The Guidelines


Achieving the SDGs calls for leadership, collective action and innovative solutions that shift the behavior of large systems in a significant way. From this perspective, youth-led solutions are transformative projects and endeavours ranging from entrepreneurial ventures to educational initiatives (including research activities, volunteering efforts and any comparable undertakings), which showcase the innovative approach that youth are taking in solving the multiple challenges of sustainable development.


In order to be selected by SDSN Youth for inclusion in the Youth Solutions platform, solutions must meet the following criteria:

  • Directly address at least one of the 17 SDGs, while taking into account synergies and trade-offs with the others
  • Have been founded by a young person (between the ages of 15-30), be transformative and capable of showcasing the skills and creative mindset of the proponent(s)
  • Have a clear target audience and well-planned objective, including a structured time horizon and project outcomes
  • Be readily available, i.e. be in their implementation phase and operating for at least 18 months  to overcome initial barriers related to project administration and future viability [NB: participants will still be able to submit their projects if they are in their design phase and/or have not been operating for at least 18 months. These projects will be showcased in a separate section of the report]
  • Have a positive environmental impact
  • Have a positive social impact
  • Its impact must have been adequately measured and/or be measurable
  • Be financially viable
  • Be scalable


A preliminary database of solutions is developed based on our outreach efforts to youth organizations and other youth groups and communities, including direct submissions through the Report’s website and recommendations from SDSN Regional and National Networks, SDSN Youth’s Member Organizations, and the Report’s Partners. Solutions collected through the first selection are be screened and reviewed by an Advisory Panel, comprising representatives from SDSN Youth, SDSN Secretariat and external partners. Only a portion of the solutions featured in the Youth Solutions platform is included in the annual Report, but all of them will have access to the support offered by SDSN Youth.