The Innovation Lab UNLEASH is going to megacity Shenzhen in China in November 2019

It is time to announce that the city of Shenzhen in China will be hosting UNLEASH in 2019, November 6-13. Being a headquarter for many high-tech companies, an attractive place for startups, and a city dedicated to sustainable development, there is no doubt that Shenzhen will take UNLEASH to the next level.

Shenzhen is known for its remarkable resemblance to Silicon Valley, and it was the clear engagement from the municipality of Shenzhen and its focus on innovation, tech, and green solutions, that became the deciding factors.

“We are very excited to be hosting the next UNLEASH Innovation Lab. Shenzhen is a city built on innovation and start-ups, which makes a great environment for young talents to come up with solutions to the Sustainable Development Goals”, says Mayor of Shenzhen, Chen Rugui, who is a great supporter of getting UNLEASH to China.

UNLEASH gathers talents from all over the world to find solutions to the Sustainable Development Goals

UNLEASH started as an idea by the Chairman of the Carlsberg Foundation and Carlsberg Group, Flemming Besenbacher.

“I had a vision of creating the leading innovation lab for the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Since the very successful event in Denmark, we have held another successful event in Singapore, and I’m very excited that the next event will take place in Shenzhen – a city known for its commitment to sustainability, innovation, and technology”, says Professor Flemming Besenbacher, who is also chairman of UNLEASH, and foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Anders Dons, Nordic CEO at Deloitte – a core partner since the very beginning of UNLEASH – is also looking forward to taking UNLEASH to the next level:

“Deloitte will once again lead the innovation workshop with our team of facilitators from across the world. They will guide the talents and help them accelerate and transform their ideas into sustainable solutions to the world’s biggest challenges – in just five days. The local culture has a great impact on the innovation journey the talents experience, and Shenzhen is the perfect start-up culture for new ideas to flourish,” he says.

In just nine months, two rounds of the UNLEASH Innovation Lab have taken place. UNLEASH has gathered almost 2,000 top talents from 143 countries all over the world to come up with solutions to the world’s most pressing problems resulting in 370 solutions to the Sustainable Development Goals.

“The core DNA of UNLEASH stays the same no matter where UNLEASH goes, but we are excited to see how our talents can be inspired and influenced by Chinese culture. It will be interesting to see how it will affect the type of solutions developed at UNLEASH” says Executive Director of UNLEASH and Chairman of Dalberg Group, Henrik Skovby.

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.

In Shenzhen, UNLEASH will again gather 1.000 people from all over the world, as well as involve civil society and private public sector in the innovation process. The date of the UNLEASH Innovation Lab is November 6-13. Applications will open March 18 and close April 18, 2019.


Julie Trærup,

UNLEASH Communications Lead

[email protected], +45 22336346