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UNLEASH India 2022 Innovation Lab - Triumph Teh

Selected from a pool of about 7000, I was privileged to attend the UNLEASH Global Innovation Lab 2022 in India, from the 3rd to 10th of December, 2022 with other Global Talents, entrepreneurs, and experts in various fields around the world. UNLEASH is a global initiative started in Denmark to rally 1000 talents annually who collaborate to create innovative solutions to the SDGs. With strong partners like the Government of Karnataka, India; Novo Nordisk, Chemonics International, HCL Group, and Infosys, UNLEASH has been executing programs since 2017 and has provided a solid network with funding opportunities for projects to attain sustainable development goals. The Innovation lab took place at the Infosys Campus–the world’s largest corporate university and India’s biggest training campus for most IT aspirants after they leave college.

The program was structured, with talents allocated to their SDG tracks of expertise among SDGs 3, 4, 6, 7, 13, 14, and 15. With a strong passion for public health and medicine, I was part of an expert team that worked in SDG3 (Good Health and Well-being). My team had a medical doctor, Dr Jad; a Dentist, Dr Hafsa; a 5th-year medical student Victory; and Dr Abhishek, PhD, with whom I collaborated throughout the innovation process. Our main theme was on developing an innovative solution to mitigate Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), where we further focused on mitigating the rate of diabetes in Urban India. As the core of the innovation process, talents were drilled into the design thinking methodology of problem framing, ideation, prototyping, and testing, and after the lab, we were provided with extended opportunities to assist in implementing impact solutions. My teammates and I designed a model called Winder–an app that would promote physical activity in middle age urban India by connecting them with people around their location to promote community exercises as a motivating factor for physical activity. My skills in graphic design assisted my team in prototyping using Canva.

UNLEASH is unparalleled, with a well-organized system. Initially, I arrived in India thinking I would be lost among 1000 talents and was worried that I might not have a chance to effectively participate, but we were all divided into groups of about 5 and each group had a mentor. There were also teams of facilitators for each SDG track and so much support and resources were made available, ensuring an intensive one week of problem and solution framing. The scale, level, and innovation are none I have experienced before. There was also the UNLEASH Plus, which featured established entrepreneurs and founders of NGOs who are ready to scale their impact higher. Hearing their pitches refreshed in me a new perspective to return to my community and leverage the opportunities to create more impact in my community. Some of their projects were converting atmospheric carbon dioxide into acetyl to make drugs and food items, converting plastics to affordable bricks to build houses, social justice initiatives creating relief for wrongly-accused prisoners in Nigeria, etc.

Meeting people from across diverse cultures and being inspired by the amazing solutions we could bring up after the process, and the opportunity to witness the amazing work of Unleash+, I would recommend UNLEASH again and again! The community of 1000 fellow Unleashers brought together a rich diversity and permitted me to learn more about the geography, history, and cultures of others. The design thinking process also helped me in my personal life as I now think deeply, asking more "whys" before I make a decision. I appreciate all the supporters and sponsors of this program and wish that more support be offered to Unleash to make it more accessible to all passionate problem solvers around the world who are eager to engage in the Unleash process.

Returning to Dartmouth, with a continuous passion for Global Health and Medicine, and being involved in programs on campus such as a King Scholar and Great Issues Scholar, I’m more inspired to engage in community initiatives for impact. I have been invested in sharing my experience to motivate my friends and fellow students in taking up initiatives and opportunities too. I have already shared this with over 20 people, and it is my goal to keep reaching out, even with this report to many more students. I also had the opportunity to present my experience to the Director of the FGO and King Scholars and the Director of the Great Issues Scholars who gained so much interest that they requested me to share this resource with many more Dartmouth students to apply to the next cohorts of UNLEASH. UNLEASH also has programs where alumni organize smaller events in their regions and I am interested in taking advantage of this opportunity.

From Open Dreams (#237) to the World - Feudjio Nicoletta & Teh Triumph (in the picture)

Blog Post by Triumph Teh

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