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USCS SustainChain

Fighting climate change through the power of machine learning

On track for 2030?


It’s no secret that the United Nations Member States developed 17 integrated global goals, also known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in 2015. Unfortunately, the world isn’t on track to reach the SDGs by 2030. While impact investing, consumer pressure and general awareness are at an all-time high, efforts toward achieving the 17 goals are fragmented and siloed, leading to funding gaps for critical initiatives and disparate insights often disconnected from optimal actions.


The US Coalition on Sustainability (USCS) is a non-profit organization accelerating progress on the United Nations SDGs for 2030, founded by CEO Jacqueline Corbelli in 2019. Thoughtworks and USCS started building SustainChain, the world’s first SDG accelerator. On the platform, members such as NGOs, investors, tech innovators, global corporations and academics can discover the partners, projects, services and funding needed to take their efforts forward while unifying them with other activities. 


With more than 1,200 organizations embracing SustainChain and creating hundreds of sustainability action initiatives, the accelerator is in a pivotal moment, shifting from startup mode focused on product validation, community growth and partnership expansion to scale-up mode, emphasizing the importance of actual change in the sustainability industry. The sheer amount of different parties and projects on the platform makes it critical that the right content, whether a suitable investment opportunity or another user looking to solve similar challenges, is served to the right user at the right time.

DaVinci is a system to power social change, built from the ground up using responsible tech principles. It represents a complete user experience, providing a tool to pursue their sustainability goals while expanding their horizons. 


To ensure users see the initiatives that matter most to them, we created DaVinci, a reinforcement learning-based personalization engine to increase the platform’s impact. DaVinci surfaces the most relevant projects, services and opportunities based on a user’s priorities, industry, role and activity on the platform while identifying opportunities for integration, rapid scaling and finding critical resources for funding. DaVinci provides a highly personalized experience to SustainChain users and continuously learns from its users’ interests and activity on the platform, enabling them to take meaningful actions and collaborate. 


DaVinci uses the paradigm of exploitation vs. exploration, meaning that we’re not only looking to provide users with a personalized experience but also allow them to explore the world of sustainability by exploring recommendations outside the boundaries of the users’ interests. Thanks to DaVinci, SustainChain represents a complete user experience, providing a tool to pursue their sustainability goals while expanding their horizons.


The flexibility and scalability of DaVinci allow the platform to not only learn about the user but also to drive meaningful engagement. DaVinci is a system to power social change, built from the ground up using responsible tech principles. We analyzed the reward architecture carefully to ensure the system encourages meaningful action above mindless clicking. And a lean data approach respects privacy and reduces the risk of inappropriate biases in the system.

I think of Thoughtworks as a catalyst, the launching pad, we simply would not be where we are today if it weren’t for the partnership that we’ve had with Thoughtworks.
Joanna Hall
Executive Director, US Coalition on Sustainability

Personalization at scale


DaVinci runs mostly on containerized services on Amazon ECS, providing both scalability and flexibility of implementation, which allows greater freedom in the design of the user and context features — an essential piece of data for DaVinci to provide a personalized experience.


In addition to optimization and personalization, DaVinci provides a portal to provide insights on the platform. This portal allows Sustainchain to gain a deeper understanding of the type of activity on the platform, such as the users, groups and initiatives that drive the most impact.


Driven by ambition


While the UN’s SDGs have a 2030 completion date, SustainChain provides an ecosystem for stakeholders to come together to solve a challenge and learn from each other’s solutions. It can also guide users to the right ecosystems, whether for an existing solution, a community or an investor, to help them solve their challenge.


Everything is set for SustainChain to take off as the key accelerator of SDGs by providing the right tools and technologies for collaboration among stakeholders in exploring the world of sustainability. SustainChain can become the platform of reference for sustainability initiatives and acceleration moving well into the future while helping save our planet one initiative at a time.

Active members on the platform
Active projects
Ongoing multi-party initiatives funded

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