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Sustainable Development Progress Committee

In 2015, the United Nations adopted Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. An arguably all-encompassing resolution, the document outlines 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as “SDG 1: No Poverty” or “SDG 13: Climate Action”, and associated targets. The SDGs provide a framework and direction on how citizens around the globe should fundamentally change the way they live - from a consumption-centered and divided people to a sustainable international community - all in the name of making the world a better place to live today and in the future.

The United Nations intended to achieve the SDGs by 2030; unfortunately, the world is not even close. In fact, the United Nations revealed in 2023 that a mere 15 percent of the SDG’s 169 targets are on track to be achieved by 2030. At the same time, 48 percent of those targets show moderate or severe deviations from the desired trajectory. There is no doubt that the framework for achieving the SDGs must be rethought.

The SDGs are intended to be a global framework, but the goals themselves are meant to be implemented locally. The Sustainable Development Progress Committee (SDPC), founded in 2023, works to localize the SDGs by leveraging educational institutions and their networks. The SDPC wants to help empower communities to invest in today for a better tomorrow by identifying the local context, pathways, and obstacles necessary to achieving the SDGs. To localize the SDGs, the SDPC proposes a new framework:

  1. By 2030, improve international, national, and local dissemination of information by utilizing a university-community network through the creation of an SDG taskforce.
  2. Create an online community database for understanding local SDG contexts and goals.

Research and Mobilization Interns

 John Roper is an Environmental Policy Master's student. He believes that the completion of the SDGs is crucial to humanity's transition towards sustainable institutions and better outcomes for all. He hopes to be a part of localizing sustainability for communities in Pennsylvania and beyond.

 Miles Zakos is a graduate student studying Environmental Policy, and working for the city of Bethlehem. He feels passionate about environmental justice and hopes to use the SDGs to improve the lives of our most vulnerable populations.

 Patrick Painter is a graduate student studying Environmental Policy Design. He is passionate about the SDGs because they explicitly identify the steps it will take to ensure the world can continue to thrive, but are vague enough to allow local creativity in their implementation.

 Santiago Rodriguez is pursuing a MA in Politics and Policy. He recognizes the world’s interconnectedness and the impact of process-oriented philosophies. Working towards the attainment of the SDGs fills him with passion due to their guidance in reconnecting people with genuine human nature

 Zoe Metzger is an undergraduate student pursuing a major in Global Studies and minors in Marketing and Entrepreneurship. She is passionate about teaching others about the SDGs and how they serve as a framework towards a more equitable and sustainable world.