Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge

Ideas to improve the lives of young people in Timor-Leste


Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge

UNICEF, UNDP and Plan International have partnered for the Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge, 
where the young people of Timor-Leste develop their own solutions to real-world problems, 
and stand the chance to win big on the global stage!


About Generation Unlimited

Generation Unlimited is a global partnership with an ambitious goal: to help every young person successfully transition from education and training to decent work. We are creating a world in which all young people are empowered to live out their full potential and, to make it possible, we need a new global movement.

Many of the world’s most influential leaders in government, business and civil society have already joined the effort. Thousands of young people have contributed their energy, ideas and talents. Now, we need you.

UNICEF Thailand/2018
Chonlachat (Mac), Pichitchai (Oat), Phanuwat (Ball) and Akarapol (Mee) formed the ‘Fantastic Four’ in 2018 and became global winners of the Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge with their idea to connect previously detained young people with decent work opportunities.

There are four main areas the design challenge focuses on – education, employment, entrepreneurship, and equity and engagement.

• We are developing solutions that:
  - Will enable young people to become productive and engaged members of society;
  - Have the potential to be sustainable (rather than one-off campaigns or activities)
  - Can be successful in their local area/village/town, but have the potential to be scaled up or replicated beyond this.

Below are some questions around the four key areas of focus that that the bootcamp teams will consider to stimulate the development of their ideas…

      • Employment

▪ How can we support young people to be prepared for the transition to the labor market?

▪ How can we help young people acquire the skills for meaningful and decent work?

▪ How can we support young women and men to enter job fields which are not traditional for their gender but are growing in value?

▪ How can we support employers to give up their gender biases?

▪ How can we support employers to become more inclusive and provide equal opportunities for youth with disabilities?

       • Entrepreneurship

▪ How can we support young people to utilize entrepreneurship for solving community problems?

▪ How can we build a supportive ecosystem for young people to enter entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship?

▪ How can we create new jobs that also have a positive impact on the environment?

      • Equity & Engagement

▪ How might we increase the opportunities for disadvantaged youth to participate in government at local and national levels?

▪ How might we address issues or prejudice against young people with disabilities to enable them to reach their full potential?

▪ How can we change perceptions and attitudes among adults (e.g. parents, teachers, etc.) towards meaningful engagement of adolescents and young people in their communities?


Please note that throughout the application process, priority will be given to young people from disadvantaged or marginalized backgrounds. This could include disadvantage due to gender, disability, sexual orientation, geography, religion, displacement or conflict.

What’s on offer

If your idea is chosen after the initial deadline of December 13, your team will be invited to an exclusive bootcamp. Over a three-day workshop run by trained Design Thinking facilitators, you will be empowered and equipped with the tools to turn your questions into answers. The cost for transportation, accommodation and food will all be covered.

Should your team be one of the five chosen following the Bootcamp, you will receive $1,000 in seed funding and access to experienced mentors who will guide you through an incubation period to test your idea and evaluate its potential to create change.

Following this incubation period, the two most promising ideas will be chosen to progress to the global judging process, where the chosen teams have the opportunity to compete with other bright young minds from around the globe. This is your chance to represent Timor-Leste on the world stage!

A further $20,000 is up for grabs for the ideas that have the potential to make the greatest impacts in the greatest number of lives. The young social innovators who reach this stage will have the chance to really scale-up their solutions and see them implemented in the real world.

For more information about the Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge and to learn about some past winners and their innovative ideas, please visit the global website at

For any further enquiries you may also email:
Jemma Galvin, UNICEF: