Learning to scale up new solutions

In the late twentieth century, innovation was often seen as primarily business-orientated. Today, we understand that public sector-led innovation is integral in driving societal advancement, in particular for the most marginalized. 

In many countries, public investment in research and development is on the rise – alongside grass-roots, inclusive and low-cost forms of innovation. The United Nations system with its 4,000 locations worldwide offers unique opportunities to extend the global reach of innovation.

For Example...

New solutions to accelerate SDG progress

Imagine a world in which innovative solutions transform health-care access for the 2 billion people in rural and remote areas. For example, With stronger innovation capacity, United Nations entities can support Member States in transporting medications and blood transfusions with delivery drones, facilitating virtual consultations between midwives and pregnant women on digital apps and extending point-of-care diagnostics to isolated communities.

What building innovation capacity means

Fostering innovation capacity is about learning to generate, test and scale up novel ideas, processes, products or services that create value. 

It requires supportive, diverse and inclusive environments. Innovation cultures embrace challenges as opportunities to design ground-breaking sustainable solutions.

Ways in which innovation capacity can have impact

António Guterres


“Without innovation, we cannot overcome the challenges of our time. What is important is to ensure that innovation works for all and not only for a few.”

Key resources

UN Innovation Toolkit

Developed by the UN, for the UN, the UN Innovation Toolkit includes 21 tools, step-by-step directions, worksheets, case studies, references as well as a self-assessment to assess strengths and areas for improvement.

UN Innovation Network

The UN Innovation Network (UNIN) is an informal, collaborative community of UN innovators from across the United Nations. UNIN is open to all UN Entities as well as external partners.

Voices on innovation

How UN leadership, colleagues and youth from across the globe are getting inspired by and sparking action around UN 2.0

Discover innovation action

UN 2.0 is about leveraging our connections across the globe, with teams and projects active in over 160 countries. Click on the map to learn more.

The location indicators on this map are illustrative and do not necessarily show where entities are based. The depiction and use of boundaries, geographic names and related data shown on maps are not guaranteed to be error free, nor do they imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations.

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