Public interest in the SDGs

by | May 13, 2019


I got curious about what’s happened to global interest in the SDGs since they were agreed in 2015, so I ran a Google Trends analysis on it.

Top line: turns out there’s been a steady increase in global interest since 2015, which is pretty much the opposite of what I expected to see (spike in 2015 and precipitous decline since then).

But then when you drill down into where this interest is coming from you find a *huge* regional skew. All of the top 10 most engaged countries are in Sub-Saharan Africa – whereas countries like China, US, Germany, France, UK, Brazil all score less than 5 out of 100 on the engagement scale.

TLDR: these may well be the Goals the world needs in the early 21st century. But even as publics all over the world vote for radical change, not many of them are looking to the SDGs for it.

Author

  • Alex Evans

    Alex Evans is founder of the Collective Psychology Project, which explores how we can use psychology to reduce political tribalism and polarisation, a senior fellow at New York University, and author of The Myth Gap: What Happens When Evidence and Arguments Aren’t Enough? (Penguin, 2017). He is a former Campaign Director of the 50 million member global citizen’s movement Avaaz, special adviser to two UK Cabinet Ministers, climate expert in the UN Secretary-General’s office, and was Research Director for the Business Commission on Sustainable Development. He was part of Ethiopia’s delegation to the Paris climate summit and has consulted for Oxfam, WWF UK, the UK Cabinet Office and US State Department. Alex lives with his wife and two children in Yorkshire.


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