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The UN SDSN Network

About the SDSN

The Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), launched in 2012, mobilizes global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical problem solving for sustainable development, including the design and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. Following their adoption, the SDSN supports the implementation of the SDGs at local, national, and global scales. The SDSN was established by and works under the auspices of the United Nations Secretary-General. It collaborates with UN agencies, multilateral financing institutions, the private sector, and civil society.

Furthermore the SDSN aims to accelerate joint learning and help to overcome the compartmentalization of technical and policy work by promoting integrated approaches to the interconnected economic, social, and environmental challenges confronting the world.

The SDSN Network

Spanning six continents, the SDSN Networks Program currently draws upon the knowledge and educational capacity of nearly 600 member institutions. They work together to direct a multidimensional global network that attempts to address some of the world’s most pressing problems.

Youth Network

In 2015, the SDSN launched its youth initiative. SDSN Youth educates young people about the challenges of sustainable development and creates opportunities for them to use their creativity and knowledge to pioneer innovative solutions for the SDGs. They currently work with over 120 youth organizations in 35 countries. SDSN Youth runs an annual contest for youth solutions, publishing them in the Youth Solutions Report. Their Local Pathways Fellowship provides young people globally with the tools and resources to champion local pathways to sustainable development, as well as a platform to share experiences. The Twenty Thirty initiative uses the arts as a tool for the communication of the SDGs through the organization of events, inclusion of artists in international conferences, and the promotion of new art related to the SDGs.

The SDSN’s priorities

The SDSN’s work is organized around 4 priorities:

  • Implementation Tools for the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Agreement
  • Networks
  • Solution Initiatives
  • SDG Academy


SDSN’s mission

SDSN’s mission is to accelerate practical problem solving for sustainable development, including

the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at local, national, and global scales. To this end, SDSN is building a global network of universities, research centers, and other knowledge institutions focusing on:

  • Providing and mobilizing support for the Sustainable Development Goals;
  • Promoting practical Solutions Initiatives and long-term pathways for sustainable development;
  • Promoting high-quality education and research collaboration for sustainable development;
  • Supporting governments in understanding and addressing the challenges of sustainable


SDSN’s four sets of activities

  1. Local, National, and Regional Problem Solving for Sustainable Development

The SDSN Network will promote practical solutions to the pressing challenges of sustainable development:

  • Participate in National and Regional SDSNs
  • Get involved in SDSN Solutions Initiatives
  • Pursue joint fundraising

SDG Academy

SDSN’s flagship online education initiative, the SDG Academy, is training the largest-ever cohort of students of sustainable development through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

The SDG Academy is an initiative of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network to create and curate free, graduate-level online courses on sustainable development. We bring together the world’s foremost experts to offer a comprehensive core curriculum on issues integral to the sustainability of our planet – including health, education, climate change, agriculture and food systems, sustainable investment and other related fields.