Message from the Project Leader
When ‘Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development' was agreed at the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015, there was widespread agreement on the fact that the international community’s progress towards a sustainable future should be a matter of utmost importance for all inhabitants of this planet, but particularly for younger generations. The Agenda emphasized the need to address some of the most daunting challenges affecting youth worldwide, including unemployment, access to education and health care, and general lack of opportunities for the full realization of young people’s rights and capabilities. Moreover, it identified children and young women and men as critical agents for change, and lauded their ‘infinite capacities for activism in the creation of a better world’.
Ranging from entrepreneurship to volunteering, scientific research, educational initiatives and all sorts of innovative endeavours, young people are already playing a major role in pushing our countries towards sustainable development. In the words of the former President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, Martin Sajdik,
This is why, now more than ever, the efforts of young people should be celebrated and showcased at all relevant levels. This is also why we believe it is crucial to bridge the gap that still exists between youth-led solutions and those stakeholders, including businesses, governments, and fellow citizens, who could further empower, support and invest in them, once they know more about the incredible impact that youth are having across their communities and regions.
Through the work of the Solution Initiatives team of SDSN Youth, which includes the Youth Solutions Report, the Youth Solutions Hub and the Youth Investment Readiness Program, we aim to give further voice to young leaders and innovators, by allowing them to communicate their undertakings, forge new partnerships and ultimately be the driving force behind the 2030 Agenda. As such, I strongly encourage you to be part of this exciting initiative, by submitting your own Solution or partnering with us in creating a robust support ecosystem for youth-led innovation on the SDGs. Let’s make sure that the untapped potential of youth is finally mobilized to meet the challenge of sustainable development.