Philanthropy U, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and GSVlabs release report of recommendations to spark multi-stakeholder partnerships in services of the sustainable development goals

  • No country is on track to meet all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and only 75% of targets will be met by 2030; without a dramatic shift, we will not reach them until 2073, according to projections by Social Progress Index
  • To accelerate progress, leadership across sectors — government, civil society, philanthropy and the private sector — need to commit to partnering differently in multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSPs)
  • New report, created in partnership with the Hilton Foundation, GSVlabs and Philanthropy U, presents 12 actionable changes — and 4 priority steps per sector — to overcome current MSPs pitfalls to accelerate progress on the SDGs

OAKLAND, Cali. — February 27, 2020 — Philanthropy U today publicly released a report, “SDG Partnerships Agenda 2030: Accelerating Progress,” that puts forth 12 calls-to-action to inspire stronger multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSPs) in the service of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In the report, a MSP refers to “an initiative that involves three or more actors across two or more sectors; aims to address a social or development challenge; and includes activities above and beyond each partner’s ‘business as usual.’”

The report was created in partnership with the Hilton Foundation and GSVlabs.

“Multi-stakeholder partnerships are foundational to achieving the SDGs, yet they’re often extraordinarily complex, poorly executed and rarely monitored in a way that allows for replicability or accountability,” said Connor Diemand-Yauman, Chief Executive Officer of Philanthropy U. “In light of our lackluster global progress towards the SDGs, MSPs represent a tremendous opportunity to radically transform the ways we partner and accelerate towards these goals. This report is a step towards making them work better for Agenda 2030.” 

“It’s imperative we work collaboratively to address the urgent problems facing the world today,” said Peter Laugharn, President and Chief Executive Officer for the Hilton Foundation. “Philanthropy can play the critical role of actively identifying where partnership gaps exist. When we reimagine partnerships to work more efficiently – driven by a collaboration between the people most affected and those most accountable for progress – we’ll start to see traction across public, private and government sectors alike.”

Findings were presented at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos last month during an invite-only workshop with key leaders from government, civil society, philanthropy and the private sector. The report calls for leaders to commit to the following four actions:

  • Recognize power. Recognize the power that communities hold in the form of expertise, and give communities greater ownership in solutioning.
  • Radically expand networks. Reject the tendency to partner only within existing networks, sectors or even personal backgrounds. Seek out local community expertise.
  • Make every dollar count. Unlock additional capital through cross-sector collaboration and long-term flexible funding commitments.
  • Move from transparency to accountability. There are few formal accountability mechanisms of the SDGs and limited visibility into the allocation and use of public and private resources. There is a great need for partnerships to hold themselves accountable and demonstrate results.

The report also suggests sector specific roles within SDG-focused MSPs: government as builder; private sector as accelerator; civil society as expert; philanthropy as facilitator. Priority next steps are outlined for each sector.

“New models of innovation and impact are essential if we are going to make breakthrough progress on the SDGs,” said Alec Wright, Chief Innovation Officer at GSVlabs. “No one stakeholder group is equipped to tackle these global issues because each group brings different resources and capabilities to the table. A transparent, systematic approach to MSPs is one of our best tools to drive impact at the scale imagined by the SDG.”

Philanthropy U commissioned Dalberg to conduct an analysis of successful MSPs and produce an actionable report identifying the opportunities and recommendations to drive towards the achievement of the SDGs. 

Request your copy of the report here.

About the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation:

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help individuals throughout the world living in poverty and experiencing disadvantage. The Foundation invests in 11 program areas, including providing access to safe water, supporting transition age foster youth, ending chronic homelessness, hospitality workforce development, disaster relief and recovery, helping young children affected by HIV and AIDS, and supporting the work of Catholic sisters. In addition, following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $2 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1.8 billion in grants, distributing $110 million in the U.S. and around the world in 2019. Foundation assets increased from approximately $2.9 billion to $6.6 billion following the 2019 passing of Barron Hilton who, like his father, pledged virtually his entire estate to the Foundation. For more information, please visit

About GSVlabs:

Global Silicon Valley Labs – GSVlabs – is a worldwide innovation platform headquartered in Silicon Valley with over 20,000 members, 450 investors and 100+ enterprise partners in our network. Our mission is to create the world’s premier global innovation platform — empowering entrepreneurs and democratizing innovation around the world. We create powerful network effects by supporting entrepreneurs, connecting startups and investors and enabling innovation in the world’s largest companies. We catalyze the world’s innovation ecosystem and throughout innovation centers and our online platform Passport™, we connect Silicon Valley to the World and the World to Silicon Valley.

About Philanthropy U:

Philanthropy U is the premier online learning platform for social impact. We put practical training for social impact organizations just a click away. 

Our solution extends world-class courses, communities and data-driven insights to social impact organizations anywhere in the world. Foundations and impact investment firms depend on us to provide their portfolio organizations with high-quality, low-cost training at scale.

See how we are learning to change the world at

Media Contact: 

Julia Friedman​ Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

Senior Manager, Communications 

Phone: 818.851.3754

Alec Wright​ GSVlabs

Chief Innovation Officer

Phone: 937.232.1214

Paige Dearing​ Philanthropy U

Senior Director, Marketing & Communications

Phone: 301.717.1415


February 27, 2020


Paige is the lead of our Marketing and Communications department at Philanthropy U. She is passionate about projects that blend technology and social missions.