New App to Revolutionize Citizen Action for the SDGs

Quito, Rio de Janeiro and New York, 14 October 2016 – Citizens all over the globe will now be able to get together to advance local sustainability with the support of a new app that has the potential to revolutionize collaborative volunteering towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SDGs are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people can enjoy peace and prosperity. Implementing these 17 Global Goals by the 2030 deadline will require the support and participation of everyone: citizens, governments, civil society organizations, companies and the news media.

Creative, small-scale actions can deliver big impact on the sustainable development of communities, cities and nations. WeAppHeroes, a new app designed by Sunscious Limited in partnership with the UNDP World Centre for Sustainable Development (RIO+ Centre), brings citizens together to harness their enthusiasm, good will and creative energy for the good of humanity and the Earth.  It creates a real-time call-to-action for users to reach out for assistance with and immediately get help from others located nearby. It can be used for anything from everyday tasks like borrowing a screwdriver to recruiting volunteers for more organized social or environmental activities.

From Rio’s Favelas to the World

In Muquiço, a favela located in the neighborhood of Guadalupe, Rio de Janeiro, young people are starting to use the app to make community and citizen action more trustworthy, fun and meaningful.

A group of local youth got together, formed an arts network called 90Noventa and implemented the ‘Dream Wall’ initiative to regenerate public spaces with graffiti while transforming local youth into artists and ‘heroes’.

The UNDP team in Rio de Janeiro visited the Muquiço and captured the creative action started by 17-year old Lucas, Bruno and Igor. 

Over 800 civil society organizations in Brazil will be soon using WeAppHeroes as a tool to increase citizen participation in local projects and initiatives. These organizations are part of the Atados network, which connects grassroots projects and committed volunteers across the country. Atados is partner of WeAppHeroes in Brazil, and will be supporting its implementation and promotion.

Our main challenge is to develop practical tools for promoting sustainable development in the urban environment. We want this app to become a trend for young people and citizens around the globe. They will now be able to search for opportunities to get together in real life, uniting forces to transform their cities and communities into better, happier and more sustainable places”, explains Romulo Paes de Sousa, director of the UNDP RIO+ Centre.

Social Cohesion for Better Cities 

WeAppHeroes aims to tap into the good of humanity and to help remind people that strangers can be source of support, good will and friendship.  For the creators of the app at Sunscious, building trust and social cohesion across class, race and gender divides is a major objective of their work.

 Whether it is used for community vegetable gardens, ride shares, tutoring, donations or beach clean-ups, the app creates the basis for a new sharing-economy that reduces environmental, social and economic costs of ordinary actions”, explains Valentina Hernandez, CEO of Sunscious.

UNDP and Sunscious launch WeAppHeroes at UN-Habitat III

The new app will be launched by the UNDP RIO+ Centre and Sunscious CEO Valentina Hernandez at the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III), in Quito, Ecuador.

The launch will take place at the UNDP Workshop on Smart Cities and Communities, which will be held at the Habitat III Village, a unique open space where urban innovations and solutions will be showcased to reflect on urban planning, management, and sustainable development.


When? 1:00 – 6:00 pm on Sunday, 16 October 2016

Where? Habitat III Village

Fondo de Cultura Económica – Av. 6 de Diciembre, 24-04, y Wilson. Quito, Ecuador

Contact information for journalists:

UNDP: Francisco.filho@undp.org; + 55 21 994 243 821

Brenda.hada@undp.org; + 55 11 948 882 591

Sunscious Limited: cco@sunscious.com; + 39 3 452 494 037




Watch the tutorial video to learn how to use the app. Visit weappeheroes.comWeAppHeroes is available for download at Google Play and will be soon at the App Store.

Sunscious Limited is a socially-driven communications company composed of an international team responsible for the design and development and a social network for positive content sharing that stems the tide of negative reporting, creating the scientific basis for a more optimistic global footprint by highlighting and measuring the good that happens in the world.  

The UNDP World Centre for Sustainable Development (RIO+ Centre) is a legacy of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) and was set up to keep the commitment to sustainable development alive, both in action and ideas.  Established as a partnership between UNDP and the Government of Brazil, the RIO+ Centre’s mission is to catalyze the transition towards equitable and sustainable development through policy analysis, advocacy and broad-based dialogue that leads to action. The RIO+ Centre operates under the overall goal of achieving sustainable development for all – particularly excluded and marginalized citizens – inspiring policies and practices that lead to increased social, economic and environmental justice as the basis upon which to build sustainable development.