The Talents for innovative solutions

The 1,000 talents, who participated in UNLEASH LAB 2018 come from diverse backgrounds and have high aspirations. They represent their entire generation and act as champions on behalf of the SDGs.

Whoare the talents?

  • Creative and innovative people from all regions of the world
  • Passionate about solving some of the world’s pressing challenges
  • Excited about engaging in co-creation with peers and experts
  • Academics, entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and technical experts
  • Primarily 20 to 35 years old

Meet the talents of UNLEASH LAB 2018

1,000 talents were selected to participate in UNLEASH. We would like to introduce you to some of them!


Rez Gardi, New Zealand/Kurdish

“Currently, only half of refugee children receive primary education. No child should have to pay the cost of conflict by missing out on schooling. Yet we see whole generations of refugee children who have to leave their homes and schools, and other children on the move unable to secure an education.

I was born a refugee in a camp in Pakistan, and none of the children had any access to local schools. There is no future for countries affected by conflict unless their children receive an education that gives them the tools and skills to be empowered to make positive change.”


Sharon Tan, Singapore

“Education is the foundation of modern societies. Having the right skills and knowledge can help to lift one out of extreme poverty.

A few years ago, a group of DBS colleagues and I visited Cambodia. Besides building a water system for a school in one of the villages, we also helped to set up a soap making training school for young women. The purpose is to empower these women with a lifelong skill so that they can make a sustainable livelihood out of this skill. It reinforced to me the importance of vocational and skills training and how it can help people to help themselves.”


Bianca, Indonesia

“”The rice will cry if you do not finish it”. That’s the myth my grandmother always told me. I’ve been born and raised in Indonesia with a family that always told me to finish my food. Even now they keep calling me “kapal keruk” in Bahasa Indonesia, meaning a food finisher in English.

There were 100 Papua children who died because they were malnourished and could not cope with the measles outbreak that happened in January 2018. The outcome would have been different if they could have afforded proper food and fought off the diseases. Revamping infrastructure and raising awareness among people are still needed to cut down the number of food wasted. It is sad knowing that other people left their food unfinished, while millions of people are struggling just to have ‘a spoon of rice’.”


Dr. Mamadou Sy, Senegal

“My life as a doctor is a nightmare. I’m the one who diagnosed a young girl with breast cancer and performed an amputation on a young man because of diabetes. The prevalence of non-communicable diseases is rising fast in low-income countries. Because of the white shirt I wear, people forget that there is a heart under my clothes. So, I decided to use my status of physician, which gives me the trust and the respect of my community, to raise awareness.”


Howto become a talent

UNLEASH picks talents based on five criteria.

Demonstrated commitment to solving some of the world’s pressing challenges

Possession of a creative and innovative mindset

Proven track record of making contributions to solving social causes

Willingness to engage in co-creation with peers and experts

High proficiency in English with the ability to engage in complex discussions


Howwe select talents

Diversity is key and ideas rule. UNLEASH picks talent based on their application but also with a target for an even split across regions, between genders, and between background. We encourage everyone who fits our criteria to apply – your ideas, insights and passion are the most important to us.