The Cohort 2030 initiative aims to advance the globally adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by unleashing the world’s greatest resource: the power and potential of youth. Designed in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University and Ambassador Sarah Mendelson, the initiative will foster and amplify the work of young people coming into their own as the workers, leaders, activists, and change-makers of today and tomorrow.

Young men and women born after 1980 are inheriting the world as it is, with all its opportunities and challenges. We call them Cohort 2030 because they are the world’s best hope for achieving the Global Goals by their ever-nearing target date. Young people’s commitment to gender equity, social justice, and speaking truth to power aligns with the SDGs’ calls to action around ending extreme poverty, preserving the environment, and creating an inclusive, equitable world. We stand firm in our investment in youth agency, because young people are vital partners in creating brighter futures for all of us today and for generations to follow.

To foster and mobilize the power and potential of young people, the Cohort 2030 initiative implements a variety of strategies developed in collaboration with young change-makers themselves. It also leverages key cross-sectoral partnerships. The following three pillars support the larger initiative platform:

  • Enhancing youth agency: Though a variety of means, this work will involve elevating the voices of Cohort 2030 and equipping them with the skill sets, opportunities, and resources to push the SDGs forward.
  • Unlocking universities: We need a strategy to build a robust talent pipeline to deliver on the Global Goals, and universities can play an important role. Formally, it will involve integrating SDGs into existing university offerings. Informally, it will also involve helping youth understand the goals in a hands-on way by providing opportunities for them to engage with their communities through project-based learning.
  • Engaging cities: Around the world, cities are hubs for action advancing the SDGs. Through strategic communications campaigns in urban areas, drawing on data regarding young people's passions, we hope to motivate and support youth advancing the Global Goals.

To meet the 20 young leaders who gathered in 2018 to discuss cutting-edge practices, generate new ideas, and inform the design of this initiative, read The 2018 New Faces Convening: Cohort 2030.