Solutions Summit:
A catalytic gathering at United Nations Headquarters
during UN General Assembly week

Lifting up entrepreneurs advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Watch videos of all 2017 sessions and individual presentations here.



Solutions Summit is an annual catalytic gathering at United Nations Headquarters in New York during UN General Assembly high-level week in September. This initiative lifts up and advances the work of exceptional teams already developing innovative solutions that address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  Solutions Summit 2017 took place from 19-21 September, 12:00-1:00pm each day in the UN SDG Media Zone – a live broadcast event space at the UN focused on the SDGs. This special event highlighted projects advancing one or more of the 17 SDGs, and involved in-person accelerator sessions and social media interaction with the selected solution-makers. The first Solutions Summit in 2015 immediately followed the adoption of the SDGs by all UN Member States. It showed that people already have extraordinary solutions in progress to our most complex challenges.


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During the Solutions Summit, a group of selected global innovators give a ‘lightning talk’ outlining their breakthrough efforts to an audience of senior policymakers who have the means to pave solid regulatory foundations, investors who care deeply about long-term change and impact, industry leaders who are able to deploy quickly and at scale, fellow entrepreneurs who can share wisdom on starting up, and members of the general public, including youth, who bring additional creative insight. The gathering serves as a catalyst to convene resources and talent around solution-makers. Solutions Summit 2017 included in-person accelerator sessions and social media interaction with several acceleration partners helping to scale the work of the solution-makers.

Nnameka Ikegwuonu of ColdHubs, Nigeria. ColdHubs addresses the cold storage needs of farmers by combining the well-established technologies of photovoltaic energy supply and compressive cold generation with a novel concept of pay-as-you-need storage.


Solutions Summit is led by the UN Foundation, the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS), shift7, and the Global Innovation Exchange, in collaboration with the Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
UN-NGLS coordinates the open and transparent application and selection process to curate solutions featured during the Solutions Summit.

We thank our acceleration partners for their time, guidance and commitment to supporting the innovators:
MIT Solve, the Skoll Foundation, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, the SDG Philanthropy Platform, the Equator Initiative, YES Bank, Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs, the University of Denver, and Grand Challenges Canada.


Susan Graham of Biocarbon Engineering, United Kingdom. Their team is using emerging technologies to plant one billion trees a year using unmanned quad-copters, remote sensing mapping, and high-velocity, aerial planting systems.


Solutions Summit 2016 highlighted projects that advance the objectives of the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants, the UN Habitat III Conference, the UN Climate Change Conference, the Open Government Partnership, and the UN Oceans Conference.

Humanitarian Tracker
Darewin / Great Whale Conservancy
Red Dot Foundation (Safecity)

Megan Smith, 3rd United States Chief Technology Officer, with Annamarie Saarinen

        UN-NGLS     UN Foundation