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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

Innovation30: Unicef for Every Child

29 August 2023 - CISL to support UNICEF and global leading innovation accelerators in launching Under-30 Climate Innovators Shaping the Future Initiative (the Initiative).

The twenty-first century faces one of the most pressing challenges in history: climate change. With every year, the world witnesses an increasing number of extreme weather events, declining biodiversity, and the very tangible effects of our actions on the environment. Addressing this crisis requires all hands-on deck and, most importantly, innovative solutions. And who better to offer a fresh perspective than the young climate innovators and entrepreneurs?

The Energy of Youth

Young minds bring vibrancy and dynamism. They challenge the status quo and ask the questions many are afraid to voice. By their very nature, young innovators come with a fresh set of eyes, unencumbered by decades of 'business as usual.' They’re not just thinking of the next quarterly report; they're focused on what the world will look like decades, even centuries, down the line.

Tech-Savvy and Globally Connected

Having grown up in a digital age, young innovators are often adept at leveraging technology and global networks. They can quickly connect with like-minded individuals across the globe, pool resources, share knowledge, and turn ideas into scalable solutions.

A Personal Stake in the Future

This is the world that today's youth will inherit. It's not just an abstract problem for them; it's their future at stake. This personal investment often translates to an unwavering commitment to finding sustainable and effective solutions to climate issues.

Diverse Perspectives

Our world's problems are multifaceted and complex. Solutions require an interplay of diverse skills and perspectives. Young people today, more than ever, are exposed to a variety of cultures, ideas, and disciplines. This diversity can breed innovative solutions that consider various facets of the climate crisis.

Economic Growth and Job Creation

Supporting young climate entrepreneurs isn't just about saving the planet. It’s also a massive opportunity for economic growth. Green tech and sustainable solutions are rapidly becoming significant market segments, creating jobs and fostering new industries.

While the potential is vast, the path for young climate innovators is riddled with challenges. They face financial constraints, lack of mentorship, limited access to networks, and sometimes, scepticism. Therefore, governments, corporations, and society at large need to recognize the potential of these young innovators and create a conducive environment for their development and thrive.

CISL has joined forces to support UNICEF and global leading innovation accelerators in launching Under-30 Climate Innovators Shaping the Future Initiative (the Initiative). The Initiative is curating a pipeline of proven youth-led, ready-to-scale innovative and localized solutions making transformational changes in addressing the climate crisis and accelerating the global transition to a green economy.

With the support from the climate experts, in the lead up to COP 28, CISL will be reviewing and vetting climate solutions nominated by leading accelerator globally, including EU-Climate-Kic, Ignite Sweden, MIT Solv[ED], Imperial College Climate Change Innovation Accelerator, Chatham House Sustainability Accelerator and African Youth Climate Hub  etc.

Our judging panel


Jie Zhou, Senior Programme Manager, CISL



Sam Laakkonen, Director of the Canopy, CISL



Dr Amy Munro-Faure, Head of Education and Student Engagement, Cambridge Zero


Peter Bachman, Managing Director, Sustainable Infrastructure, Gresham House


Dr Tim Forman, Senior Teaching Associate, CISL



Zoe Kalus, Head of Media  

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