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The Power of Youth and Diversity Towards Actionable Innovation Around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

by | Nov 26, 2019

By Joanna IU

UNLEASH – the Power of Igniting Change

I was honoured to join 1000 young talents across 162 countries who gathered in Shenzhen, China from 6 to 13 November 2019. It was the third year of the UNLEASH initiative; a global innovation lab transforming insights into implementable and scalable solutions for the 2030  Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNLEASH aspires to provide next generation solutions for the SDGs by igniting much needed change.

UNLEASH is a carbon neutral event with a commitment to offset 576 tonnes of carbon emissions from the host country and VIP flights. With the philanthropic support from Vanke Foundation and PISHON, China Green Carbon Foundation will plant 5.73 ha of forest about 9,500 Platycladus Orientalis in Taihung, mountain area of Hebei province. The program, in partnership with China Association for Science and Technology and the Shenzhen government, focused on eight themes including health, education, water, energy, infrastructure, cities, consumption and climate.

SDG #3 – Good Health and Well-being

As one of the selected talents this year, 240 teams went through five days of facilitated innovation process using human centric approach from problem framing, ideation to prototyping and storytelling. My team focused on SDG 3 – ‘Good health and well-being’ and delivered the antibiotic safe certification solution enabled by blockchain technology in reducing the impact of antimicrobial resistance on agricultural systems. Our mission was to create a sustainable food system and farming behaviour. We were enthusiastic about the positive interests expressed by experts.


Unleash Shenzhen

Global Challenges – a more Sustainable Approach

UNLEASH is committed to making a better and more sustainable world.” said Flemming Besenbacher, chairman of UNLEASH, the Carlsberg Group and the Carlsberg Foundation at the closing ceremony. Both Muhammad Yunus and Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Peace Prize laureates highlighted the power of change makers, “An old road cannot take you to a new destination” and “When you are in pursuit of making change, walk loudly” respectively. The innovation lab concluded with hearty rounds of applause in celebration of the dedication towards achieving the UN SDGs and the positive spirit in unleashing scalable solutions to global challenges.

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