This article was published by The Future Society in Special Projects, The AI Initiative on May 28, 2019

AI for SDGs Center (AI4SDG)

Main insight

The Future Society’s AI Initiative is envisioning the AI4SDG Center: an ambitious multi-sectoral collaboration hub.

Special ProjectsThe AI Initiative
May 28, 2019
2 min read

Designed as a public-private-people partnership factory, the Center will work with international organizations, businesses, academia and civil society organizations to engineer new business, ethics, and value-sharing models to deploy the best AI solutions and platforms globally towards helping solve humanity’s greatest challenges, as outlined in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).


Led by Cyrus Hodes, Board member & Chair of The AI Initiative of The Future Society, the “AI for SDG” Center (AI4SDG) is envisioned as an engine for practical experimentation and scaling up of governance models for AI, including embedding operations, ethics, legal, and multi-stakeholder collaboration into real-world impact projects for the inclusive development of AI.

The Center will act as a public-private-people partnership factory bringing together academia, governments, international organizations, start-up, industry and civil society organizations.

The concept of the center was a direct result of our understanding and observation of the massive amounts of global data that exists and continually expands, which can be used to foster a better understanding of how we are progressing on the SDGs. With an abundance of data collected in public forums, governments, industries and AI platforms, we believe there is a massive potential to use AI for SDG in:

  1. Monitoring progress
  2. Simulating applications and impact
  3. Predicting outcomes
  4. Helping policymakers to act upon the vast amount of structured and unstructured data available


  1. Center incorporated under a government aegis or through a multilateral agreement: physical space (small innovation lab /incubator) & online presence (virtual showroom for promising or existing use cases, POCs and scaled up project)
  2. Center engineered as a tool to detect & showcase promising use cases, project/product innovation, build POCs, and help to scale up successful projects
  3. Public-Private-People Partnership Factory (with latest methods and experts) to work along the entire project cycle and structure (development, incubation, acceleration, scaling up) including finance, technology and engineering, business models, IP, technical standards, and ethical challenges
  4. Integrate the development of highly innovative business models (“data economy” meets “platform economy” meets “attention economy” meets “token economy”) with the development of ethical governance
  5. Small and interdisciplinary project-centric team to grow progressively