Why I don’t believe in the SDGs (and how impact investing is changing my mind)

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

By Christopher Hirst

I’ve never been overly convinced of the value of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Where the previous iteration, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) provided a focused rallying cry for the international development community, I have viewed the SDGs as attempting to be everything to everyone, and lacking the punch to catalyse serious intention.

And yet, my team and I encounter leaders and conversations every day that seem to centre on these 17 “Global Goals”. What seemed to be an exercise in lip service has actually become an entry point into discussions about global development for those who may have previously lacked the language or even the awareness to engage, particularly in the private sector.

Leaders in corporate social responsibility and philanthropy are the most obvious for whom the SDGs have provided a framework to guide and measure their activities.

Photo courtesy of John Twohig.

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation News (link opens in a new window)

corporate social responsibility, global development, impact investing, philanthropy, SDGs