UNLEASH Hacks brings together young people around the world to address local sustainability challenges

This summer, 554 young people worked on finding local solutions to humanity’s most pressing needs, as defined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They were part of UNLEASH Hacks, which are 2-day events designed to encourage risk-taking, to nurture creativity and to boost creative problem-solving skills that may not surface naturally in our otherwise busy lives.

Collaboratively, the talents from 19 countries come up with solutions that can create real positive impact in their local communities, while gaining innovation tools and skills for the future. In only two years of existence, the 41 UNLEASH Hacks has already brought together 2,000 people among participants, facilitators, organizers, experts and partner organizations.

Building community-oriented solutions

The magic behind the UNLEASH Hacks lays in its community-based approach. These are aimed at addressing key local sustainability challenges identified by the local community and aligned with the SDGs. To foster bottom-up innovation; the events are organized by UNLEASH alumni for local youth and invite local stakeholders and community leaders.

It was a wonderful and amazing experience working with the community. It helped us discover how so many ideas can be generated to solve problems if only one puts the mind to it. We hope to learn more and as well unleash our talents so together we achieve the SDGs by 2030

Solomon Boakye, UNLEASH Hacks Team Member, Ghana

UNLEASH drives creative problem-solving for social impact

UNLEASH’s 5-step methodology provides talents a strong foundation for those that desire to continue their social impact journey. In fact, the majority of talents (89%) report the hacks inspired them to actively work towards the achievement of the SDGs.

The fast-paced nature of the event is not by chance. Its design encourages risk-taking, nurtures creativity and boosts problem-solving skills that may not surface naturally in our otherwise busy lives. In fact, the word Hackathon is a combination of “Hack” and “Marathon”, where the first part stands for the creative problem-solving and experimentation; and the second speaks to the sprint-like nature of these events.

Partnering with innovation company, Novozymes, to mature solutions

In 2021, once the hacks were over, many teams opted for support from the industry to further develop their solutions.

The mentorship added a lot of value. Our mentor really encouraged us to look at the business viability of our project, and the sustainability of our business model.

Yu Fangling, Singapore

The mentors were employees of Novozymes, a biotechnology company committed to creating better lives in a growing world. Novozymes’ employees shared their experience in solution development and innovation to support maturation of prototypes towards long lasting local solutions to local sustainability challenges.

Stay tuned to UNLEASH and Novozymes channels to learn more about this collaboration!

To learn more about UNLEASH Hacks, visit: https://unleash.org/hacks/