UNLEASH, a global nonprofit, is in the process of selecting 1,000 talented people from around the world to attend the first-ever UNLEASH Innovation Lab from August 13 to 21, 2017, in Denmark. Applications are now open to participate in nine days of collaboration and innovation geared towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Innovation Lab will focus on the SDGs developed at the U.N. General Assembly. Member countries of the U.N. formally adopted a set of 17 SDGs with 169 targets as part of the Post-2015 Development Agenda—including, but limited to alleviating poverty, improving food security, and ensuring sustainable production by 2030. UNLEASH hopes to create practical and scalable solutions for the SDGs.
UNLEASH selects attendees who are 20 to 35 years old based on five criteria: demonstrate a commitment to solving global challenges, possess an innovative mindset, explain previous contributions to social issues, be willing to develop ideas with peers and experts, and have high proficiency in English with the capacity to engage in complex discussions.
Additionally, potential attendees should be entrepreneurs who have recently launched a start-up or campaign, intrapreneurs who have improved or changed entities through research and development or organizational changes, academics who have acquired in-depth subject knowledge through a PhD or research project, or technical experts who possess skills enabling development of physical or software based solutions. For those who are invited to attend, UNLEASH will finance flights and accommodations, making participation free.
Each year, until the culmination of the 2030 U.N. Development Agenda, the UNLEASH Innovation Lab will be held in a new country. The SDGs are explored through the lens of the host country, using local ways of living, thinking, and working to ignite collaboration. This year, the Innovation Lab has adopted seven themes: food, health, education, cities, energy, production, and water. Next year, there will be a new location and a new lens for participants to experience.
All talents may apply through an online application form that contains a brief questionnaire regarding their personal motivation and competencies. UNLEASH reviews applicants on a rolling basis, but the deadline to apply is May 1, 2017. Some talents have already been selected; see a brief description of who they are and where they come from here.