UNLEASH: Most innovative, implementable and scalable solutions to UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) 

UNLEASH is a new, global initiative that brings together 1,000 young academics, intrapreneurs, entrepreneurs and tech experts annually. Each year they will be tasked with developing innovative and practical solutions to the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The first UNLEASH took place in Denmark, in three main locations; Copenhagen, Folk High Schools in the country side, and Aarhus. The talents worked in teams and were taken through an Innovation Process where they co-created the solutions.


UNLEASH Lab 2017 worked with seven themes that relate to the SDGs: Education & ICT, Energy, Health, Food, Sustainable Consumption & Production, Urban Sustainability, and Water. Below we gathered the winners of each category. 


1) Education & ICT

Hear-oes on Demand: In Kenya, the ratio of quality interpreters to deaf individuals is 1:7500. A monopoly controls the interpreter network and takes the majority of the revenue, leaving little for interpreters. Institutions that have government mandates to provide interpreter services face both a shortage of qualified interpreters, and a lack of pricing transparency. Our solution disrupts this system through a shared economy model that leverages a web and mobile enabled pla orm to connect interpreters to the deaf.  

2) Energy

earthmark: Product manufacturers won’t use sustainable practices until demanded by consumers, but consumers have no easy way to make the best choices. The earthmark app allows consumers to easily identify the most sustainable choices within product categories, spurring green competition between brands; so a minority of consumers can influence the most competitive sectors. earthmark will be funded by product referrals to partner retailers - like Amazon, which gives 4% on successful sales. 

3) Food

Doti Gold: Doti Gold is a for-profit organization that transforms food waste to gold (animal feed and fertiliser) using the black soldier flies. Doti Gold will produce more affordable inputs mainly proteins for fish and bio fertiliser for crops contributing to farmers‘ livelihoods. Urban and rural households will have access to affordable and nutritious food including proteins from fish and chicken contributing to zero hunger. 

4) Health

BlockFakRX : 120,000 children die due to counterfeit antimalarial drugs in Africa each year. In Nigeria alone, over 70% of all drugs sold annually are counterfeit. Existing solutions to tackle this problem have proven to be expensive and inadequate. Hence, the proposed use of blockchain technology, which is a secure, immutible and auditable solution for tracking the movement of drugs along the supply chain, so that patients benefit by having a verifiable record of their drug‘s provenance through our app. 

5) Sustainable Consumption & Production

SmartWrapr-Reusable Smart Pallet Wrapping: Shrink wrap is one of the largest hidden pollutants in the world. In the United States, there are over 2 billion pallets which causes 1.0 billion pounds of petroleum waste, which 95% is expected to end up in land fills. We have developed a reuseable smart pallet cover to replace plastic shrink wrap. We can reduce the cost to customers for pallet wrapping from $1.20 to $0.60 per use and reduce environmental impact by 50% in plastic waste, 95% of petroleum use, and 80% of CO2 emissions. 

6) Urban Sustainability

Demolition for Design: Demolition for Design (D4D) disrupts the ecosystem of the built environment by mapping and auditing the materials of buildings ready to be demolished and connecting demolition experts, and their materials, with engineers, architects and upcycling manufacturers. In doing so, it not only diverts construction waste from land fill into new reuse and upcycling markets; but also improves the safety of building demolition. 

7) Water

UNLEAK-Free leak detection for all:  Leaks inside homes lose enough water to serve 600 million people each day. UNLEAK will fix this in water stressed cities by offering free leak detection and cheap repairs to all. Using a method to check for leaks from outside homes, we will audit entire neighborhoods at once. We will coordinate bulk discounts from plumbers and offer heavily discounted repairs to leaking households. Plumbers will pay us a referral fee for driving business to them. We expect each 100 houses to cost us $13 to audit and generate $30 in revenue. In this way we will profitably and scalably reduce water consumption in water stressed cities.