UNLEASH envisions to build the world’s leading platform for innovative, scalable solutions to the SDGs by engaging young talents in the problem-solving process and providing the support needed for bringing the best ideas to life.

01 Summary

UNLEASH is a global initiative committed to bringing the world’s top talents together to share ideas, build networks and create solutions to help reach the Sustainable Development Goals.

UNLEASH brings together 1,000 young people from across the world in a new destination every year, organizes local gatherings and “hacks”, mentorship services, as well as ongoing capacity building and implementation support for talents. Thus far, UNLEASH has resulted in three successful annual Innovation Labs in Denmark, Singapore and Shenzhen, China.

In just three years, UNLEASH has been consolidated as a strong and influential global brand, having engaged 3,000 talents from 160 countries, developed 580 SDG solutions in cooperation with +300 partners, and been recognized as one of the world’s most influential sustainability brands by Onalytica.

02 Approach

Due to the nature of the SDGs these solutions need to simultaneously be cross-sectional and solve very clearly-defined challenges; they need to be sensitive to diverse local contexts but adopted on a global level. This tension has served as the guiding principle of all of Dalberg Media’s work on UNLEASH. Since it was brought in to run the Secretariat in 2017, Dalberg Media has been involved in every step of UNLEASH’s impressive journey from conceptualization of the very first event, to scaling it into a movement for advancing the UN 2030 agenda.

In our role on the UNLEASH Secretariat, we have been part of building a movement that empowers and unites diverse and passionate youth and engages cross-sector partners to generate and grow solutions addressing the SDGs. The UNLEASH theory of change recognizes the holistic approach required in addressing the SDGs by resting on three pillars:

  1. Building capacity by connecting diverse, passionate youth to a global network and equipping them with the tools to develop, implement and lead solutions with positive impact.
  2. Designing solutions to local sustainability challenges based on diverse, global insights, by using appropriate tools and processes and giving solutions a platform on which to grow.
  3. Engaging partners and communities on a platform that is active year-round to support skilled talents in implementing and scaling their solutions.

UNLEASH’s vision is to be the most impactful youth innovation platform for achieving the SDGs. By 2030 UNLEASH will have mobilized 13,000 top talents from across the world, creating a large-scale SDG community. 2,800 solutions will be developed making UNLEASH a leading platform for innovative SDG solutions. Finally, a growing ecosystem of private, public and civil society organizations will be engaged in and benefit from UNLEASH.

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