Instructional Strategies,  Sustainability

SDG 9 Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure – Embedding the Sustainable Development Goals in Learning

This blog post is part of a series around the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Each post will dive into one of the goals and how we as educators can strive to embed these into our own courses. It is in the author’s opinion that any course or class can connect with one of the 17 goals or 169 sub-targets. By providing this blog post series, we hope to elicit some ideas of how you might also integrate a global goal into your teaching. Please refer to the USask SDG Teaching & Learning Workbook, review the USask Sustainability in the Curricula website, or scroll down for more information about the SDGs.

SDG 9 aims to promote the idea of decent work to the development of infrastructure, such as transport, irrigation, energy and information and communication technology, to achieve sustainable development and community empowerment around the world. Infrastructure is made up of two dimensions – the physical assets themselves and the services needed to maintain them. Project development and funding is strengthened when public and private groups work together to provide solutions. Investing in the research and development of technological progress, education and the empowerment of marginalized communities can help us achieve our environmental objectives of renewable resources and energy-efficiency. Given the role of infrastructure and industrial development as core drivers of a global development agenda, failure to improve this domain will make achieving the other goals more difficult. At the time of writing, there are currently five drinking water advisories in Saskatchewan due to inadequate infrastructure.

You might also be able to align your teaching to this SDG if you want your students to be able to:

  • Depict the concepts of sustainable infrastructure and industrialization.
  • Analyze the local, national and global challenges to achieving resilient infrastructure and industrialization.
  • Identify opportunities in their own culture and nation for greener and more resilient infrastructure, understanding their risks and overall benefits.
  • Investigate examples of unsustainable development .

You might consider having your students reflect, share, act in some of these ways:

  • Find ways that students can engage with stakeholders like non-governmental organizations (NGOs), governments, businesses and community members.
  • Design projects which allow students to fairly critique government policies or processes, to address gaps in policies or processes, or develop innovative solutions to existing problems.
  • Innovation comes from collaboration, so look for ways for students to learn, share and think critically with people in your community, or on the other side of the world, such as through COIL.

Some curricular connections and questions for students might be:


How can media keep industries accountable to their social, economic and environmental impact?

Oppression and genocide

How might government corruption affect

infrastructure development and industrialization?


What are the essential qualities of sustainable development regarding environmental protection?

Gender politics

How can we ensure spaces for women in innovative technological sectors?

Poverty, wealth and power

How can industrialization or innovation help end the poverty cycle?

Social justice and human rights

What would happen if access to Internet became a human right? What would it look like?

Indigenous Peoples

How can infrastructure development and industrialization be more inclusive of Indigenous perspectives and rights?

Health and biotechnology

How can we ensure healthy working conditions amidst economic development?

Peace and conflict

How is industrial development impacted during times of conflict?


The 17 Sustainable Development Goals — also known as the SDGs or the Global Goals —came into effect on January 1, 2016 following an historic United Nations Summit in September 2015. 193 governments from around the world agreed to implement the Goals within their own countries in order to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Over the next fifteen years, with these new Goals that universally apply to all, countries will mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.

These new, interconnected goals build on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs, while also identifying new priority areas such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice, among others.

Although each country faces specific challenges in pursuit of sustainable development, special attention is given to the most vulnerable countries, in particular, African countries, less developed countries, landlocked countries and small island developing states. There are also serious challenges within many middle-income countries.

For each of the 17 goals, there is a list of specific targets we aim to reach. The targets discussed in this guide have been summarized for ease of reading. For a more detailed list of all the 169 targets, visit

This content has been adapted from the original by the Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning and the University of Saskatchewan from the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation. Users are free to download, copy, print and share this resource as needed, and adapt for their classroom or non-commercial use.

If you adapt or build on this work, please let MCIC or USask know!  

Sustainable Foundations: A Guide for Teaching the Sustainable Development Goals by the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.  To view a copy of this license, visit   

Original document


Comments Off on SDG 9 Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure – Embedding the Sustainable Development Goals in Learning