Something special has been happening in Denmark. The UNLEASH Innovation Lab 2017 gathered more than 1,000 brilliant minds working on finding new, inspired solutions to the challenges described in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
I think it’s spectacular to bring together top talent from the world of business, academia and organizations and let them learn from and inspire each other. And, actually, also inspire the rest of us. Each of the SDG’s represent a specific track in the innovation lab’s program, and I along with Grundfos, have had the pleasure of hosting and sponsoring the water track. More than 120 hardworking and inspiring talents have been tackling this challenge – with the possibility of getting input from some of the members of my own – dare I say it – talented staff.
I’m impressed with what I’ve been witnessing. Deep knowledge meets enthusiastic efforts. Loads of ideas are brought to the table, and there is a genuine room for simply exploring possible options and routes, which can be implemented and followed to reach lasting solutions to the lack of access to clean water and sanitation for millions and millions of people across the world.
One thing I found truly inspiring was the great diversity and will to do a difference of the teams working with the issues. They represented a wide variety of educational backgrounds, and came from all parts of the globe, thus they represent firsthand knowledge of several of the burning issues, as well as holding knowledge which can be put into play to create broad solutions. Solutions, which we need now, if we are to gain the traction we need to meet the goals by 2030.
However, not necessarily during the Innovation Lab. I don’t expect a ‘Heureka’-moment, where something which can solve one or more of the critical issues in one swoop, is discovered. That would be too much to ask, I think. But I do think that important ground work has been laid, which can make a difference in the future. For me, it has been inspirational and a pleasure to follow the work done, and I look forward to following the talents and their ideas developing even further.