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17 big bets for a better world

“Can the fashion industry change the world? What will be on a Michelin chef’s sustainable menu in 2030? And can a digital identification significantly change basic social service in India? The book 17 Big Bets for a Better World answers these questions and many more.

One of the absolute largest challenges confronting the human species today is how to implement the Sustainable Development Goals. The goals are massively underfunded with an annual investment gap of US$ 2.5 trillion. If we follow the current path, this ambitious vision will never become reality.

In this anthology 17 of the world’s most renowned thought-leaders think outside the box and answer a simple question: “What idea, innovation or thought would you encourage the world community to adopt to maximize the chances that we reach the Global Goals by 2030?”

The answers are collected in the anthology “17 Big Bets for a Better World”. Some answers are controversial, some are based in advanced technology and others rethink the entire global system. From an artist to a bank president and a Nobel Prize winner, this book presents innovative, bold, and credible solutions to the challenges we face as humanity.

Each contribution represents a concrete bet for a better world and the book in its entirety represents a catalog of ideas aimed at accelerating the implementation of the Global Goals. It is our hope that these perspective and thoughts will help pave the way towards a better world.

The book was also the starting point ambitious “Big Bet Match-Up Meetings” established with the commitment to realize the SDGs against all odds.It aims to collect big bets and engage people all over the world with the common goal of a better world by 2030. From entrepreneurs and young talents to NGOs and corporate, the initiative will leverage all brains available to find unrealized ideas, un-utilized technology and ineffective funding with the ambitious purpose of guiding the SDG-agenda towards success.

Read an excerpt here and buy the book here.


“The Sustainable Development Goals embody the aspirations of people everywhere for lives of peace, prosperity and dignity on a healthy planet. To uphold our core promise to leave no one behind, we need action from everyone, everywhere. The United Nations looks forward to working with all partners to mobilize the leadership and investments that will turn this transformative vision into tangible progress.” – Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General, United Nations

“What drives the world forward is transformative and game-changing solutions and innovations. Leveraging the big bets of global thinkers, this book is an important contribution to the new Global Goals.” – Muhammed Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate


The adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals was a landmark for the global community and our global sustainability. Now, one year after the initiation of the goals, it is time to start implementing and realizing the new global agenda. One thing is clear: traditional development thinking will not suffice. There’s an annual US$ 2.5 trillion investment gap for the goals per year. The funding shortfall demands we find smart solutions, new ways to leverage private sector capital and activate civil society in order to achieve the goals by 2030.”

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