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Global Leadership's Passion Behind the 17 Sustainable Development Goals

Leaders in public policy and public administration are working to achieve the U.N.’s ambitious goals.

Worldwide, 797 million people live beneath the global poverty line.1 Raising them out of that will take a lot of work. And that’s just one of the many tough issues facing humanity. The good news is, the United Nations (U.N.) and its member countries aren’t backing down from the challenges ahead.

In an effort to solve the world’s most pressing problems, the U.N. created the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which lays out 17 worldwide goals, ranging from the economic to the environmental.2 Purposefully ambitious, the goals ask nations, global organizations, and individuals everywhere to embrace a bold optimism and put in the hard work necessary to make the world a better place. Even if we fall short, working toward these goals is a noble effort—and many public policy and public administration professionals around the globe are putting their passion and know-how into achieving progress on them.

Global Leadership's Passion Behind the 17 Sustainable Development Goals

What Are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals?

  1. No Poverty
    Focuses on lifting everyone in the world out of poverty by giving attention to all the causes of poverty. Efforts include raising incomes, building resilience among the poor, and mitigating the risks of natural disasters and other calamities that disproportionately affect the poor.
  2. Zero Hunger
    Focuses on securing access to nutritious, healthy food for everyone. Efforts include not only increasing food production but also improving markets, increasing incomes, and expanding access to agricultural technology.
  3. Good Health and Well-Being
    Focuses on improving reproductive, maternal, and child healthcare and combating communicable diseases.
  4. Quality Education
    Focuses on ensuring people can live full and productive lives by expanding access to quality education, including providing funding and training for more teachers.
  5. Gender Equality
    Focuses on empowering women by ensuring they have equal rights; receive quality reproductive, maternal, and general healthcare; are protected from violence; and have access to educational opportunities.
  6. Clean Water and Sanitation
    Focuses on providing everyone with clean and plentiful drinking water and ensuring communities have proper sanitation systems and hygiene habits.
  7. Affordable and Clean Energy
    Focuses on expanding access to electricity by developing affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy services worldwide.
  8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
    Focuses on ensuring inclusive economic growth so that every region can benefit from the improved education, healthcare, transportation, and infrastructure that economic development helps create.
  9. Industry Innovation and Infrastructure
    Focuses on expanding infrastructure investment, sustainable industrialization, and technological development, which are the driving forces of economic growth.
  10. Reduced Inequalities
    Focuses on reducing economic and political inequalities between nations and within nations.
  11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
    Focuses on mitigating the negative effects of rapid urbanization by promoting smart, sustainable development techniques.
  12. Responsible Consumption and Production
    Focuses on ensuring everyone has access to needed resources by transitioning industries and agriculture to sustainable production and transitioning communities to sustainable consumption.
  13. Climate Action
    Focuses on reducing the causes and combating the effects of climate change.
  14. Life Below Water
    Focuses on preserving the health and economic viability of oceans and waterways by eliminating overfishing, protecting endangered marine life, and reducing water pollution.
  15. Life on Land
    Focuses on preserving the world’s biodiversity and ecosystems by slowing climate change, improving air quality, eliminating poaching, reducing deforestation, and protecting wildlife.
  16. Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
    Focuses on building the kinds of inclusive institutions necessary for ensuring justice, promoting peace, and maintaining economic and political stability.
  17. Partnerships for the Goals
    Focuses on creating local and global partnerships committed to achieving the sustainable development goals.

How Can You Help Improve the World?

If you want the kind of public policy or public administration job that can help achieve the UN’s sustainable development goals, consider earning an advanced public policy and/or public administration degree. Specifically, a PhD in Public Policy and Administration or a Master of Public Administration (MPA degree) can help you gain the know-how you need to make a difference—particularly when you choose a global leadership specialization.

If you’re not sure you have time for a PhD degree or master’s degree, online education can give you the convenience and flexibility you need. Through an online public administration or public policy graduate program, you can complete your coursework from home. Plus, online PhD in Public Policy programs and online MPA programs allow you to attend class at whatever time of day works best for your schedule.

The world needs people with the passion and know-how to build a better future. By earning a public policy PhD degree online or earning an online MPA, you can become one of the global leaders we need.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering a PhD in Public Policy and Administration program with a Global Leadership specialization and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) program with a Global Leadership specialization online. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,