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Call for Applications, UNLEASH Innovation Lab that brings together people from all over the world to transform 1,000 personal insights into hundreds of ideas, and build lasting global networks around the Sustainable Development Goals.

UNLEASH LAB 2019

 

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.

About

UNLEASH is a global innovation lab that brings together people from all over the world to transform 1,000 personal insights into hundreds of ideas, and build lasting global networks around the Sustainable Development Goals. UNLEASH is a non-profit started in 2017. Since 2017, UNLEASH has been held in Denmark and in Singapore. In 2019, UNLEASH will take place in Shenzhen in China.

UNLEASH 2019 Innovation Lab

UNLEASH is a global initiative aiming to create the world’s largest innovation lab for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Every year leading up to 2030, UNLEASH will gather 1,000 of the world’s brightest young talents to problem-solve, innovate and collaborate in teams to develop new solutions to global challenges.

In less than two years, UNLEASH has gathered 2,000 talents from 143 countries, developed 370 tangible solutions to the SDGs, partnered with +300 organizations, and been recognized as one of the world’s most influential sustainability brands.

The next UNLEASH Innovation Lab will take place in Shenzhen, China between 6-13 November 2019.

The UNLEASH application portal will be open between March 18, 2019 (12:00 CET) and April 25, 2019 (12:00 CET). From March 18, you can access the application portal via www.unleash.org.

Eligibility Criteria

UNLEASH talents are selected based on an assessment of five criteria: 1. Demonstrated passion and commitment to solving the world’s pressing challenges 2. Possession of a creative and innovative mindset 3. Willingness to engage in co-creation with peers and experts 4. High proficiency in English with the ability to engage in complex discussions 5. Approximately 20-35 years of age

As such, applicants will not qualify for UNLEASH if they have a specific idea for a solution to the SDGs that they are intending on pursuing further, and are unwilling to work on a completely new idea or to challenge their existing idea significantly.

What kind of talent characteristic is UNLEASH looking for?

Talents are selected based on five criteria.

  • Demonstrated passion and commitment to solving the world’s pressing challenges
  • Possession of a creative and innovative mindset
  • Willingness to engage in co-creation with peers and experts
  • High proficiency in English with the ability to engage in complex discussions
  • Approximately 20-35 years old
  • Bonus: Direct experience working in a development context, e.g. field work

What kind of talent profiles is UNLEASH looking for?

Talents must fulfill one of the following:

  • Entrepreneurs: Recently launched/or considered launching start-ups, organizations, or campaigns at a very early stage (both non- and for-profit)
  • Intrapreneurs: Improved or changed entities, e.g. through R&D, business development, or organizational changes
  • Academia: Acquired in-depth content knowledge, e.g. via a PhD position, post-doctoral position, research projects, or advanced master courses
  • Technical experts: Possession of skills, tools, or know-how (e.g. in storytelling, design, technology, etc.)

What kind of talents is UNLEASH not looking for?

UNLEASH is not an accelerator for existing ideas, but rather a place for collaboration and unfolding of new ideas. UNLEASH seeks to source early stage ideas and applicants need to be willing to work with others.

As such, applicants will not qualify for UNLEASH if they:

  • Are not willing to work on completely new ideas or challenge their existing idea significantly through collaboration with other participants
  • Launched their current idea in an entrepreneurial or intrapreneurial capacity that they are working on full-time, and intend to only use UNLEASH to further this idea
  • Have generated revenue (e.g. from customers, users) or raised funding (e.g. from grants, investors) for their current / newest idea, and intend to use UNLEASH to work on this idea
  • Have multiple full-time paid employees working on their current / newest idea.

 Can teams apply?

No, UNLEASH will only accept applications in individual capacity. UNLEASH talents will work together to define challenges and co-create solutions, and thus anyone working on a team is already too advanced for UNLEASH.

Are nominated talents guaranteed a spot at UNLEASH?

Nominated talents will receive a pass through the first round of the evaluation process. However, nominations do not guarantee a spot and selection will be based on evaluation of qualifications.

What kind of questions will I need to answer in the application?

You can access the application to see the questions starting on March 18, 2019 (12:00 CET). For specific questions regarding the individual application questions, submission and login, please see our Application FAQ.

Who will cover the costs of participation?

UNLEASH will cover the costs of flights, visa, local transport, accommodation, food, curriculum, facilitation, and program activities for the entire event. UNLEASH charges USD 150 as a participation fee.

Do I have to pay a participation fee?

Talents must pay a participation fee of USD 150. If you are accepted, you will receive information on how this fee is collected.

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