Young people are central to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda; many are already working on creating a more sustainable future, shaking and moving the existing state of order with innovative thinking, creativity and passion. In a newly published report the Sustainable Development Solutions Network – Youth, SDSN Youth, presents 50 youth-led initiatives that contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs.
Almost half of the global population is today younger than 30 years. This is an outstanding opportunity for the 2030 Agenda: Young people often think more innovatively and they are likely to have a long-term perspective. These are the people that will be between 15 to 45 years old in 2030. And they will be those personally benefiting from a sustainable world. That’s why the UN General Assembly made it a priority to get young people to actively contribute to the implementation of the SDGs.
Youth is not only a pool for innovative thinking to tap into, it is also an economically active group of society with great returns on investments, and they are already doing well with sustainable businesses solutions and social initiatives. This happens despite common hindrances youth faces, such as lack of funding, limited access to technical support and advice, and fairly low visibility of their work and ideas.
In an effort to encourage and provide visibility to innovative youth-led innovations, SDSN Youth offered a forum for young innovators to tell about ongoing projects and present ideas for future ventures.
The submissions were collected and reviewed, and the best are now published in the Youth Solutions Report: The report introduces 50 innovations active in 57 different countries. All in all, the scope of selected initiatives is very wide and covers all of the 17 SDGs. Here are a few examples, to illustrate just how diverse and fascinating these projects are:
- Bean Voyage – Provides consumers with high quality speciality coffee produced in collaboration with small-holders in Costa Rica. This social venture aims to address the fact that farmers only receive 17% of coffee sales revenues. Bean Voyage established direct links between coffee producers in Costa Rica and consumers in the USA, and sells several different speciality beans through their website.
- Lensational – Through photography, this non-profit encourages women to express themselves and become financially independent. Participants in the enterprise receive second-hand digital cameras and training in how do take good pictures. The women are then encouraged to sell their photos through Lensational’s online platform.
- Too Good to Go – This start-up tackles food waste by allowing consumers to buy leftover meals at restaurants around closing time for a small price. They work with many different types of businesses, such as cafeterias, buffet restaurants and butchers, and are active in six European countries.
Want to learn more about the different youth-led solutions and ideas? You can read the full report on the website of SDSN Youth.