On the final day of UNLEASH, the energy was palapable. Not because it was the end of the week long innovation lab, that brought 1,200 young talents and facilitators to work on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but because this was the culmination and celebration of all their hard work. The ceremony started with […]
We have a vision to build the world’s leading lab and platform for innovative, implementable and scalable solutions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
By using the innovative mindset of young people and partner talents with leading companies, research institutions, foundations, non-profits, and investors, we aspire to provide next generation solutions for the SDGs.
Our mission is to accelerate disruptive ideas by engaging top talents in problem-solving and co-creation activities and by providing the support needed to bring the best ideas to life.
“I am confident that the networks and friendships you have built at UNLEASH 2018 will better equip our young innovators around the world to collectively tackle the sustainable development challenges we face.”Mdm Hamilah Yacob, President of the Republic of Singapore
"We are all born entrepreneurs. Some get a chance to unleash that capacity. Some never got the chance. To succeed, we need more young people to become social entrepreneurs and bring this world into place.”Muhammad Yunus, Co-Founder, Yunus Social Business
"We are at a new era of development. And a window of opportunity exists to rethink the traditional approaches to persistent global issues. That is precisely what makes UNLEASH so important and so very timely*"Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, *from speech at UNLEASH
"UNLEASH is a noteworthy example of much-needed youth engagement, cross-cultural collaboration, and disruptive thinking*"Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, actor and Goodwill Ambassador for UNDP, *From CNN blog
“What UNLEASH is doing is truly creating that engine for entrepreneurship with a real purpose, in a way, which is going to be scalable and self-sustainable.”Ashish J. Thakkar, founder of Mara Group
“We need to bring cutting edge expertise and entrepreneurial rigor to bear on the toughest challenges facing societies today – this is exactly what UNLEASH does.”Jim Snabe, Chairman, A.P Moller-Maersk
“This initiative provides the next generation of leaders with a unique opportunity to influence the SDGs and push the world in a fairer, greener, and more inclusive direction.”Helen Clark, Former Administrator, UNDP and Former Prime Minister of New Zealand
"The SDGs are a powerful – and practical – guide for making the world we live in more like the world we would like to live in. UNLEASH is making bold strides towards achieving the SDGs to create a better, more sustainable future for us all."Olafur Eliasson, Artist and speaker at UNLEASH
"UNLEASH asks the right questions, reframes them and combines unexpected elements to make unexpected discoveries”Bjarke Ingels, Founder of BIG and speaker at UNLEASH
The SDG challenge is immense. To realize the SDGs, it is estimated that the world will need to invest a staggering amount of between USD 5 trillion and 7 trillion per year – roughly 7%-10% of global annual GDP. To put these numbers into perspective, total investment into the Apollo Space Program (1963-72) to put a man on the moon was approximately USD 150 billion at present value.
New business models are needed to ignite change. To achieve the SDGs by 2030 will require new and innovative solutions that challenge traditional business models and approaches. Many of these solutions will need to be commercially viable as well as deliver value to society.
Talents must be mobilized. Harnessing the next generation of leaders will be critical if this is to be possible – they bring fresh perspectives, open minds, different values, tech savviness, and an appetite for disruption. Who would have thought few years back that the largest hotel chain in the world owned no rooms, the largest taxi company owned no cars, and the largest retailer owned no stores?
Every year, UNLEASH chooses different themes for the talents to work on. These themes are closely related to the SDGs and provide guidelines for impact.
SDG Innovation Lab
Pitch and Closing Ceremony
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is the largest global partnership agreement and development plan for the planet ever made. It was agreed upon by all UN member states in September 2015 and consist of 17 goals and 169 targets. The goals ultimately aspire to create a better, more inclusive and more prosperous world by 2030. To make this happen, we need to identify new solutions, create partnerships and UNLEASH the vast potential of young, innovative minds.