Global Solution Making

Accelerating Entrepreneurs and Youth Empowerment

Watch this highlight video of the 2018 UN Solutions Summit at United Nations Headquarters

United Nations Solutions Summit


The United Nations Solutions Summit was co-created in 2015 by shift7 co-founders Megan Smith, Susan Alzner and Puneet Ahira, with the United Nations and the UN Foundation, to lift up entrepreneurs who are advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The first annual UN Solutions Summit immediately followed the adoption of the SDGs by all UN Member States, demonstrating that people already have extraordinary solutions to our most complex challenges - they just need help to get the job done.

UN Solutions Summit identifies solution-makers from around the world through an open, participatory application and selection process, and accelerates their work by sharing it broadly, and directly connecting them with a diverse network of investors, philanthropists, industry leaders, policy-makers, and peers that are ready to help them scale their impact. Solutions Summit also involves in-person coaching sessions for the solution-makers with Acceleration Partners.

Our 2018 acceleration partners:

Accelerate2030, Acumen, Equal Innovation, UN Equator Prize, Humanitarian Tracker, MIT Solve, Salesforce, SDG Philanthropy Platform, Skoll Foundation, Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), Startup Bootcamp, University of Denver, Unreasonable Group, Walker Impact, World Bank Connect4Climate

Thank you to the UN Solutions Summit 2018 sponsors for supporting travel for the solution-makers, and event production:

AIA, Barclays, Ericsson, Google, Schmidt Ventures, Consensys

Read more on the 2018 UN Solutions Summit


By the numbers

  • 4 years - 3116 applications - 135 countries

  • 45 Solution Makers

  • 100 Selection Committee members

Obama White House -- Medium blog post by Megan Smith about Solutions Summit 2015

Obama White House -- Medium blog post by Megan Smith about Solutions Summit 2015


Colorado Solutions Summit participation

This method we co-created is now expanding across the UN system, and has been replicated by Colorado to further support the UN Solutions Summit solution-makers (Flight to Denver), and to accelerate Colorado-based entrepreneurs working toward SDG-related objectives (Colorado Solutions Summit).

“The credibility the platform provides is amazing and gets everyone's attention especially in a country like India. With Hend Alhinnawi (another entrepreneur selected for Solutions Summit), we are working on an Arabic version of the Safecity mobile app. With Project Xite Flight to Denver, my team chose to work on bringing Safecity to Denver. This helped us think through our projects deeper as there was a diverse group who gave us inputs to strengthen our work.”

     - Elsa D’Silva, Founder and CEO of Safecity, India

Youth empowerment


As part of our work, shift7 continually reaches out to youth organizations -- working to  interconnect programs and evangelize their exceptional work. For example, we help the Chief Science Officers (CSOs) team to grow in more regions. In 2016, some of our leadership co-catalyzed the Computer Science for All (CS for All) movement when in government -- today we stay closely engaged to support the core CS for All teams. Here’s our Conversation with Cartoon Network at the CS for All Summit about use of media to engage more youth in tech and inspire creative confidence. We evangelize active-STEM, such as Science Fair experiences, and support incredible story telling like Inventing Tomorrow, a film about how effective Science Fair experiences can be. Plus, we share great models that are really working like XQsuperschools, FIRST Robotics, Black Girls Code and Girls Who Code.