The UNLEASH Innovation Lab opens in Shenzhen today, bringing more than 1,000 young talents from 160 countries and regions together to come up with solutions to the world’s pressing problems.
In the week through Nov. 13, the talents will be split into different teams to go through a facilitated process of innovation by exploring the real-life challenges in Shenzhen under eight themes, including health, education, water, energy and infrastructure. They will explore the themes from multiple angles, focus on specific problems, and come up with preliminary solutions. The solutions will be tested by leading experts and later presented to judges and mentors after undergoing refinement.
A total of 16 teams will be selected through road shows and in the Dragons’ Den format to compete in the final. The top solutions will be showcased at the closing ceremony.
“It is China’s first time holding such an event, and this one is bigger than the first two rounds held in Denmark and Singapore,” Shirley Feng, secretary general with Shenzhen Industrial Design Profession Association, the organizer of UNLEASH2019, said at a news conference in October.
This year’s event has creatively introduced a ‘story teller’ mechanism to share the interesting things and people, the progress of the innovation lab and uniqueness of Shenzhen through social media channels in order to expand Unleash’s global influence and support sustainable development,” said Feng.
Flemming Besenbacher, chairman of Unleash, Carlsberg Group and Carlsberg Foundation, and Alaa Murabit, a medical doctor and one of 17 Global Sustainable Development Goal Advocates appointed by the UN Secretary General, will give speeches at the inaugural ceremony today. Four excellent talents who participated in the innovation lab events in Denmark and Singapore will share their experiences with the attendees.
Denmark kick started the initiative in 2017, and Singapore took over for the second year.
In the first two years, 2,000 talents from 143 countries and regions put forward 370 solutions created under themes related to the SDGs. They are supported by the UNLEASH ecosystem of investors, experts, mentors and more than 200 partner organizations from all over the world.