A quick guide to the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (and what you can do to help).

On September 25th, 2015, the UN convened over 150 world leaders in New York for a three-day summit to adopt its new framework for international sustainable development. What does this mean, exactly?

Essentially, the world decided that we must improve living standards for everyone everywhere and to accomplish this, we must work together. The key areas of improvement include:

  • Ending poverty in all forms
  • Fighting inequality and injustice
  • Tackling climate change

This ambitious agenda builds on the work of Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) launched in 2000. Since its creation, the MDG’s have helped see a huge decline in the number of out-of-school children, from 100 million to 58 million, and have contributed to cutting the global poverty rate in half.

But there is still much to be done. While some nations have surpassed expectations in meeting the MGD goals, so many countries still lack access to basic human rights such as clean water, quality education, and gender equality (view our progress).

What are the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals?

The Global Goals operate on the premise that we are all interdependent on one another. Improving education and economic growth in one county can positively affect living standards in another country. There are 17 development goals and 169 targets to cover a broad range of sustainable development issues, all to be achieved by the year 2030:

  1. End all poverty
  2. End hunger, improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture
  3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  4. Ensure inclusive and quality education
  5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  6. Ensure access to clean water and sanitation
  7. Ensure access to affordable and sustainable modern energy
  8. Promote economic growth, employment, and decent work for all
  9. Build resilient infrastructures, promote sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation
  10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
  11. Make cities inclusive, safe, and sustainable
  12. Ensure sustainable consumption and responsible production
  13. Take urgent action to combat climate change
  14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources
  15. Ensure all life on land is protected and sustainably managed
  16. Promote just, peaceful, and inclusive societies
  17. Revitalize global partnerships to achieve and sustain these goals

How can you help?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) call on support from all sectors – government, business, civil society groups, and individuals – to ensure that each goal is reached.

There list of goals is long because making the world an easier and more accessible place for all is a huge feat. Huge – but not impossible.

You can have an impact by sharing your knowledge with the rest of the world. Blog about it, choose a goal (or all of the goals!) and share it on social media, or email this post to your friends, family, and colleagues. Awareness is a powerful tool – now let’s use it to change the world.

You can also follow the conversation on Twitter using #globalgoals or #action2015.