Announcing our Innovator in Residence Program for Researchers Solving Grand Challenges

NEW YORK - Oct. 21, 2022 - PRLog -- The Venture Strategy Group at Unbuilt Labs has been developing a replicable model to solve grand challenges, which has recently been announced at the UN General Assembly Science Summit.

Grand challenges such as the 2030 SDGs are characterized by their high global priority and complex causality: attempts to intervene create irreversible changes as well as unintended second and third order consequences. To solve grand challenges and reconcile the logics of sustainable development and the market, a strong research center and feedback mechanism is both a tool for evaluating local impact of global programs and a source of competitive advantage as we operate in an increasingly volatile business landscape.

We believe the next generation of responsible and innovative companies solving grand challenges will be led by strong research centers that consistently deliver breakthrough ideas and monitor ideas' impact. We are now offering a one of its kind pay-what-you-want Innovator in Residence (IIR) Program, where founders looking to set up solutions-oriented research organizations to solve grand challenges receive 1 year of support through monthly 1:1 Advising Sessions.

Our IIR program complements the framework of methods the Center for Global Agenda (CGA) at Unbuilt Labs has been developing to close the compliance gap between commitment to the 2030 SDGs and action for a forthcoming publication at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).

There are some key learnings from our 2021–2022 pilot program. First, we have found that given the complexity of solving grand challenges and creating long term systems change, the likelihood of success is far greater as an organization than as an individual. While individuals may have access to moral, expert, and discursive power, structural and institutional power are only available to organizations. Second, we have found that research organizations looking to solve grand challenges require a vastly different agenda-setting model since by definition its work needs to span multiple degrees of abstraction simultaneously. We have developed a scope 1–2–3 agenda-setting model among others as part of the Global Consortium for Systems Research (GCSR) Systems Research Toolkit. Third, we have found that methods used to find product-market-fit for digital products are also effective for designing actionable information products. Fourth, we have found that companies now need a broader range of academic and organization-specific research to operate in the rapidly changing global landscape.

Our 2021–2022 pilot program has included Dennis Larsen, Co-Founder and Director of the Initiative for Global Sustainable Economies (IGSE) and University Lecturer at BI Norwegian Business School, as well as Shady El Damaty, President of OpSci and Co-Founder of Holonym.

For more information about our 2022–2023 program, please see:

Media Contact
Marvin Cheung
Director, Venture Strategy Group (VSG)
Unbuilt Labs
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