a recent effort to bolster public awareness and momentum behind the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has announced a panel of SDG “Eminent Advocates” to supplement his efforts in advocating for this
new international development agenda. This cast of advocates includes members of the political and corporate arenas, as well as academia, sports, and the arts, boasting such names as Lionel Messi, Queen Mathilde of Belgium, and Ghanian President John Dramani Mahama. These advocates will not only be acting as spokespeople for the highly directed SDGs, but also as proponents of the underlying character of the SDGs – an emphasis on partnerships (Goal 17) and universality in the implementation and financing of the Goals, hence the geographic and professional variety of the group.


E_SDG_Icons-18The Sustainable Development Goals represent the central framework for the 2030 Agenda for international development, geared
to build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of the previous 15 years. In developing these new Goals, the United Nations, its members, and the global network of affiliated organizations and
stakeholders identified, and hope to assuage an issue of inconsistency and uneven distribution in the affects of the MDGs. The new mantra of “No-one left behind” is, therefore, a focal point for the Secretary General’s new panel of advocates. Whether this global team of advocates inspires any newfound partnerships, or even accelerates their home country’s progress towards Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) remains to be seen, though the high-profile theme across the list certainly bodes well for the goal of public awareness.


Here at IDEAS for Us, SDG Number 17, “Partnerships for the Goals” is a theme that consistently underpins our Solutions. Our recent partnerships with such organizations as Plant for the Planet, SPOUTS of Water, AGT Solar, Citizen Energy, and WDC Somalia have generated some of our most successful Solutions of the past year, and we are constantly exploring new options for productive and efficacious partnerships. Visit our website to learn more about these projects and more, and don’t forget to check out our “Top 15 of 2015” and “2016 Strategic Plan” if you haven’t already! Stay tuned to the IDEAS blog for more information about the SDGs, our work, and the world of sustainability.



The Full List of Advocates:

Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg (Co-Chairs), Queen Mathilde of Belgium; Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden; Jack Ma, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Chinese Alibaba Group of Internet-based businesses; Leo Messi, Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Co-Founder of the Qatar Foundation; screenwriter, producer and film director Richard Curtis; Dho Young-Shim, Chairperson of the UN World Tourism Organization’s Sustainable Tourism Foundation; Leymah Gbowee, Director of the Gbowee Peace; Graça Machel, President of the Foundation for Community Development; Alaa Murabit; Founder of The Voice of Libyan Women; Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer of Unilever; Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Colombia University; Shakira Mebarak, Founder of the Pies Descalzos Foundation; actor Forest Whitaker, Founder of the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative; and Noble Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus, Founder of the Grameen Bank.[i]

[i] “Ban names ‘eminent advocates’ to propel achievement of new Sustainable Development Goals”; UN News Center, 19 January, 2016;