SDG Leadership Labs: Leading Transformative Change in the United Nations

Jul 10, 2019

How do we mobilize the world’s political forces to address the Three Divides on a scale and timeframe that can restore our planet and secure wellbeing for everyone? The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offer a pathway.

But to achieve these goals, the UN has acknowledged that a very different approach to leadership and collaboration will be required, within and across UN agencies.

“The SDG Leadership Lab…was deeply refreshing and inspiring. Like the best kinds of learning experience, it gave me a powerful combination of fresh ideas and tools with opportunities to reflect and deepen my commitment to some ‘knowledge’ that I was already holding.” — SDG Leadership Lab Participant


In 2018, the Presencing Institute worked with the Un Secretary General’s Office through the Development Coordination Office (UN-DCO) to test approaches to developing these new leadership capabilities, working with Country Teams and the new Resident Coordinators to build understanding and skills in the practical applications of systems thinking, innovation, and transformative leadership. The program, ‘SDG Leadership Lab’, was piloted in Cambodia and Uganda. Each pilot was structured around the methods of Theory U and adapted to the particular context and needs of each Country Team.

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