Case studies

UNLEASH Innovation Labs

International collaboration offering innovative solutions

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. The challenge is immense. To realise the SDGs, it is estimated that the world will need to invest a staggering amount, between USD $5 trillion and $7 trillion per year, which is roughly 7% to 10% of the global annual GDP. Innovation will be the critical factor in developing solutions.

This is why Deloitte has engaged with UNLEASH, a non-profit organisation and global platform created to inspire and attract top young talent from around the world to collaborate in offering innovative and accessible solutions to the SDGs.

UNLEASH Innovation Labs will take place in a different country every year until 2030 when the UN has set a deadline to meet specific SDG targets, as agreed in 2015. The first instalment of the event series took place in August 2017 in Denmark, when UNLEASH partnered with close to 200 organisations from top firms, academia, non-profits and investors to serve as Knowledge and Talent Partners. Deloitte was a Corporate and Executive Partner for the inaugural 2017 edition, facilitating the SDG Innovation Labs.

A dozen practitioners from the Deloitte network were selected during the rigorous application process to join a diverse group of 1,000 participants from around the world to discuss innovations and solutions to some of the many international development issues that we are facing today related to education, economy and sustainability. Over the course of four days, 45 Deloitte facilitators led seven Innovation Labs across 10 learning institutions in Denmark to come up with 199 potential solutions to the SDGs. Sarah Tuytschaever, Business Analyst in Consulting, represented Deloitte Belgium as a facilitator during the Innovation Labs.


We challenged 1000 talented young people to come up with solutions to the world's most complex challenges. It was truly inspiring to help them to translate their entrepreneurial ambition for change into viable, scalable and innovative solutions.
Sarah Tuytschaever, Business Analyst, Consulting


The key themes this year included Education & ICT, Water, Food, Energy, Sustainable Production & Consumption, Urban Sustainability and Health. In facilitating the SDG Innovation Labs, we engaged with teams of talents through the process of innovation including brainstorming with peers, prototyping the ideas, testing with experts and refining the proposals before presenting the top solutions to a panel of potential investors. The most innovative solutions were recognised at a special awards ceremony with the intention for UNLEASH partner organisations to materialise them and put ideas into action, supporting Deloitte’s purpose of making an impact that matters.


Claire Van Bergen
Senior Director, Deloitte Foundation

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Deloitte’s role as the execution and lead innovation partner for UNLEASH 2017, supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, further enhanced our firm’s position in making an impact that matters.
Claire Van Bergen, Senior Director, Deloitte Foundation

'Impact that Matters' at UNLEASH Lab 2017

1000 Talents from 130 countries were gathered at Danish Folk High Schools to collectively come up with solutions to the SDGs. Deloitte led the four-day innovation workshop.

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