UNLEASH partners with OnFrontiers to build a global knowledge network for sustainability & innovation

By Morgan Johnson | 23 October 2019

UNLEASH announces an innovative Technology Partnership with OnFrontiers that will amplify support for Talents working on solving sustainability challenges

Today UNLEASH, the largest innovation organization for sustainable development goals, announced a partnership with OnFrontiers aimed at augmenting support for it’s more that 1,000 Talents each year working on developing solutions to sustainability challenges.

Technical support has always been a core element of UNLEASH’s model for helping young people launch new social mission ventures.  In its first two years, over 260 UNLEASH mentors and facilitators have advised UNLEASH projects on topics ranging from local market conditions to global supply chains, from agricultural inputs to machine learning algorithms.

For Masters and experts, technical support for Talents has become a fulfilling way to give back.

For the Talents, this has proven fundamental to working through the various questions faced in confronting vexing sustainability challenges.  

My time at UNLEASH was nothing short of inspiring: in particular, my team’s facilitators provided invaluable advice, support, and space, where ever appropriate. Through the course of the week: we went beyond discussing the ideation process to touching on issues we cared about, common challenges we faced in our work, and sharing practices on how we overcame them. This personal takeaway had been key to me wanting to share and contribute back to UNLEASH again this year.”

– Michelle Lai, 2018 UNLEASH Talent

Given these benefits, UNLEASH has been searching for a model for scaling up knowledge connections going forward. The current model involves considerable effort from UNLEASH staff, the talents, and experts, who need to establish priority areas for support, then identify a person with relevant experience, then schedule a consultation, and manage all the data.  

The UNLEASH team felt many more knowledge connections could be made with a solution that streamlined and automated these steps. In that regard, OnFrontiers, a technology startup based in NYC, offers a unique solution to this challenge and is currently being deployed with major global organizations including Chemonics International and Dalberg Advisors.  

OnFrontiers product integrates an expert marketplace – for discovering experts and activating their knowledge – with a cloud-based SaaS platform for building and managing an organization’s knowledge network.  Using OnFrontiers, UNLEASH will be able to:

  • Have one place to discover and interact with experts who have agreed to help UNLEASH talents
  • Onboard and track in-kind technical support provided by experts in partner organizations
  • Track data from requests and knowledge exchanged to capture and distill learnings
  • Pull new experts from the marketplace into the Unleash community to fill knowledge gaps
  • Measure activity and Talent satisfaction with individual experts and the overall platform
  • Measure the growth, activity, and characteristics of UNLEASH’s knowledge network

“What we are most excited by in the partnership with OnFrontiers is that it allows us to scale our capacity of providing access to expertise to any talent working in any region of the world on SDG-related projects” 

– Henrik Skovby, Director of the UNLEASH Secretariat.

How to Join UNLEASH’s Network of Affiliated Experts

Experts who join UNLEASH’s network commit to doing at least one initial unpaid consultation with any talent needing their assistance to provide an initial orientation.  These same experts maintain the right to do paid consultations with customers in the broader OnFrontiers marketplace. Experts with knowledge relevant to one or more of the sustainable development goals can sign-up on the OnFrontiers website to join the UNLEASH affiliate network

How to Share Knowledge with UNLEASH as a Partner Organization

Unleash has a robust network of more than 200 corporate partners, including Deloitte Consulting and Chemonics International.  Through OnFrontiers, partners are able to share their internal knowledge with UNLEASH talents, which provides an exciting new way for employees to engage and give back.  From the corporate perspective, it also expands the company’s exposure and impact.

“We see this UNLEASH/OnFrontiers partnership as an exciting opportunity to share the knowledge we’ve gained implementing development projects in 145 countries with young entrepreneurs and mission-driven organizations helping to achieve the SDGs”

– Jamey Butcher at Chemonics International.

Current and prospective UNLEASH partners interested in sharing their organization’s internal knowledge with UNLEASH and other social mission organizations through OnFrontiers can do so by emailing OnFrontiers to set up a free partnership account.