Ubuntoo is a Global marketplace for sustainability, environmental and social solutions that connects big corporations and institutions to purpose driven entrepreneurs, innovators and influencers. Ubuntoo is creating a global collaboration platform to scale impactful innovators that address the UN Sustainable Development Goals, beginning with solutions to reduce plastic packaging waste and pollution.
Problem Statement / Opportunity
The planet faces many existential Environmental threats such as climate change, water scarcity and pollution. On the back of the 2030 SDG agenda, there is a growing sense of urgency in large corporations, governments and NGOs to solve these problems. At the same time, there is a groundswell of entrepreneurs, innovators, researchers and influencers who are developing new technologies and applying innovative business models to create commercially viable solutions. However, there is a lack of holistic visibility of and connectivity between the stakeholders working on these solutions, resulting in suboptimal impact despite many good solutions being known to the world. Many large corporations focus on few donation-based partnerships with well-established NGOs and Governmental organizations. But by doing so, they miss out on innovative and authentic approaches of the sustainability innovators and entrepreneurs. And at the same time, those innovators are missing out on the potential scale provided by corporations and large organizations.
Ubuntoo is creating a global collaboration platform to scale impactful innovators that address the UN Sustainable Development Goals, beginning with solutions to reduce plastic packaging waste and pollution.
Oneture is Ubuntoo’s trusted platform development partner since inception. Following is the list of features that we have implemented for Ubuntoo platform
- Partner on-boarding
- Partner nomination and approval workflow
- Online collaboration with discussion forum, comment, email notification & messaging system
- Smart search with rapid learn feature to improve search accuracy & user engagement
- Automated news feed to show contextually relevant news on website from various news sources
- User Referral system
- Knowledge Section (Blogs)
- Events (Conferences)
- Greenhouse (SaaS Multi Tenant Architecture)
- User management and access control
- User’s privacy and visibility control
- Platform administration for data management, access control, search insight and more.
Searching with ElasticSearch :
Problem Statement : Ubuntoo as a platform consists of more than 1500+ sustainable solutions, 8000+ news items, and 150+ blogs. So, in order to provide users with the most relevant content, a search ability is required where users can feed in some keywords and get the required results.
Solution : With the functionalities of boosting relevant data, faceting, fuzzy-search & auto-complete, elasticsearch provides the results with lightning fast speed. Also, Elasticsearch is an open-source and hence, free and fully customizable. All these things along with full text search, RDMS might not handle efficiently once data grows. But that’s not the case with elasticsearch. With the use of a data structure called an inverted index, elasticsearch allows very fast full-text searches over a large set of data.
Problem Statement : To make their supply chains more sustainable, big organizations require new technologies, business models and expertise that lies outside the organization. Since employees are tasked with sustainability goals without the tools, resources and knowledge to execute against them, they rely on expensive consultants, suppliers, and promising solutions that are played up in the media or appear on simple google searches. Also, Corporate external innovations are inefficient because of the communication gap, knowledge gaps ( fragmented across the organization which results uncoordinated, wasteful, duplicative efforts. Hence, a platform is required for such organization where employees can coordinated among themselves and also with the external innovators and startup which can offer them the best sustainable solutions.
Solution : Ubuntoo GreenHouse is a private digital collaboration platform that taps into a vast database of Ubuntoo solutions, while providing space and tools for confidential collaboration within a closed group and community. It enables users to create a private community within Ubuntoo with custom branding, invite members, consult experts, comment, rate, review and communicate confidentially, without visibility to other Ubuntoo members. Also, this platform can be used as an ongoing enterprise wide sustainability innovation management tool, or project specific time bound activity, or a management tool for an innovation challenge.
Architecture : Greenhouse is based on SaaS Multi-Tenant Architecture where clients can have their own personal space including as many members, solutions and others resources they want which are not visible outside that greenhouse. Solutions and Members can be the part of more than one greenhouse, but their activities are specific to the greenhouses.
Proposed Solution & Architecture
Tools and Technologies Used
|Front End||HTML5, CSS3, jQuery, Ajax|
|Database||PostgreSQL, Amazon S3|
|Version Control Tool||Github|
|Editors||Sublime Text 3, Visual Studio Code|
|API Testing Tools||Postman|
|3rd Party Integrations||Discourse APIs, Elasticsearch, Froala Rich Text Editor, ActiveAdmin.|
- We have helped Ubuntoo in creating a basic prototype (BETA) to scale the platform and then sustaining it with initial focus on Waste Management & Recycling, with an emphasis on solutions for packaging waste.
- Future areas will include Water, Climate, Agriculture, Sustainable Energy and other topics covered in UN SDG’s.
- Our agility, flexible engagement model, product and technology expertise multiple technology stacks have helped Ubuntoo to accelerate its growth into new markets and verticals, beginning with solutions to reduce plastic packaging waste and pollution.
- Ubuntoo has a partner base of more than 1500+ huge partners across the globe helping scale impactful innovators that address the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Along the journey of implementing Ubuntoo’s sustainability platform, team learned following lessons:
- Keep your future growth and workload into consideration while designing and implementing any project.
- An idea is just an idea unless someone act on it.
- A team with same vision and excellent knowledge in respective fields can help you achieve your goals more quickly.
- Think of the project as your own and you will start getting new ideas about new features that can be helpful for the project.
Oneture has been the Outsourced Platform Development partner on this journey for us. We have engaged deeply with Oneture team from the first meeting where I shared our vision for the platform and a basic working prototype. They took on the challenge and have helped us launch it on time and on budget. They have strong development capabilities and a highly flexible and adaptable approach. We foresee Oneture continuing to play a key role as we scale and enhance the platform to cater to growing needs in this space. I can categorically state that platform would not have been successful without Oneture’s deep involvement throughout this journey
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