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Sustainability innovation programme with the UN Global Compact

Coniferous forest by the water


The SDG Innovation Accelerator is open to young talent from organisations that participate in the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). For companies in the UK, this nine-month experience is delivered through a unique partnership between the UN Global Compact Network UK and Impact. 

The programme leverages the strengths of both partners: the UN Global Compact Network UK bring their knowledge, processes, and systems to the programme content. Impact then bring this to life with our expertise in developing the behaviours the participants need to take that knowledge to then identify, influence and drive innovation in their specific business context. 

This powerful dual approach empowers the young professionals to generate bold, yet viable solutions that deliver on their company’s sustainability objectives and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The aim of the SDG Innovation Accelerator is to connect young professionals’ aspirations with the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

To do this, the UN Global Compact recognised that the programme needed to deliver results both for the individuals and their organisation. High-level objectives are:

Young talent objectives:

  • To gain insights and learn from leading sustainability experts.
  • To develop skills in influencing, leadership, and creative thinking.
  • To contribute to innovative projects that will benefit their organisation and the SDGs.

Organisation objectives:

  • To develop, engage, and retain young talent.
  • To apply SDG innovation to address real sustainability challenges faced in their company.
  • To embed the SDGs into organisational business strategy.

The SDG Innovation Accelerator is designed to activate future business leaders and changemakers to develop and drive innovative solutions through new technologies, initiatives, and business models that deliver on their company’s sustainability objectives. 

The UN Global Compact Network UK brings the brand and expert credentials as the drivers of the SDGs. They possess unrivalled expertise in knowledge, processes, and systems that can drive the advancement of the SDGs. They also have a network of companies who want their young talent to collaborate and accelerate business innovation towards these Goals. They needed a partner to support them in imparting this knowledge in a way that would make it memorable, inspirational, and practically applicable. 

Impact are the UN Global Compact Network UK’s delivery partner of choice on this nine-month learning journey. We bring the curriculum to life by providing a human approach, ensuring that the skills and knowledge imparted are transformed into learning and lasting behaviour change. Across five in-person workshops, our inputs provide the young talent with: 

  • A structured learning approach that encourages new ways of working. 
  • Confidence to challenge themselves, their teams, and the business. 
  • Purpose-driven connection to their organisational goals. 
  • Influencing, advocacy, and enquiry skills to encourage an ambitious and entrepreneurial approach. 
  • An understanding of how to show up as a leader when you don’t have authority. 

The programme is successfully connecting entry- to mid-level managers aged 35 and younger across diverse business units. It is empowering them to generate bold yet viable solutions that are having a positive impact on both their company and the SDGs.  

The organisations who participate are investing in a subject that is aligned with their strategy and that their talent care deeply about. This not only drives sustainable change but also engages and retains young talent. 

The partnership between UN Global Compact Network UK and Impact allows us to build on each other’s strengths. The UN Global Compact Network UK brings the research, processes, and ambition to drive the SDGs. Impact brings a structured process to human-centric change, empowering the young talent to develop the skills needed to make change happen.

The video above was made seven months into the young professionals’ journey. It shows a highly engaged, ambitious, and capable cohort of changemakers who now have the transferable soft skills in enquiry, advocacy, and innovation. Participants in the SDG Innovation Accelerator leave as effective communicators with the knowledge and conviction to influence at a more senior level in their organisation.

Find out how to take part

SDG Innovation Accelerator

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