Over the past few months, the Youth Power Panel has been working with Restless Development, Project Everyone and Unilever to deliver the Youth Power Hacks: six online hackathons held in six countries, bringing together hundreds of young people to hack solutions to help get the Global Goals delivered.

The Youth Power Hacks attracted over 3,400 applications – and from this, 374 young people joined us as participants, leading to 45 amazing youth-led solutions being generated with #YouthPower. 

The hacks were run across February, March and April 2021, and while we focused on six main countries – Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Indonesia, India, and the Philippines – we also welcomed participants from many neighbouring countries, including Malaysia, Tanzania, Nepal, Cameroon and more.

For every online hack, young people were teamed up with other participants also passionate about achieving the Global Goals through innovation and collaboration. Teams had around eight people, and in addition, we had facilitators and note-takers supporting the idea generation process through a solutions-based approach called ‘design thinking’.

“Seeing young people come together from different backgrounds to be passionate about solving global issues that affect us all was really inspiring. Young people have the power to do so much!”. - Remofilwe, participant in the South Africa Hack

Each hack was hosted by two different members of the Youth Power Panel, with the panelists also being involved in the planning and execution of the hacks.

Karabo, a Youth Power Panelist who lead the South Africa Hack, shared her experience:

“It was an extremely fulfilling experience to see youth in and around South Africa become eager and inspired to take on this journey.”

The youth-led solutions developed during the hacks have been incredibly diverse. While participants chose to hack solutions for education at every event, many ideas have also focused on other themes associated with the Global Goals – including gender equality, climate action, health, and livelihoods. In addition, several innovations have covered a combination of different themes.

The ideas generated were fresh, adapted to local realities and all had a clear focus in mind: helping communities to achieve the Global Goals where they are. Ideas such as mobile schools, food forests, biodegradable masks and mobile apps for mental health support were developed in a 5-hour long process. Each idea provided new approaches to tackling the most pressing issues in every participant's country. Final presentations at the event highlighted the breadth of the possibilities for young people to help create a better world.

A snapshot of participants during the Indonesia Hack on 19 March 2021

 A snapshot taken of participants during the Indonesia Hack on 19 March 2021


The six online hacks were just the beginning; and now participants have moved on to further grow their ideas that were generated.

The Youth Power Panel, Project Everyone, Unilever, Restless Development and other partners are also now providing training on a range of topics to support the teams with developing their skills and innovations – from advocacy and reimagining education, to graphic design and budget management and much more.

From mid-June, we will begin the process of assessing the feasibility of the 45 ideas that were created during the hacks, and selecting the best ideas to move forward.

Coming up first, all 45 teams will have the opportunity to do a live, online pitch to see if their unique innovation will make it to the Top 12. For the Top 12, at least one team from every country will be guaranteed a spot - and each team which moves forward will receive further mentorship, support and seed funding.

In August, our Top 12 teams will have a chance to showcase their unique innovations and progress through a video - which will be shared with the world.

The best six teams will eventually be chosen to present at a final pitch event in September, where there will be special guest judges.

Wondering what happens after this? You’ll have to wait and see!



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.



Find out more about the Youth Power Hacks here!

#YOUTHPOWERHACKS – innovate and collaborate for the Global Goals.