Applications are now open for the UNLEASH Innovation Lab 2018, a global nonprofit initiative bringing together 1,000 young talents to create new, innovative solutions to help achieve the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNLEASH 2018 will take place in Singapore, where selected SDG talents will participate in a four-day innovation challenge together with experts from the public and private sectors to accelerate a common path for sustainable development.
“We each have a valuable contribution to make to sustainable development. This gathering of young, creative, and innovative minds will harness the power of human ingenuity, to create imaginative solutions that achieve the SDGs,” says Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
The SDGs represent a global set of goals to guide governments, aid organizations, the private sector, and NGOs along the path of sustainable development. There are 17 goals in total, and each goal has specific targets to be achieved by the year 2030. UNLEASH 2018 will have eight SDG focus themes, covering hunger, health, education, clean water and energy, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, and climate action.
Participants will form teams to explore real-life challenges within the SDG themes from multiple perspectives, before defining specific problems and coming up with preliminary solutions. These solutions will be tested with leading experts and company partners, refined, and ultimately presented to peers and a panel of judges and mentors. The best solutions will receive support for implementation by connecting the young innovators to capital, corporate partners, technology, and local networks.
UNLEASH selects attendees aged 20 to 35 based on four criteria: demonstrated passion and commitment to solving pressing global challenges, an innovative and creative mindset, willingness to co-create with peers and experts, and high proficiency in English with the ability to engage in complex discussions.
Additionally, potential attendees must match one of four profiles: 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.
Each year until 2030, the UNLEASH Innovation Lab will be held in a new country to explore the SDGs through a different cultural lens, using local ways of living, thinking and working to ignite collaboration and unlock new perspectives.
Applications are open from January 15–February 15, 2018. Interested young talents can find more information and apply at www.unleash.org.