The Sustainable Development Goals lay out a clear vision for a sustainable future, representing an opportunity to shape a new era for responsible business. Each year the United Nations Global Compact celebrates a group of SDG Pioneers — business leaders who are doing an exceptional job to advance the Global Goals through the implementation of our Ten Principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. In our search for the 2023 cohort of SDG Pioneers, Global Compact Network Kenya encourages professionals working at any level of a UN Global Compact participating company who are leveraging a principles-based approach to set ambitious, scalable and impactful SDG targets to apply.

The GCNK will award the 2023 Global Compact Network Kenya SDG Pioneers at the local level. The selected individuals will then have the opportunity to participate in the final search of global SDG Pioneers to be recognized during the 2023 UN General Assembly in September in New York.

Why Apply or Nominate Someone?
  • Employee engagement and recognition – The program provides companies with an opportunity to highlight how their employees are advancing the SDGs and are indeed next-generation leaders.
  • Enable change agents for the SDGs – Leadership in the 2030 era requires change agents, and the SDG Pioneers Program provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for professionals to push their vision forward within their organizations and create change.
  • National and global recognition – SDG Pioneers will receive visibility and be recognized for the great work that they have done to advance the SDGs. The Global SDG Pioneers will be announced at the 2023 UN General Assembly in September.
Who Can Apply?

Professionals who are working at any level of a UN Global Compact member company are eligible to apply or be nominated. To check whether an organization is a UN Global Compact member, please search the participant list online. If your company has yet to join the UN Global Compact, please see here for more information.

For the 2023 SDG Pioneers, we only consider companies who were participants of the UN Global Compact by 1 October 2022 and have submitted at least 1 Communication on Progress (CoP). If your company joined after the date, please consider applying for the 2024 SDG Pioneers programme.

The UN Global Compact reserves the right to remove the SDG Pioneer recognition if the company and/or individual is later deemed to be a reputational risk to the SDG Pioneer campaign and/or the UN Global Compact initiative.

Selection Process
National and Global Rounds

Global Compact Local Networks are hosting country-level SDG Pioneers programs this year to seek out individuals locally who will then compete in a global round. The country-level programs is taking place from 3 April 2023 to 15 May 2023 before the global round, which will take place from April to May 2023.

Local Networks are allowed to only recognize 2 (two) SDG Pioneers to join the global 2023 SDG Pioneers Global Round. One SDG Pioneer will be representing Large National and Multinational companies and One SDG Pioneer will be representing SMEs.

Internal Review

The judging process for local rounds consists of an internal review and an external review. The internal review will be conducted by the Global Compact Network Kenya based on pre-determined judging criteria by the UN Global Compact. Five successful candidates will be chosen from this step to move onto the external review.

External Review

This round of review will be conducted by an External Review Committee consisting of a government official, GCNC board members, and leaders from business, academia, and non-profit.