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Global eSustainbility Initiative: #SystemTransformation

How digital solutions will drive progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals for the information and communication technology (ICT) sector


The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) envisage a world transformed from today. A world where poverty and gender inequality no longer exist. Where good healthcare and education are available for all. And where economic growth no longer harms the environment.

The ambition is huge. Every country in the world falls short on more than half of the 17 SDGs. And a quarter of the world’s countries fall short on all 17 of the goals.

Find out how digital technologies can hugely accelerate progress towards achieving every single one of the SDGs by 2030. In developed and developing countries alike.


Key Findings

Digital solutions will have a huge positive impact on each of the three dimensions of development covered by the SDGs: quality of life, equitable growth and protecting the environment. For example:

  • E-health solutions could extend healthcare access to an extra 1.6 billion people worldwide, while 450 million students could obtain an e-degree in 2030.

  • Not increasing broadband to universal coverage worldwide would mean missing an opportunity to raise GDP by 12 percent in developing regions in 2030.

  • Digital solutions could “decouple” economic growth from environmental degradation—cutting global greenhouse gas emissions by over 12 gigatons in 2030, saving over 330 trillion liters of water and reducing global oil consumption by the equivalent of 25 billion barrels of oil per year.

Digital technologies can diffuse at unprecedented speed, meaning that everyone can benefit by 2030. But the biggest gains will be made in least developed and developing regions. The ICT sector stands to gain too. It could grow its own revenues by 60 percent to $2.1 trillion per annum by 2030 by rolling out digital solutions at scale.


The digital transformation of the world requires action from a range of players.

  • Policymakers need to ensure that the “rules of the game” provide incentives to drive digital development at scale

  • Multilateral organizations remain key players in ensuring that the large, digital infrastructure projects needed are rolled out quickly and efficiently

  • The private sector needs to be proactive in partnering with governments to achieve the SDGs. All businesses need to be part of the solution—not the problem

  • NGOs will continue to be central in tailoring development models to ensure they have the greatest impact on the ground

"GeSI is committed to act as a proactive player in the debate over how the world should use our digital solutions to address the SDG’s challenges. The SDG’s will be GeSI’s central framework for action."
Chairman of Global eSustainability Initiative (GeSI)