Zero Project

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Zero Project

Schottenring 16, Wien


  • Menschen mit Behinderung
  • Menschenrechte
  • Netzwerke für NGOs



The Zero Project was initiated by the Essl Foundation in 2008, with its mission centered around the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) of the United Nations and its commitment to a world with zero barriers.

The approach of the Zero Project is research-driven and aims to identify, curate, and share Innovative Practices and Policies as intended and encouraged by Article 32 of the UN CRPD.In order, to achieve this objective, the Zero Project engages with a worldwide cross-sectoral network of innovators, decision-makers, and opinion leaders. More than 9,000 experts, with and without disabilities, in over 180 countries, have been actively contributing to the Zero Project in the past decades.In a four-year-cycle, the Zero Project research process focuses on one of these four topics; (1) Employment; (2) Accessibility; (3) Independent Living; and (4) Political Participation/Education. Since 2020, Information and communications technology (ICT) has become a focal and integral part of each year’s research efforts as well.In essence, the Zero Project is based on a unique research method that has been co-created together with the Zero Project network. This method is based on a collaborative cross-sectoral platform-approach and focuses on the sharing and communication of Innovative Practices and Policies that excel and stand out for their impact, their innovation, and their ability to scale and replicate.

To further amplify these efforts, the Zero Project seeks to build out ecosystems within the disability inclusion world by hosting global gatherings such as the Zero Project Conference, an annual event hosted within the premises of the United Nations in Vienna. Moreover, the Zero Project has actively convened and hostes Side Events at the Conference of State Parties of UN DESA, every year since 2013. The annual Zero Project Report; the Zero Project website; and the Zero Project social media channels complement these capacity-building measures.

In the spirit of removing barriers, the Zero Project has also been cognizant of the linguistic barriers that continue to exist in the disability inclusion world. Consequently, in 2019, the Essl Foundation joined forces with Fundación Descúbreme from Chile, both to support the Zero Project in Latin America – and in all Spanish speaking countries – as well as to support Zero Project-Impact Transfer.

Ultimately, in order to further encourage the scalability, innovation, and replication of disability inclusion approaches around the world, the Essl Foundation – together with Fundación Descúbreme and Ashoka – have helped launch the Zero Project Impact Transfer program – the world’s first program aimed at supporting the internationalization of innovative disability solutions for a barrier-free world.


  • Veröffentlicht am 03.01.2022
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  • Veröffentlicht am 10.10.2021
    Communications Officer