Applications for UNLEASH 2019 are closed!

Applications closed April 25, 2019 (23:59 Samoa Standard Time)

Below you will find a list of frequently asked questions regarding the application platform and process.

Basic info and eligibility

Can I apply if I have previously participated as a talent?

This application is for first-time talents only. If you are a talent alum, who is interested in further development opportunities with UNLEASH (e.g. as a facilitator, speaker, or participant on our accelerated track), stay tuned and we will update our website and channels when more information is available!

Do I need to have a nomination code to apply (Q1)?

You are not required to have a nomination code, as applications are also sourced through an open call. Moreover, applicants with nomination codes are not guaranteed a spot.

Will my application still be considered if I am below 20 or above 35 years of age (Q2)?

While our target age group is 20-35, your application will still be considered if you fall outside of this range.

Why am I being asked what my gender is (Q3)?

We ask applicants what their gender is to ensure diversity in our selected talent pool, as well as for logistical event-planning purposes.

I do not yet know where I will be in November 2019. How should I answer Q7?

If you are unsure of what city you will be flying to Shenzhen from, please submit your ‘best guess’. Should this change after you have been accepted as a talent, we ask that you contact the UNLEASH Secretariat at [email protected] so that we can update your information accordingly.

Account creation

How do I create an account on YouNoodle?

  1. Press the “Login” button at the top right of YouNoodle home page
  2. Press the button “Create an account”, you will be redirected to the signup page
  3. You can sign up with your e-mail address, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. We advise if you choose to create an account through Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, you should deactivate your pop-up blocker.


How can I access my account if I forgot my password?

  1. Go on
  2. Press the “Login” button at the top right of YouNoodle home page.
  3. Press the “Forgot Password” link .
  4. Enter the e-mail address related to your YouNoodle account, press the “Submit” button, and we will send you instructions right away!


How can I set a new password manually, change my e-mail address or edit my profile?

  1. Login to your YouNoodle account.
  2. Access your account page at the top right of the
  3. Select the profile tab
  4. From this page, you can update all your information (password, e-mail address, Twitter account, location…)
  5. Please remember to press the “Update” button at the bottom of the page when you’ve finished updating your information


Editing and submission

Does UNLEASH accept applicants on a rolling basis?

We encourage applicants to submit their applications early. However, all applicants will receive an answer on their application at the same time.

Can I save my application halfway and come back later to finish it?

Yes, in order to save your application, you will have to press the “Save Draft” button after updating your information. You can login and go to your account page in order to access your application any time.

Can I edit my application after submitting?

If the deadline for the program has not passed, you may un-submit your application to make changes before re-submitting.

  1. Go to the “Checklist” tab and and press “Un-submit application” button at the bottom of the page
  2. Make the changes
  3. Re-submit your application. Please be advised that you need to make the changes before the deadline, otherwise you won’t be able to re-submit.


What can I do if technical issues prevented me from submitting my application before the deadline passed?

If you encountered technical problems that prevented you from submitting your application on time, you may contact [email protected] with a detailed explanation of the issue you had and screenshots related to this issue.

How do I know if my application has been correctly submitted?

  1. You can check the status of your application on your Dashboard.
  2. You can also check the status of your application form under the Status tab.
  3. You will also receive a confirmation email that your application has been correctly submitted.


Who will have access to my application?

Your application will be available to the UNLEASH Secretariat and its team of evaluators. Note that YouNoodle staff will have access, too, but won’t use your information without your permission.

How will UNLEASH store and handle my application data?

UNLEASH will handle all application data in compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulations.

Where can I see the result of my application?

You will receive an email from the UNLEASH Team with the result of your application once we have completed our evaluation process.

Can I submit multiple applications?

No, you may only submit one application.

I am no longer interested in participating in UNLEASH. Can I retract my application?

Yes. Please email us at [email protected] with your full name and email address, and we will ensure that your application is removed from consideration.


Insights and users

What is an “insight”? (Q13)

As part of your application, we will ask you for an insight into a sustainable development challenge. An insight highlights why a problem exists. More technically: an insight is a friction, dilemma, or contradiction that is either a reason why a challenge still exists, or a primary barrier to adoption of solutions that could address or mitigate a challenge. An insight is not a fact or a statistic about an SDG area. It is not just what the problem is. Rather, an insight gets at what the root cause of the problem is – the “why.” We know that coming up with insights is challenging. During the first days of UNLEASH, we will help you and your UNLEASH team through the process of narrowing down on an insight. The insight in your application is merely the starting point.

How do I come up with an insight? (Q13)

Start with the SDG area that you’re most passionate about and have the most experience in. Then ask yourself why that problem still exists. Keep asking asking yourself “why?” multiple times, until you have a specific reason or barrier that is causing the problem. Insights are often very personal – your insight is likely shaped by your own personal experiences with a challenge area.

Is there a “right” or a “wrong” insight? (Q13)

No. Insights are based on your own personal experiences with and research into an SDG area. We are not evaluating your experiences, but rather we are evaluating the depth of your thinking.

What if I have multiple insights? (Q13)

Please answer the question with the insight that you are most passionate about working on.

What is meant by Person A and B? (Q15, Q16)

The person is an example of someone you have spoken to who is affected by a problem within your chosen SDG area, and whose experiences helped to motivate your insight. The person must be real and you must have spoken to them in the past. If you can’t remember all of their personal details, that is fine – their experiences are more important than their name or age. If you have never spoken to someone who has been affected by your chosen problem, then your insight might actually be a statistic and not based on real experiences. Try to speak to a couple of people who are affected by the problem, and use their experiences to understand why the problem exists or what barriers there are to solving the problem.

What do you mean by a “the demographic group of the person”? (Q15G and Q16G)

The person you describe is likely representative of a larger group of people who have had similar experiences that all contribute to your insight. For example, do they represent single mothers in Botswana? Primary school teachers in rural Pakistan? Youth climate change activists in Canada? Car crash victims? Please write what group of people the person represents, and how big of a group this might be.

How do I assess my own skills? (Q18, Q19)

Your skill assessment should be your personal evaluation of where you have the strongest skills. In other words, we are not asking you to evaluate your skill areas against other people. We are interested in what you think your primary skills are compared to your skills. For example, if you feel that you have 3 skills on the list but are strongest as a technology expert, then you would choose that as your primary skill area in Q18 and then rate how your other two skills compare to your primary skill area in Q19A-F.


Video submission

Is there a higher chance of being selected if I submit a video answer to Q12?

It typically takes more time to record, upload and share a video than it does to submit a 350 word answer. As such, a video response may be better at reflecting your high level of motivation than a written response. However, in consideration of those applicants who may not be comfortable with filming themselves, all response – whether in video or written format – will be scored according to content only. Video responses will therefore not inherently be scored higher.

What are the expectations regarding the quality of my video submission?

Your video response will be scored according to its primary content (i.e. the answer to the question) – not for its production quality or ‘special effects’. You will therefore not be penalized if you do not have access to e.g. professional filming equipment or video editing software. However, UNLEASH does look positively upon creativity in submitted answers.

What platform should I upload my video response to?

YouTube is preferred, but as it is not all applicants who have access to the YouTube-platform, other video-sharing platforms (e.g. Youku) are also supported. The most important consideration for video sharing is that your video can be viewed by our evaluators without signing up for an account on the platform. Remember to set your video privacy settings to ‘public’.


Profile and skills

Is there a ‘right’ primary area of expertise?

There is no single primary area of expertise that UNLEASH will choose to prioritize over others.

How will my profile be evaluated?

We are looking for diversity and will predominantly use your profile/persona data to match you with team members. You will not be scored on your answers to Section 3.