A UN that fully embodies the principles it stands for.

Established in 2016, Young UN: Agents for Change is a cross-UN, global and inclusive network working towards a shared vision of a UN that fully embodies the principles it stands for. Young UN recognises the need for genuine change if the UN is to effectively meet the challenges of this century and network members are committed to play their part.

With more than 2000 members across UN entities in 80+ duty stations, Young UN is demonstrating its value as a cross-UN space to crowdsource ideas, a platform to pilot and drive innovation and experimentation, and a bottom-up mechanism for cultural change for UN values and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We are working at three levels to catalyse, amplify and accelerate change by:

  1. Starting a conversation about the challenges the UN faces and possible solutions
  2. Leading by example, by piloting practical changes and sharing our experiences
  3. Advocating change, by bringing fresh ideas to key decision-makers

How we work

Young UN is a decentralised global network with an inclusive approach whereby members join voluntarily and can get involved as little or as much as they like.

The network operates more like a tech start-up than a UN organization – drawing inspiration from outside the UN, characterised by a non-hierarchical structure, action-oriented working and fluid teams that gather and disperse according to the initiative underway.

Young UN members work on the basis that innovation should be part of everyone’s job – from finance to policy and programmes, from peacekeeping to conference management.

The network operates through an open coordination structure whereby initiatives are driven by three core criteria: solutions-oriented, cross-UN and in line with UN principles. Decisions are taken when a critical mass of members agree on the way forward.