Philadelphia's Canvas for SDG #8 and Economic Growth at School of the Future

Finn Martel
sdg 8 unveiling group photo

The Global Philadelphia Association has unveiled a new mural - SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth. GPA’s initiative to feature SDG 8 in the form of a public art aligns seamlessly with the city's efforts to position itself as a global hub for economic progress. As a global and growing city, Philadelphia is actively working towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 8, which underscores the importance of sustained per capita GDP growth, technological innovation, economic diversification, and improvements in global resource efficiency. The 10x10 mural that sits on the exterior wall of School of the Future on Parkside Avenue, crafted by Faysal Adger, not only serves as a captivating visual representation of these goals but also resonates with the city's rich history and current initiatives.

Sponsored by TEACHERS&, the unveiling took place on November 28th, and was seen by a wide range of attendees - students, GPA members, non-profit associates, and the general public - all united by the shared goal of Decent Work and Economic Growth. The crowd heard from a wide variety of speakers, including City Representative Sheila Hess, Artist Faysal Adger, Principal John Smith, TEACHERS& President Neferteri Strickland, We Love Philly Founder Carlos Aponte, and GPLEX Program Director Kejsi Sahaj. Speakers talked about the importance of Decent Work and Economic Growth, highlighting the measures that Philadelphia organizations and companies are taking in the business, education, cultural and nonprofit sectors to revolutionize the way they are approaching technology education and a changing workforce. 

Faysal Adger, the artist behind SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, drew on innovation to highlight the importance of SDG8, told the crowd, “My mural represents economic growth with something as simple as picking an apple and moving toward creating technology that can control a whole apple orchard.”

Adger added local context to the role of agriculture within the piece, saying “I chose to highlight agriculture because we’re in the state of Pennsylvania which was built on agriculture. Farming continues to be very important in our City of Philadelphia and I wanted to show that. You can go to just about any neighborhood in Philadelphia and see an urban community farm.”

He ended the speech on an optimistic note, “I want to bring people together with this mural, and I want to celebrate sustainable economic growth which will help us all be stewards of the earth. I feel blessed to be a 17-year-old, Black male, living with brain cancer creating art in Philadelphia. God is good! I hope this mural is just one of many! Thank you all.” 

Emerging International Journalists Program
Science and Technology
SDG Campaign