The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is at a critical juncture. While progress has been made, global challenges like inequality, poverty, and climate change demand innovative solutions and accelerated action. Now more than ever, the world needs strong, effective leaders who can translate global commitments into tangible change.

This is where the UN Mastermind Group steps in. Since 2020, this unique programme has brought together over 50 leaders from the United Nations (UN), governments, academia, NGOs, and the private sector to collaborate, learn, and co-create strategies for achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

But why is a programme like this so crucial for leaders in sustainable development?

1. Executive Networking: The UN Mastermind Group provides a rare opportunity to connect with and learn from a diverse group of high-level leaders. This fosters invaluable relationships and opens doors for future collaboration on a global scale.

Rosemary Kalapurakal ,Deputy Director at the UN Development Coordination Office (DCO), emphasized the value of "reflection and peer exchange" with "passionate and thoughtful leaders" in the Mastermind Group. She added that that the programme offered good opportunities for reflection on situational leadership — from directive to delegatory and depending on situational complexity vis-à-vis team competence and comfort.

2. Transformative Leadership Development: Led by experienced facilitators like Agnes Cserhati, the Mastermind Group provides a unique space for personal and professional growth. Participants engage in deep dives into complex issues, exploring innovative solutions, and developing their leadership capabilities.

Michael Croft, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Representative to Nepal, credits the programme for helping him "re-conceptualize" his work and approach leadership challenges with a fresh perspective.

3. The Power of Collective Intelligence: The Mastermind Group harnesses the power of collective intelligence, bringing together diverse perspectives to generate innovative solutions to complex challenges.

Alice Ruhweza , Africa Region Director, Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) highlighted how the Mastermind Group created a "safe space" for brainstorming and collaboration on critical issues like sustainable financing.

4. Building a Community of Practice: The UN Mastermind Group doesn't end with the programme itself. It fosters a lasting community of practice, where alumni continue to connect, collaborate, and support each other's work.

Eve Crowley, Deputy Regional Representative and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Chile Representative described her experience as "transformative". She said,

"Being recognized as a member of the UN Mastermind Circle is an absolute honor. This transformative journey has been an invaluable opportunity to connect with brilliant minds and tackle global challenges head-on.

The Mastermind Circle fosters a true sense of community and shared purpose. It's inspiring to be surrounded by individuals who are just as dedicated, insightful, and passionate as I am. This recognition is not just an achievement, it's a call to action—a reminder of our collective responsibility to drive positive change.

I am filled with excitement for the future as a member of this remarkable group. The encouragement to dream big and act boldly resonates deeply with me. I'm committed to using this platform to make a real difference in the world, working alongside my peers towards a more peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable future.”

The UN Mastermind Group is more than just a programme; it's a catalyst for change. By investing in leadership development, fostering collaboration, and building a community of practice, it equips leaders with the tools and networks they need to drive meaningful progress towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.

If you're a leader committed to creating a more sustainable future, consider joining the UN Mastermind Group.

As Michael Croft put it: "The UN Mastermind provided a good mix of leadership techniques for both our personal and professional selves - and it did so just at the right time."

Be a part of the UN Mastermind Groups: Where leaders shape a sustainable future

The UN Mastermind Groups are proud to boast an impressive network of alumni who are making a real impact in creating a more sustainable world. Our programme has attracted a diverse group of leaders from prestigious organizations, including:

  • Presidents, directors, and managers from the World Health Organization (WHO), WWF International, German Development Institute (GDI-DIE), UN Geneva, World Green Economy Organization (WGEO), and more.
  • Representatives, country directors, and deputies from UNESCO, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), DCO, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and other organizations.

Join our 2024 cohort and become part of this esteemed group of leaders driving sustainable change.

How to Apply:

Submit your motivation letter and CV to with the subject line "Application for the UN Mastermind Groups 2024." The application deadline is 16 September 2024.