“To create communities that offer hope instead of desperation, cities must promote a sense of belonging and treat young people as equal and capable partners. If local authorities harness the qualities of youth and work closely with them to plan, design and manage cities, we could see more liveable communities”

- Siamak Sam Loni

By way of recognizing youth as the key player in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and building on the success of the 2017 inaugural cohort of the Local Pathways Fellows, the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network - Youth Initiative (SDSN Youth) is recruiting its 2018 cohort of the Local Pathways Fellows. 


The Local Pathways Fellowship seeks to provide young leaders with a platform, a guiding framework for action, and connect them with leading development experts and practitioners:

  • Guide and inform their work around their existing and future projects, and help them develop insights about local sustainable development challenges;

  • Provide them with a framework for engagement with local stakeholders;

  • Facilitate mutual learning and exchange of urban solutions;

  • Support them in becoming local advocates that promote and advocate for dialogue and problem solving for sustainable development.

The fellows will take on a 12-month journey throughout which they will explore pathways for "localizing" the globally adopted goals and targets, exchange knowledge and ideas, and work to engage local stakeholders in a dialogue around pathways towards a better future for their fellow citizens.

The Local Pathways Fellowship is unpaid. The fellows will benefit from global visibility and exposure as champions for sustainable urban development, numerous opportunities to develop their expertise, as well as access to a vast network of SDG professionals and advocates. 


In order to be selected as a Local Pathways Fellow, applicants must meet the following criteria: 

  • Candidates must be between 18 and 30 years old at the time of application;

  • Candidates must be based in the same city throughout the entire duration of the Fellowship (June 2018 through May 2019);

  • Candidates must be fluent in English and the local language of the cities they represent;

  • Candidates must demonstrate a commitment to and a solid understanding of the concept of sustainable development;

  • Candidates must be able to commit the minimum of 5-7 hours each week on average;

  • Candidates must have a stable internet connection;

  • A minimum of one year of professional or academic experience in development practice, urban planning, community engagement and advocacy, or similar;

  • A demonstrated background in research, development practice, advocacy or similar fields would be considered a strong asset.

Candidates representing any city and country in the world are encouraged to apply, however SDSN Youth will make efforts to ensure diversity of regional representation among the fellows.

Applications for the 2018 cohort of the Local Pathways Fellowship closed on April 30, 2018. Thank you for your interest in the program. 


The second cohort of the Local Pathways Fellowship is bringing together a network of 56 young thought leaders, urban planners, sustainability advocates, researchers and innovators from more than 50 cities across the world to advance local dialogue, collaboration and problem solving around the Sustainable Development Goals and to make cities and urban settlements “smart, fair and sustainable”.

Meet the 2019 Local Pathways Fellows here and explore the interactive map here.