17 Goals Challenge

The 17 Goals Challenge utilizes the most modern technology to allow experts from around the world to meet online and quickly develop and refine solutions for the UN's 17 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.

We seek to achieve this in a way which is convenient, efficient, and instantly responsive to research needs. The core of our program is Group AI-- a technology which allows participants to meet during a Zoom session and remotely move a puck around a screen to arrive at a consensus decision.

The process is accurate in its results, and almost magical in its execution. Because the operation feels like a video game, participants enjoy the procedure and naturally find intuitive ways to improve it. The Results are immediate; we form decision making groups every day, and answer questions proposed the same day. The questions suggest unique approaches to the UN's Goals, with Climate Change emphasized. Because we can answer almost unlimited numbers of questions, a great deal can be accomplished in a short time.

The result of the experiments is that everyone feels both challenged and entertained. Each session is different from every other one. The meetings are held twice a day and last five minutes. This is because everyone is busy, and we want to make this availabe to as many as possible. (The actual Group AI sessions last five minutes; the Zoom room is kept open afterwards for those who have the time and inclination to discuss results.)

In every aspect of the 17 Goals Challenge, we strive to make refining new approaches to serious problems both fruitful and fun. Participants report that the sessions feel like a combination of a Strategy Session and a weekly poker game.

This is by design, since traditional methods of impelling action on issues like Climate have tended to focus on scaring people or overwhelming them with data. It's not that these approaches don't have some value, it's just that many people who do not respond to these may be more reachable through positive experiences.

During every morning session, the winner of the previous day's Challenge is announced. Since many ideas fly back and forth during the session, it makes sense to reward the best ones.

Every Thursday a new press release is issued, which publicizes the findings of the last week. Prize winners are commemorated in the release, which helps to create publicity for the project. Valuable information is gleaned from media response to the week's news, which helps to continually improve the process.