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

Solutions Summit 2016 will highlight projects advancing the objectives of one or more of these upcoming global Summits and Conferences:

UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants
UN Habitat III Conference
UN Climate Change Conference
Open Government Partnership Summit
UN Oceans Conference



The purpose of the Solutions Summit is two-fold: 1) to lift up exceptional innovators -- technologists, engineers, scientists, and others -- who are developing solutions that address one or more of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and 2) to catalyze a grassroots effort, where communities scout and convene resources around solution-makers. The first Solutions Summit in 2015 immediately followed the adoption of the SDGs by all UN Member States at the UN Sustainable Development Summit. It showed that people already have extraordinary solutions in progress to our most complex challenges. For 2016, the Solutions Summit will highlight 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 Global Summit, and the UN Oceans Conference.


Princess Abze Djigma of Burkina Faso presents AbzeSolar, which provides solar lighting, solar energy and solar water heating solutions across 3,500 female-run cooperatives in Sub-Saharan Africa in collaboration with UNDP.


During the Solutions Summit, a group of selected global innovators will be invited to give a ‘lightning talk’ outlining their breakthrough efforts to a juxtaposed audience of senior policymakers who have the means to pave solid regulatory foundations, investors who care deeply about long-term change and impact, and industry leaders who are able to deploy quickly and at scale. The gathering will serve as a catalyst to convene resources and talent around solution-makers.


Annamarie Saarinen of the BORN Project, United States, with Megan Smith, US Chief Technology Officer. The Newborn Foundation has successfully shifted policy and rolled out universal pulse oximetry screening for newborns across the United States and is running pilot trials across 50 delivery sites in rural China.


The Solutions Summit is led by the UN Foundation, the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS) and the Global Innovation Exchange, in collaboration with the SDG Philanthropy Platform, the Global Entrepreneurs Council, and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, with an open invitation for governments and other partners to join. UN-NGLS is coordinating the open and transparent application and selection process to curate solutions to be featured during the Solutions Summit.  

Help us surface extraordinary individuals and teams who are developing solutions that address the SDGs. Please share this form and encourage them to apply!


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.


21 August 2016: Apply to be a part of the Selection Committee

30 August 2016: Submit proposals for inclusion in the Solutions Summit

Responses will be available for review here.


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.


The first Solutions Summit in 2015 immediately followed the conclusion of the UN Sustainable Development Summit at which the SDGs were adopted by all 193 UN Member States.

838 inspiring submissions were received from more than 100 countries in 2015.

Read about them all in an article by US Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith here.

Watch the video of last year's event here.


In this photo. left to right: Ryan Panchadsaram (Deputy US CTO), Megan Smith (US Chief Technology Officer), Susan Alzner (Head of UN-NGLS New York), Puneet Ahira (Special Advisor to US CTO), Kathy Calvin (Executive Director of UN Foundation), Susan Myers (Senior Vice President of UN Foundation), Ms. Amina Mohammed (Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the Post-2015 Development Agenda), and Ambassador Macharia Kamau, Permanent Representative of Kenya to the UN.