Today, applications open for the Youth Power Hacks: six online hackathons held in six countries over three months, bringing together hundreds of young people to hack solutions to help get the Global Goals delivered.

Five years ago, the UN laid out a compelling vision for the future. The Global Goals present a framework for a greener, fairer, more inclusive world for all.

With the outbreak of COVID-19, momentum towards this vision has slowed. Indeed, the knock-on effects of the pandemic have seen progress in certain areas stall completely or even go into reverse.

However, with #YOUTHPOWER, we can keep moving forward, we can keep finding solutions to problems and we can build a better world. Young people’s skills, passion, determination and imagination will get us there, but their ideas need funding and support.

This is why we’re partnering with Restless Development and Unilever – one of the 17 Global Goals Business Avengers – to deliver the Youth Power Hacks.

Project Everyone Co-Founder and UN SDG Advocate Richard Curtis said:

“Businesses are crucial to achieving the Global Goals, so it gives me great joy to see companies partnering with activists and community organisers to support grassroots change. I really believe we need to see more of these types of partnerships as communities begin to recover from this pandemic and we re-imagine a better future together.

On a personal note, my father worked for Unilever all his life, so it has been a real delight watching them lead the way in redefining what it means to be a responsible, innovative, global business, and we are hugely grateful to be a part of that journey.”

The hacks will be hosted by the Youth Power Panel – a 12-strong panel from 12 different countries who aim to empower fellow youth activists around the world; and will run across Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Indonesia, India and the Philippines from February to April 2021. They will focus on developing youth-led solutions on topics as diverse as health and climate, to education and gender equality.

Through the Youth Power Hacks, young people will be able to turn their ideas into tangible impact in their communities, enabling them to lead change on their own terms. The hacks will empower young people to generate fresh innovations – the best of which will be funded and get access to expertise, enabling them to get set up for success. 

Restless Development’s Senior Global Campaigns Coordinator (and former Youth Power Panellist), Inés Yábar, said:

“We are looking forward to seeing passionate and innovative young people come together to collaborate and find solutions to the toughest problems in their country. 2020 was a year for solidarity, 2021 is the year of action and we’re ready to make that happen through these hacks.”


A ‘hack’ is a fast-paced and fun approach to come up with new ideas and solutions to often difficult challenges. It brings together people from different backgrounds and experiences to tackle a problem and work together, at speed, to design new ideas.


If you’re a young person who is passionate about using your #YOUTHPOWER to make a difference in your local community and beyond, you can apply now to join the Youth Power Hacks.

  • Kenya – 5 February 2021
  • South Africa – 19 February 2021
  • Nigeria – 5 March 2021
  • Indonesia – 19 March 2021
  • India – 9 April 2021
  • The Philippines – 23 April 2021

*NOTE: For those who do not live in one of our six designated countries, you’re still welcome to apply to the hack closest to your home – as a small number of young people from other locations may still be selected to take part.

#YOUTHPOWERHACKS – innovate and collaborate for the Global Goals.