Ideas for Action is a joint initiative of Wharton and the World Bank. It aims to provide young leaders around the world with an opportunity to help shape the international development agenda. We work with students and young professionals from currently 130+ different countries around the world to develop new ideas for financing the SDGs.
Faced with the necessity of supporting and accelerating the implementation of the Sustainable Development Agenda, the United Nations adopted in September 2015 the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to guide and channel global efforts to achieve economic and social progress, while still preserving the planet’s resources and environment. The SDGs are a set of 17 global goals, which seek to end poverty by 2030, promote peace, and preserve the planet for future generations. They are replacing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were set to lapse in 2015. More ambitious than their predecessors, the SDGs seek to tackle a variety of issues ranging from ending hunger to bridging the gender equality gap. A more ambitious set of goals naturally entails a more ambitious budget. And indeed, it is estimated that close to $3 trillion will be necessary to bring the SDGs to successful conclusion. That is why the United Nations has sought, from the very inception of the SDGs, to involve the youth in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Agenda. Recognizing the creative and innovative power embodied by the younger generations, the international community has realized the crucial importance of getting the youth on board of the sustainable development endeavor, in order to ensure its success.
From that observation, Ideas 4 Action has arisen as a critical agent in the sustainable development ecosystem, playing a crucial role in stimulating and bolstering youth engagement. Ideas 4 Action strives to empower young people from around the world and encourage them to develop and share their ideas for solutions that can help achieve the SDGs.
In order to do achieve such a vision, Ideas 4 Action has developed a program focused on 5 objectives it hopes to achieve:
I. Developing innovative ideas that positively shape both the policy and business ecosystem, thus providing an enabling environment where novel ideas can flourish and a too narrow focus on “business plans” can be avoided;
II. Influencing leading development, public policy, and business leaders so that they can make more informed decisions that also reflect the inspiration and dedication of young people and their leadership and entrepreneurial spirit;
III. Moving from innovative ideas to actionable solutions in technology, digital entrepreneurship, and partnership models that can be scaled up;
IV. Providing young leaders from around the world with access to knowledge, networking opportunities, mentorship, opportunities to connect with like minded youths, a dedicated incubator, and potential financing opportunities; and
V. Advancing university and other capacity development curricula.