27 March 2018
Global Festival Promotes Innovative Action for SDGs
story highlights

The Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development featured the launch of projects to support SDG implementation, and recognized the winners of the first UN SDG Action Awards.

The Festival aims to celebrate, empower and connect the global community on action for the SDGs.

23 March 2018: The Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development showcased approaches, innovations and tools to support SDG implementation. The Festival focused on how to put the SDGs into action through discussion on five key issues: innovation; citizen engagement; communication; mobilization; and multi-stakeholder engagement.

More than 1,500 participants from over 150 countries attended the second edition of the Global Festival, which took place in Bonn, Germany, from 21-23 March 2018. The UN SDG Action Campaign, an initiative of the UN Secretary-General that is administered by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), organized the event with support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Federal Foreign Office.

In opening remarks, the director of the SDG Action Campaign, Mitchell Toomey, described the unique character of the event, which is driven by and reliant on participants’ actions. He stressed that the Festival “is a perfect example that solutions can come from everywhere” and underscored the importance of building strong networks for action in achieving the SDGs.

The UN SDG Action Campaign, Digital Promise Global and Occulus launched the MY World 360° project, which invites youth to share their perspectives and advance positive action towards the SDGs through digital skills and “360° media.” MY World 360° will launch national pilot programs in Germany and India, with selected schools receiving 360° video production equipment from Oculus and targeted local media support and mentorship. Youth from around the world can contribute submissions.

Also at the Festival, Canon Europe launched the 2018 Young People Programme, aiming to harness the power of positive storytelling to drive change. The Programme uses the SDGs as a framework for young people to share global issues that affect their futures.

The UN SDG Action Campaign announced eight winners and 48 finalists of the first UN SDG Action Awards. The awards ceremony honored initiatives in the following categories: communicator; connector; include; innovator; mobilizer; storyteller; and visualizer. Winning initiatives are mobilizing Belgians to implement the SDGs in their daily lives, fighting corruption in Nigeria and promoting human rights education in Sri Lanka, among other actions. The ‘Unreasonable Goals’ initiative won the connector category for its work to bring together highly scalable entrepreneurial solutions with cutting-edge technologies, and match them with world class mentors to help in scaling up their efforts to achieve the SDGs. SDG Youth Morocco won the mobilizer award for educating and empowering Moroccans to achieve the 2030 Agenda through multi-stakeholder partnerships. Global Goals for Local Impact/Open Institute Kenya received the visualizer award for collecting citizen generated data from every household in Lanet Umoja, Kenya on all aspects related to the SDGs and working with community leaders to identify development gaps that need to be addressed to achieve the SDGs.

In addition to the Festival’s thematic session, the event featured the ‘SDG studio,’ a live stage with TED-style talks, interviews and discussions, interactive spaces, film screenings and a virtual reality zone. Participants had the opportunity to play ‘Go Goals!’, an SDG board game developed by the UN Regional Information Centre (UNRIC). [Festival of Action Website] [UN Press Release] [UN Press Release on Opening] [UNRIC Press Release] [Press Release on 360°] [Press Release on Canon Young People Programme] [Press Release on Awards Ceremony]

related events