An immersive series of events that invites youth to learn new skills, while at the same time exploring where blockchain could play a role in addressing global challenges.

SURGE branding for website
UNICEF Innovation/TusharGhei

What is SURGE?

SURGE is an immersive series of events that invites youth to learn new skills, while at the same time exploring where blockchain could play a role in addressing global challenges.

SURGE is more than an event, it’s an opportunity to learn, play and experiment while making new friends. SURGE aims to teach teens and young people about blockchain, a technology that is challenging existing models. Join us as we explore the hype and hope of blockchain.

SURGE is comprised of two components: learning events and hackathons. You’ll have the chance to learn, ask questions and engage with blockchain experts who are excited to help you navigate the world of this emerging technology.

SURGE offers a variety of events around the world, geared towards both non-technical and technical crowds.

two images curated of team in action during hackathons
UNICEF Innovation/TusharGhei

SURGE Learning

SURGE Learning are one-day events that teach blockchain skills to newcomers to the technology. These sessions equip participants with the necessary skills to understand where blockchain is best suited to solve problems and how to start building blockchain applications. Sessions could cover topics like the history of the technology, the economic models and an introduction on how to code your own blockchain applications. Once participants have completed the learning day, they are encouraged to join SURGE hackathons to apply their newly acquired/refined skills.

SURGE Hackathon

SURGE Hackathon events are two-day events, where both technical and non-technical young people will come together to build a solution under a specific theme. Throughout the two days, the teams will have access to mentors from various fields and can also listen to talks on topics such as design thinking or how to deliver an elevator pitch. When the time is up, each team presents their solution to a panel of judges. Top projects have a mix of originality, completion, social impact, a strong team and an ability to scale. Top projects received awards.

“Talent is universal, opportunity is not"

Why participate in SURGE?

UNICEF Ventures believes not only in investing in youth for the job market of tomorrow, but in empowering them to make changes in their communities today. Here are a few reasons why you might want to participate in one of our events:

  • Learn a new skill during a workshop, or from a mentor  (blockchain coding, pitching, design thinking, etc.)
  • Meet people in your community who have a similar interest as you
  • Get access to prizes

If you develop your project enough, you could be eligible to apply to the UNICEF Venture Fund.


Bangkok, Thailand

24-26 May 2019

Focused on building solutions to increase financial inclusion, this event will bring together interdisciplinary teams in Bangkok. This event will have a one-day learning event to teach an introduction to blockchain coding, as well as a two-day hackathon which will have talks from the leading minds in blockchain, and mentors on various topics such as design thinking and pitching.

surge NY poster
UNICEF Innovation/TusharGhei

New York, USA
18 May 2019

This session will introduce the *fun*damentals of blockchain and the ecosystems to newcomers. This event is hosted at ETHNewYork, allowing participants to interact with startups in the space. We’ve structured the day to be a true introduction, including: intro to smart contracts, intro to wallets and bounties, intro to stablecoins, open floor for questions and how to keep learning beyond this one day of learning.

Cape Town, South Africa

20 April 2019, part of ETHCapeTown

Young people will get a sneak peek into what blockchain is, and how the technology can be used. Participants will engage in sessions around the history of money, learn about cryptocurrencies, bounties, and other applications of blockchain technology. Participants will ideate where this technology can help solve local problems.

Registration is closed

Mexico City, Mexico

23-24 September 2018

Over 100 youth came together in Mexico City to learn about blockchain, and build solutions focused on addressing the international refugee crisis.

Contact us

Want to collaborate with us on these, or future events?  

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