Author: Sam Baker, UNLEASH Facilitator in Denmark, Singapore and Shenzhen Being a lead facilitator for UNLEASH in the inaugural 2017 week in Denmark, and subsequently in Singapore and then Shenzhen ranks amongst my most treasured career experiences. I loved the energy of all involved, the purpose-led mission we were on, the diversity of backgrounds and […]
We have a vision to build the world’s leading initiative 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.
“We need strong, effective partnerships such as UNLEASH. The ideas and participation of young people are essential. I am counting on all of you to drive this transformation.”António Guterres, UN Secretary-General
“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
“I want to thank UNLEASH. It is very humbling to see the work that you are doing and the plans you are making towards achieving a more whole and healthier, complete society.”Forest Whitaker, Actor and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador
"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
"UNLEASH asks the right questions, reframes them and combines unexpected elements to make unexpected discoveries”Bjarke Ingels, Founder of BIG
The SDG challenge is immense. To realize the SDGs, it is estimated that the world will need to invest a staggering amount between USD 5 trillion and 7 trillion per year – roughly 7%-10% of the 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?
UNLEASH consists of different programs all aiming to make a difference for the SDGs. We have an annual Innovation Lab, which gathers youth from around the world to collaborate on new solutions. We also have our UNLEASH+ Program, which invites existing teams into further accelerate their impact. Finally, we have our Hacks, which are localized innovation sprints focused on specific challenges within the SDGs.
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.