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Cultivating the next generation of changemakers

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The Young SDG Innovators Programme (YSIP) activates future business leaders and changemakers and challenges them to rethink traditional business models and unlock new business opportunities. YSIP is an SDG business solutions accelerator programme for young professionals in participating Global Compact companies. 

 Teams of young professionals, called Innovators, work together under the guidance of mentors and facilitators, to identify opportunities and develop solutions that are relevant to their companies but have broader application towards innovation for the SDGs. The  programme includes a mix of in-person and virtual workshops , as well as self-guided online learning. 

Programme overview:
Select young professionals (“Innovators”) from UN Global Compact participating companies will: 
• Connect to entrepreneurial young professionals from around the world to leverage the Sustainable Development Goals as a catalyst for the development of new products and services relevant to their business. 
• Collaborate with thought leaders in a series of team exercises and interactive learning opportunities involving real-world challenges, peer feedback and sparring, and mentoring and coaching. 
• Build organisational learning skills that will enable employees across different functions to develop innovative solutions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals through new technologies, initiatives, and business models.

Programme structure:

Participants will complete a series of online learning modules to explore the core concepts around business and the Sustainable Development Goals, and Breakthrough Innovation to build a solid foundational knowledge before starting the programme. The programme is then delivered through five innovation camps. Each two-day training and activity camp allows the Innovators to interact with different company teams in the UK to exchange ideas, learn from innovation experts, participate in team exercises, and practically apply the tools and training they receive towards the solution they are building for their company. The innovation camps are structured around: 

  • Challenge identification - Test out innovation tools to learn how to frame and identify your SDG business challenge. Through different activities, innovators will gain the necessary tools and inputs needed to understand and frame a specific challenge that is relevant to their company. 
  • Challenge definition - Utilise design thinking ideation methods to refine and validate specific SDG business challenge pertinent to your company that will form the basis of a breakthrough business solution.
     
  • Solutions development – Devise potential solutions that will address your company’s SDG business challenge, going through constant iteration and experimentation, to generate new ideas and test them for viability.

  • Solutions testing and validation – Move project solutions to more refined versions through testing and understanding how to validate the solution for SDG impact within the company and with external stakeholders. 

- Offboarding – Prepare how to take the learnings, skills, and projects developed in the programme back into your organisations. Build the confidence and skills you will need after the programme to continue with your solutions, and become SDG change agents within your companies. 

Innovators will also benefit from live case studies, guest speakers, self-guided learning opportunities, and global summits throughout the programme that provide the teams with an opportunity to meet and share experiences with participants from across the world. 

Invest in the Next Generation of Innovators

The Young SDG Innovators Programme is designed to engage your company’s brightest and best talent in not only advancing your sustainability efforts but driving innovation and delivering tangible solutions with potential market value for your company.

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Programme Benefits

Participant Benefits:
• Learning and development resources. A comprehensive curriculum with a blend of learning opportunities including online and in-person workshops, case studies, company visits and forum discussions.
• Professional experience. Connect with other business units and collaborate on innovative projects relative to the company and industry.
• Coaching, mentoring, and peer-to-peer networking opportunities. Build working relationships and learn from some of the brightest minds working on sustainability and innovation from around the world.
• Be part of a global network of leading young professionals from some of the top companies across every continent.

Company Benefits:
•Accelerate integration of the SDGs into your company’s business strategy through collaboration, innovation, and knowledge sharing.
• Create a culture of innovation to deliver the SDGs and showcase the programme’s tangible outputs and results.
• Increase employee engagement and professional development opportunities for valued talent, including:

    • High-quality, cutting-edge, and inspirational workshops from thought-leaders in the sustainability and disruptive technology fields.
    • Opportunities to provide mentorship and leadership in the programme, collaborate with innovation experts, and share best practices.
    • Tools, resources, and expertise by some of the leading innovative companies.

• Gain global recognition for participation in the programme.

Eligibility Requirements

  • 2 – 4 high-performing young professionals at a participating company of the UN Global Compact 
  • 35 years or younger 
  • Interest in business innovations, sustainability, and disruptive technologies 

Timeline

  • Call for nominations: October 27 – December 3 . Please note, due to high demand and limited places, nominations may close early.  
  • Programme begins:  January 2022 
  • Programme ends: July 2022 
  • Innovators Summit: September 2022 

Fees

£1500 for first 2 innovators
£750 for 3rd innovator
£500 for 4th innovator

Companies interested in joining the programme can apply here or contact Clare O'Keeffe for further information. Due to demand and limited spots in the programme, the UK Network will need to confirm company participation before approved companies are able to put forward programme participants. Once company interest has been registered, you will be contacted by the UK Network on next steps. If you are a young professional interested in the programme, please talk to your company's UN Global Compact contact to see how your company can sign up and join the programme. 

For further information please see the YSIP Brochure, our FAQs, or contact:
Clare O'Keeffe
Global Goals Project Manager
Email: clare.o'keeffe@unglobalcompact.org.uk