The world currently has the largest generation of youth in its history, with more than half the global population younger than 30 years. 90% of people aged between 10 and 24 years live in low-income and middle-income countries, where health and social systems are the most vulnerable. If we continue to fail to include the next generation of young leaders as equal partners in policy and practice, the Sustainable Development Goals will remain just that—important, yet ultimately unrealized, goals.
SDG CoLab is taking the lead in encouraging those in power to engage in participatory manner with young people for sustainable change. We are leading a series of commentaries in The Lancet on the urgency for transforming youth engagement for sustainable systems change.
Intermediary cities comprise 40% of our urban population and are the world’s fastest-growing urban areas. While cities occupy less than 2% of the world land area, they contribute 60% to the global economy, and also 2/3 of greenhouse gas emissions. These cities have become agents of change as they often seek to implement radical and innovative policies for social, economic, and infrastructural demands that come with rapid growth and a need for a shift towards wellbeing economy. Young people living in these cities initiate important conversations on crucial issues, mobilize change and hold their governments accountable. Youth-centered cities hold great potential for innovation towards regenerative future.
We are working with Fondation Botnar in co-creating youth-centered cities through OurCity global initiative for youth wellbeing and systems transformation. By catalyzing collective multi-stakeholder actions with care, we build trust to address needs and opportunities towards the creation of city commons.
Art drives social change. It helps us reimagine solutions, connect with each other, and builds trust. Art and culture are essential for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, yet they have not been highlighted or included in any substantial way. We believe that Art has the unique ability to create sustainable change as it creates a space for open dialogue and builds a connected global community.
Our Art4Action initiative creates new spaces and dialogue for to build trust, agency and systems change. We connect visionary artists, collectors, and cutting-edge cultural institutions with scientists, policymakers, innovators and businesses to collectively raise awareness and mobilize new thinking and action for emerging future.
Over 50% of people are connected to the internet worldwide, and this is accelerating. In 2018 alone, 300 million people connected to the internet for the first time. Mobile devices have become the primary means of internet access improving lives, empowering people and fostering shared prosperity.
We integrate digital technology in all our initiatives to enable accelerated reach and transformative solutions for systems change. We are passionate about using technology to make invisible connections, processes, and challenges visible through interactive navigational maps.
Everybody eats. Food and nutrition play a critical role in ensuring peaceful, secure and healthy individuals and societies for our sustainable future. Mindful eating is a rapidly emerging field in sustainable food systems. It encourages us to become conscious of what and how we eat, and how this impacts our health and the environment we live in.
We are raising awareness about mindful eating for the well-being of people and the planet to reach the Sustainable Development Goals. We are engaged in food systems dialogues to bring solutions around mindful eating to the foreground of the current global conversation on healthy eating and sustainable food systems.
Traditional concepts of public-private partnerships in health and sustainable development are failing us. They need to evolve into functioning ecosystems of diverse partners that deliver products, services, and financing solutions in a sustainable way.
Our Next-Gen Partnership initiative convened business leaders at Harvard to shape new learning about multi-stakeholder partnerships for a sustainable future. It aimed to develop new courses to equip future leaders and change makers with emerging practices how to transform shared value mindsets into business strategies and identified priority focus areas in health that lack convergence of resources, approaches, and incentives for accelerated impact at global scale.