UN Sustainability Goals

There is a lot of work to do.

The UN has defined 17 goals for worldwide sustainable development. Each of these is an invitation to action and a good “way in” for anyone hoping to make change in the world: simply pick one and start.

These goals are all “wicked problems” with systemic causes that require innovative, systemic solutions.

Aside from the goals, themselves, the set provides a great framework for organizing and assessing change for any organization. For example, California College of the Art’s Center for Impact recently used these to tag curricula throughout its school. This also helps others, outside the institution, explore and interface with the activities of one organization. What would happen if all organizations (for-profit, non-profit, and governmental, alike) at least tagged their missions and activities by this taxonomy? It would provide an immediately relative, interconnected, and traversable path to connect disparate organization and individuals and organize both resources and actions.

For every kind of designer, it helps provide both context and a roadmap to assess what’s missing from a solution or mission. Not every person or organization can focus on all of these but it’s important to focus efforts knowing the entire context and playing field.