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Making an impact through UNLEASH 2019

Applying our innovation expertise to accelerate societal impact

Deloitte’s global WorldClass societal impact initiative seeks to empower 50 million people to succeed in the rapidly changing global economy. Through our WorldClass efforts, we are using our core expertise to develop job skills, improve educational outcomes and create opportunities for those left behind in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

To accelerate our impact, we are collaborating with others to find the most innovative solutions to some of the most complex global challenges. For the third year in a row, we teamed up with UNLEASH to bring together the brightest minds from different sectors and backgrounds to develop new solutions for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

2019 UNLEASH Innovation Lab

UNLEASH was created in 2017 to inspire innovation by connecting talented people with an eco-system of corporate and institutional partners. The ultimate goal of UNLEASH is to develop solutions for the SDGs by taking Talents – the name used for UNLEASH Innovation Lab participants – through business-led Innovation Labs.

The 2019 UNLEASH Innovation Lab took place from 6-13 November in Shenzhen, China. Throughout the five day UNLEASH process, the Talent were guided through a series of lessons, simulations and tests designed to provide the foundation for truly actionable solutions.

In 2019, Deloitte and UNLEASH also collaborated on UNLEASH+, which is a pre-accelerator programme to help ready solutions to go to market. Teams of former UNLEASH participants were invited to join the UNLEASH+ track this year. These teams worked on innovations such as HIV detection via chewing gum, education through Virtual Reality and using by-catch fish to create new nutritious products.



More information on UNLEASH can be found at

Applying innovation expertise to accelerate solutions

As Lead Innovation Partner for UNLEASH, Deloitte supported the design, delivery and facilitation of the innovation labs that are at the heart of the UNLEASH process. Over the past three years, Deloitte has co-developed a lab curriculum that utilises Deloitte’s distinct innovation facilitation processes to support UNLEASH talents as they translate their ideas into actionable solutions.

UNLEASH was truly a global activation for Deloitte, with teams from around the world contributing to the success of the Innovation Labs. In 2019, 49 professionals from 18 countries traveled to China to facilitate these Labs during the Summit. A further 10 Deloitte professionals from 8 countries attended the Summit as Talents. Participation in the UNLEASH Lab provided a unique opportunity for these Deloitte professionals to enhance their ability to make a positive societal impact.

Deloitte prepared our global delegation, representing 18 countries, to make an impact at UNLEASH through leadership development sessions before the event and the on-site training for all 130 UNLEASH facilitators in Deloitte China’s new Shenzhen Office Innovation space. Bahare Haghshenas (SDG Strategy and Innovation Lead, Deloitte Denmark) positioned Deloitte’s commitment to innovation and the SDGs through our WorldClass ambition through an engaging speech to all 1000+ participants at the opening ceremony to kick off the week-long innovation lab.

Brigit Fung (Deloitte China Foundation Director) and Leena Patel (Deloitte Global Brand Platforms Lead) served as judges during first round pitches, then Dora Liu (Innovation Leader, Deloitte China) represented Deloitte as a judge for the UNLEASH+ Dragon’s Den. We made monetary contributions to two projects supporting SDG 4 (quality education) in line with WorldClass:
• SkillNav: tech platform and app that helps close the skills gap through providing behavioural nudges and tracking to help employers build necessary skills within their workforce
• SlamOutLoud: programme using arts as way to develop critical skills for disadvantaged children in India

Wrapping up a successful event at the UNLEASH closing ceremony, Elizabeth Faber (Chief Talent Officer, Deloitte Asia Pacific) delivered an inspiring speech encouraging attendees to leverage their new network of social change agents to continue connecting for impact. Philip Tsai (Chair, Deloitte China) then presented an award for “Most Innovative Solution” to a team that took an everyday item – a water bottle – and created a critical life-saving tool to reduce the number of babies that die due to neonatal asphyxia. We are eager to see how the solutions and learnings from UNLEASH continue to improve our capabilities for our clients as well as the global community through WorldClass and broader societal impact efforts. Look out for post-event blog posts from Deloitte UNLEASH Delegates and leaders in the coming weeks