A creative reframing of the SDGs offers a different, human-centered approach that better relates these concepts to youth.

17 Promises comes from our new interpretation of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that reflects what they really are: promises from this generation to the next,” says Audra Wilson-Max, COSA’s Zimbabwe-based Director of Communications. “Children are the future policymakers and caretakers, consumers, and workers that should benefit from the improvements businesses and organizations promise today,” adds Ken Wilson-Max, her brother, who is an award-winning children’s book author, illustrator, and publisher. These two are the brains behind the idea to re-frame the SDGs to a scale that is less abstract and more relatable to young people.



The reframing complements the UN goals and offers a simple and tangible way for organizations and businesses to step into and engage the SDGs with the communities they operate in.

In a recent regional survey of African businesses across 16 countries, nearly 70% of respondents presented with the 17 Promises Platform felt it positively increased their understanding of SDGs.

Launched in 2020, at the 6th Sixth Annual African Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFDS) in Zimbabwe, the 17 Promises model places children and businesses equally at the center of the concept.

See the inspiring intro video here.


17 Promises makes the language of the SDGs more relatable to readers


Audra and Ken hope that more organizations will use the 17 Promises platform as a resource when explaining the SDGs and engaging new audiences with the field of sustainability and development.