The UNLEASH Innovation Lab will take place in Shenzhen, China in 2019 from November 6-13. After being selected to participate, talents will meet at the Opening Ceremony where speakers from around the world will introduce them to the SDGs and each other. The talents will then split into teams based on their SDG-focus. The themes for this year’s lab are: Good Health & Well-Being, Quality Education, Clean Water & Sanitation, Affordable & Clean Energy, Industry & Infrastructure,  Sustainable Cities & Communities, Responsible Consumption & Production, and Climate Action. The teams will then go through an innovation process designed by UNLEASH. After five days, the talents pitch their ideas to mentors, experts and investors and the best solutions are picked. UNLEASH ends with a Closing Ceremony, where solutions are celebrated along with VIPs from China and abroad.

Nov 6

Welcome to Shenzhen

UNLEASH kicks-off in Shenzhen with an Opening Ceremony to welcome and inspire talents, introduce core partners, explore the city, build relations and meet their team. The event will take place in the Shenzhen Bay Eco-Technology Park and feature high-level VIPs and distinguished guests for a day of inspiration.

Nov 7-11

The Innovation Lab facilitated by Deloitte

Talents break into different thematic areas relating to the United Nations SDGs and districts in to co-create solutions in teams supported by experts, facilitators and investors. The themes are Good Health & Well-Being, Quality Education, Clean Water & Sanitation, Affordable & Clean Energy, Industry & Infrastructure,  Sustainable Cities & Communities, Responsible Consumption & Production, and Climate Action. The teams will be working from Shenzhen Polytechnic, Shenzhen Energy, Shenzhen Water Group, Shenzhen Institute of Information Technology, China Genebank, BGI, and Vanke Design Community.

Nov 12-13

Pitches, Dragons' Den and Closing ceremony

Talents pitch their ideas in front of their peers and a jury. The best solutions compete at Dragons’ Den which takes place at I-Factory. Here, they have an opportunity to have their ideas questioned and celebrated with all talents and a range of experts. On the final day of UNLEASH 2019, top solutions are showcased at the Closing Ceremony, featuring key notes by VIPs and partners at Shenzhen Concert Hall.

Who is coming?

Dr. Alaa

Alaa Murabit is a medical doctor, one of 17 Global Sustainable Development Goal Advocates appointed by the UN Secretary General, and a UN High-Level Commissioner on Health Employment & Economic Growth. She is a champion for inclusive peace processes, having founded The Voice of Libyan Women in 2011, at the age of 21. Her TED Talk has been viewed over 5 million times. With a strong focus on challenging societal and cultural norms Alaa champions women’s participation in peace processes and conflict mediation.

Dr. Alaa Murabit will be speaking at the Opening Ceremony.


Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Leymah Gbowee is a Liberian peace activist, social worker and women’s rights advocate. She is also the Founder and President of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa, based in Monrovia. Leymah led the nonviolent movement Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace that brought together Christian and Muslim women to play a pivotal role in ending Liberia’s devastating, fourteen-year civil war in 2003.

Leymah Gbowee will be speaking at the Closing Ceremony.

Prof. Muhammad

Professor Muhammad Yunus co-founded Yunus Social Business and currently serves as the Chairman of the Board. He is the founder of Grameen Bank and father of microcredit, an economic movement that has helped lift millions of families around the world out of poverty. Today, Grameen Bank has over 8.4 million members—97 per cent of who are female—and has lent over US$12.5 billion since its inception. In 2006, the Norwegian Nobel Committee jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Peace to Professor Yunus and Grameen Bank “for their efforts to create economic and social development from below.”

Professor Muhammad Yunus will be speaking at the Closing Ceremony.


Peter Himmelman is a Grammy and Emmy nominated singer-songwriter, visual artist, best-selling author, film composer, entrepreneur, and rock and roll performer. Peter founded Big Muse to unlock the potential of individuals through creativity and high-trust teamwork. Peter’s most recent book, Let Me Out (Unlock your creative mind and bring your ideas to life) was released October, 2016, revealing science-based techniques and simple exercises to get unstuck and unlock your creative potential.

Peter Himmelman will be at the Opening Ceremony on November 6.


Jamey Butcher is the Executive Vice President and incoming CEO and President of Chemonics. Since joining Chemonics in 1998, Executive Vice President Jamey Butcher has served across a variety of roles and regions. Mr. Butcher currently oversees Chemonics’ global health and supply chain portfolio. In that capacity, he leads efforts to implement sustainable supply chains, improve health service delivery, and scale up innovative approaches in developing country environments. Previously, he served as senior vice president of the Europe and Eurasia, Global Health, Africa, and then East Africa business units.

Mr. Butcher will be a judge on UNLEASH+ Dragons' Den and will hand over a special award at the Closing Ceremony.


Anders Hammarbäck is Partner at Antler, a venture capital firm specializing in early-stage tech startup investments and company building. He has 12+ years of managerial experience from a range of industries, including fintech, IT, education, telecom, banking/finance. He combines an entrepreneurial mindset with an analytical foundation as a former McKinsey consultant. Additionally, he possesses solid experience in international business from working across Europe, China, Africa, and USA.

Anders will be a judge for UNLEASH+ Dragons' Den.


Anders Holm is the Executive Director of Grant Areas and Administration at the Hempel Foundation.

Anders Holm will be a judge on UNLEASH+ Dragons' Den.


Dora Liu is the Innovation Leader and China Eastern Region Managing Partner at Deloitte China. Dora provides professional services to financial institutions engaged in banking, securities, funds and insurance. She led and established Deloitte China's first Greenhouse in Shanghai, seeking to help companies build a win-win ecosystem by leveraging its Speed SET, a revolutionary model which facilitates the generation of innovation ideas and solutions. Nowadays, Greenhouse has been an important platform for building innovation eco-system with multiple partners including major clients, governments, universities, start-up companies and incubators, to accelerate the commercialization of innovation assets.

Dora will be a judge for UNLEASH+ Dragons' Den.


Elizabeth Faber is the Chief Talent Officer at Deloitte Asia Pacific.

Elizabeth Faber will hand over a special award at the Closing Ceremony.


Philip Tsai is the Chairman of Deloitte China.

Philip Tsai will hand over a special award at the Closing Ceremony.


June Sarpong has enjoyed a 20-year career which has already seen her become one of the most recognizable faces of British television, as well as being one of the UK’s most intelligent and dynamic hosts. June is a media phenomenon and is the only host of her generation that is equally comfortable interviewing politicians, celebrities and members of the public. For her latest venture, June was recently appointed Director of Creative Diversity at the BBC.

June will be the MC at the UNLEASH Closing Ceremony.


Gaurav is Dalberg’s Regional Director for Asia and also leads the firm’s energy practice. He founded Dalberg’s first Asian office in Mumbai, where he is currently based. Under his leadership, the firm has rapidly expanded to Delhi and Singapore and has over 40 full-time consultants engaged in 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.

Gaurav will be the MC at Dragons' Den and Closing Ceremony.


Described by the media as the 'Ryan Seacrest of Malaysia', Kevin Chong has been on-television and radio for more than a decade. In 2017, he was the youngest Malaysian Chinese to host the ASEAN Civil Games. His multi-lingual skills have brought him to emcee events across the Asian continent and even in Africa. To date, he has shared stages with King Mswati III of Eswatini, Prime Minister Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan, David Beckham, Wu Chun, Henry Golding, Robert Kiyosaki and many more. (Optional) His latest sustainability campaign with WWF Malaysia kicked off in October 2019 to encourage Malaysians to stop purchasing single-use paper products.

Kevin Chong will be the MC at the Opening Ceremony.


As a bilingual anchor for Phoenix TV, one of the world’s largest Mandarin-language broadcasters based in Hong Kong, Nancie Zhu anchors daily news and current affairs programs. She is the host of “Approaching Business and Politics,” a weekly business TV show that explores economic and finance issues both at home and abroad, and she also anchors “News on the Hour,” “Phoenix Focus” and “Financial Journal”. She has extensive experience in conducting high-level interviews and moderating international conferences. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School.

Nancie will be the MC at the Opening Ceremony.

Themes for UNLEASH 2019

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