SDG Cities Leadership Platform

Vision: Empower, Settlement, Adjust

After 193 heads of state made the effort to define the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as the new common roadmap on September 25 2015, establishing proof-of-concept on all continents in all areas is now the key to generating broad-based momentum. Existing City initiatives underline that Mayors are already at the forefront of SDG leadership. To honor this leadership and build upon their momentum, OiER and UNGSII have created together with Mayors from all continents a unique Program that will provide 25+5 selected Cities with smart investments for SDG realization and strategic tools to provide the implementation of all 17 SDGs for their citizens already by 2025. The 25+5 will receive global awareness for their efforts based on a competition aired by all major TV and media networks in order to create visibility for the 25+5 and their teams to stimulate the other cities and their people to join in.


At the UNGSII SDG Lab in Davos in January 2018, the Director General of the UN in Geneva, Michael Møller as well as the Mayor of Heidelberg, Prof. Dr. Eckart Würzner, initiated the 25+5 SDG Cities Leadership Platform activating the power of the SDG reality. This platform will connect the most experienced best practice leaders from all continents who represent the best performing contributors to each of the 17 SDGs and 169 detailed targets with the Mayors and city decision makers to create a realistic roadmap to accelerate SDG implementation by 2025. Not by enlarging the pressure on each of the 25+5 Community leaders and their amazing teams, but by unlocking the almost unlimited energy and resources once all stakeholders from within and outside these cities get united for this fascinating task: let the world watch and learn when the 169 targets become step by step a reality for at least 100 million people already by 2025. And let’s learn together from all the mistakes we do while moving towards this ambitious goal – as the world has no Plan B.


The 25+5 Leadership Platform provides a holistic effort and scientific data for participating cities to become global activity and knowledge hubs for SDG city development. OiER and UNGSII are uniting these 25+5 leading cities/resorts from around the world to show that full SDG implementation by 2025 is possible when people focus their efforts and resources on these 3 main elements: Empower – Implement – Adjust:

As can be seen the process for the implementation part of the SDG Cities program, performing the diagnostic process and then the technical roadmap with business modelling requires a mixture of both technical and business expertise; with the entire process carried out by the staff at the local SDG City Innovation Platform.

Empower: While most of the cities have already an impressive action plan in place improving the life of their citizens, the 25+5 SDG Cities Leadership Platform provides a constructive and ongoing dialogue between the City leadership of each of the selected Cities on the one side and each of the global experts per SDG on the other side to understand the existing projects in place, providing additional insights and options for solutions and funding.

Regular hearings with all stakeholders of the city, the annual impact week and other citizen-involvement programs help to ensure, that each stakeholder per city is involved. Via the UNGSII School-Program the next generation receives on top of the SDG education program diverse options to engage and experience the multiple opportunities each SDG and their 169 targets include. Further individual programs organized by institutions such as Rotary, YMCA etc. ensure that the burden of the implementation of the SDGs is not solely lasting on the shoulders of the City Management but understood by each citizen to be shared among those who want and can participate in the join effort.

Under the leadership of Prof Shubhro Sen (Shiv Nadar University), Prof Taina Tukianen (Aalto University), David Traub and other academic thought leaders the City Management will be invited to join the SDG MBA Masterclasses created for the top Management of the cities run in 4 one-week-sessions providing up-to-date insights from all 3 segments: academia, city-professionals as well as UN Agencies in Geneva, New York, Bonn and Vienna to ensure know-how transfer and exchange at the top level.

Implement: Together with each SDG expert the OiER/United Smart City and UNGSII team will visit each City to learn about existing metrics measuring progress and implementation of the diverse goals and providing further know how and tools in order to ensure, that all 17 SDGs and 169 targets become visible and concrete actions manageable for the City leadership. During the past 10-15 years the team of OiER and their experts from all continents and all sectors of life have developed a scientific toolkit supporting the sectors in all cities to create an in-depth understanding of all dimensions necessary to find the best fit for each city being confronted with challenges like the Paris Accord, clean water etc. At the same time awarded world leaders like Martin Burt, founder of the Stop Poverty Foundation has created with his global teams solid metrics helping hundred thousands of families finding their way out of poverty and limited access to food to live a life which they can manage on their own. The experience of Stop Poverty Foundation on all continents or of EDGE foundation in the field of ensuring Gender Equality on all levels are only 2 examples illustrating the hands-on experience offered to all 25+5 leaders and their citizens to find and explore their own ways implementing the 17 SDGs already by 2025 – as there is not one solution, but there will be 25+5.

Adjust: The concept of the 25+5 was not created in the understanding that solutions are ready, but rather that those who lead the path facing multiple challenges deserve all the support the world can bring to their tables. In permanent feedback rounds with inspiring solution driven experts each of the 25+5 cities and communities will experience the unlimited interest of all partners to listen and learn step by step. OiER and UNGSII have developed during the past decades a unique and growing network of partners who are able and willing to go the extra mile when additional funding, expertise and ideas are needed to empower each city and their teams reaching their goals.

The leaders in each of the 25+5 will be supported by a team of 51 PhD students, who will support not only in the field of research, but as well in feeding the multiple data entry requirements in a scientific quality to ensure the resilience of the tested solutions but as well to create be best transparency within each city, the 25+5 platform and beyond. Furthermore, each City and their teams will be able to partner with Impact2030 and lean on the experience of willing professionals from the corporate sector in all industries and operating on all continents, who will listen to the challenges and are willing to support by implementing and adjusting the solutions for each of the 25+5. As all research shows: reaching the SDGs by 2030 is neither a question of lack of funding nor know-how – but by improving our skills to share and network in a constructive way (SDG17).

An important part of the Platform is to create integrated partnerships between the 25 selected cities and those, who enjoy the opportunity to create new cities: 25 so called Future Cities are part of the 25+5 in order to learn from those who are not limited by current infrastructure. At the same time by initiating these smart partnerships the existing 25+5 Cities get access to cutting edge technology which they either wouldn’t consider so far or which seem to be too expensive for tight budgets.

Together not only the combined demand-power of 25+5 and the 25 Future Cities allows to gain cheaper prices, but more important, under the leadership of UNOPS and its purchasing platform typical side effects like corruption, second-best choices etc. can be reduced.



To illustrate with few examples: one of the short-listed Cities is challenged by the Paris Accord, as their existing Bus-fleet is not in line with the future standards. Within their own budget there is no possibility to replace the 500 Diesel-driven vehicles with Zero-Emission Busses. As part of the 25+5 it was a possibility to find together with UNOPS one partner, who needs the same Busses for their clients and who takes advantage of the UNGSII smart finance platform combining the search for large projects by the finance markets with the acceptance of Public Transport Products by the finance communities, as the re-finance stream is highly appreciated.

As first step the tender was started by UNOPS together with UNGSII to buy 3.000 Zero-Emission busses for the first Cities – both from the 25+5 as well as the Future Cities, knowing that the demand will soon be rather 30.000 Zero emission busses than another 1.000. This is most attractive for medium size Bus producers with future technology, as they realize that working with 25+5 ensures them solid finance partners with serious profit expectations as well as follow up contracts once the proof of concept is realized.

Another example can be found in the combination of SDG3 and SDG4: obesity is one of the biggest challenge for all public sector budgets: the State of California has to block 20 billion dollars already now year by year due to the fact, that many of their citizens are not aware of how to live a healthy life. By 2050 the State of California had budgeted an increase up to 50 Billion. The 25+5 network of experts would like to support to reverse this trend and brings the experts from GCH Foundation and HOPsports to each city implementing in all of their schools (and other platforms such as senior citizen homes) a program, which helps reducing obesity in a scientific supported and monitored program which was developed 15 years ago and showing amazing success on all continents in already 72 countries: an attractive daily exercise program of 30 minutes was developed together with VIPs from Hollywood and the Sports to engage with the next generation convincing them to test and stay with the program. The results are monitored by scientist from sports education and the progress reports published in academic journals of each participating country. 

The third example is the adaption of the existing concept using the power of purchasing cards and taking it to the next level: 2 communities in the USA have developed a customer card by negotiating with grocery stores to share tax advantages with their customers if they agree to share these 3% of tax savings with their clients empowering them to take these 3% of savings and support with each shopping the education of their own child and one other child in need. Again: smart finance solutions developed by the UNGSII partners ask for zero additional funds, but only use existing systems and empower all partners involved: the grocery stores realized growth in revenues beyond 10% per month, their customers knew: from each shopping they save money supporting the education not only of their own children, but of one child, they could choose together with their children. UNGSII is now negotiating contracts with leading foundations operating in the field of education to not only match the saved amounts but more important letting all children and families participating in the program get access to additional educational offerings provided by these foundations.


These most concrete projects are helping the 25+5 not only to raise additional funding but ensure they have the best partners to develop, implement and adjust their strategies in the smartest way, this is also the reasons, why the heads of global TV channels as well as other media platforms team up with UNGSII and OiER to create a TV-series “Where the Nobels meet the Oscars”: the best directors from Hollywood, Bollywood and the other experts catching people’s attention have agreed to work with the 25+5 and this amazing network of experts in order to develop by 2020 several TV-formats to create global awareness for each of the teams working in the 25+5 to implement all 17 SDGs latest by 2025. Each Spring and Fall a new series will be aired – both in the traditional as well as the online platforms – giving everybody the chance to watch how the diverse teams from each city are engaged in this constructive competition to be the first in each category to make their town waste-free, improving the air-quality, reducing the suicide-rate, improving the quality of food, increasing the interaction between the senior citizens and the next generation etc.

Each of these programs will be developed together with the 25+5, tested by video-competitions as part of the school outreach program and based on the data the Cities provide together with the 51 PhD students starting already in 2019 – as no city can be compared to another one, therefore the rules for the competition need to be defined in a smart way even those, who are not living in these cities understand and find attractive to follow on TV or their smartphones in order to get stimulated trying to get involved in similar programs in their own town.

The 25+5 SDG Cities Leadership Platform ensures that all children in each age group in the cities will be able to participate in the UNGSII SDG School-Program. Aside of teaching via games and competitions what the SDGs are about, the UNGSII School Program, which is already reaching 3 million children every day in 72 countries offers inter-active programs to empower the children to participate in the race to implement all 17 SDGs in their own neighbourhood already by 2025 which means, while they still be in school. No matter which level of education these children are enjoying: this program ensures, that they not only realize, but their opinion and participation matters but will become a crucial part in the cities success. UNGSII has already tested School-Competitions in South Africa and Vietnam together with Kofi Annan creating the “Ambassador of Hope” competition in order to give the next generation a voice how the world could learn from impressive examples the children had been experiencing in their own town.

© 2018 City of Blockchain® Vienna | Verein zur Förderung der Blockchain-Technologie
High Tech Campus | 1100 Vienna | Austria. All rights reserved.

Images and Videos on and are released under Creative Commons (CC0).

City of Blockchain® and City of Blockchain Vienna™ are legally protected trademarks.
Any use without our permission is prohibited.

Other represented commercial or trade names, product names, etc., may also be
legally protected brands without special labeling.