What are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 goals and 169 targets agreed by 193 UN Member States to end poverty, promote social inclusion and achieve environmental sustainability by 2030. The SDGs are unique in that they apply to all people and call for action by all countries to build a prosperous and inclusive society while protecting the planet. For the SDGs to be reached everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector, civil society and young people.

Learn more about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) here.


What is the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and SDSN Youth?

In 2012, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) to mobilise global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical problem solving for sustainable development, including the design and implementation of the SDGs. In 2015, the SDSN launched its official youth initiative (SDSN Youth) to empower youth globally to create sustainable development solutions. 

SDSN Youth educates young people about the challenges of sustainable development and creates opportunities for them to use their creativity and knowledge to pioneer innovative solutions for the SDGs. In addition, SDSN Youth creates platforms for young people to connect, collaborate and integrate their ideas and perspectives into national and regional pathways for implementation of the SDGs. 

Learn more about UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network – Youth Initiative (SDSN Youth) here


What will I gain from pursuing the Local Pathways Fellowship?

Local Pathways Fellows will gain an unparalleled opportunity to learn about how they can transform their cities from world’s best sustainable development experts and practitioners.

SDSN Youth will provide the Local Pathways Fellows with the guidance and training they need in their advocacy efforts and in preparing case studies on local sustainable development challenges.

The work of the Local Pathways Fellows will be recognized at the global level. SDSN Youth will compile case studies prepared by the fellows in an Annual Report Localising the SDGs from a Youth Perspective, which will be presented at conferences such as the International Conference on Sustainable Development (ICSD), UN-Habitat World Urban Forum (WUF) and the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP). Depending on funding availability, SDSN Youth will make efforts to send outstanding fellows to present their work at these global conferences.

By joining the Global Network of Young Urban SDG Advocates and the annual Global Youth Assembly for Local Pathways, the fellows will have a platform which will amplify their voices and provide them with an opportunity to exchange knowledge and ideas.


How long are the candidates expected to commit to the Local Pathways Fellowship?

The Local Pathways Fellows will be appointed for a one-year term, beginning in January 2017 and concluding in December 2017.


Why is it called a “Fellowship?”

We called it a “Fellowship” to reflect a strong training and research component of the program. Local Pathways Fellows will participate in workshops and webinars that will cover the cross-cutting themes of sustainable urban development and will prepare case studies which will explore local pathways towards building sustainable communities.


Who are we looking for as Local Pathways Fellows?

We are looking for young talent who have demonstrated a passion for and a strong understanding of sustainable development. SDSN Youth would love to see a background in policy research, community engagement or advocacy or prior exposure to the work of the UN agencies, governments or city to city networks. It is equally important that candidates demonstrate their desire and availability to commit time and energy to pursue the Fellowship.


I have submitted the application. What happens next?

Your application will be reviewed by the Local Pathways Advisory Board. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview. Successful candidates will commence the fellowship in January 2017.


I am no longer a young person. How can I support the Local Pathways Fellowship?

If you are over 30 years old you can still support the Local Pathways Fellowship by spreading the word about the important mission of this initiative or volunteering to support  the efforts of a Local Pathways Fellow in your community.


Are the Local Pathways Fellows renumerated?

The Local Pathways Fellowships are not paid. However, we will endeavor to provide funding to outstanding fellows to present their work at relevant UN conferences and forums (subject to availability of funding). 


What is the the Habitat III Conference and the New Urban Agenda (NUA)?

Habitat III is the Third UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development. The United Nations convenes the conference every 20 years to secure political commitment for sustainable urban development, assess accomplishments to date and identify new and emerging challenges. The conference will result in an outcome document, the New Urban Agenda (NUA), which will shape the development trajectory of urban areas globally, making us rethink the way we build, manage, and live in cities through multi-stakeholder cooperation at global, regional and local levels.

Learn more about the Habitat III Conference and the New Urban Agenda (NUA) here.