Youth For Our Planet/Path of the Changemaker/SDG ROADMAP AND SOLUTIONS AROUND THE WORLD


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This module will cover the history of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), their targets, why they were created, why it is important to work towards their achievement, and the role of youth in achieving them. You will also hear some examples of young people leading the change for sustainable development from across the world.


By the end of this module you will be able to identify areas of action related to the Sustainable Development Goals and understand in practice the way the goals and targets are interconnected with the others. You will have the background to start developing ideas on how to use your role as a young leader to create partnerships and sustainable solutions.

Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, the United Nations and its 193 member states adopted the Agenda for Sustainable Development, a comprehensive plan to achieve sustainability, peace, and progress by 2030. As a roadmap and framework for achieving this agenda, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets were created. The SDGs can be divided into 5 thematic categories:

People: SDG 1 to SDG 6 Prosperity: SDG 7 to SDG 10 Planet: SDG 11 to SDG 15 Peace: SDG 16 Partnerships: SDG 17

Partnerships and the role of youth

To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, it is necessary that everyone, regardless of their area of work, age, industry, or gender, takes action. Every single individual must contribute to make the planet a better place, and push to reduce social, economic, and environmental inequalities.

Today’s youth are tomorrow’s world leaders. As a young person, becoming knowledgeable around the SDGs and equipped to lead projects that work towards their achievement is important to ensure a sustainable and healthy planet. The SDGs are all interconnected, which means that, if you work towards one of them, you are also positive impacting the others. This interconnectedness shows the importance of creating partnerships, as SDG 17 suggests, and working together to enhance our impact.

First, all 17 goals are interconnected, progress on one goal affects progress on the other goals. The SDGs recognize that is necessary and possible to live in a world which promotes human well-being for everyone in harmony with the natural world.

Secondly, all national governments around the world are responsible for delivering on the 17 SDGs, by working together with other groups, for example, young people, schools, local governments and the private sector.
Finally, progress should be defined by those are who are currently facing the impact of inequalities within our society - young people, people experiencing poverty, and people with disabilities to name a few. This principle is known as Leave No One Behind.

Youth for Our Planet is demanding urgent action around three specific goals: The Sustainable Development Goals were designed to tackle every challenge faced by humanity from an economic, social and environmental perspective. They follow the below principles:

  • The goal: to take urgent action to tackle climate change, reduce its negative impacts and adapt to its effects.
  • The goal: to preserve marine ecosystems and biodiversity, and lessen negative impacts related to the extraction of marine resources.
  • The goal: to protect land ecosystems, stop deforestation, land degradation and combat desertification, thus preserving wildlife and halting the loss of biodiversity. Watch this short 2 minute video by WWF, ‘with nature, we can achieve the SDGs:

Young people working for the SDGS

Here are some examples of young people from across the world working to achieve and spread awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals.

Sidiki Sow, Mali: Today, 30% of the global crop production is used as animal feed. Sidiki developed a flour made from compost-fed larvae as a solution for Africa, where meat demand is predicted to rise alongside booming populations. “Insect flour contains double the protein, needs 200 times less water, and 10,000 times less space compared to soya flour”. Check his story here.

Anoka Primrose, Sri Lanka: Through her role as Asia-Pacific representative of the UN-Habitat Youth Advisory Board, Anoka engages with over 717 million young people in the Asia-Pacific region to enable climate action initiatives. Anoka’s Growin’ Money eco-social enterprise has helped over 5,000 vulnerable Sri Lankans after the devastating tsunami in 2004, which ravaged their homes and livelihoods, through equipping them with new farming techniques, eco-tourism strategies and digital skills. She also led the replantation of over 60,000 mangroves destroyed by the tsunami. Find out more about Anoka here and check her LinkedIn profile.

Boyan Slat, The Netherlands: Our seas are full of plastic and general waste washed in from coastal cities. When Boyan was 16, he created a mechanism to use the sea waves to collect the garbage polluting our oceans. Follow him on Instagram and keep up with his work.

Nicolás Gómez, Colombia: The clothing industry is the 2nd largest pollutant in the world. Nicolas and his team are in love with the ocean so they connected this challenge with their passion and created a brand that fabricates clothing from plastic waste found in the beaches of Colombia. Follow their brand 4planetcol on Instagram.

James Thuch Madhier, South Sudan: He reinvents the task of the bany-biith using solar-powered drip irrigation to provide a low-cost, efficient, and sustainable water supply not only during the rainy season, but all year round. He is combining the power of clean technology with traditional knowledge to invest in livelihoods in a grassroots, long-term, and sustainable way. Follow his work on Instagram.

Internationally: The international team of AIESEC, the largest youth-led organization, created a global initiative called Youth for Global Goals. The international team of AIESEC, the world’s biggest youth-led organization, created a global initiative that, through AIESEC’s network and partnerships, aimed to engage young people with the SDGs and encourage them to create their own projects for achieving the goals.

Echo Programme, India: WWF-India’s Echo Programme is an empowering action model to engage youth enrolled in colleges to design, develop and lead sustainable solutions against the most pressing environmental issues through innovation. For example, one group of young people from Delhi created a movement of change by educating women about switching to sustainable menstrual products to reduce their plastic footprint. The team organized workshops to reach youth across the city.

So far they have influenced 27,000 people through direct engagement from diverse walks of life i.e. adolescent girls, working professionals and homemakers. They also ensured to include men in all their workshops with a vision to expand the reach of their initiative. The team is also working to developing an e-commerce app, which will promote local goods manufactured by young and small entrepreneurs. Learn more about them here.


  • There are 17 SDGs divided in 5 categories: people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnerships.
  • The SDGs are all interconnected. This means that, when you work towards the achievement of one of them, you will have an impact on the others.
  • The key to achieve the SDGs is to create partnerships. The private and public sectors, academia, and citizens around the world need to collaborate to jointly develop solutions that bring us closer to a sustainable and just world.
  • Young people have the power to keep the momentum of the SDGs going with their energy, curiosity, and ability to be creative.


  • Beginner: Research your favorite companies. Which of the SDGs are they focused on or affecting, positively or negatively? Do you notice room for improvement regarding their environmental impact? How would you suggest they make those changes?
  • Intermediate: Check this interactive map and find your country. Identify what SDGs are not being achieved yet: do you have any ideas on how to help your country act towards their progress? Do you believe there are better ways of doing what is being done right now? Write them down.
  • Advanced: Now think about your community or your neighbourhood, and the challenges related to the SDGs you identified at the country level. Pick the SDG you are most interested in, or that you identified as crucial to your community. Research to find out if someone is working on the topic already and reach out to join their efforts. If not, could you think of a way to begin addressing the topic? In modules 16 and 17 you will gain tools and information on how to develop your next project or entrepreneurship. Disrupt and innovate!



After watching the module’s video, reflect on the following questions:

  • What could you do to spread the word about SDGs among other young people?
  • What do you think about the SDGs? Do you think they are enough to address the challenges of your community? Do they lack something? Is there something you would add to them?



Entrepreneur and social innovator, Federico has 10 years of experience working on sustainability and youth development. He founded Energía Vectorial, and is the co-founder of Impact Hub Medellín, where he currently leads Impacto2030, an Incubation and Acceleration program for businesses with Impact on SDG. Federico was selected by the United Nations Foundation as +SocialGood Connector. Federico is a Pokemon Master: he plays Pokemon Go and has finished all Pokemon games in Nintendo.