SDG Innovation Accelerator

The Application for the 2023 SDG Pioneer program closed May 3, 2023!

As part of the 2023 UN Global Compact SDG Pioneers program, UN Global Compact Network USA  is searching for professionals to recognize who are committed to advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Each year the UN Global Compact recognizes a class of SDG Pioneers — business leaders working at any level of their company who are using business as a force for good to advance the 17 SDGs. Through their own company or by mobilizing other businesses, they are helping to reach one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while also contributing to business success.

The UN Global Compact Network USA will award two SDG Pioneers this year. One to represent Small & Medium-sized enterprises (<250 employees), and one to represent Large National & Multi-National Companies. Please note that companies must have submitted at least 1 CoP and be a signatory since 1 October 2022 to be eligible for this opportunity.

The UN Global Compact Network USA will award the two 2023 Global Compact Network USA SDG Pioneers at the local level, announced on June 30, 2023. The selected individuals will then have the opportunity to participate in the final search of global SDG Pioneers to be recognized during the 2023 UN General Assembly in September in New York.

The SDG Innovation Accelerator for Young Professionals is an opportunity for participating companies of the UN Global Compact to identify young talent within their organizations to collaborate and accelerate business innovation towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This ten-month accelerator program activates future business leaders and changemakers to develop and drive innovative solutions through new technologies, initiatives, and business models and deliver on their company’s sustainability objectives.

Network USA is one of several Local Networks from around the world running a local round of the program. We conducted our first year of the Young SDG Innovators Program in 2019-2020 and are currently seeking participants for our 2023- 2024 cohort. Participation is free if accepted to the program, though there is a suggested donation.

The Young SDG Innovators Program is designed to engage your company’s brightest and best talent in advancing your sustainability efforts and driving innovation, and delivering tangible solutions with potential market value for your company. The program engages three high-potential young professionals from across your company and supports the development of an innovative and proprietary solution to achieve the SDGs for your company.

Program Benefits

  • Apply SDG innovation to solve real sustainability challenges within your organization and industry
  • Integrate the SDGs into your company’s business strategy through collaboration, innovation and knowledge sharing
  • Increase employee engagement and professional development opportunities
  • Develop an expert network of leading professionals from some of the top companies across the globe
  • Gain global recognition for participation in the program


  • Call for nominations: To be announced 
  • Program begins: To be announced 
  • The program ends: To be announced

Eligibility Requirements

  • Three high-performing employees at a participating company of the UN Global Compact
  • 35 years or younger
  • Interest in business model innovation, sustainability, and disruptive technologies
  • The ability for employees to attend two in-person week-long camps (financially supported by the company)

Companies must be confirmed to participate in the program before nominating individual young professionals to join. If you are a young professional interested in the program, please talk to your company's UN Global Compact contact to see how your company can sign up and join the program.