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Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Initiative

Programme objectives

The SDG Initiative allows students to think of an SDG challenge of their choice and to propose an innovative policy solution to resolve it. As part of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda, having specialized knowledge and hands-on experience on how to meet the SDGs is in high demand from government agencies, international organizations, private companies and local associations.

Students benefit from the experience of building and implementing their own interdisciplinary SDG projects while collaborating with multiple actors at different levels of society. Using design thinking methodology, students develop entrepreneurial skills and gain team building experience as part of this program by learning how to develop their own sustainable development initiative. In doing so, they take part in identifying clear project goals and objectives, conducting research, building partnerships and evaluating impact.  By working in groups on concrete projects rooted in their local environments, students gain concrete project management experience, in addition to a broad knowledge of the challenges and opportunities related to the SDGs to achieve the UN 2030 Agenda. These skills gained from completion of the certificate serve as a valuable asset for students’ future careers across multiple sectors. 

Programme curriculum

The SDG Initiative includes:

  • An intensive seminar with expert speakers and external organisations to be held during the week before the start of the spring semester. The seminar provides the introduction to various aspects of the SDGs, ranging from the role of international organisations to local initiatives to sustainable finance and the private sector to help students gain insights and ideas for the upcoming projects. Working groups will be created during this week.
  • A dedicated weekly SDG Project Workshop course during the spring semester, providing the tools and methodology to build a sustainable development project, and weekly feedback on the project progression. This course is worth 4 credits and replaces an elective course.
  • A final report and presentation and Q&A in front of an external jury.


This agenda is subject to modification.

  • October 30, 2023: Application deadline
  • November 2023: Announcement of the students selected
  • January 22-26, 2024: SDG Intensive Seminar, with the creation of the groups (exact dates for the week to be confirmed)
  • January - May 2024: SDG Project Workshop course
  • May 2024: Final presentations and final projects due

Participate in the programme

Eligibility: The Sustainable development goals Initiative is open to all Master 1 students at the School of Public Affairs. 

Schedule: The call for applications is closed since October 30, 2023. 

Selection process: Students are selected individually on the basis of their motivation, their understanding of the program and their curiosity for the SDG challenges. 

Please note: You may only participate in one Policy Lab program. If you are applying to the Gender and Public Policy Certificate or to the Public Policy Incubator, you cannot apply to the SDG Initiative. 

Workload: This is a 24-hour course equivalent to 4 ECTS (it replaces an elective course). In addition to the 2 hours dedicated each week in your schedule, please note that the January pre-course week is also dedicated to the program and to the creation of the groups. The final presentations with the partners are organized in mid-May. Students who wish to apply to the SDG Initiative are invited to check that this schedule is compatible with their external commitments (internship, professional activity, etc.).

Discover some projects from the previous editions

Contact Us

For questions related to the SDG Initiative and GPPN, please contact Emelyne Grellety.

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