Which SDG is the most solvable, & how?

The 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly ended on September 28th, and so did our #SolvableSDG campaign. About three weeks ago, we asked our online community to vote for the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) that was the most solvable.

The global response was overwhelming: we heard from over 13,000 people in 164 countries over the span of just over two weeks.

Here’s what we heard: most people are the most optimistic about achieving zero hunger (20% of responses), followed by eliminating poverty (17%) and ensuring access to affordable and clean energy (15%). We also heard that we have the most work to do on SDG16–achieving peace, justice, and strong institutions–which received the fewest respondents believing it to be the most solvable.

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The role of education

Over 10 thousand people also submitted ideas as to how to achieve these SDGs. “Education” was the word most people used when offering solutions for eliminating poverty (SDG1) and achieving peace, justice, and strong institutions (SDG16). “Education” also ranked highly in solutions toward good health and well-being (SDG3). Indeed, education has been at the core of The Rockefeller Foundation’s work for decades — from founding universities and fields of study around the world, to supporting advancements of science and technology through scholarships and fellowships.

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Solving for the SDGs must be an interdisciplinary and collaborative effort.

Achieving the SDGs involves addressing complex and interconnected problems, and progress toward one specific SDG will affect other SDGs. It was interesting to observe insights in this regard. For example, the word most used to express solutions for SDG11 (sustainable cities and communities) was “energy”, which is the central theme of SDG7 (affordable and clean energy). Similarly, “food” was one of the top solutions expressed for SDG3 (good health and well-being), which is also the central theme of SDG2 (zero hunger).

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The responses we received reinforce the need for continued collaboration across sectors and disciplines if we are to achieve the SDGs. We are thrilled that during this campaign we were able to engage our online community spanning the world. There are so many well-intentioned, positive, and bright people looking to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those in need. We are grateful that every one of you are out there – or here, reading this post on making the world a better place – and we hope you’ll stay inspired. We know we will.

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Want to learn more about how we’re tackling the Sustainable Development Goals? Read our latest updates below: