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Generation SDG

In 2015, the 193 Member States of the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This set of 17 goals aim to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all by 2030. While the predecessor of the SDGs, the Millennium Development Goals, were focused on improving lives and livelihoods in developing states, the SDGs are intended for everyone everywhere – including Canada.

In Canada, while an enormous amount of research has been carried out across the SDGs, there remain many questions and uncertainties about how best to tackle them. A coherent and widely shared national narrative and calls to action — and line of sight on clear pathways for collaboration — are essential to help catalyse the most impactful and coordinated actions to ensure effective implementation of the SDGs in Canada. Accelerating solutions that service the SDGs will require unprecedented cross-sectoral collaboration and innovative approaches to a host of issues by a host of state and non-state actors. This is why WGSI is convening the Generation SDG Summit from April 22-25, 2018. By bringing together a multi-disciplinary, multi-sectoral and multi-generational group of people working on the SDGs in Canada we want to build on the work they are already doing to build a robust ecosystem for implementation at home and abroad.  

The Generation SDG Brief serves as a summary of WGSI’s Generation SDG initiative to date and our understanding of the SDG landscape in Canada heading into the Summit. It features:

  • Four lenses for evaluating the SDGs
  • A call for action to develop a subnational framewok
  • A summary of other SDG activities happening in Canada

Canada, as a self-proclaimed global leader in climate change action, Indigenous reconciliation, sustainable development, human rights, social justice, racial tolerance, and freedom of speech and assembly — and a prosperous country with enviable economic and social stability — is as well positioned a nation as any in the world to approach the SDGs in a proactive fashion. At home, implementation of the goals can transform multiple aspects of Canadian society. Abroad,  Canada can — through its own examples — help foster the international collaborations necessary to mobilize enabling policy and sustainable finance channels at the global scale.

What WGSI aims to achieve at the Generation SDG Summit is a multi-dimensional approach to:

  • Identifying a clear set of cross-cutting actions that can advance implementation efforts; 
  • Supporting the sub-national implementation of the goals;
  • Enabling the ecosystem of actors that will carry out this work.​

Our Summits are not traditional conferences. For each Summit we bring together contributors that include the world’s sharpest leaders and ideators, and emerging minds to tackle a particular challenge. Of this group of approximately 40 people, half the room is under the age of 30. We believe in the importance of creating a level playing field where people can think outside the box. Through the space we create, we elevate the expertise, lived experiences, and ideas of an unlikely group of collaborators. We facilitate open discourse that sparks real progress, and have the freedom to forge a unique mandate that adapts to our ever-changing world. 


Connect with Generation SDG programming online and in person!

Opening ceremony featuring a keynote address by 
Dr. Katharine Wilkinson of Project Drawdown
Sunday, April 22,
Livestream will appear at the top of the homepage and at
Public lecture by Dr. Ingrid Waldron of Dalhousie University on environmental racism and the politics of waste. Dr. Waldron will be available after the lecture to sign copies of her book, There's Something In The Waterwhich will be available for purchase onsite from Wordsworth Books. Tuesday, April 24
Perimeter Institute & online
Free tickets available here  
Livestream will appear at the top of the homepage at
Closing ceremony and presentation of the Generation SDG Summit Communiqué Wednesday, April 25
Livestream will appear at the top of the homepage at
Advancing Finance for the SDGs panel with Robert Greenhill (Global Canada), Stephen Huddart (J.W. McConnell Foundation), Jennifer Reynolds (Toronto Financial Services Alliance) and Carol Anne Hilton (Indigenomics Institute). Wednesday, April 25
Livestream will appear at the top of the homepage at

TVO, the Government of Ontario’s partner in digital learning, will broadcast SDG-focussed episodes of The Agenda with Steve Paikin from April 23-25, 2018 at 8PM on television & The episodes will also air at 11PM on television.

Interested in the Generation SDG Summit? Send us an email at