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17 Rooms-X

“17 Rooms-X” is a widely accessible methodology that seeks to help communities advance practical next steps toward local priorities for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This includes contexts where priorities align with the underlying economic, social, and environmental challenges of sustainable development, but might not be framed in the policy jargon of the SDGs.

17 Rooms-X aims to provide a practical and inclusive process for any scale of community to engage with the SDGs and identify specific forms of cooperation to drive progress. Several universities in Canada, Mexico, Spain, and the United States have already been pursuing variants of the approach (“17 Rooms-U”) as a tool for advancing SDG collaboration within and across campuses—among faculty, staff, students, and community stakeholders. A range of cities, governments, and other types of organizations are also exploring 17 Rooms-X processes for their own stakeholders.

In February 2021, the Center for Sustainable Development at Brookings and The Rockefeller Foundation launched a new 17 Rooms-X “community of practice” to establish a space for peer learning across many organizations already implementing or exploring their own 17 Rooms processes. For example, in the community’s kickoff event, Ángel Cabrera talked about how 17 Rooms helped Georgia Tech’s faculty, students, and staff align around a newly developed strategic plan; Sarah Mendelson explained how 17 Rooms unearthed hidden SDG-relevant connections ahead of a pioneering “Voluntary University Review” at Carnegie Mellon University; Miguel Ruiz Cabañas spoke about 17 Rooms as a facilitator of cross-disciplinary collaboration and community stakeholder engagement at Tecnológico de Monterrey; and Joseph Wong described how 17 Rooms helped catalyze a groundswell of interest in the SDGs toward practical research and teaching deliverables at the University of Toronto.

The 17 Rooms secretariat is currently developing an online beta toolkit to support organizations aiming to implement their own 17 Rooms-X experience.

If you are interested to learn more and potentially collaborate on 17 Rooms-X, please email 17rooms@brookings.edu.

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