UNDP and Hyundai Motor Company’s for Tomorrow: The Documentary puts grassroots innovators in the spotlight at world premiere in New York

September 15, 2022

Featuring five grassroots innovations from around the world, the film captures the vision and work of UNDP’s Accelerator Labs, urging decision-makers to listen and learn from local voices and keep the promises made with the Sustainable Development Goals.


New York - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Hyundai Motor Company today, celebrated the world premiere of “for Tomorrow: The Documentary” at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York, on the sidelines of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. The film, which also debuts on Amazon Prime and at the Fixing the Future festival in Barcelona this week, is narrated by actor Daisy Ridley (Star Wars) and shines the spotlight on inspirational local champions who are holding the answers to the most pressing global challenges of today.

Featuring five grassroots innovations from around the world, the film captures the vision and work of UNDP’s Accelerator Labs, urging decision-makers to listen and learn from local voices and keep the promises made with the Sustainable Development Goals.  Watch the trailer here: for Tomorrow | The Documentary | Official Trailer.

“The UNDP Accelerator Labs was born to be an epicenter of innovation, for a green, inclusive, sustainable future that was built bottom up from the everyday inventions and wisdom of the many, not the few. The stars of this film, these real-life heroes and grassroots innovators are proof that our “best world” is built on the daily, ground-zero choices that people are making now and here,” said Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator.

Alongside Mr. Steiner, the premiere was attended by Ambassador Antje Leendertse, Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations, Ambassador Hyunjoo Oh, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations, Vice President of Brand Experience at the Hyundai Motor Company, Sungwon Jee, and Rwodah Alnaimi from the Qatar Fund for Development.

“Minds on the margin are not marginal minds,” said Professor Anil Gupta, founder of Honey Bee Network and one of the innovators featured in the documentary. “Honoring creative people at their doorstep makes a big difference. I’m convinced that if we want inclusive development, we should encourage diversity and we should also encourage difference of opinion, difference of views, difference in the ways we solve problems.”

From Azerbaijan, India, Peru, Sierra Leone and Viet Nam, the five innovators, supported by the UNDP Accelerator Labs, design frugal, home-grown solutions in their communities. From Trinh Thi Hong in Viet Nam, who saw mountains of waste in her neighborhood and created a soap-making business that employs over 400 people, to Emmanuel Alie Mansaray in Sierra Leone, who imagined a world with sustainable energy and built a solar-powered car from scrap to Jamila Mammadli, a wheelchair user who brought accessibility to the metro system in Baku, Azerbaijan, they show us glimpses of what a more sustainable future can look like.

“What this film celebrates is grassroots innovation, innovation that goes beyond Silicon Valley. We are learning to build on knowledge of the women and men who are facing the effects of climate change, who are living in poverty and who have a lot to contribute to putting the planet on a more sustainable path. We're working with like-minded partners to shift the paradigm of what traditional expertise is and we hope more will join us on this journey,” echoed Gina Lucarelli, UNDP Accelerator Labs Team Leader.

The for Tomorrow initiative celebrates grassroots innovators globally who are solving local challenges by making cities safer, more inclusive, resilient and sustainable. It intersects with the work done by the 91 UNDP Accelerator Labs across 115 countries, who are promoting grassroots-led solutions as a tool to decolonize development and to design institutions to learn from people’s ideas, inventions and knowledge.

Media Contact
Erika Antoine,
Global Communications / UNDP Accelerator Labs: erika.antoine@undp.org, +1 929 406 5348


About the UNDP Accelerator Labs
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet. In 2019, UNDP set out to build the world’s largest and fastest learning network on wicked sustainable development challenges. Co-built as a joint venture with the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany and the Qatar Fund for Development, the UNDP Accelerator Labs Network is covering 115 countries, and tapping into local innovations to create actionable insights and reimagine sustainable development for the 21st century.
To learn more about the UNDP Accelerator Labs Network, check out www.undp.org/acceleratorlabs

About Hyundai Motor Company
Established in 1967, Hyundai Motor Company offers a range of world-class vehicles and mobility services in more than 200 countries. Hyundai Motor sold more than 4.4 million vehicles globally in 2019, and currently employs some 120,000 personnel worldwide. The company is enhancing its product lineup with vehicles designed to help usher in a more sustainable future, while offering innovative solutions to real-world mobility challenges. Through the process Hyundai aims to facilitate ‘Progress for Humanity’ with smart mobility solutions that vitalize connections between people and provide quality time to its customers. More information about Hyundai Motor and its products can be found at www.hyundai.com/worldwide or globalpr.hyundai.com.