The Engine Room

Are you a young change maker looking to make an impact?

The Engine Room is a global virtual forum where young changemakers can forge connections, collaborate and mobilize their impact initiatives ahead of the SDG Summit to address the world’s greatest challenges.

The Engine Room is launched each year at the Big Brainstorm,  a virtual event hosted by the United Nations Foundation’s Our Future Agenda program. The Big Brainstorm is an opportunity for young thinkers and activists to design their future. It is a two-week design sprint to explore, prototype, and launch solutions to tackle some of humanity’s biggest challenges. 

In 2023, the Big Brainstorm brought together more than 2,500 young people from 136 countries with the mission to mobilize action ahead of the SDG Summit. These young people now continue to develop their ideas into action through the Engine Room.

The Engine Room works across eight different Action Groups which are led by Next Generation Fellows as well as Action Group Innovators, young people who have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to accelerating action ahead of the SDG Summit and beyond.

In addition to the SDG Summit, the Engine Room will use three key political moments to platform young change makers: the ECOSOC Youth Forum, the High-Level Political Forum, and COP 28.

What is the Engine Room designed to do?

Provide an inclusive, accessible and flexible space for young change makers to develop their innovations.

Offer a platform for collaboration, motivation, support, and empowerment for young leaders.

Spotlight the work of young change makers and the successes of the Action Groups in accelerating action for the SDGs.

Members of the Engine Room will:

Be the first to know about any curated Engine Room opportunities including training and development

Participate in regular Engine Room calls and other regular opportunities for networking, feedback and guidance from the Our Future Agenda team

Have the chance to be spotlighted in Our Future Agenda publications

Contribute to the curation and direction of the Engine Room

The Engine Room Challenge


Action Groups

The Engine Room works across eight thematic areas, each one the responsibility of an Action Group. These eight Action Groups were originally convened as part of the Big Brainstorm, to prototype and develop initiatives in their area of focus to solve real-world problems facing young people.

Click on any of the thematic areas below to find out more about the work of our Action Groups and Action Group Innovators within the Engine Room.

Climate and sustainability

In preparation for COP 28, how can we support, listen, and engage young people in decision-making discussions and processes about climate change, especially across intersectional issues on climate financing, energy security, food systems, migration, plastic pollution, and more?

Transforming Education

Building on the momentum of the Transforming Education Summit, how can we encourage national and local leaders to prioritize the “right to learn”, even during a compound global crisis?

Financing for young changemakers

Youth civil society is not thriving – and in many cases, not surviving due to resourcing challenges. How can we improve the quantity, quality, and accessibility of financing for young changemakers?

Future generations

There are fewer than 8 billion people currently alive, but more than 11 billion people are likely to be born during the rest of this century. How can we ensure that young people and young countries are in the driving seat in the lead up to and at the 2024 Summit of the Future?

Gender Equality

Multiple global crises have unraveled hard-won achievements on gender equality and significantly set progress back. How could we address compounding issues impacting girls and women and collectively identify and drive evidence-based solutions?

Jobs and Economic Opportunities

Young people are not equipped for a rapidly changing world. What investments must be made to propel young people into productive employment and decent work, with a focus on digital, demographic, and de-carbonization transitions that leave no one behind?

Peace, Justice and Inclusion

In a world fragmented by injustices and conflict, the path to true peace, justice and inclusion requires a local-to-global approach. How can we provide young people with access to justice, taking justice out of the courtroom and into the communities in which they live?

SDG Summit

Leveraging the collective action of the Unlock the Future Coalition, how can we put young people at the heart of the mobilization efforts as designers of the SDG transformation process and champions for the rights of future generations?