SDG 9 is about fostering innovation, access to knowledge and research, sustainable construction and promoting sustainable investments. Infrastructure and innovation are important driving forces for a more sustainable economy. An economy that does not overshoot the ecosystem’s boundaries while safeguarding basic human needs. In order to find sustainable solutions for economic, social and environmental challenges, technological progress, sharing knowledge, sustainable infrastructure and sustainable investments are key. This starts with providing access to everyone to communication technology and research.

SDG 9 is closely related to other SDGs in the prosperity cluster, such as SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth) and 11 (sustainable communities). Students can contribute to SDG 9 by collaborating, speaking up and acting for positive economic change. In your classroom you can talk about subjects such as the circular economy and encourage students to think about how they can contribute to it. You can also teach them techniques to contribute to sustainable innovation, teaching them to think in a systematic way and working with scenarios. This will help them to identify opportunities in their own communities for greener and more resilient solutions and to ‘make smart choices’ in their own life. As an individual you can contribute to this SDG by “learning about plans for progress in your country, staying smart and kind online, supporting construction that benefits people and protects the planet, welcoming innovations that make the world a better place and demanding the benefits from progress are shared.” (Futerra Good Life Goals, 2018)

Action Area

  • Sustainable innovation

    Sustainable innovation

    In order to contribute to sustainable innovation, students should learn to think in a systematic way and to work with future scenarios. This allows them to understand how their personal choices influence sustainability on the global scale and in the long term. As an individual you can also contribute to SDG 9 by advocating for access to research and communication technologies for everybody in your community. This SDG is closely related to SDG 17 since open science and co-creation in partnerships with other stakeholders are crucial for sustainable research and innovation. As an individual you can contribute to sustainable research and innovation by reaching out to new organisations, by welcoming diversity and intercultural relationships and by being open to other people’s arguments and opinions.
  • Waste reduction

    Waste reduction

    In order to promote sustainable industrialisation, circular business models should become the norm. As an individual you can try to implement the cradle to cradle and zero waste principles of the circular economy in your own life and home. Reducing the waste you produce has a big impact on your ecological footprint. Students should learn how to sort waste properly. As an individual you can also contribute by composting at home, repairing and reusing as often as possible and setting up a local network to share instead of buying new products.
  • Sustainable investing

    Sustainable investing

    The financial system has a very big impact on the global economy because of the type of businesses and projects they fund, funding for example the coal industry which is a big CO2 emitter. Many banks “have subsidiaries in tax havens, thus encouraging their clients to do the same and hide their fortune. Taxes on those huge amounts of money would solve many problems we are facing.” (demain-lefilm.com, 2014) As an individual you can make smart choices about the type of bank you choose. You can have a look at the corporate social responsibility (CSR) report of your own bank. As an alternative you can also use your savings to finance social or environmental projects or businesses through alternative financing such as crowdfunding or microfinancing. Another alternative is using or setting up a local currency which can only be used to buy products in your local community.
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