The Big Bet Initiative is set in motion to identify, improve, scale, and accelerate great ideas and innovative solutions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


The initiative builds on the book ”17 Big Bets for a Better World” which serves as a catalytic catalogue of ideas and solutions to the SDGs from some of the world’s most inspiring thought leaders. The book was supported by Danida, Denmark’s development cooperation, which is an area of activity under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. Dalberg Media asked 17 of the world’s most renowned thought-leaders to highlight their visions, strategies and evaluations of the tough choices needed to successfully reach the Global Goals by 2030. Each contributor presented their major bet or game-changing idea for a successful realization of the Global Goals set against what is technically and financially realistically. The guiding question was: What is the big bet that the contributor would encourage the world community make to maximize the chance that we reach the Global Goals in 2030? The 17 received contributions provided a catalog of ideas aimed at accelerating the implementation efforts towards 2030. The ideas are different in kind and linked to a broad range of Global Goals.

Following the launch of the catalog of ideas consolidated in a book, a set of Big Bet Match Up meetings, supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, took place in selected hotspots around the world. The aim was to kick-start a conversation on the role distributed models have across a broader set of economic activities. We invited the most innovative entrepreneurs, knowledgeable experts, and progressive investors and philanthropists from each sector with the aims of bringing disruptive change for the SDGs.

In San Francisco, California, the Match-up meeting focused on empowerment of under-represented groups in STEM as well as improving diversity in recruiting and retention of women in STEM. In Delhi, India the meeting focused on water and sanitation, energy, creative manufacturing, and health.


Dalberg Media works to mobilize a wide range of stakeholders and gather them around the sustainable development agenda. The Big Bets initiative was built upon this mission and was based on three principles:

1. Providing channels of support for those solutions by integrating civil society, NGOs, progressive corporations, VC firms, product designers, impact investors, philanthropists and technical experts

2. Creating solution-oriented fora in local environments that specifically addresses local challenges and identifies solutions that can be used locally – and scaled globally

3. Creating awareness around the SDG-agenda by actively involving local, national and global stakeholders and media


The Big Bets Initiative was concertized in an agenda-setting book and two impactful match-up meetings hosted in Delhi and San Francisco.

“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

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