Why we’re rallying a generation.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals – the Global Goals – are an urgent call for action around the world to protect vulnerable populations and the planet by 2030. This effort needs the determination and vision of Millennials and Gen Z. It needs their spirit of innovation and their ability to break down barriers. It needs their sense of urgency.
Meet four visionaries, advocates and entrepreneurs building a better future.
The 2020 cohort is a group of inspiring 23- to 30-year-old leaders dedicated to innovating for humanity and mobilizing global communities.
MÁXIMO MAZZOCCO, 30
“I told myself I was going to lead my own life to make the lives of others better. It’s the only way I know."
As a teenager in Buenos Aires, Máximo Mazzocco wondered what he could do about his city's garbage problem. One day he stopped wondering and started working on it. Máximo dashed off a pamphlet on recycling and started knocking on doors – teaching, persuading and cajoling 400 families in the community with his waste-reduction message. Looking to amplify his efforts, he created the nonprofit Eco House, inspired by the idea that small actions can add up to big changes. Now the group operates 30 programs and soon will be in 23 countries – advocating for the environment, teaching companies to recycle and compost, mobilizing youth and educating more than 70,000 children just in Argentina, in addition to youth in many other countries.
SHOMY CHOWDHURY, 26
“We’re empowering young activists, giving them the skills to follow their passion and take action in their communities.”
Tragedy struck Shomy Chowdhury at age 20, when her mother died just a day after contracting diarrhea. The experience leveled Shomy. So did learning that 1.5 million people die from diarrhea annually. Shomy gave her first presentation four days later on practicing hygiene to prevent deadly disease. “I thought if I waited one more day, maybe someone else would die,” she says. “Doing something right helped turn my pain into strength.” Scores more presentations followed, many to sex workers, sanitation workers and others who are often marginalized and live in extreme poverty. Today, Shomy funnels her strength through Awareness 360, an organization she cofounded that now trains 1,500 young activists in 23 countries and has already reached over 150,000 people.
TAFARA MAKAZA, 24
“I think it’s my job, and the private-sector’s job to figure out how to break down these big problems into small problems we can tackle.”
When Tafara Makaza sees a problem, he can’t resist – he works relentlessly to solve it. Take intercity travel in Zimbabwe, where as a boy he’d walk miles to his PhD father’s teaching job, or the lack of opportunity that drove his highly educated mother to work abroad for a month at a time. Tafara arrived in the United States in 2017; when he discovered ride-sharing apps, he knew instantly how to drive change himself. He learned to code and launched two apps in Africa with a friend: a ride-sharing service and a platform that matches workers with one-off jobs. Tafara now helps run both startups from his dorm room at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
SADYA TOURÉ, 23
“The Sustainable Development Goals are very personal for me. I think they should be personal for everyone. And I think we can achieve them before 2030."
Sadya Touré was subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM) at the age of four. “I knew this was not fair,” she says – and she has been on a mission of female empowerment ever since. At 13, she joined Mali’s National Parliament of Children, where she skipped school lunch to save money and travel to events promoting girls’ education. Later, Sadya educated older, all-male village councils about FGM’s disastrous effects on women’s health, and founded an organization, Mali Musso, that provides full university scholarships, housing assistance and career training to girls from rural Mali. Her next goal: to win a seat in Mali’s parliament seat in five years.
With less than 10 years to achieve
the Global Goals, we have to act.
Established by the United Nations in 2015, the Global Goals address pressing global challenges, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, and peace and justice. The goals provide a framework for world leaders to set the global agenda and create a better world by 2030.
The Samsung Global Goals app empowers everyone to make a difference.
As a generation of young leaders around the world takes action, the Samsung Global Goals app can be the first step in joining their efforts– making it easier than ever to have an impact. Installed on more than 70 million Galaxy smartphones worldwide, Galaxy users can learn about the challenges of and interconnectivity across the Goals. They can transform their newfound knowledge into action by making a big difference with fast and simple solutions.
What is Generation17?
Together, Samsung and UNDP will elevate the voices and enable the success of young leaders around the world through mentorship, Galaxy technology and networking to mobilize their generation to act towards achieving the Global Goals.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Generation17?
Generation17 is an initiative from Samsung and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) that elevates the voices of young leaders who are changing the world and contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or ‘Global Goals.’ Samsung and UNDP are providing mentorship, technology, and networking opportunities for the young leaders as they advance their work.
What does the UNDP-Samsung partnership do?
In 2019, Samsung Mobile and UNDP partnered to create the Samsung Global Goals App, a platform for Galaxy smartphone users to gain a deeper understanding of the Global Goals and work together through small acts of change to achieve the Global Goals by 2030. Installed on over 70 million Galaxy smartphones worldwide, the app empowers people to learn about the 17 Goals while unlocking a donation mechanism to fund UNDP initiatives that help advance the Global Goals. Generation17 builds on this innovative partnership by better connecting inspiring advocates to their peers, so they can enable their generation to take bold action on the Goals and make their voices heard loud and clear. Together, this collaborative effort, leveraging UNDP’s global knowledge of youth empowerment and Samsung’s latest Galaxy technology and commitment to the Global Goals, will help spark meaningful change.
Why does Generation17 want to support young people?
Billions of young people worldwide want and need to have a say in their present and future, and many are already mobilizing to demand bold change, protect their collective future, and engage in global development agenda setting and policymaking. Every day, young people demonstrate that they bring a wealth of ideas, solutions, and initiatives to achieve the Goals. They often utilize technology to connect with each other and the world and mobilize for social good. As the events of the next decade will greatly impact this generation, this initiative seeks to further support young people, working specifically with cohorts of young leaders, with the Global Goals as their guiding set of principles. Generation17 is also aligned with the broader United Nations Youth2030 strategy, which recognizes young people’s agency, resilience, and their positive contributions as agents of change.
What will the young leaders do as part of Generation17? Are they paid influencers?
The young leaders will collaborate with each other for peer networking and with UNDP issue experts, as well as use Samsung technology to share their personal stories with a wider audience, motivating their peers to join them in driving change for the Global Goals in their daily lives. The young leaders are not spokespersons for either organization and are a group of changemakers who will leverage the collective resources of the Samsung-UNDP global partnership to focus on their challenges, aspirations, and work. Generation17 is not driven by product promotion, but rather, has the mission to bolster young SDG advocates and their agenda of driving meaningful change.
Why were these specific young leaders chosen, and what did the selection process look like?
Generation17 Young Leaders are a diverse group of individuals who have already delivered impactful solutions for the Global Goals yet may not have had the means to amplify their voices to a wider audience. These young leaders were identified by UNDP and selected in partnership with Samsung based on their outstanding existing initiatives and impressive advocacy work. Additional candidates are expected to be nominated to grow the initiative and include young people from across the world.