#23: WTF are the UNSDGs

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Social impact looooovvveees its acronyms, don’t we?

Ok, here’s what this one is:

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – otherwise known as the UN SDGs or the Sustainable Development Goals or the SDGs or the Global Goals or 2030 Goals (yes, I know, I need a drink too) – are 17 goals that built off the eight Millennium Development Goals the UN convened and oversaw in the early 2000s. The Millenium Goals were SMART goals; the SDGs, developed in 2015, are not. If they are achieved, by 2030 (thus being called the 2030 goals), the world would be pretty damn near perfect (which it likely won’t be by 2030). Backwards? Nope.

Here’s why.

In being so open, the SDGs left room to evolve and grow as specific targets, problems, and solutions evolve. Under the 17 goals, which in aggregate tackle every social and environmental issue globally,  are 169 very well-researched targets – with measurable indicators that create a common metrics set for global entities to tracked aligned progress toward the hopeful outcomes. Even if the outcomes are not achieved, progress toward them can be achieved as measured by the indicators.

Why are these goals so badass?

For starters, one of the first things to emerge from them as a collaborative commitment toward targets was the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

But you don’t need to be a global leader to use the goals. If you work in social impact, whatever you do is aligned with at least one of the 17 goals. If you dig into the targets and indicators under each goal, you will find measurable outcomes and indicators you can use to guide your organization’s strategy and impact metrics. And you’ll be part of something much bigger and global. You don’t need to sign up, you don’t need to pay dues, you just need to align; one of my clients, Water For People, did just that and are using SDG #6: Clean Water and Sanitation to orient their impact measurement strategy.

You can find everything else you need to know about the goals at https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs, including targets and indicators under each goal. Let me know how YOU integrate these into your strategy and check out the work I’ve done with the SDGs at https://hannahgay.com/consulting. xx

Business StrategyHannah Gay