Youth Leadership Certificate for the SDGs

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

The Youth Leadership Certificate for the SDGs is a new online program to support university and college students across Canada to develop the expertise and skills to take action on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

From January to March 2024, participating students will complete one online SDGs self-paced course offered by the SDG Academy, as well as attend online skill-building workshops every two weeks on Saturdays from 12-2.30pm ET (workshop topics listed below). 

The program will be fully online and open to all currently enrolled post-secondary students across Canada. Applications to enroll are currently open and there is no fee to enroll and participate.

The Youth Leadership Certificate for the SDGsis an initiative in partnership with the SDG Academy, one of the world’s leading providers of free online SDGs courses and content. A certificate of completion will be provided to all students that complete the program by SDSN Canada and the SDG Academy, and signed by Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, renowned economist and senior advisor on the SDGs to the United Nations.

If you have any questions or want to learn more, please reach out to Ceileigh McAllister, SDSN Canada Youth Coordinator at  

sdg colours with animated young people arm in arm

About the Program

Program Learning Goals:

  • To develop student expertise on the SDGs
  • To build SDGs skills for students to use in their careers
  • To create opportunities for students to take action to advance the SDGs in their communities

The program will be composed of three primary elements, to meet the learning goals:

Build SDGs Awareness and Expertise – students will choose one online SDGs self-paced course to complete offered by the SDG Academy to help build their knowledge related to a specific SDG or sustainability challenge of interest. The expectation is that this course would be completed over the three months of the certificate program, with reflection and check-in discussions planned as part of the biweekly skill-building session meet-ups.

Build SDGs Skills and Competencies - biweekly skill-building workshops online to bring the entire program cohort together to participate in workshops as well as to share reflections with each other in small breakout group discussions. The skill-building workshops will be run by a variety of partner organizations and speakers covering a range of topics (see below).

Encourage Action on the SDGs - monthly action items and structured opportunities to apply the knowledge and skills acquired through the program, including hosting community meetings and developing advocacy initiatives.

A certificate of completion will be given to each student that 1) completes their selected SDG Academy course and 2) attends a minimum of four of the six skill-building workshops. The certificate will be issued by SDSN Canada and the SDG Academy, and signed by Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, renowned economist and senior advisor on the SDGs to the United Nations.

Biweekly Skill-Building Workshop Topics and Dates

  1. 2024
    1. Jan
      1. Courage to Lead: Facilitation and Effective Leadership

        January 13th, 12-2.30pm ET, Zoom 

      2. Youth Entrepreneurship and the SDGs

        January 27th, 12-2.30pm ET, Zoom 

    2. Feb
      1. Introduction to Systems Thinking

        February 10th, 12-2.30pm ET, Zoom 

      2. Developing Collaboration and Partnerships for the SDGs

        February 24th, 12-2.30pm ET, Zoom 

    3. Mar
      1. Funding Action: Grant-Writing Basics

        March 9th, 12-2.30pm ET,  Zoom 

      2. Tools for Changing Behaviour: Community-Based Social Marketing

        March 23rd, 12-2.30pm ET, Zoom