Our Pillars in Popular Media

Sustainable Development in TV Shows

The Surgeon's Cut

While the series may not explicitly address issues of healthcare access and affordability, the advancements highlighted in "Surgeon's Cut" can lead to more effective and less invasive medical procedures. This could potentially make healthcare more accessible and affordable in the long term, aligning with the goal of ensuring universal health coverage (a key aspect of SDG 3). "Surgeon's Cut" may underscore the significance of medical research and education. Advancements in surgery often require extensive research and education to train the next generation of healthcare professionals. SDG 3 encourages investment in research and education to improve healthcare systems.

Additional Information:

Release Date: 9 December 2020

Director: Various

Content/Age Warning: 16+, medical emergencies, blood.

Genre: Documentary

The 100

At some point in its seven seasons this show manages to discuss every single SDG. That being said, there is a consistent link to SDG 16. Goal 16 highlights the importance of promoting peace, justice, and strong institutions. Throughout every season there is considerable emphasis placed on how the authority is granted and how it is maintained or what needs to be adjusted in order to ensure fairness throughout the affected regions.

Additional Information:

Release Date: 29 March 2014

Network: The CW

Content/Age Warning: 13+, language, depictions of violence, and suggestive content.

Genre: Sci-Fi

Arcane: League of Legends

This is an animated show that follows a plot filled with morally grey characters who strive to survive in a world that is cruel to some of them and kind to others. In terms of SDGs that coincide with the show are Goals 8, 9, 11, and 16. Goal 8 focuses on decent work and economic growth, which is shown throughout the show by characters being provided with job opportunities that would provide them with economic security. Goal 9 revolves around industry, innovation, and infrastructure. Arcane features a plot line where massive innovation provides the space and time for the growth of industries and infrastructure within the cinematic universe. Goal 11 speaks about the importance of sustainable cities, the main setting of Arcane discusses the steps being taken by the city's inhabitants to create a city that can support the rapid growth of the world around it. Goal 16 deals with peace, justice, and strong institutions, Arcane contains characters that interact with a security mechanism and who challenge its blind followers.

Additional Information:

Release Date: 06 November 2021

Director(s): Alex Yee and Christine Linke

Content/Age Warning: 13+, language, depictions of violence, and suggestive content.

Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror


This is an American post-apocalyptic show that contains themes surrounding Sustainable Development Goals 7 and 9. The main plot of the show revolves around the loss of access to electricity and, as a result, the constant driving question is how to regain access to energy. SDG 7 seeks to provide affordable and clean energy, which finds itself in the themes of this show as characters search for ways to 'turn the lights back on'. SDG 9 highlights the improvement of industrial tactics and infrastructure, which can be seen as the characters seek to create protections and weapons without electricity and how they combine 'ancient' techniques with provisions from the recent modern age.

Additional Information:

Release Date: 17 September 2012

Director(s): Bryan Burk, Eric Kripke, J.J. Abrams, Rockne S. O'Bannon, and Jon Favreau.

Content/Age Warning: 13+, suggestive content, language, and depictions of warfare and violence.

Genre: Sci-Fi


This is a Netflix original show that incorporates themes from multiple Sustainable Development Goals 5 and 8. The plot follows a young mother, attempting to escape from an abusive relationship while also providing for her young daughter. Goal 5 focuses on Gender Equality and the need to establish protections for mothers who are struggling with abusive households is only one area that needs addressing. This show reveals the effects on young women who are economically reliant on their partners and how that can be used as a form of abuse itself. Goal 8 establishes the need for decent work conditions, and as the young mother learns, not all work is fair or decent. This show demonstrates just how significant the challenges can be for single parents, especially those who may have little to no economic foundations.

Additional Information:

Release Date: 01 October 2021

Director: Molly Smith Metzler

Content/Age Warning: 13+, references to domestic abuse, harassment depictions, and language.

Genre: Fiction


Cultural Diversity and Sustainable Development for Peace