2019 UNLEASH Global Innovation Lab for Innovative Young People at Shenzhen, China

Deadline: April 18, 2019.

UNLEASH is a global innovation lab, which gathers 1,000 talent annually to collaborate on solutions to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In 2019, UNLEASH will be held in Shenzhen, China from November 6-13. Do you have talent for sustainability? Then now is your chance to be one of the talents selected to be part of the leading platform for solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.

The SDG challenge is immense. To realize the SDGs, it is estimated that the world will need to invest a staggering amount of between USD 5 trillion and 7 trillion per year – roughly 7%-10% of global annual GDP. To put these numbers into perspective, total investment into the Apollo Space Program (1963-72) to put a man on the moon was approximately USD 150 billion at present value.

New business models are needed to ignite change. To achieve the SDGs by 2030 will require new and innovative solutions that challenge traditional business models and approaches. Many of these solutions will need to be commercially viable as well as deliver value to society.

Talents must be mobilized. Harnessing the next generation of leaders will be critical if this is to be possible – they bring fresh perspectives, open minds, different values, tech savviness, and an appetite for disruption. Who would have thought few years back that the largest hotel chain in the world owned no rooms, the largest taxi company owned no cars, and the largest retailer owned no stores?



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.)



1. You do not have to pay for your own travel expenses. Once accepted, talents will submit their travel information to UNLEASH, specifying travel dates, cities of origin, and other relevant details. UNLEASH will then provide information on how travel is booked.

2. UNLEASH will cover the costs of flights, visa, local transport, accommodation, food, curriculum, facilitation, and program activities for the entire event.

3. UNLEASH charges USD 150 as a participation fee.



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





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