UN Foundation – The Big Brainstorm 2023 for Young Thinkers and Activists to design their future

UN Foundation – The Big Brainstorm 2023 for Young Thinkers and Activists to design their future

Deadline: January 19, 2023

Are you a young changemaker seeking an open and inclusive platform for action to design the future? Join the Big Brainstorm 2023 to propose your initiative and become part of Unlock the Future’s Engine Room.

The Big Brainstorm is an opportunity for young thinkers and activists to design their future. Supported by the United Nations Foundation, young leaders from around the world will come together to embark on a two week design sprint to explore, prototype, and launch initiatives to tackle some of humanity’s greatest challenges.

The theme of the 2023 Big Brainstorm is “A Year of Action for the SDGs.” The upcoming second SDG Summit is an opportunity to accelerate action to solve the world’s most urgent problems, with young people at the forefront of change. It is also a turning point to drive collective action for both people and the planet.

Benefits

The most successful initiatives will be spotlighted during the SDG Summit to demonstrate that meaningful progress on the 17 Global Goals is possible. All young changemakers who engage in the Big Brainstorm will also be members of the Engine Room to Unlock the Future – a wider space for young people to forge connections, mobilize, and drive our efforts to rejuvenate the multilateral system.

How It Works

  1. Big Kick-Off: 16 February 
    • An invite-only event for mentors, partners, and young changemakers who are interested in contributing to one of the Action Groups. 
    • Short presentation by each Action Group showcasing the objectives of selected initiatives.
    • Concluding session that draws out common themes and challenges, suggests links between the work across the Action Groups, and outlines next steps.
  2. Action Groups: Throughout
    • Youth-led and youth-focused initiatives will be matched with Action Groups led by UN Foundation Next Generation Fellows. Mentorship and support provided to each initiative within the 8 groups.
      1. Transforming education
      2. Jobs and economic opportunities
      3. Climate and sustainability
      4. Peace and justice
      5. Future generations
      6. Gender Equality
      7. SDG Summit
      8. Financing for young changemakers
    • At least one check-in with the UN Foundation team. Completion of a work plan (using a provided template) and preparation for presentation at the Big PItch.
  3. Spotlight Sessions: Throughout
    • Roundtables with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs, and policymakers to help Action Groups to build the networks and momentum they need to succeed.
  4. Big Pitch: 28 February 
    • 8-minute presentation by each Action Group to partners, donors, and other young thinkers and activists
    • Feedback from an intergenerational panel.
    • Prize giving for the most creative, ambitious proposals.
  5. Post Event: 19-20 September (SDG Summit)
    • Ongoing support from the Unlock coalition for Action Groups to deliver their plans.
    • Unlock newsletter spotlights the progress and achievements of Action Groups. 
    • Key achievements will be showcased during the SDG Summit.

Eligibility

Initiatives must meet the following criteria:

  1. Be led or co-led by young people under the age of 30
  2. Correspond to one of the above 8 Action Group themes
  3. Carry out a concrete set of SMART activities over the course of 2023, such as:
    • Mobilizing around a global event to drive X action, commitment, financing 
    • Running an online campaign or training to reach X young people
    • Carrying out research or consultations to publish a report or digital product  
    • Implementing an on the ground project to reach X young people

Application

  • Young people will be invited to submit a form to express their interest in participating in the Big Brainstorm by either joining or leading an initiative under one of 8 Action Groups.
  • Submissions will be reviewed by the Big Brainstorm organizing team (50% of participants will be under the age of 30) and prospective applicants will be informed of the outcome. 
  • Successful initiatives will be matched with Action Groups that are mentored and supported by the Next Generation Fellows. Each Action Group will include 1-3 initiatives.

Click here to apply.

For more information, visit Big Brainstorm.

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