Welcome to the tour! Here is a selected sample of highlighted tools and resources that are available on this site, starting with the overview, and then going from Goal 1 to Goal 17. To search the whole collection, visit the Tools & Resources page.
GIVING PEOPLE AN OVERVIEW: The 17Goals Basic Slide set
Use our basic introductory slides to present the SDGs to other people, groups, classes, etc. You can add your own slides to help illustrate specific points, or translate the text into your own language. (If you do, please share them with us, so that we can share them with others.)
Need some talking points? Hint: Use the text on this website as a way to start developing your presentation. Be sure to match the presentation to the interests of your specific audience!
Technical details: The slides are in .pptx format. The images in these slides are either from iStock/Getty (which means they are copyrighted, and we have licensed them for 17Goals) or from open source image banks. For your own sake, please leave the 17Goals logo in place, so that it is clear that you are using our slide set, a document which we have produced and made available. If you want to use the images in a different context, you will need to license them separately from Getty. Also, the font used is called Avenir Next Condensed; you may need to add that to your system to make the slides look right. Or, you can use our PDF Version.
THE STUDY EDITION: The 17 Goals and 169 Targets
Want to go deeper? For easier reading, for use as a reference and for study, we have taken the 17 Goals and 169 Targets from the UN source document and laid them out in lovely 13-page PDF.
Use this resource to inform your work team, study group, school or university class … or just to inform yourself.Hint: use the search function in your PDF reader to look for specific topics that interest you among the 169 Target statements.
GOAL 1: END POVERTY IN ALL ITS FORMS EVERYWHERE
One of the world’s most effective NGOs working to reduce poverty is Oxfam. They take a whole systems view and work on the policy and economic system end, in addition to providing relief — and the means to lift oneself out of poverty — to those in need.
For information on how the world’s efforts to end poverty are progressing — and to get a truly long-term, systems view — explore the amazing resources available at Gapminder.org. They animate data and make the statistics come alive. Founder Hans Rosling is one of the world’s best explainers when it comes to population, poverty, and related trends.
GOAL 2: END HUNGER, ACHIEVE FOOD SECURITY AND IMPROVED NUTRITION, AND PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE
When it comes to providing food to those in need, the UN’s World Food Program is an excellent organization to follow and support. They quickly respond to crises at large scale, and fund ongoing programs, like those that provide meals at schools in places that need such support.
If you’d like a big picture understanding of worldwide food and agriculture, the UN’s FAO is the place to go. They produce incredibly detailed (and readable) reports on the state of food production and nutrition in our world.
Looking beyond global level organizations, the pathways to learning about sustainable food (including organic agriculture) become extremely diverse. We’re going to feature one or two sources of information at a time, starting with CGIAR, a global research consortium that publishes excellent resources on food, agriculture and poverty issues.
And finally, our friends at the Environmental Change Institute in Oxford provide a great example of food research that takes a whole-systems, sustainability view (we will feature more of these over time).
GOAL 3: ENSURE HEALTHY LIVES AND PROMOTE WELL-BEING FOR ALL AT ALL AGES
Here we point you to the World Health Organization, the UN’s global program of coordination for all things related to health.
But we also want to lift up the phrase, “well-being for all ages.” The concept of “well-being” is defined differently by different cultures, different countries, but has recently become recognized as one of the key goals of development. Sometimes people even refer to it as happiness. Some nations even measure their happiness. As a starting point for getting your head around how well-being, happiness, and national development all fit together, you might start here: a small-but-global NGO program called the Happiness Alliance.
GOAL 4: ENSURE INCLUSIVE AND EQUITABLE QUALITY EDUCATION AND PROMOTE LIFE-LONG LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
UNESCO is the global meeting point for everything having to do with education and sustainable development. In fact, UNESCO recently ran a massive, 10-year program on the topic. The “Decade of Education for Sustainable Development” has ended, but a new era has begun, with a Global Action Programme and set of commitments taken on by hundreds of institutions around the world. Explore those here.
And of course, in this context we want to point to the small-but-growing programs of one our founding partners, Compass Education, a global network of educators committed to learning, sharing and acting for a sustainable future by offering training to teachers, empowering students to be change agents, and transforming schools.
GOAL 5: ACHIEVE GENDER EQUALITY AND EMPOWER ALL WOMEN AND GIRLS
Achieving this goal — like many others — points us inevitably to all the other goals: gender equality is not a theoretical idea, but something that does (or does not) exist in relation to health, economic opportunity, justice, access to water and other resources, development of industry, governance. The umbrella initiative UNWOMEN addresses all of these issues, and many more.
GOAL 6: ENSURE AVAILABILITY AND SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF WATER AND SANITATION FOR ALL
There are many wonderful programs on water, but we are going to point you first to our friends at the Stockholm International Water Institute – SIWI. They do excellent research work, run a great website, and host the annual global conference called World Water Week in Stockholm.
GOAL 7: ENSURE ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE, RELIABLE, SUSTAINABLE, AND MODERN ENERGY FOR ALL
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was the initiator of the Sustainable Energy for All campaign, which is now a large global partnership. On the campaign’s website you can find videos, reports, statistics, and everything you need to “power” your engagement in sustainable energy.
We at 17Goals are very partial to renewable energy, so we also want to point you to the two best international resources for information in that field. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) operates with inter-governmental support and publishes lots of information in a searchable platform.
And the independent NGO/think-tank REN21 promotes policy changes to support our world’s transformation into renewable energy.
GOAL 8: PROMOTE INCLUSIVE AND SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC GROWTH, EMPLOYMENT AND DECENT WORK FOR ALL
For many people working in sustainability, “economic growth” is a complicated topic. On the one hand, many people (especially in poor countries) need more of it. On the other hand, traditional economic growth — which involves finding resources, using them, and all too often throwing them away — is destroying ecosystems and causing climate change. See Goal 12 below for information on a new way forward, the “green economy.”
So for this goal, we’re going to focus initially on the issue of employment. So many people, especially young people, need good jobs and opportunities in our world. Eventually, all of those jobs should be “green.” This is a relatively new way to think about jobs, so let’s start with the fundamentals: the Green Jobs Initiative of the UN’s International Labor Organization (ILO), one of the world’s oldest international organizations.
GOAL 9: BUILD RESILIENT INFRASTRUCTURE, PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE INDUSTRIALIZATION AND FOSTER INNOVATION
The UN Industrial Development Organization – UNIDO runs a whole internet platform on this (huge!) topic. Over time, we’ll be sharing more and more resources that provide you with the big picture and a systemic view on industrial transformation and technical innovation for sustainability.
Also, the whole issue of business and sustainability — which straddles many goals — is especially important here and under Goal 12. Guiding corporations and businesses in the direction of sustainability is now the business of many organizations, but the most prominent of these are the UN’s Global Compact program; the independent World Business Council on Sustainable Development; and the Global Reporting Initiative, which guides companies on how to write sustainability reports.
But we also want to point you to a newcomer, the Future Fit Business Benchmark. Working from a scientific perspective, and aiming toward all-the-way sustainability, the Future Fit approach is designed to help organizations set the stretch goals that we really need them to set — if we are really going to achieve sustainable development. You can download their latest version below, (it’s still a work in progress).
GOAL 10: REDUCE INEQUALITY WITHIN AND AMONG COUNTRIES
Here we highlight the Initiative for Equality — a large global network of equality researchers and activists that was instrumental in drafting this goal and lobbying for its inclusion. Very importantly, they are now focused on how to develop and empower citizen monitoring to make sure governments keep their promises in relationship to the Sustainable Development Goals. We should all be monitoring the status of equality, and we should all be equally able to monitor and hold governments accountable.
GOAL 11: MAKE CITIES INCLUSIVE, SAFE, RESILIENT AND SUSTAINABLE
There are a number of excellent programs for creating sustainable cities, and we will feature a number of them over time. Let’s start with ICLEI— one of the oldest and best—a global NGO that has been promoting innovation and change on this topic for many years. Their website is a treasure trove of resources.
We also want to draw attention to our friends at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS). Director (and global thought-leader on cities) Aromar Revi was instrumental in leading the campaign that got sustainable cities into the SDGs in the first place, and IIHS — a relatively new institution — does groundbreaking work in this area.
GOAL 12: ENSURE SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION PATTERNS
Back to the issue of growth — on a finite planet, with a growing population, and with billions who aspire to (and deserve) a better life. Goal 12 (which is tightly coupled to many other goals, especially Goals 8 and 9) is critical to achieving the basic conditions of sustainability. Nobody is better at explaining this challenge in clear, quantitative, systemic terms than the folks at the Global Footprint Network. Their annual assessments make it abundantly clear that current patterns of resource use, production, consumption, and waste are deeply unsustainable. We are basically “using up the future.”
So we have to make a big change in our economy. To what? The Green Economy Coalition, which brings together NGOs, institutes, and UN bodies to share resources and promote change. It is a great starting point for exploring this extremely important topic. They provide resources for learning, discussing, understanding, questioning … and link to many other organizations working on these issues.
Over time, we’ll be adding more resources related to how you can turn yourself (and your company) into a sustainable producer and consumer. But for a great start on getting active in making our consumption habits more sustainable, consider getting involved with the Global Action Plan. They have been working on this issue with great intelligence, dedication, and fun for twenty-five years already!
GOAL 13: TAKE URGENT ACTION TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE AND ITS IMPACTS
Climate change is just one of the 17 goals, but it dominates many discussions about sustainability. In the SDGs there is even a special note pointing to the upcoming climate summit in Paris (December 2015). Whatever comes out of Paris will basically become this goal, at least in formal UN terms. You can follow the UN climate action here, at the UNFCCC newsroom:
And for a complete yet concise briefing on current climate science, check out this excellent Climate Change Fact Book.
The best learning tools we know for tracking what the countries are actually agreeing to do in Paris, and what that agreement will actually mean for the climate (if those commitments are kept), are provided by our friends at Climate Interactive via their climate scoreboard. You can use their website to follow the action, and also to engage groups and classes in simulation exercises on climate and energy. Policy makers themselves rely on Climate Interactive’s models to help them understand what it takes to keep the world at 2 degrees warming — and so can you!
GOAL 14: CONSERVE AND SUSTAINABLY USE THE OCEANS, SEAS AND MARINE RESOURCES
To save the oceans, we have to (frankly) love them and take better care of them. We think our friends at WWF are doing a wonderful job at motivating people to wake up, understand how seriously threatened the oceans really are, and take action. Check out their current global oceans campaign:
But in order to have any chance of saving our seas, we’re going to have to create a green economy (see Goal 12 above) in the oceans. And that’s called, for obvious reasons, a blue economy. Our friends at WWF have produced a wonderful set of Principles for a Sustainable Blue Economy to help decision-makers of all kinds — international agencies, governments, businesses, local communities — take steps to make sure human economic development of the oceans and seas (which is accelerating rapidly) stays within nature’s non-negotiable limits, and even helps to restore the seas to health. Healthy seas, it turns out, are vital to our own health, and to a healthy and sustainable global economy, too. Check out the Principles here:
GOAL 15: SUSTAINABLY MANAGE FORESTS, COMBAT DESERTIFICATION, HALT AND REVERSE LAND DEGRADATION, HALT BIODIVERSITY LOSS
Goal 15 is an enormous agenda, covering all living systems on land. The only organization that is truly up to the task is the world’s largest environmental organization, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature – IUCN. Many people, in our experience, have not even heard of it! But the IUCN is like the “United Nations for Nature” — its 1200 members include a majority of the world’s nation states, as well as many other global institutions. And the IUCN is the institution that tracks the “red list” of endangered species. But it does a lot more than that. Check out this enormous, essential organization, and its wealth of resources:
GOAL 16: PROMOTE JUST, PEACEFUL AND INCLUSIVE SOCIETIES
For Goal 16, you have to look at the the United Nations itself — created to promote peace among nations, home of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and dedicated to helping the world’s countries (especially the poorer ones) develop abilities to manage their affairs wisely. It’s an extremely tough job, and the UN gets far less credit — and far less money — than it needs to do the job.
So get to know the UN. Give it some love and attention. As they say, “It’s Your World.”
GOAL 17: REVITALIZE THE GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Goal 17 is all about making it happen. The phrase “global partnership” is, in part, UN code language for making sure the richer countries of this world do their part to bring money, technology, and other resources to the table, so that the poorer countries can have some hope of achieving the rest of the ambitious 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. There is a lot of technical, inter-governmental, diplomatic “stuff” that is baked into this goal, having to do with the whole SDG negotiating process. If you are interested in how our amazingly diverse world struggles — and sometimes succeeds — in coming to consensus, and actually working together on this common vision of sustainable development, these 17 goals, you can follow the action at the UN’s Sustainable Development website.
The International Institute for Sustainable Development – IISD, based in Canada and Geneva, also does a great job of tracking the negotiating and implementation processes, and translating the diplomatic and bureaucratic language spoken there into something close to plain-English journalism. Check out their Earth Negotiations Bulletin service here:
But “global partnership” also means specific partnerships: groups of organizations that team up to tackle specific problems, or to work in specific places. The UN has launched a platform for registering your partnership (if you have one!), and learning about other partnerships for sustainable development. Do you have a program or initiative with more than one organization, working for one or more of the sustainable development goals? Want to create one, and tell the world about it? Find out more here:
Finally, the phrase “global partnership” also means us — all of us, working in partnership, to make the SDGs a reality. A great set of tools that can help you in creating a new initiative, or energizing an existing group, or even just talking to a class or group about sustainable development, is the AtKisson Group’s Accelerator Lite toolkit. Check it out, it’s available in a free version here:
Engage with our growing community
Would you like to get involved with 17Goals, and contribute additional tools and resources related to putting the SDGs in action? Write to us … and help us spread the word …
Would you like to get involved with 17Goals, and contribute additional tools and resources related to putting the SDGs in action? Write to us … and help us spread the word …