The talents were welcomed to Singapore. Here they had an opportunity to meet each other, be inspired by Singaporean projects and learn from the Singaporean way of life. During the welcome, talents got inspiration from speakers such as Singaporean sanitation activist and Founder of the World Toilet Organization, Jack Sim, ex-SVP of Research & Insights at Go-Jek in Indonesia, Tara Hirebet, Founder of Mara Group and Mara Foundation, Ashish Thakkar, CEOs of leading Singaporean companies and talents from UNLEASH 2017.
The talents went through a facilitated process of innovation, uniquely tailored by UNLEASH and Deloitte. They formed teams to explore real-life challenges within the eight SDG themes; Food, Health, Education & ICT, Water, Energy, Urban Sustainability, Responsible Supply Chain and Consumption, and Climate Action. The themes were explored from multiple angles, before defining specific problems and developing preliminary solutions. These solution were tested with leading experts and company partners and refined.
At the end of this rapid-fire innovation process, each team of talents had a draft SDG solution, implementation plan, and presentation – making them ready for their pitches.
On June 5, all teams presented their solutions . The teams then headed off to the market place, taking part alongside Ecosperity, where outside guests could see the solutions and offer their support. On the evening of June 5, the gold and silver winners of each SDG theme were picked and celebrated and got inspired by experts in innovation, investment and impact.
On the final day of UNLEASH, the Closing Ceremony took place. All talents and UNLEASH partners came together, and innovators and thought leaders celebrated their work. Five winners were picked to receive special awards and to pitch in front of all attendees.
Attendees experienced talks by the President of Singapore, Mdm Halimah Yacob, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, José Ramos-Horta, UNDP Innovation Champion and robot, Sophia, actor and UNESCO Special Envoy, Forest Whitaker, and CEO of DBS Bank, Piyush Gupta.
After the Awards Show the talents celebrated their last night at the talent party.
Ashish is a serial entrepreneur who started his first business in 1996 at the age of 15 with a $5,000 loan. Since then, he has driven the growth of the company from a small IT business in Uganda to the globally recognized multi-sector investment group that exists today. Through its investments, Mara Group now has a presence across 25 African countries in sectors spanning technology, financial services, infrastructure and real estate. Ashish continues to drive the business development and strategy of Mara. Ashish advises several heads of state in Sub-Saharan Africa and is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Africa. Ashish is passionate about enabling, empowering and inspiring young male and female entrepreneurs. Consequently, in 2009, he founded the Mara Foundation to foster and support emerging entrepreneurs through mentorship and venture philanthropy.
Dilhan Pillay joined Temasek in September 2010. He is currently Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Joint Head, Enterprise Development Group, Joint Head, Investment Group, and Joint Head, Singapore and Head, Americas.
Prior to joining Temasek, he was Managing Partner of Singapore law firm WongPartnership LLP. Dilhan serves on the boards of the Singapore Management University, Singapore Institute of Legal Education, the National Research Foundation in Singapore, Singapore Innovate Pte. Ltd., Enterprise Singapore and certain subsidiaries of Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited. He is also a member of the Future Economy Council and the Financial Centre Advisory Panel of the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
Forest Whitaker is the founder and CEO of the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative, co-founder and chair of the International Institute for Peace, UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation, and a member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Advocacy Group. In 2014, he started collaborating with the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, a topic on which he was invited to speak before the Security Council in September of that year. Whitaker is also one of Hollywood’s most accomplished and versatile figures, having received the 2007 Academy Award for Best Actor.
Gaurav is Dalberg’s Regional Director for Asia and also leads the firm’s energy practice. He founded Dalberg’s first office in Asia in Mumbai. Under his leadership the firm has rapidly expanded to Delhi and Singapore and has over 40 full time consultants traversing work across Asia. Gaurav works on a wide-ranging set of issues that include energy access, financial inclusion, access to education, and inclusive business strategies. He currently serves two of the world’s largest foundations on their measurement, evaluation, and learning activities and advises a Fortune 100 energy company on sustainable energy opportunities. Outside of Dalberg, Gaurav has been a founding partner in a string of social ventures including two eco-resorts, a sustainable tourism online platform, an organic tea plantation, and an eco-friendly fair trade fashion label.
Mdm Halimah Yacob is the President of Singapore. In 2013, Mdm Halimah Yacob was appointed as the eighth Speaker of Parliament for the Republic of Singapore. She was the first woman to serve as a Speaker in the Parliament of Singapore. Four years later, Mdm Halimah stepped down as Speaker to contest in the Presidential Election. She was sworn in as the 8th President of the Republic of Singapore in 2017. Mdm Halimah is active in social causes, and is the Patron of the PPIS (Singapore Muslim Women’s Association), Singapore Association of Mental Health, and the women’s shelter, Casa Raudha.
Jack Sim is one of the world's leading sanitation advocates. The Singapore native realized long ago that poorly maintained toilets could lead to unhealthy conditions for their users - and he grew concerned that the topic was often shrouded in embarrassment. In 2001, Jack founded the World Toilet Organization (WTO), which led to recognition by the United Nations in the form of World Toilet Day, which supports the 4.5 billion who live without safely managed sanitation.
James is the Corporate Responsibility Leader for Deloitte Singapore & Southeast Asia. James has been with Deloitte for over 18 years, working in over 50 countries with the organisation since joining as a fresh graduate in London in 1999. After starting his career in Tax, he moved to Clients & Markets in 2003 and has since held leadership roles in this area in Central Europe, Africa and Asia, working in over 50 countries in his career.
Jose Ramos-Horta, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, served as Minister for Foreign Affairs, Prime Minister and President of Timor-Leste from 2001 to 2012. He currently serves on the UN Secretary-General's High Level Board on Mediation; in addition, he is an Adviser to the President of the UN General Assembly, and is a Commissioner in the Global Commission on Drug Policy. In 2014-2015, President Ramos-Horta was Chair of the High Level Independent Panel on UN Peace Operations tasked to reform the UN peacekeeping architecture to adapt it to the evolving global-security challenges.
Mr. Hu Yee Cheng Robin joined Temasek in December 2016 and is currently Head, Sustainability & Stewardship Group.
Mr. Hu was previously the Chief Executive Officer of the South China Morning Post (“SCMP”) Group in Hong Kong since June 2012. Prior to his appointment at SCMP, Mr. Hu was Senior Executive Vice President, Chinese Newspapers Division and Newspaper Services Division of Singapore Press Holdings (“SPH”) for eight years, where he was responsible for managing the group’s three Chinese dailies, a bilingual free-sheet, events and exhibitions, retail and magazine operations and China business relations and development.
Sophia is Hanson Robotics’ most advanced and celebrated robot endowed with remarkable expressiveness, aesthetics and interactivity. Sophia made her debut at the South by Southwest show in March 2016. Since then, she has become a much-sought-after media personality. She has done numerous press interviews, garnering over one billion engagements on a CNBC online coverage. She has also appeared on the most broadly viewed television shows. including CBS 60 Minutes with Charlie Rose, the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Good Morning Britain, and has been a keynote speaker, panel member, and meet-and-greeter at some of the world’s most prestigious conferences, and even addressed members of the United Nations General Assembly committee. She was recently named the world’s first United Nation Innovation Champion by United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
Professor Subra Suresh is an eminent American scientist, engineer and entrepreneur with a strong record of distinguished and impactful leadership in academia, industry and government. He began his tenure as President of NTU from 1 January 2018. He was the ninth President of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) from 2013 to 2017. Before that, he served as Director of the US National Science Foundation (NSF) from 2010 to 2013, and Dean of the School of Engineering and Vannevar Bush Professor of Engineering from 2007 to 2010 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he was a faculty member for two decades.
Tan Chong Meng is the Group Chief Executive Officer of PSA International (Port of Singapore
Authority), a leading global port group, with port operations in Asia, Europe, Middle East and
Latin America. He heads PSA’s Senior Management Council, the executive team responsible for making key decisions Group-wide.
Ms Tan Su Shan is currently Group Head of Consumer Banking & Wealth Management at DBS Bank. She also serves as the President Commissioner for PT Bank DBS Indonesia. Su Shan was a Nominated Member of Parliament in Singapore from 2012 to 2014. She was the founder and past president of the Financial Women’s Association in Singapore, and a board member of Aetos Holdings Pte Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings.
Tara Hirebet is a researcher/executive and the ex-SVP of Research & Insights at Go-Jek in Indonesia, the Sequoia and Google-funded rideshare, delivery and payments unicorn. She has worked with global brands and tech firms and has also extensively researched, presented and been interviewed on Asian Megacities and citizen collaboration to urban consumption.
SDG2: Zero Hunger
About 30% of the food produced every year is lost or wasted. To reach SDG2, food waste is just one of the areas that need new solutions. Within the goal are targets to ensure all people, particularly those in vulnerable positions, such as infants, have access to nutritious and sufficient food all year round. Another target is to end all forms of malnutrition.
On the production side, the target is to double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers.
Ending hunger demands sustainable food production systems and resilient agricultural practices. One aspect of that is maintaining the genetic diversity of plants and animals, which is crucial for agriculture and food production.
Water scarcity has been an increasing concern faced by many countries in the world. This problem is especially severe in remote areas where clean, potable water is not easily accessible due to limitation in piping network. As a result, remote villages are often subjected to poor living conditions and sanitation.
To explore and propose alternative affordable solutions that can be used to provide clean water to remote villages so as to improve their living conditions and sanitation. You may start approaching this problem from advanced portable filtration systems, specifically those that make use of membrane and filtration technologies.
Read insights by Sembcorp Industries here
Every year until the culmination of the 2030 Agenda UNLEASH will be held in a new country. The SDGs will be explored through the lens of the host country, using local ways of living, thinking and working to ignite discussion and unlock new perspectives.