Senior Adviser (Learning Innovation Hub), P-5, Office of Innovation (OOI), Helsinki, Finland, #118938
Job no: 547664
Contract type: Fixed Term Appointment
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.
Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.
And we never give up.
For every child, hope…
The Office of Innovation (OoI) works to catalyse UNICEF's and all its partners’ expertise and resources against key children-outcomes bottlenecks by continuously exploring new ways of accelerating results for children, investing across a range of early stage solutions, and harnessing internal and external expertise towards continuously iterating and finetuning the most promising solutions for children through a systematic portfolio management approach, and leveraging all stakeholders’ innovation energy, knowhow and resources from intergovernmental, multilateral, private sector and non-governmental fora (think tank, academia).
For every child, learning…
The UNICEF Learning Innovation Hub will be the home for the architects of the future of learning. It will be established in Helsinki and supported by Government of Finland, a global leader in education and technology. with the goal of bringing together the global community to build game changing solutions in education, that can help solve the learning crisis and as well imagine and develop alternative learning futures for all children.
The UNICEF Learning Innovation Hub will support the Reimagine Education initiative through accelerating equitable access to world class digital learning solutions by testing and scaling frontier technologies & innovations hand in hand with UNICEF Country Offices. It will create a safe playground for disruption, inviting UNICEF and the learning community to look for solutions outside the traditional sphere and join tech entrepreneurs, scientists, artists, data ninjas, fiction writers, designers, business leaders & others to explore new learning journeys, pedagogical approaches, spaces and artifacts that help unleash each child’s full potential.
The UNICEF Learning Innovation Hub will bring to the front the voice of young people about the skills they want to acquire to become entrepreneurs of their own life and become forward-thinking powerhouse that re-imagines and builds bright alternative futures that turns learning into a fascinating adventure for all children.
How can you make a difference?
The Senior Adviser will work under the general direction of Director of Innovation. You will be a visionary and strategic thinker that can build bridges among a diverse range of stakeholders, knowledge areas and resources, helping to connect the dots in creative new ways that bring new game changing solutions and possibilities for all children.
You will have a strong entrepreneurial background, with proven experience in designing, building and fire-starting new ventures from scratch with excellent and compelling communication skills that can help attract and engage world-class talent, resources and strategic partnerships. This will also imply a deep understanding and experience in innovation and human centered design approach at large: from what it takes to bring a new successful product or service to life to designing strategies for system change. You will be technology literate, with a strong understanding of frontier technologies, such as AI, ML, robotics, etc. that are currently redefining the learning experience.
You will be responsible for establishing UNICEF’s first Learning Innovation Hub in Helsinki, tasked with identifying, piloting, accelerating and scaling innovative digital learning solutions that will positively impact learning outcomes for millions of children around the world and that will empower them to acquire the skills they need for the future of work, unleash their full potential and become architects of their own future.
Tasks will include…
- As the first role to be recruited to the Learning Innovation Hub, undertake a range of different areas of strategic support to the Office of Innovation as the Hub is operationalized.
- Work with key internal and external stakeholders to develop and deliver the strategic vision for innovation in learning in service of UNICEF’s Strategic Plan and SDG4 goals.
- Establishing UNICEF’s first Learning Innovation Hub, as a leading global player in learning innovation, that will contribute to the future success of Reimagine Education and become a think + do platform for innovation in learning. This will include oversight of hub start-up activities such as: strategic planning, strategic communication and positioning, budgeting, HR, office set up, etc. all of which are required to establish a functional Learning Innovation Hub.
- Build partnerships for success through innovative approaches with key Finnish partners, key partners from the global south, global private sector, and others to attract world-class expertise and resources.
- Develop and oversee a portfolio of game changing world-class digital learning solutions to address identified problem statements and that will accelerate delivery of Reimagine Education by leveraging the power of frontier technologies to improve learning outcomes for children.
- Develop and oversee a think + imagine tank focused on developing thought-provoking research and experiences that bring new insights to the learning community on transdisciplinary approaches, disruptive technologies and frugal solutions from the field.
Coordinate and oversee the development of a Country Office Learning Pioneers Network to ensure solutions are ground-truthed, tested and scaled in partnership with the end user ecosystems.
- Build and manage the team in Helsinki that will deliver results, working with the guidance and support of colleagues from the Office of Innovation Core Team in Sweden
Under the general direction of Director of Innovation. You will be an inspirational and strategic thought leader with strong experience in starting new innovative ventures. You will build the strategy and lead operationalization to establish UNICEF’s first Learning Innovation Hub. This will include:
Vision, Strategic Planning and KPIs
- Transform the vision for the Learning Innovation Hub into concrete action plan with tangible deliverables; a pathway to position the Hub as a key player within the global learning ecosystem; a growth strategy for mobilizing resources and increasing the Hub’s reach; budget and KPIs that reflect impact driven innovation approach.
- Working with Programme-Group Education colleagues (in the hub and in Education roles across UNICEF) to build a shared understanding for how innovation in learning will deliver against the long-term vision for Reimagine Education, ensuring this is translated into a disciplined approach to innovation focused on concrete and actionable problem statements, which inform planning, prioritization and reporting for all of the Hub’s activities.
Hub Set Up
- Support Operations colleagues in strategic decision making relating to the establishment of the physical presence and infrastructure for the Learning Innovation hub.
- Prioritize and oversee recruitment of staff into the Hub and the outsourcing of activities to external vendors.
- Build and manage the team recruited to the Hub in line with guidance from the Office of Innovation Core Team, Sweden.
- Build Hub branding and identity in collaboration with P5 Senior Advisor (Partnership & Comms), Stockholm.
Learning Innovation Portfolio
Through supervision of the Learning Innovation Portfolio Manager:
- Oversee the review and development of the learning innovation portfolio ensuring the right scaffolding and support is in place to attract, select and grow game changing digital learning solutions with high potential for impact and scale.
- Ensure appropriate sourcing tactics are in place, including building structured pathways between Venture Fund investments and the Learning Innovation Portfolio.
- Provide thought leadership on innovative ways to scale up digital learning solutions through business model design, technology transfer, and other alternative pathways to ensure equitable access to the best digital learning tools for all children.
- Advise on human-centred design and state of the art user experience for developing engaging and impactful digital learning solutions for different contexts and settings in the global south.
Learning Innovation Design Lab
- Oversee the co-creation of new solutions by bringing together UNICEF expertise in the field and provide advice on best innovation practices for co-creation with multiple stakeholders and agile methodologies to successfully design, pilot and test new solutions from scratch.
- Oversee the design and development of an EdTech Tools repository through supervision of the Learning Cabinet Product Lead.
- Provide advice on best innovation practices for co-creation with multiple stakeholders and agile methodologies to successfully design, pilot and test new solutions from scratch.
Field & Country Office Network
Through supervision of the Education Specialist (who will be working in close partnership with Programme Group Education colleagues in HQ, ROs and COs):
- Oversee the development of the Learning Innovation Pioneers Network across UNICEF to ensure digital solutions are ground-truth, tested and scaled in partnership with the end user ecosystems.
- Oversee the development and implementation of strategies to support Country Offices in their process to support their local ecosystem to adapt, absorb and scale innovative digital learning solutions.
- Design and implement strategies to engage Country Offices and other stakeholders, including young people, ensuring close ties to UNICEF programming and the global south and to gather insights on main needs, challenges, barriers that can inform all the Hub activities.
Hub Global Network & Thought Leadership
- Build a network of thought leaders + strategic key partners in the education, frontier technology & impact investment
Oversee the development of thought-provoking research at the crossroad of learning, technology and other transversal disciplines.
- Participate in relevant learning, technology and entrepreneurship events globally, both from public and private sector.
Partnerships & Communications
- Build and maintain a strong relationship with key government stakeholders in Finland in partnership with PPD.
- Based on the agreed vision for the Learning Innovation Hub, work with P5 Senior Advisor (Partnership & Comms), Stockholm on a partnership and communications strategy for the Learning Innovation Hub.
- Within the Finnish ecosystem, represent UNICEF Innovation and the Learning Innovation hub as thought leaders in learning innovation and innovation for children, including participating in relevant events and media opportunities in Finland and globally.
- Support the hub in building partnerships with key ecosystems for learning innovation in the global south, and the prospecting and stewardship of major partners for the Learning Innovation Hub
This role is new and will evolve over time. You are expected to work collaboratively with the other Hub leads (as they are recruited), key personnel within the Core Office of Innovation team in Stockholm and Education colleagues across UNICEF.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
- An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in relevant field, e.g. Innovation, Technology, Business, Education, or related degree is required.
**A first degree plus an additional 2 years’ experience may be accepted in lieu of a Master’s degree.
- A minimum of 10 years of relevant professional at the national and international levels in innovation and/or innovation in learning, within the private and public sector experience is required.
- Entrepreneurial capacity, demonstrated through experience of starting a new venture, initiative or team and building it from scratch
Experience of working with technology, ideally frontier technologies such as AI, ML, robotics, in low resource settings.
- Experience of human centered design and design thinking applied to technology and innovation projects.
- Experience of working in the private sector and building partnerships with the private sector.
- Experience in working with UNICEF Programme Countries is considered an asset.
- Experience of working within the UN system is desirable.
- Experience of working with and managing diverse stakeholders, including government, private sector, NGOs and UN partners.
Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset.
For every Child, you demonstrate...
UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.
The functional competencies required for this post are...
Innovates and embraces change (Level 3)
Drive to achieve results for impact (Level 3)
Builds and maintains partnerships (Level 3)
Thinks and acts strategically (Level 3)
Nurtures leads and manages people (Level 2)
To view our competency framework, please visit here.
Click here to learn more about UNICEF’s values and competencies.
UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.
UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.
Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
Advertised: FLE Standard Time
Deadline: FLE Standard Time