a cycle of poverty that prevents these women from finding meaningful economic participation. There is great potential for these women to be purposeful entrepreneurs, change agents, and strong mission partners in environmental and climate protection but they are overserved in the current market.

The motherWild mission is to design an AI-based digital donation community built around a marketplace business model to provide a curated experience connecting early-stage rural female entrepreneurs in natural ecosystems threatened by climate change and extractive activity to the everyday people who want to invest in them.

Scaling of AI solution: Please detail what proof of concept or implementations can you show now in terms of its efficacy and how the solution can be scaled to provide a global impact ad how realistic that scaling is.

We led a proof of concept in 2019, working through 'Female Engagement Teams' (FETs), we engaged with indigenous Maasai women in several communities. The FET engagements and evaluation were remarkable in and of themselves because little to no data exists on women in these rural landscapes. The work the FETs have done to begin to build a body of data by gender is vital. The women who participated in are responsible for educating their children, grazing livestock, collecting firewood, and fetching water. As such, 99% of the women reported having daily interaction with wildlife. However, during the impact survey of the women, the FET found that the large majority of the women had never been asked questions about their lives or interactions with wildlife before. women serve a critical function as eyes and ears of the community but the Impact Survey found they have extremely limited channels to provide or access information that would improve their own health and safety, that of their families, and that of wildlife and vital natural resources.

By organizing the women into groups and facilitating their registration with the Kenyan government as Community Based Organizations (CBO) allows the groups access to government services such as a teacher for adult literacy classes and participation in the government’s “Ushanga” beadcraft initiative. In addition, the groups have opened bank accounts providing access to a formal financial system for the first time. In 2018, we found the groups became a safe-haven for the women which allowed them to transcend clan and family and identify themselves as a member of the group. The women credit their participation in the group as giving them an identity, reducing social isolation, increasing their self-confidence, earning them more respect from their husbands, and providing group support benefits to manage domestic matters such as financial hardships, medical matters, and abusive relationships. Increased confidence has resulted in women feeling empowered to report on indicators of wildlife crime, taking the lead in reducing community HWC-triggered tensions which previously could have resulted in a retaliatory attack on an animal, and increasing their interest in better connecting to the conservation of their environment and wildlife.

Provided with small seed investments, the women undertook several Income Generating Activities (IGAs) and the Impact Evaluation underscored how economic empowerment changes the lives of women, their families, and their communities for the better. The groups have opened bank accounts and all participating members contribute financially toward monthly dues (approx. 2 USD per month). Profit from IGA’s and other investments in livestock has resulted in a pooled savings that the women have used to subsidize life-saving medical expenses for families that could not afford it; provided the funds to send three girls to secondary school that, because of family circumstances and social norms would not have otherwise had the chance. The women used their purchasing power to procure household goods that serve multiple worthy purposes – making their daily lives a little easier, reducing their exposure to Human Wildlife Conflict and decreasing depletion of environmental resources. Examples include solar panels, fencing around home garden plots, and energy-saving cookstoves.

Challenges in scaling came from outdated institutional donor funding systems, the length of time it took to get grant funding to the field, the restrictive nature of grants not aligned to on the ground realities, and lack of understanding of non-profit fundraising teams of the impact of the work which made it challenging to communicate.

Intuition has great butterfly effect potential to drive a vibrant AI for SDGs ecosystem across the globe by streamlining access to data and information among academic and scientific stakeholder communities but also to build a groundswell of awareness among younger demographics that have been (rightfully) distrustful of non-profits based on lack of transparency in where their donations go. I think Intuition has excellent potential to drive significant growth of AI in development sector, AI has not ever been focused in the way motherWild is proposing – it could be on the scale of the Blockbuster to Netflix tech disruption.

Open and GDPR standards will be very important due to the collection of personal information on both sides of the marketplace (donors and beneficiaries).

Ethical aspect: Please detail the way the solution addresses any of the main ethical aspects, including trustworthiness, bias, gender issues, etc.

Intuition insists on the ethical and equitable application that promotes gender inclusion and equality. The motherWIld beneficiaries are entrepreneurs without access to capital investment, they are not research subjects. They share their stories through the motherWild platform to engage with donors committed to self-empower themselves to challenge social norms and disrupt the definition of what is currently possible for them.

motherWild is persistently committed to the trustworthiness and inclusiveness of Intuition. Data managed through Intuition is also subject to rigorous monitoring and evaluation as a way to continually improve our programs and measure their impact on the lives of women and children in the Global Soth. We also learn from and engage with organizations and thought leaders in international development, conservation, and environmental security sectors to ensure best practices.

As a scalable and innovative AI solution, Intuition is added value in the work and accelerated progress toward the SDGs by disrupting beneficiary dependence on outdated institutional and government funding systems and more of the money gets to the field at the time that it is needed because motherWild isn't reliant on traditional non-profit overhead costs and large communications and fund-raising staffs required to support other increasingly irrelevant types of fund-raising – direct mail, as an example. Intuition powers people on both sides of the motherWild marketplace to make equally and equitably make progress toward the SDGs together – faster, more reliably and sustainably, and with more transparency.

CONTACT

International Research Centre in Artificial Intelligence
under the auspices of UNESCO (IRCAI)

Jožef Stefan Institute
Jamova cesta 39
SI-1000 Ljubljana

info@ircai.org

ircai.org

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