January 28, 2021

Disruptive partnerships: How to make your startup more sustainable using the SDGs

Michel Gagnon
Michel Gagnon
CEO of Stun&Awe

Can you build a startup and save the world at the same time? Isn’t there a fundamental conflict between running a business and solving global problems?

Our guest today doesn’t think so. He believes that designing innovative partnerships can accelerate the development of sustainable businesses. He brings together impact investors, startups, and corporations together to find solutions to global problems.

Nadim Choucair is Founder of 2030 Cabinet, an impact-oriented ecosystem builder and partnership architect. His goal: to enable sustainable innovation using the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Nadim also coordinates the UN Global Goals Jam in Germany. The Jam is a two-day design sprint held in over 90 cities around the world. During the event, a multidisciplinary team works out solutions for real world problems currently faced by startups and businesses. Challenges range from helping companies reduce food waste to understanding the interrelation between mental health and climate change.

For those of you who are not familiar with the SDGs, they are basically a collection of 17 global goals designed to achieve a more sustainable future for all. The UN set them in 2015 with a 2030 deadline.

In today’s episode, we go all in on sustainability and business. We touch on a couple of themes, such as:

  • How to make your startup more sustainable using the SDGs framework
  • Enabling innovation to advance the SDGs
  • Running 2-day design sprints to solve global challenges
  • Moving from human-centered to life-centered design
  • The need for different incentives to drive entrepreneurs and businesses
  • Lean approaches to measuring your startup impact, and a lot more.

You might ask yourself how do I and my business fit into the SDGs? There are many different ways to answer that question, but you may want to have a clear True North first

If you want to build a meaningful tech startup that will make a positive impact, that’s the right episode for you.

Thanks Nadim!

Enjoy the show!


We are moving away from the Anthropocene, from the looking at what humans' specific needs are, but also looking at designing in a more holistic manner which is about preserving or improving life on this planet for humans and others, while definitely understanding the ecosystem that we live within. And again, here I think that the SDGs are an interesting framework. Nadim Choucair Tweet

You can subscribe to Growth Leap Podcast on Spotify or Apple.

Show Notes

  • About the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – [01:30]
  • Inception of 2030 Cabinet- [04:04]
  • UN Global Goals Jam in Berlin – [07:53]
  • Examples of Global Goals Jam Challenges – [09:33]
  • Best Outcomes Global Goals Jams – [11:25]
  • Are we setting ourselves up for failure? – [15:32]
  • Moving from human centered-design to life-centered design – [17:10]
  • Where and how to start incorporating SDGs into your business? – [20:00]
  • Looking for Unicorns. Are we trained the wrong way? – [23:00]
  • Tracking and measuring impact as a small business – [28:50]
  • Coming Up for 2030 Cabinet this year – [32:30]

Selected Links

2030 Cabinet on LinkedIn

2030 Cabinet on Twitter

2030 Cabinet website

That's all folks

If you’re feeling generous why not spread the words on Twitter.