Today in Davos, the SAP Next-Gen program launched a citizens agenda for the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The launch took place at the Davos House, in collaboration with Project Everyone, #ILoveGlobalGoals, Global Goals World Cup, Global Citizen, P4G, The Female Quotient, and Global Citizen Forum, as well as leaders from government, business, and non-profits who aim to mobilize citizens around the world for social good.

Global Leaders Mobilize Citizens for the SDGs

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, the first-ever Global Citizen Prize for a World Leader winner, was an honored speaker in today’s launch event.

“The SDGs were adopted by 193 countries at the UN in 2015. Every citizen in the world can hold their leaders accountable to the SDGs. Everyone can also participate in working for the goals in their neighborhood and throughout the world. It is truly a citizens agenda for a sustainable future,” said Prime Minister Solberg.

“We have the opportunity to make tremendous progress by 2020 in setting up a decade of delivery for the SDGs, making sure we create a world in which everybody wins,” said Richard Curtis, UN SDG advocate and co-founder of Project Everyone. “It is only when we bring citizens together with their leaders, businesses, and civil society actors that we will truly accelerate our progress toward achieving the Global Goals for everyone.”

The citizens agenda for the SDGs includes guiding principles that can be adopted by presidents, prime ministers, mayors, chief executives, deans, and other institutional leaders to empower citizens to make changes leading to a more sustainable future. The agenda supports the following principles:

  • Listen: Listen to citizens and acknowledge that change can come from them, not just from corporates, governments, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).
  • Involve: Baseline SDG initiatives and then consider how to involve citizens, include their perspectives, and innovative ideas to scale impact. Citizens’ ideas can be as important and disruptive as ideas from corporates, governments, and NGOs.
  • Scale: Mobilize citizens to act and help corporates, governments, and NGOs scale the impact of SDG programs. Make sure solutions and new ways of living coming from citizens can be scaled up.
  • Share: Create programs and actively engage citizens in SDG movements, sharing stories of what citizens are doing to live more sustainably. Leaders should be ambassadors for sustainable living to inspire citizens to live sustainably.

“Denmark is a front-runner in promoting citizen engagement around the SDGs,” said Kristian Jensen, Minister for Finance of Denmark. “This commitment ensures that the SDGs and their implementation are present in the daily work of government. They lift our ambitions and remind us of the promise to leave no one behind. We need and welcome the voices of citizens and their involvement in SDG initiatives.”

“The citizens agenda for the SDGs inspires every citizen to act in their own lives and support changes they wish to see in the world,” said Ann Rosenberg, senior vice president and global head of SAP Next-Gen. “Sustainable living will become the new normality. If citizens act, leaders will listen.”

The SAP Next-Gen program is also collaborating with #ILoveGlobalGoals in the launch of the citizens agenda for the SDGs.

“As a digital movement for all to kickstart sustainable actions, we are inspiring citizens to turn Global Goals into everyday goals in their local communities. We want them to use their power to change the game for sustainable transition to move even faster,” said Lotte Hansen, CEO of Hansen & Ersbøll Agenda and founder of #ILoveGlobalGoals. “We share a joint vision with SAP Next-Gen to inspire voices of citizens, which, when joined with corporates, the startup ecosystem, purpose-driven institutions, and governments, can accelerate scalable solutions for a sustainable future.”

The Global Goals World Cup (GGWCup) also supports the citizens agenda for the SDGs. GGWCup was initiated by Eir Soccer, a Danish organization with a big idea: to create sports events that inspire women to become champions of the 17 SDGs and drive progress and change in their communities.

“We truly believe in the famous words of Nelson Mandela: ‘Sport has the power to change the world.’ Sport has the power to energize and motivate the hearts and minds of billions. It breaks down barriers and allows people to meet at eye level on the field. When we play together, we create the human connections that inspire us to fight side by side for the world we want,” said Majken Gilmartin and Rikke Ronholt, founders of GGWCup.

The citizens agenda for the SDGs is also endorsed and supported by the Global Citizen Forum, the leading social action platform on migration and mobility.

“By hosting our fifth forum in Yerevan, Armenia, we hope to stress the importance of migration and technology as a catalyst for positive development and growth,” said Armand Arton, founder of the Global Citizen Forum.

Following today’s launch, the SAP Next-Gen program aims to organize a series of citizen events in global innovation centers linked to the program’s global network, culminating in a gathering at the SAP offices in New York City during the UN General Assembly Week in September 2019. The goal is to bring together SDG activists, citizens, government leaders, corporates, and non-profits to share progress and further accelerate the impact of the guiding principles of the citizens agenda for the SDGs.

Read more stories from SAP at Davos