Up Close with Team… Ulula

This post is part of a special “Up Close with Team…” series, featuring Q&As with the five finalists of the Rethink Supply Chains Challenge.

Ulula_Logo (1)Ulula proposes a mobile payment and feedback service for migrant workers to increase transparency and accountability in the recruitment process. The team is one of five Rethink Supply Chains finalists competing for a $250,000 grand prize. Stay tuned for the winner announcement in April!

Why is this Challenge important to you? What do you hope your solution will achieve?
Partnership for Freedom is a unique opportunity for Ulula to integrate mobile money into its information platform to create a win-win for migrant workers and employers to combat labor trafficking. With Spartacus, workers will receive critical information about their rights and get paid by their employers through their mobile phones. Mobile money creates transparency and limits leakages to improve workers’ incomes. Employers benefit from a simple system that automates payments and generate automatic payroll for their operations.

What inspired your solution?
For a decade Antoine, Founder & CEO, worked in countries rich with oil, gas and minerals to combat corruption and mismanagement. He saw communities in Nigeria and Peru losing their livelihoods with the development of large natural resource projects. He also witnessed the rising conflicts between communities and mining companies. Antoine saw the potential of simple mobile phones to give a voice to communities – particularly the poor and more vulnerable groups – and foster a new social compact with governments and companies.

Your team has entered the Finalist Accelerator phase, which includes expert mentorship and participation in a live boot camp. What do you hope to learn through the process?
We want to take advantage of the presence of experts with practical experience of labor trafficking to build a prototype that can make a difference for over 200 million migrant workers around the world. We want to learn the details of the migrant workers’ recruitment process and journey, the role of recruitment agencies and the companies to design a product that can align them to create more transparent recruitment practices and more effective systems to get paid and send money back home.

Up Close with Team… Sustainability Incubator & Trace Register

This post is part of a special “Up Close with Team…” series, featuring Q&As with the five finalists of the Rethink Supply Chains Challenge.
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Sustainability Incubator and Trace Register’s solution centers on traceability software that enables seafood suppliers to voluntarily report on the origins of their catches and vessel working conditions. The team is one of five Rethink Supply Chains finalists competing for a $250,000 grand prize. Stay tuned for the winner announcement in April!

Why is this Challenge important to you? What do you hope your solution will achieve?
This challenge is important to us as developers of business-to-business applications for a high quality standard in seafood. Our clients are trying to source quality seafood, and we offer a combined solution for ethical and sustainable sourcing that otherwise does not yet exist in the seafood sector. Seafood is sourced by people and includes the seafarers handling 90% of the world’s trade. Most crew and most fish have origins in developing countries, and there is a very real slavery hazard today despite widespread claims of seafood sustainability. Buyers also have the hazard of importing illegally fished products. Our expertise and technology, with support for further development through this challenge, can help companies directly address these problems.

What inspired your solution?
Trace Register believes that digital traceability and analytics begin and end with people. Our solutions have been created to help companies in the complex seafood supply chain deal with the many business challenges they face, such as food waste, product rejection due to non-conformities, inefficient product recalls, difficulty meeting regulations on labeling, as well as difficulty in confirming a product is sustainable. In developing our enhanced traceability technology, we recognized the need to digitally prove that product data meets a set of requirements, whilst maintaining confidential business information, called digital certificates. This is a powerful tool that is adaptable and includes algorithms that can help pinpoint supply chain issues, including slavery. The Labor Safe Screen algorithm is a powerful algorithm for identifying slavery and illegal fishing in seafood production, and we are plugging it into the Trace Register system. Working together with Sustainability Incubator, we are combining evidence-based research with real world practices and supply chain data to identify human rights conditions in the seafood industry.

Your team has entered the Finalist Accelerator phase, which includes expert mentorship and participation in a live boot camp. What do you hope to learn through the process?
Our goal is to provide expertise and tools that will enable the seafood sector to improve conditions for people and oceans as they deliver consistently good food. We are hoping for fresh ideas to include in a product that will be well received by supply chain participants as both a way to reduce slavery in supply chains as well as being a valuable tool to drive supply chain efficiencies. Different types of evidence are available from different people at different places in production. We need to understand the user as an information provider and as a consumer, and we hope to learn how to speak to and engage users better. If the boot camp gives us the pathway to help turn perceptions of voluntary corporate efforts against slavery into a value-add – where it is still a scary proposition in the seafood sector – then this will be a key learning benefit.

Up Close with Team… Good World Solutions

This post is part of a special “Up Close with Team…” series, featuring Q&As with the five finalists of the Rethink Supply Chains Challenge.

Cisco Foundation (Main Images)-44 (1)Good World Solutions’ Laborlink Trafficking Module analyzes and maps forced labor using a mobile communication channel between workers and supply chain leaders to report on working conditions. The team is one of five Rethink Supply Chains finalists competing for a $250,000 grand prize. Stay tuned for the winner announcement in April!

Why is this Challenge important to you? What do you hope your solution will achieve?
71% of companies believe there is a strong likelihood of slavery in their supply chains. There are an estimated 11.7 million forced laborers in Asia alone. Yet companies know very little about how to identify and address trafficking. Workers are in the best position to report abusive conditions, but they need safe, anonymous channels to do so. Laborlink has five years of experience capturing data from workers and translating it into actionable analytics. Our new Laborlink Trafficking Module will dramatically improve visibility – capturing millions of data points from workers and mapping risks of forced labor in a new way.

What inspired your solution?
While monitoring working conditions in factories in China and Pakistan, Heather Franzese (Co-founder, Executive Director) saw a disconnect between the workers making the product and, thousands of miles away, the company buying it. At the same time, these workers started to carry their own mobile phones, inspiring Heather to develop a new way of connecting with workers. Since 2010, Laborlink has provided more than 600,000 workers across 16 countries with a secure channel to report on real factory conditions, 365 days a year. With more frequent and accessible communication, Laborlink is quickly detecting workplace hazards and labor abuses by surfacing unheard worker voices. Building on this success, we believe that developing a Trafficking Module is a natural extension of our organization’s mission to use data to create safe and respectful workplaces.

Your team has entered the Finalist Accelerator phase, which includes expert mentorship and participation in a live boot camp. What do you hope to learn through the process?
Our team is excited to expand our successful and scalable tools to address and prevent the systemic issues of forced labor with the appropriate support from NGOs and government agencies. Informed by their expertise, we will develop a trust with these vulnerable worker groups while also focusing on the growing requirements companies face under new legislation like the UK Modern Slavery Bill and California Transparency in Supply Chains Act. After participating in the live boot camp, we will be on an accelerated pathway to develop new tools – including an Index Survey, M-Learning Content, and Risk Map – to accurately identify, inform, and remedy forced labor issues in manufacturing supply chains.