Five Inclusive Growth Initiatives Advanced at World Economic Forum Sustainable Development Impact Summit

25 Sep 2018

Alem Tedeneke, Media Lead SDGs, Public Engagement, Tel.: +1 646 204 9191, Email:

· Initiatives aim to accelerate impact on Sustainable Development Goal 4 (education), SDG 5 (gender equality), SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth), SDG 10 (reduced inequalities) and SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions)

· Coalitions around each topic bring together business, government and civil society

· Initiatives are part of the 100 coalitions accelerating sustainable development

· More information at and follow the conversation at #wefimpact

New York, 24 September 2018 – Social inclusion and inclusive economic development initiatives were among the efforts advanced at the World Economic Forum Sustainable Development Impact Summit 2018 in New York. Each initiative aims to make a critical intervention to place human progress at the heart of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

With 42% of core skills in expected to change by 2022 across all industries, and sizeable skills gaps already emerging across regions, national public-private collaborations for rapid deployment of reskilling and upskilling across current workforces have been developed under the Closing the Skills Gap Project. Five initial country pilots will be launched in the coming months, including in four G20 economies, which will serve as platforms of learning and contributing to the global body of knowledge on preparing people for the future of work. The project also invites global businesses to commit to educating, training, reskilling and upskilling 10 million people by 2020, with over 8 million already reached. These efforts advance SDG 4 on quality education (ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all). The summit also served as a platform for other coalitions advancing SDG 5, such as the Education Data Solutions Roundtable.

The Closing the Gender Gap Project fosters gender-inclusive economies by creating national-level, public-private collaboration for promoting gender equality in the workforce, particularly in preparing for the future of jobs. The workplace gender gap is already widening, with women under-represented in the areas of the labour market expected to grow most in the coming years. Research from the World Economic Forum shows that with adequate reskilling and job transition opportunities, 95% of the most immediately at-risk workers could find good-quality, higher-wage work in growing job families and the wage gap could close by 30% through such redeployment. These efforts could have particularly salient implications for hard-wiring gender parity in the future of work. Six initial country pilots have been set up, serving as platforms of learning and contributing to the global body of knowledge on accelerating the closure of gender gaps. It advances SDG 5 on gender equality (achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls). In addition, the summit served as a platform for other coalitions advancing SDG 5, such as the Unstereotype Alliance, the SheTrades Initiative and the GrOW programme.

The Building an Effective Ecosystem for ESG project is a coalition of leading companies, investors and regulatory bodies. It aims to facilitate the increased coherence of initiatives within the environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting ecosystem, identifying similarities and differences, and opportunities for harmonization that support the adoption of clear and consistent non-financial reporting standards by companies – ultimately boosting transparency, corporate performance and supporting usage of such metrics in the investment process. A recent study shows that a large majority of customers are willing to pay a premium for products and services offered by sustainable businesses, pointing to the potential market opportunities created by inclusive business practices facilitated by such a coalition. The project seeks to advance SDG 8 on decent work and economic growth (promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all).

The GrowInclusive platform provides comparable data and actionable solutions to make business practices more transparent, inclusive and sustainable. As an evolving source of evidence and insight, it offers users a more structured pathway towards measuring and scaling their impact and tracking their contribution towards the SDGs. The platform will serve as a marketplace for impact-oriented partnerships, case studies and resources. Together with the Inclusive Development Index, it aims to advance SDG 10 on reduced inequalities (reduce inequality within and among countries).

In an effort to promote inclusive and equitable economic growth, the Accelerating LGBTI Inclusion Initiative held a key steering committee meeting to agree on next steps to enable and support companies to respect and protect human rights through fostering workplace inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex people. A 2017 UNAIDS study estimated the global cost of LGBTI discrimination at $100 billion per year. The project is among several that aim to advance SDG 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions (promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels).

These initiatives form part of the World Economic Forum’s Centre for the New Economy and Society. The centre aims to build dynamic and inclusive economies and systems in an era of accelerated technological and political change, providing leaders with a platform to understand and anticipate emerging economic and social trends and to adapt policies and practices to our rapidly evolving context. It integrates the System Initiative on the Future of Economic Progress and the System Initiative on the Future of Education, Gender and Work, and serves as a hub for the most relevant insights and pioneering actions in these domains.

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