AWS Public Sector Blog

Driving sustainability through youth engagement

Today, speakers at the 24th World Scout Jamboree (WSJ) will introduce nano, a new gamified app developed on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud that encourages youth around the world to adopt daily sustainability practices to help improve our planet. The Scouts are also launching #ScoutsRecycle, a campaign that leverages the nano app for sustainability. Through nano, scouts will be able to measure the impact of their efforts by calculating the CO2e emissions avoided through #ScoutsRecycle.

“The 24th World Scout Jamboree is thrilled to have partnered with the nano app to help usher Scouting’s commitment to sustainability into the 21st century,” said Scott Sorrels, the Co-Chair of the WSJ event.

As part of the Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative, we interviewed Syed Abbas, Founder and CEO of 2Cimple, to tell us how they are using AWS to support the development of nano and its larger goals to support sustainability action.

What motivated you to develop nano?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations that provide a framework for how to create a sustainable future. At 2cimple, we believe that engaging youth is critical to help us make the world a healthier place for future generations. To do our part to achieve the SDGs, we developed nano, the first gamified sustainability volunteering network. The app makes it easy for anyone to have a positive impact in local communities around the world – right from your phone. Our goal is to empower youth to take action and measure how their work affects the reduction of their individual carbon footprint. For example, if a user consistently does simple recycling nano tasks every day, she can effectively remove the carbon equivalency of one car per month. The nano community is filled with experts and everyday heroes making a positive difference in local communities around the world. Many global small deeds can add up to create a big impact and lead to change.

How does the nano app work?

The nano volunteer dashboard allows users to either create their own sustainability-related project to recruit volunteers or search for existing projects happening nearby. They can complete a host of nano tasks, like bringing reusable bags when grocery shopping. When creating a service project, users can start from scratch or select a template. Each project is placed in the appropriate SDG bucket when created. That way, when users browse service projects, they know which SDG they are helping to achieve. Their personal impact score shows how effective they are at changing the world in those areas.

When a user creates a profile, a planet is automatically generated. The more the user does to create a sustainable future in real life, the more their nano planet flourishes. The app teaches users what they can do to lead a sustainable life and be rewarded. Users earn points when they volunteer for sustainability projects, explore the universe, and play mini-games. They can redeem points for prizes and character upgrades. Users can also track their tangible impact through nano’s Sustainability Impact Measurement Meter (SIMM), which records how many lives are positively impacted by volunteer actions.

How is AWS helping you achieve your goals?

Through the Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative and the AWS Promotional Credits program, we received a cloud grant, which offset the cost of implementing and scaling the app on the cloud. Developing our app on AWS helps us analyze and distribute our large dataset and generate sustainability insights, while reducing our cost, time, and technical complexities.

For tech startups like ours who have a small team and limited resources, it’s important to focus on activities that differentiate us. Tasks like maintaining and managing IT resources are not the best use of our time. Being able to use AWS services like Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS), Elastic Load Balancing, and AWS CloudFormation help us manage our resources efficiently and reduce administrative overhead. We use services like AWS WAF, AWS Shield, and Amazon Inspector to maintain and manage security. DevOps built-in tools like AWS CodeCommit, AWS CodeBuild, AWS CodeDeploy, and AWS CodePipeline are cost effective and allow us to reach production without too much hassle. The documentation and video tutorials helped us to set up complete pipelines in a few days. This allowed us to focus our energy on innovating and problem solving in areas where we have unique expertise.

Download the nano app and join the #ScoutsRecycle campaign. Learn more at Use nano daily to measure your impact on your community and the world and your contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals.