There's No Planet B

The United Nations (UN) has a few ambitious goals up their globe-spanning sleeves. In this post, I'll be writing specifically about the MY World 2030 survey.

The United Nations MY World 2030 survey is gathering people’s views on the state of poverty, inequality and climate change, based on where you live. Data will be gathered to build up a picture of progress over the next fifteen years.

The survey is a simple series of three questions:

  1. Are you aware of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

  2. Which 6 of the 17 goals are of most importance to you and your immediate family?

  3. Do you feel the state of the 6 goals you chose have gotten better, stayed the same, or gotten worse in the past 12 months?

This survey is anything but lengthy, however, I can why you may want to take your time to understand each goal in more depth. You a grading the UN on how well they are performing after all.

The 17 Goals in this survey were said to have been strongly influenced by the perspective captured in the quote of United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon.


While this may be true the history of these surveys precede the 2030 initiative. In 2015 we had the MY World 2015 Survey to try to understand which of the 16 Goals, at that time, were most important as the world leaders prepare to develop a better world.

On September 25th, 2015 the 17 SDGs were chosen.

It is these 17 SDGs the MY World 2030 Survey is concerned with. Until 2030, it will be these 17 goals, aimed at ending poverty, protecting the planet, and ensuring prosperity for all the world leaders will place their focus.

It's much more work than it sounds. There are 169 targets, in total, these goals are measured against. Try keeping up with a to-do list of that length.

Personally, I think this survey is unique for a variety of reasons, but my favorite is that the UN repeatedly makes mentions of a "people's perspective". More often than not we see initiatives of this scale influenced by major players with motives much different from those that matter on an individuals basis.

Even more brilliant is the UN's enlistment of two top data visualization communities, #vizforsocialgood, and #makeovermonday. A few rules are provided to those participating in the data visualization competition, but these exercises generally just involve a dataset and sweat. Download the data and work your butt off to present that data in the most meaningful way you can muster.

Here's a GIF of my mobile submission.

This visualization gives citizens who have not yet taken the survey a chance to familiarize themselves with the responses made as of September 3rd, 2017. I hope that after people see how MY World data might be summarized for the world leader, citizens will better understand why their votes matter.

Votes cast directly tie to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals being monitored by the world leaders. Providing your "peoples perspective" is invaluable in educating those in power as to how well they are delivering on their objectives.

Whether you like the current state of affairs or not go vote! It matters 👍

Read more about MY World here.

  • Cover image credit:

  • Ban Ki-moon image credit: