Accelerate Estonia is a government-led and powered by Science Park Tehnopol moonshot experiment lab solving global challenges- the program tests moonshot solutions to global challenges by combining the audacity of entrepreneurs with the transformative power of the public sector. We are a national platform for game changers to experiment, validate, and solve global wicked problems. From Estonia to the world.
Accelerate Estonia is the most ambitious platform for entrepreneurs experimenting with the public sector to solve global grand challenges. Estonia punches above its weight by launching game-changing success stories. For the future, from the future: we change the game.
We believe there’s no problem that cannot be challenged. We know that change starts with talents with a game-changer mindset – we bring together the brightest minds to challenge the future.
Missions, on which Accelerate Estonia has set its focus and to which the program awaits ideas:
Mental Health and Wellbeing
Wherever we look, the stress levels of different groups – students, parents, to-be-soldiers, the elderly, the young professionals – are going up in speed. Our society is leaking valuable individuals and that hurts us, and the economy. The crisis may have raised the urgency, but we have been in need of help for much longer. The public system no longer sustains that, and unhealthy habits must be turned into opportunities.
Challanges in the mental health mission:
- How to substantially improve the mental wellbeing of our youth?
- How to build community services to make mental wellbeing services more accessible?
- How to use technology to increase the accessibility of services?
- How to support mental wellbeing by decreasing poverty risk?
- How to decrease stigma around the topic and inspire people to take control of their mental wellbeing themselves?
Facts about mental health and wellbeing
- Health spending on mental health is rising every year, but it is still an underestimated area. The direct and indirect costs of mental health are estimated at 4% of GDP in the European Union and 2.8% in Estonia (572 million euros). (Health at a Glance: Europe 2018. State of Health in the EU Cycle. (OECD/EU, 2018). Paris)
- Return of investment of treating depression in the WHO European region – every US$ 1 invested in treating depression with therapy or antidepressants leads to a return of US$ 4 in better health outcomes and work abilities. (WHO)
- The global economy loses about US$ 1 trillion per year in productivity due to depression and anxiety. (WHO)
- Almost 800 000 people die by suicide every year; 1 person dies from suicide every 40seconds. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in individuals aged 15-29 years. (WHO)
- Depression is one of the leading causes of disability, affecting 264 million people (WHO)
- People with severe mental disorders die 10 to 20 years earlier than the general population. (WHO)
- Rates of mental health workers vary from below 2 per 100 000 population in low-income countries to over 70 per 100 000 in high-income countries. (WHO)
- Prolonged depression can be accompanied by self-defeating behaviors leading to suicidal thoughts and attempts. Suicide is still high in Estonia. The mental health of 13–15-year-olds has deteriorated considerably, one in five of them has thought about suicide during the year (Health Behavior of Estonian School Students, report of the 2017/2018 academic year. The National Institute of Health Development, Estonian statistics)
- According to the analysis of the National Audit Office, 32% of children received medical care on time, including 29% of children with activity and attention disorders and 37% of children with eating disorders. Studies elsewhere in the world have found that an estimated 75% of children do not receive the mental health support they need. (State activities in maintaining and treating children’s health. (National Audit Office, 2016, Estonian statistics))
- Almost half of the cases related to mental health are mood disorders and neurotic, stress-related and somatoform disorders (in 2018, 24.4% and 23.4%, respectively). The cost of treatment for the respective diagnoses accounted for 33.9% and 15.8%, or almost half, of the total five-year average cost of treatment for mental disorders. (Green Paper on Mental Health, 2020, Estonian statistics)
There is a lot of talk about the Green Pact, the Green Revolution, the fight against climate change, etc – but what does it look like? Well, it looks like our breakthrough could come through different avenues, such as putting the public sector 100% on renewables or decisively decreasing the amount of food waste by channeling it to those in need. Also, there is reason to believe that unless we decisively help a few industries to become circular fast, our green habits are hard to come by.
Challenges in the green turn mission:
- How to get the maximum value out of all the food that is grown in Estonia before it turns into waste?
- How can Estonia be the pioneer for the development of bioeconomy standards?
- How to turn the Estonian public sector to use 100% renewable energy?
- How can Estonia pioneer the creation of the recyclable materials market?
- How can data give us a head start with the green turn mission?
Facts about green turn
- By burning 10,000 tons of garbage, we employ 1-6 people. Approximately 36 people will be employed to send 10,000 tons of material for recycling. 296 people can be employed by recycling the same amount of material (source: Ecocycle)
- The EU is the world’s third largest greenhouse gas emitter after China and the United States and followed by India, Russia, and Japan. (European Parliament)
- Roughly a third of the world’s food is wasted. That’s about 1.3 billion tons a year for the whole world. The world loses an astounding quantity of food every year. It blows your mind but a third of all food for human consumption in the world is lost or wasted. 1.3 billion tons of food suitable for human consumption and 1.6 billion tons of so-called “primary product equivalents” are lost or wasted. Estonia accounts for approximately 200k tonnes a year, while we have 300k people not getting fresh food. (The World Counts)
- 250 square kilometers of fresh water is wasted each year to produce food that is lost or wasted. A quarter of the world’s fresh water is used to grow food that will never be eaten. At the same time, the number of people in severe lack of water is growing by the second. It is expected to reach almost 4 billion people by 2050. (The World Counts)
- The annual value of food wasted globally is $1 trillion, and it weighs 1.3 billion tonnes. (National Geographic)
- All the world’s nearly one billion hungry people could be fed on less than a quarter of the food that is wasted in the US, UK, and Europe. (Feedback Global)
- An area larger than China is used to grow food that is never eaten. (FAO)
- If food waste were a country it would be the 3rd largest emitter of greenhouse gases (after China & the USA). (FAO)
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