SDSN Youth

SDSN Youth is the global youth program of the SDSN and was established in 2015 to empower young people globally to create sustainable development solutions. SDSN Youth has 140 team members working in more than 35 different countries across 20 Regional and National Networks. Each Regional/National Youth Network is embedded into its corresponding SDSN Network, focusing on mobilizing young people towards achieving the SDGs.

SDSN Youth also leads global initiatives and programs on a number of domain areas: education advocacy for K-12, sustainable campuses, sustainable cities, and entrepreneurship. Each program follows a three-step theory of change: educate and train volunteers; ideate and collaborate in communities; then implement and scale the solution.


The Global Schools Program trains volunteers to become advocates for sustainability education, connect with schools, and run workshops on the SDGs. Educators will then run activities with students to implement small-scale solutions (e.g. creating a worm farm) as the first step towards contributing to sustainable development. The SDG Students Program is a global network of student hubs based at SDSN Member Institutions, where students can come together to learn about, engage with, and take action on the SDGs.


SDSN Youth runs a number of events to bring young leaders together to share their experiences and identify potential opportunities for collaboration - including the Vatican Youth Symposium where 85+ young leaders and experts came together to cultivate solutions and partnerships to further the implementation of the SDGs on national, regional, and international scales.


The Local Pathways Fellowship is a 12-month training program, where young innovators analyze the local context of their cities, to then develop concepts for a project to implement. The program equips the Fellows with the knowledge and resources to work with local authorities in planning, building, and maintaining cities that are sustainable, inclusive, and resilient. The Youth Solutions Program aims to advance youth-led SDG innovation. We provide an ecosystem of resources to help young people overcome barriers to launching, implementing, and scaling innovative solutions by providing access to experts, funding, training, and exposure to opportunities.

Highlights of 2020!

  • Launch of the SDG Students Program Certificate - co-signed by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Prof. Jeffrey Sachs
  • 1000 schools have signed up to the Global Schools Program, committing to align their curriculum with the SDGs using our content.
  • A new education research project focusing on SDG target 4.7 is being piloted in Morocco, Ghana, and Turkey with the mission to reform the national curriculum in each country and align it with the SDGs.