About our work

The Mission

We want to recognize and celebrate Solutions led by young people around the SDGs and provide them with a solid network of supporters willing to promote and support their projects and initiatives.

The Aim

Managed by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network - Youth (SDSN Youth) in collaboration with the SDSN, the Youth Solutions program is a strategic project that aims to showcase and support transformative youth-led initiatives in business, education, charity, and research which highlight the innovative approach that young people are taking in solving the multiple challenges of sustainable development. The platform provides young innovators with a powerful tool that addresses the difficulties they face in securing funding, building capacity, communicating their experience and ultimately scaling their efforts. 

As part of the Youth Solutions program, SDSN Youth publishes a yearly Youth Solutions Report, whose first edition was launched in January 2017. Thanks to the involvement of an Advisory Panel consisting of world-leading experts in different areas, the Report identifies 50 youth-led solutions which have demonstrated the clarity and viability of their strategy; their potential to be scaled and expanded, and their capacity to contribute to positive environmental and social outcomes.

Covering an international spectrum, encouraging an interdisciplinary approach to problem-solving and showcasing solutions from a broad range of fields and sectors, the program and the related Report closely align with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and related targets that will shape the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Issue

Youth must be seen as key stakeholders in the sustainable development debate, and acknowledging their essential role in achieving the SDGs represents a pressing need. Through their actions and undertakings (i.e. educational and charity initiatives, research activities, enterprises, and so forth), youth organizations and young people worldwide are already contributing to the 2030 Agenda. However, they face common challenges that prevent them from realizing the full potential of their solutions, including reduced of visibility, limited access to funding, and lack of sufficient capacity, training, and technical support. To learn more about how these challenges can be overcome, read our Policy Brief on "Supporting Youth-led Innovation to Achieve the SDGs".

The Solution

The Youth Solutions program, which consists of the Youth Solutions Report itself, a comprehensive online and offline dissemination strategy, the Youth Investment Readiness Program and the Youth Solutions Hub, can be a crucial instrument to leverage the potential of youth-led innovation in achieving the SDGs.  Through our activities and initiatives, which benefit from SDSN's vast network of institutional partners, experts, private companies and media outlets, we facilitate the dissemination of promising youth-led solutions, giving them additional fora to showcase their work and opportunities to draw interest from potential supporters. In turn, this helps investors, donors and supporters better understand the multi-faceted role of young people in the 2030 Agenda.

How will solutions be promoted? 

The solutions contained in both the Report itself and the program as a whole will be divided by sectors, regions, and SDGs they are targeting. They will be showcased at high-level conferences and events (i.e. UN High-Level Political Forum; International Conference on Sustainable Development, UNFCCC COP meetings and so forth) and will also be featured online thanks to our media partners. In addition, they will have exclusive access to our Youth Investment Readiness Program and Youth Solutons Hub.