Focus - Design & Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

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Design & Sustainable Development Goals



The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are an extension to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) adopted by the United Nations for the period 2000-2015.

Significant progress was made, highlighting the value of a united programme underpinned by precise goals and targets.

Adopted in September 2015 by the United Nations Assembly, the Post-2015 Development Agenda, more ambitious and detailed than the previous one (MDG), was based on 17 global goals broken down into 169 targets over a15-year period.


Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere


Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture


Objectif 3 : Permettre à tous de vivre en bonne santé et promouvoir le bien-être de tous à tout âge


Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all


Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls


Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all


Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

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Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all


Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation


Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries


Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable


Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns


Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts


Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development


Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss


Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels


Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development


The SDGs are a call to design a better world. They represent a shared ambition for a universal agenda and a framework for protecting ecosystems, combating global warming and climate change and enabling as many people as possible to achieve prosperity.

To succeed, it is important to design new ways of working, developing and participating.

The SDGs should not be regarded as a framework for action limited to countries and international organisations, but adopted by everyone and appropriated locally. By locally embracing the SDGs, they can form the basis of designing, implementing and monitoring local development policies and strategies that revolve around regions.

Thus design, in the sense of technological innovation but also the design of public policies and the conception of solutions jointly developed at the regional level between institutions and citizens, has a contribution to make.

In short, local brainstorming and experimentation can contribute to global transformation by looking to design to promote:

> efficient use of resources, ‘by creating more with less’;

> a circular economy, by ‘encouraging the use of multiple high-quality items’;

> social change and equality, by ‘encouraging responsible, eco-smart, fair and moderate consumption’;

> the transformation of our cities.


Designers and developers have an important role to play in pursuing SDGs as they have the power to transform practices and behaviours.

Good and services are only sustainable if they are as dematerialised as possible and enable continuous use, reuse or recycling with minimal loss of finite resources. They must be easy to dismantle or reuse thanks to a modular design approach, for example. They must have a long shelf life, contain few materials and be mostly recycled or recyclable.

The design of a dematerialised circular economy calls for a different approach to research and development, production, trade, consumption and recycling from that associated with the commercial models practised to date.

This change of approach should promote greater equity in the access to and use of resources, combat their scarcity and develop a wealth of sustainable resources that will allow greater participation.

Our public institutions have a special responsibility in terms of defining and implementing frameworks for medium- and long-term intervention and incentives for sustainable actions. The main thrust is to encourage the development of sustainable and resource-saving solutions and products, create spaces for innovation co-occupied by designers and users, and inform citizens about the challenges of sustainability and their capacity to contribute to the transformation of our societies.