The annual 17 Rooms flagship brings together leading experts and practitioners to tackle international-scale challenges and priorities embedded within the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As a highly curated undertaking, the flagship process has formed the “tip of the arrow” in driving the evolution of 17 Rooms methodologies. Each Room focuses on a specific slice of their respective SDG that is ripe for action over a 12-18-month time horizon. The secretariat then works across Rooms to identify opportunities for cross-Room feedback, collaboration, and exchange, based on insights and actions bubbling up from each Room’s efforts. Actions emerging from the flagship process have varied from accelerants for policy initiatives to sparking fresh alliances for advocacy, research, and implementation efforts.

As of 2023, the 17 Rooms flagship builds several iterations of experimentation. The first informal September 2018 gathering in New York City struck a chord of enthusiasm among participants through the creative and urgent hackathon-type spirit of collective action across all 17 working groups. In 2019, the second annual gathering included more deliberate Room-by-Room preparations and a semi-structured exchange of insights between Rooms, leading to a public report of recommended priorities for the following year.

In 2020, 17 Rooms went fully virtual (“17 Zooms”!) amid the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing more than 200 participants together online, presenting their final products live to the U.N. deputy secretary-general. Each Room published a short Room document that summarized its actionable priorities, and the secretariat published an overall insights report. In 2021, an expanded secretariat function provided more direct programmatic support within and across Rooms. In 2022, a primarily virtual format began to mix with in-person meetings, including an informal 17 Rooms community meeting in New York.

Each year, 17 Rooms continues to develop new methods and tools for advancing the efficiency and impact of the flagship process. The annual flagship synthesis reports distill each year’s overarching themes and showcase the Room action agendas.

For further information, please find the recent history of flagship-related publications below: