The first young 360º media creators screened at the UN General Assembly

Today, on the 3rd anniversary of the Sustainable Development, and as part of the Global day to Act for SDGs, we’re thrilled to announce the first MYWorld360º playlist—a collection of youth-produced immersive stories from around the world that spotlight issues most relevant to young people and their communities. The MYWorld360º playlist will be screened at the UN General Assembly as part of the United Nations Virtual Reality program, and presented virtually at the SDG Media Zone at the UN HQ in New York on the Global Day of Action on September 25th.

In March 2018, the United Nations SDG Action Campaign, Digital Promise Global, and Oculus announced the launch of MYWorld360°, a new global initiative supporting young people worldwide to develop their digital skills, share their perspectives, and advance positive action toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

Over 100 students participated in the first MYWorld360º. The 6 selected stories represent a broad range of creative responses, including a public service announcement about food deserts and access to healthy food, an exploration of social media’s influence, and a celebration of diversity and multiculturalism. The 6 youth created films will be shown to world leaders gathered in New York on the opening day of the UN General Assembly.

Dive into these stories and stay tuned for more youth-produced MYWorld360º media in the months ahead!

Complex City 

A video poem takes the audience to Fifth Ward, a super-neighborhood in Houston, Texas, and challenges simplistic thinking about the area.

Site/Location: Urban Enrichment Institute (with Writers In The Schools), Houston, Texas, USA
Youth Producers: Byron A. (16), Daylen H. (13), Deandre D. (15), Roderick J. (14), Lamar E. (15), Matthew T. (16), Lee R. (16), James W. (12), Jason M. (14), Lynwood O. (15), Tant D. (15)
Educator: SharonFerranti

Food Desert


What food options are available in your community? This film tries to give an answer to this question and how food impacts a community. 

Site/Location: Mt. Pleasant High School, San Jose, CA, USA
Youth Producers: Rogelio L. (18) and Santos W. (18)
Educator: William Cavada

Francisca 

A single woman’s strength and commitment can inspire a whole community in Terra do Sol,  Brazil.

Site/Location: CEPI – Carlos Alberto de Deus, Goiânia, Goiás, Brasil
Youth Producers: Beatriz K. (17), Sabrina R. (17), Gabriela C. (16), Yan Í. (18)
Educator: Layla Rocha

The Influencer


A disturbing look into social media and it’s effect on society.

Site/Location: Gemeinschaftsschule Bellevue, Saarbrücken, Saarland, Germany
Youth Producers: Julian W. (17), Gosia C. (17), Jonas J. (17), Jennifer G. (18), Simon G. (17), Lara K. (17), Akim H. (17), Jason K. (17), Hagjer D. (18), Dennis K. (18.), Jana S. (17)
Educator: Torsten Becker

Myrtle’s Waste-FULL Life

An endangered sea turtle’s Point of View (POV) of sea debris in her home.

Site/Location: Churchill High School, San Antonio, Texas, USA
Youth Producers: Alyssa P. (17), Claire G. (16), Zoe (16), Yasmin M. (16), Lauren M. (20)
Educator: Robin Morriss

Slum Visions

Step into the shoes of a young photographer who is passionate about sharing underrepresented stories in his neighbourhood.

Site/Location: Emerson College, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Youth Producers: Kieran McKeon (21), Jason Blanton (21), and Andrew Arias (18)
Educator: Sarah Berkovich

MYWorld360 is an initiative led by  United Nations SDG Action Campaign, Digital Promise Global, and Oculus.  

Want to be a MY World 360º creator? The program is open to youth and educators worldwide. Explore how immersive storytelling can inspire action to build a better world for everyone and join in the next challenge.

 

18 April: LET’S CEE Film Festival brings VR cinema to Vienna – and the UN SDG Action Campaign is aboard as one of its programme supporters.

From Let’s CEE Film Festival

Get faced with the human made threat of nature in the Arctic or in the rainforest; learn what it’s like to be homeless or to live in a refugee camp; make a trip back to your first year of life or to the old age – LET’S CEE Film Festival makes it possible. Under the motto “Let’s Open Your Mind”, the organisers are bringing virtual reality films from all over the world to Vienna for the first time. Thanks to the support of renowned partners such as United Nations, Greenpeace International, Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, USC Shoah Foundation, WIDE and The Guardian, a high-quality as well as visually strong offer of socio-politically engaged cinema will be shown. Sitting on a swivel chair with a VR headset and headphones, VR Cinema makes you, so to speak, the focal point and part of the film thanks to 360-degree images.

LET’S CEE will set up two VR lounges: one at 4GAMECHANGERS, a festival for influencers and visionaries (18-20 April) and the second at Village Cinema Wien Mitte (21-22 April) with support of the presenting partner Cineplexx International. Admission is free, as is the whole short film programme at LET’S CEE.

The hardly publicly funded Austrian festival, which tries to make a significant positive contribution to a modern and exemplary understanding of intercultural dialogue year by year, runs from 13 to 22 April in Vienna, Graz, Salzburg and Villach, the VR films can be seen from18 to 22 April in Vienna.

More about LET’S CEE: www.letsceefilmfestival.com

 

Films shown with the support of United Nations | UN SDG Action Campaign

Clouds Over Sidra | USA 2015 | 9 min. | English | Chris Milk, Gabo Arora / UN SDG Action Campaign

Twelve-year-old Sidra walks us through her “home”, the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. It houses 130,000 Syrian war refugees, half of them children.

Guardians of the Forest | BRA 2018 | 20 min. | English | Benjamin Ross, Brittany Neff / UN SDG Action Campaign

Activist Sônia takes the spectators to the Amazon’s rainforest, where their Guajajara people are fighting desperately against the destruction of their habitat.

Sea Prayer | UK 2017 | 7 min. | English | Khaled Hosseini / UN SDG Action Campaign On the second anniversary of the death of a three-year-old Syrian boy on the Greek coast, Khaled Hosseini wrote an imaginary letter of a Syrian father to his son.

Complete VR Programme:

Arctic 360 | UK 2016 | 3 min. | English | Francesca Panetta, Nicole Jackson / The Guardian A virtual reality trip to the Arctic, which was filmed under environmentally-friendly conditions, shows the terrible consequences of human behavior.

Becoming Homeless: A Human Experience | USA 2017 | 8 min. | English | Elise Ogle, Tobin Asher / Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab

You can experience what it’s like to be homeless, protect yourself and try to save your home while living on the street.

First Impressions | UK 2017 | 6 min. | English | Francesca Panetta, Nicole Jackson / The Guardian One experiences the first year of life from the viewpoint of a baby, interacting with the environment like a baby. A time span that none of us can remember.

Munduruku: The Fight to Defend the Heart of the Amazon | BRA/UK 2017 | 15 min. | English | James Manisty, Grace Boyle / Greenpeace International

An exceptional VR experience: We find ourselves amidst the indigenous Munduruku in Amazonia who, due to a dam project, have to struggle for existence.

 Notes to My Father | UK/USA 2017 | 12 min. | English | Javisha Patel / WIDE

Her father married her off when she was 13, but like many Indian girls, Ramadevi was then sold to a brothel. Now she fights against the sexual slave trade.

The Last Chair | NLD 2017 | 2 x 15 min. | Jessie van Vreden, Anke Teunissen / WIDE

A VR experience about the last phase of existence. You can immerse yourself in the lives of two old men preparing for their final days.

The Last Goodbye | USA 2017 | 20 min. | English | Gabo Arora, Ari Palitz / USC Shoah Foundation

In July 2016, Holocaust survivor Pinchas Gutter visits the Majdanek concentration camp. The Last Goodbye is a testimony of love, compassion and the human spirit.


Press Contact:

Magdalena Żelasko
Festival Director LET’S CEE Film Festival
management@letsceefilmfestival.com
Homepage: www.letsceefilmfestival.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/letscee
Twitter: www.twitter.com/letsceeff
Instagram: www.instagram.com/letscee

German Sustainability Award connects governments, companies and civil society with the SDGs

Exemplary businesses, municipalities and research projects who are at the forefront of sustainability were celebrated last Friday as the winners of the 10th German Sustainability Award in Düsseldorf, Germany. SDG Advocate, Queen Mathilde of Belgium received this years’ honorary prize in the event, which also offered participants a multitude of experiences to connect with the sustainable development goals in the “SDG Hub”.

The SDG Hub was created in partnership with the German service for development initiatives Engagement Global.

On the first day of the prize, the Next Economy Award was presented to start-ups whose business models are oriented towards a green economy and overcoming social challenges. The winners were the producer of wooden T-shirts wijld, the telemedical care company DITG, the solution for basic optic care EinDollarBrille and Enerthing, the developer of a solar film that can replace disposable batteries. Some of the winning initiatives and nominees, such as the developer of ecological toilets Goldeimer, were at the SDG Hub to share which SDGs are of most importance to them – in their case, “Clean Water and Sanitation” took the podium.

On the second day, the German Sustainability Award recognized top achievements in ecological and social commitment in different areas, celebrating stakeholders that are striving for the best sustainable solutions in line with the SDGs. Deutsche Telekom was awarded as Germany’s most sustainable large company, while Hanover won the prize for the most sustainable city.

In the Award Ceremony, Queen Mathilde was honoured for her commitment to the SDGs and her contribution to improving the situation of disadvantaged young people since 2000 with the Queen Mathilde Fund. Her Majesty also supports several organizations such as UNICEF, WHO and Child Focus.

Queen Mathilde underscored that businesses, governments, civil society and individuals must work together to achieve the SDGs. Photo: Dariusz Misztal

“To achieve sustainable development, governments, businesses, civil society and individuals must work together: each of us has a role to play at their own level towards realizing this ambitious, but achievable goals. Even small-scale projects and individual acts can contribute to changing lives for the better”, said Her Majesty.

She celebrated the fact that awareness of the need for sustainable development is growing in Belgium, Germany and all over the world. Yet, she reminded that there is no room for complacency, since there are areas in the planet where poverty is increasing and even affluent societies have not yet completely eradicated inequality.

British primatologist and campaigner for environmental and wildlife conservation Jane Goodall, who was present at the SDG Hub, encouraged particularly young people to take action and not to lose hope. “We have to fight to live sustainably before it’s too late”, she affirmed.

The founder of the German Sustainability Award Stefan Schulze-Hausmann and singer Annie Lennox. Photo: Ralf Rühmeier

Annie Lennox, activist and singer of the famous hit of the 80’s “Sweet Dreams”, performed on stage, where she also delivered a message of hope. “My sweet dream is a better world for all”, she said.

Experiencing the SDGs

By diving in immersive storytelling provided by United Nations Virtual Reality, visitors of the SDG Hub could see life through the eyes of a refugee or learn what it is like to be a survivor of Ebola. Many expressed the feeling that virtual reality can play an important role in connecting people emotionally to each other and foster cooperation to implement the SDGs.

Participants were also able to take the MY World 2030 survey, which allowed them to make their voices heard about which goals they consider more relevant for their lives and to explore their personal relationship with the SDGs.

All in all, entrepreneurs, government representatives and individuals had the opportunity to experience how the SDGs provide a framework to all sustainable development efforts worldwide, including those celebrated in the German Sustainability Award.

Watch Queen Mathilde’s speech:

Relevant personalities, government officials, business CEOs, activists and young entrepreneurs passed by the SDG Hub and shared a common vision of how we need to better communicate and engage everyone to take action on the Sustainable Development Goals. Take a look:

Minister President of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet, visits the SDG Hub

British primatologist Jane Goodall delivered a message of hope to young people at the event

Members of the green businesses association UnternehmensGrün celebrate their partnership

Participants at the SDG Hub

Participants at the SDG Hub

Participants at the SDG Hub

SDG icons

Participants at the SDG Hub

Multi-sector partnerships and concrete actions are needed to achieve the SDGs

“SDGs is about people, this is about leaving no one behind, about creating a world for our current generations, for our future generations.”It has to be about having a new vision, a new paradigm with implementation from all sectors. We want Europe to be leading from the front and Belgium is in a strong position to be a champion of change.” Barbara Pesce-Monteiro, United Nations Representative in Belgium urged to innovative thinking, stronger partnerships and more ambition in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Combating inequality matters and our lifestyles matter to meeting the sustainable development goals. We need a whole of society approach and the center of gravity for political innovation lies within cities and people. We have an impressive set of initiatives run by associations in Belgium that provide civic platforms between people and the government.” Olivier De Schutter, former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food,  highlighted that we must all start changing the way we live.

On 23 November, representatives from private sector, local governments, civil society organisations and  students took part in a one-day inter-ministerial conference to tackle how Belgium can implement the Agenda 2030 and oversee a truly transformative multi-stakeholder approach.

The UN SDG Action Campaign, along with the UN and UNDP in Brussels, organized an SDG Action Zone, occupying a central space to engage visitors on the Sustainable Development Goals, bring the voices of children, men a women from around the world and their needs to the center of the discussions.

Take a look!

SDG Event Belgium
View album

Want to know more? Keep reading

SDGs & Climate Action interlinked at the heart of COP23

Every step taken for Climate Action is a step further in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Both the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement provide a clear framework for action towards a better world for every person and for the planet.

The UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) will be a busy and exciting two weeks in the efforts to support UNFCCC and member states to raise public awareness about the interconnectedness of the SDGs and Climate Action and to bring in citizen voices to deliver the message of the importance of multiple stakeholders working together to achieve change.

Here’s the lineup of all the immersive experiences, events, exhibitions, and conversations ready for COP23. Interesting in attending any of these sessions? Register here 

REGISTER FOR EVENTS HERE

SPECIAL EVENTS

Friday 17th November
Change-making through New media and Virtual Reality
where: Bonn Zone, at the Talanoa Space
when:  1.00 – 2.00pm

NOTE: This event is ONLY open to COP23-accredited participants. If you don’t have COP23 accreditation already, you cannot get accredited at the entrance and you will be turned away. For those who are not eligible to attend, we invite you to watch the livestream of the event on our Twitter account via Periscope at http://twitter.com/sdgaction 

Join the UN SDG Action Campaign and Scenic VR for an interactive panel on the virtual reality film “Guardians of the Forest”, as well as the role of virtual reality in supporting indigeneous priorities in crafting a new climate reality.

Speakers:

  • Kristin Gutekunst – Executive Producer, UN Virtual Reality and New Media, UN SDG Action Campaign
  • Brittany Neff & Benjamin Ross – Co-directors, Guardians of the Forest – CoReality
  • Carol Gonzalez Aguilar – Coordinator of Women and Family – Organización de los Pueblos Indígenas de la Amazonía Colombiana (OPAIC)

Wednesday 8th November:
Innovative leadership: Engaging everyone in driving local action for SDGs & Climate Change
where: Talanoa Space at the Bonn Zone
time: 11.30am to 12.30pm 

How can local and sub-national efforts to adapt and build resilience to climate change thrive? What examples can we see of new leaders taking innovative actions to engage everyone: governments, citizens, innovators, businesses, and organisations, in setting priorities and developing solutions to the SDGs & climate change? How can these local solutions be scaled to make more tangible change?

The purpose of this session is to share inspiring examples and insights of how multiple stakeholders across subnational governments, private sector, and civil society organisations are taking innovative approaches, exploring collaboration and engaging millions of people to make tangible change at the local and global level.

@SDGAction #ACT4SDGs

Wednesday 15 November:
High-Level Event “Innovation for SDGs and Climate Action”
where: Climate Planet, between the Bonn and Bula Zones.  Find it here
time: 1.30 to 2.30pm

Through an innovative and interactive format, this event will showcase selected transformative solutions tackling the biggest challenges for humanity and the planet. These innovative solutions will be presented by governments, private sector and civil society in a dynamic pitch session followed by targeted networking, Participants will wander freely to explore the solutions being presented, thereby enabling the speakers and participants to share insights, ideas and lessons learnt.

Moderator: Laura Hildebrandt, Policy Specialist, UN SDG Action Campaign

Welcome Remarks

  • Mr. Magdy Martínez-Solimán, Assistant Secretary General and Director Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UN Development Programme

Opening Remarks

  • Dr. Ingolf Dietrich, Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
  • Dr. Ifeolu Falegan, Senior Advisor, Office of the Senior Special Assistant on SDGs to the President of Nigeria

Screening of innovation video, UN SDG Action Campaign

Multistakeholder pitch session

  • Luca Bucken, Liter of Light
  • Isabel Naguib, Foodsharing Bonn
  • David Katz, The Plastic Bank
  • Carlos Eduardo Sturm, Brazilian Forest Service plus various other speakers
  • Sarah Teeter, TerraCycle
  • Nick Davis, GridMarket
  • Jane Madgwick, Wetlands International
  • Valeria Valotto, Progetto Quid

*No accreditation needed

EXHIBITIONS

6 – 17 November

SDG Virtual Reality Space
where: Bonn Zone, at UNFCCC/Momentum for Change stand

Curated by the UN SDG Action Campaign, this exhibition includes a multitude of immersive experiences and a participatory activation through the MY World 2030 survey. The United Nations VR series supports the UN system in communicating and advocating for the advancement of the SDGs and Climate Action. Bringing people’s voices to COP23, participants can have a peek into how the SDGs and Climate Change manifest in peoples daily lives and across the globe and discover and share citizen perceptions on progress through MY World 2030.

 

SDG Interactive Space at the Climate Planet
where: Climate Planet between the Bonn and Bula Zones 

The Climate Planet is a 20m globe, brought to Bonn by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Inside the large globe is a 4m globe, onto which a specifically produced movie about climate change will be projected – including live views of the earth taken by NASA. Around the Planet, we will showcase the SDGs in innovative and interactive ways, human stories behind the SDGs, citizen perception data and the MyWorld 2030 survey. See teaser and more information 

*No accreditation needed

Humans of MY World Exhibition
where: Bonn Zone, in the hallway on the way to meeting rooms 1-4

Millions of individuals have raised their voices on what matter most to them and how we are making progress on the SDGs through MY World, the United Nations survey for a better world. Each of them has a story to tell. This exhibition features content from the photo-narrative series Humans of MY World, shedding light on the human stories behind the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through this exhibition, you will have the chance to “meet” 17 individuals from around the world and learn why the SDGs are important to them. Take a look at the photo series 

Sharing People’s commitment to SDGs and Climate Action at the #SDGStudio

The #SDGStudio is a mobile interactive space open to innovators, influencers, governments, businesses, activists and organisations to generate dialogue and share change-making actions and commitments from across the world to serve as an inspiration for everyone to engage in taking action for the Sustainable Development Goals.

During COP23 we will be at the Bonn Zone and the Bula Zone, asking leaders to share their commitments and efforts for Climate Action and the Sustainable Development Goals with the world. Come and speak up!

Will you not be there? You can be part of the #SDGStudio from wherever you are. Speak up, tag @SDGAction and #SDGStudio and be part of the conversation.

All stories are shared on the SDG Studio Youtube Channel and distributed through the SDG Action platforms – website and social media channels – as well as through our media partners and UN communications channels.

We will share live all sessions and behind the scenes unique content  through our social media platforms. Follow @SDGAction in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to make sure you don’t miss anything.

For a map of the different locations click here.

SDGs and Climate Action interlinked at COP23

4th Annual Data Playground: an interactive event showcasing data and innovations for the SDGs.

The UN SDG Action Campaign, UN Global Pulse, and Microsoft organised the fourth annual Data Playground, an interactive event showcasing data and technological innovations for the SDGs.

Data Playground and Breakout sessions 
120+ innovators from both the public and private sector gathered at the event. After a word of welcome by Robert Kirkpatrick, Director of Global Pulse, and Mitchell Toomey, Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign, the attendees participated in a total of six breakout sessions, including “AI for Earth” – by Microsoft and “MY World 2030”.

Moreover, throughout the reception visitors could try out the latest and greatest in immersive storytelling with the UNVR 360 exhibition, and the Institute for the Future special demo Simtainer. They also had the opportunity to explore and share citizen perceptions on the SDGs with real time SDG data visualisations, and the MY World 2030 survey.

 

We would like to thank everyone, especially our inspiring speakers and colleagues for a vibrant DATA PLAYGROUND 2017 and are looking forward to welcoming you next year!

Interested in data for good? Check out http://data.myworld2030.org/

 

 

 

Innovation and People’s Actions at the heart of the 72nd UN General Assembly

High-Level events, interactive discussions, data showcases, the latest immersive experiences, UNVR screenings and specially thousands of people and over 500 organisations around the world mobilising action to #ACT4SDGs… we are looking back on a successful UN General Assembly and first Global mobilisation to celebrate the SDGs Anniversary.

At the 72 UN General Assembly the UN SDG Action Campaign provided forums to experience cutting-edge technologies and to explore new ways to scale those innovations, to transfer skills and provide the necessary tools for individuals to be able to own and take action for the SDGs from across the globe, and to celebrate the actions and innovations that are already happening. Here are some of the highlights:

SDG Interactive Exhibition 

 

Hundreds of visitors came by the SDG Interactive Exhibition, curated by the UN SDG Action Campaign, to take part in a multitude of immersive experiences and participatory activations that support the UN system in communicating and advocating for the advancement of the SDGs. The experiences provided a voice to people around the world and a peek into how the SDGs manifest in their daily lives, giving delegates at the 72nd General Assembly the chance to understand their realities at this important annual political forum.

Visitors experienced how today’s available and low cost technology can address tomorrows  constraints on industry and life through today’s available, through the SIMTAINER. Light, a first-of-its-kind live-synced VR experience created by Mae allowed visitors to reveal the underlying fabric of our shared humanity and invite a posture of humility in the face of the radical collaboration required by all of us to accomplish the SDGs.

Moving from empathy to action, visitors could also discover and share citizen perceptions on the SDGs with real time SDG data visualizations, sharing their views on SDG progress through the MY World 2030 survey, and the social media commitment capsules at the #Act4SDGs corner.


High-Level Event on Innovation and Technology: SDG Innovation

On Monday 18 September, the Executive Office of the Secretary-General (UN Global Pulse) and the SDG Action Campaign convened governments, CEOs of major technology leading companies and innovators at the High-Level Event on SDG Innovation during the 72nd United Nations General Assembly.

This unique event exposed governments to breakthrough ideas and innovations available, and leading tech innovators to the concrete problematics and challenges of countries in advancing the Agenda 2030. H.E. Miroslav Lajčák, President of the 72nd General Assembly opened the event. Among the group of participants were: H.E. Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia and H.E. Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Environment and Climate Change of United Arab Emirates, Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder of LinkedIn, Marc Benioff, Founder and CEO of Salesforce, Ashish Thakkar, Founder of Mara Group and Chair of the UN Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council.

To achieve the SDGs, governments, NGOs and the private sector must all work together to unleash a massive wave of entrepreneurship that generates the breakthrough companies at a record pace. That is how we will create greener power, distribute more food and create hundreds thousands of new jobs for the growing middleclass”
Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn 

This unique event exposed governments to breakthrough ideas and innovations available, and leading tech innovators to the concrete problematics and challenges of countries in advancing the Agenda 2030. Read the whole post and watch the videos

SDG Action Campaign at the SDG Media Zone

The SDG Media Zone aims to engage people all over the world in the important conversations happening during this high-level week of the UN General Assembly and to strengthen the commitment of the international community in support of the 2030 Agenda.

The Campaign programmed and participated in 2 sessions:

Data tells the story on the SDGs

Mitchell Toomey, Director SDG Action Campaign with Robert​ ​Kirkpatrick,​ ​Director, UN​ ​Global​ ​Pulse Moderated by​ ​Emily​ ​Courey​ ​Pryor, Executive​ ​Director​ ​Data2X 

The Future We Want in Virtual Reality

Moderated by Kristin Gutekunst,Executive Producer, UN SDG Action Campaign, featuring Monique Marian, BU Architect, Grimshaw Architects
and Marina Gorbis, Executive Director, Institute for the Future.

The UN SDG Action Campaign also participated in the Media for Social Impact Summit, our Global Director, Mitchell Toomey gave a keynote address regarding Action for the SDGs, and Kristin Gutekunst, Executive Producer of the UNVR project, moderated the exciting panel: Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Virtually Reporting the Realities of the SDGs. Find out more

Data Playground: Celebrating data, innovation and technology for the SDGs

The UN SDG Action Campaign, UN Global Pulse, and Microsoft organised the fourth annual Data Playground, an interactive event showcasing data and technological innovations for the SDGs.  Innovators across the UN and private and public sector joined for an evening to discuss and explore opportunities for accelerating sustainable development solutions. Read full post

The Global People’s Summit

The UN SDG Action Campaign participated in the first ever Global People’s Summit for Sustainable Development to facilitate a series of activations and calls to action. 84 MILLION people were reached in 160 COUNTRIES

 

Launch of the ASEAN MY World 2030 survey

The ASEAN MY World survey was officially launched by the UNDP Administrator and all Foreign Ministers from the ASEAN region.

“Multi-stakeholder participation and inclusion are recognized as key drivers of success; however there is still a need to increase public awareness and ownership. The ASEAN MY World survey will increase public awareness and capture priorities and perceptions of progress on the agendas.”
Achim Steiner, Administrator of the UNDP 

The ASEAN MY World survey will increase public awareness and capture priorities and perceptions of progress on the agendas, interpret peoples’ aspirations towards the ASEAN Community Vision and the SDGs at the national and regional level, and subsequently help shape policy recommendations and plans of action for ASEAN Member States to achieve the agenda/vision in a timely manner.

Read the complete speech  or go to the ASEAN My World 2030 Survey: asean.myworld2030.org

Global Day of Action for SDGs  – We the People #Act4SDGs

On 25 September, 2017 – the second anniversary of the ratification of the SDGs. The UN SDG Action Campaign, together with the World We Want 2030, local chapters of the Global Campaign Against Poverty (GCAP), and Action for Sustainable Development, joined forces to invite people around the world to take action and send a strong signal to leaders about the importance of the SDGs.

The result? Thousands of volunteers and citizens around the world, celebrities, journalists and thought leaders joined to inspire people to collectively achieve the SDGs: 

500 organisations
1000 actions
116 countries and 380 cities
11,000 tweets
84 million people reached globally  

Explore the actions and join us: www.Act4SDGs.org

 

Support UNICEF Innovations new call for support for VR/AR

REPOST: Our friends at the UNICEF Innovation Fund have released a call for proposals. Deadline is 17 September. Brief summary below, and full posting here: http://unicefstories.org/vr/.

The Innovation Fund allows UNICEF to quickly assess, fund and grow open-source solutions that can improve children’s lives. Financial and technological support is available for companies that can show a strong founding team and a clear path to improving the lives of children.

The UNICEF Innovation Fund is looking for start-ups that are developing and piloting new open source VR/AR solutions. We are looking to make investments in 1) software for authoring or consuming these new realities, 2) platforms and ways providing wider access to that software, 3) platforms and ways providing better tools for content creation (such as a template, workflow, or format), and 4) particular applications of content.

For our next VR/AR cohort of investees we are particularly interested in the following applications of content:

  • Learning
    Teaching people to perform simple tasks, in many languages, with higher retention rates and better motivational levels (examples: how to install a water pump; how to recognize malnutrition in under 5-year-olds; how to teach seamstresses to perform simple procedures). VR/AR also presents new ways of increasing access to experiential learning, including for people with disabilities.
  • Understanding complex environments
    Accessing large amounts of data and deciphering them in a better way. Getting a simple picture from a complex collection of data points (examples: converting history of GIS data points from refugee camps into a VR environment for better planning; improving situational awareness for emergency responders).
  • New ways of storytelling
    Undiscovered ways of using VR/AR to tell a story, especially by bridging cross-cultural gaps and creating a dialogue.

Be daring: Applications to the Fund are accepted on a rolling basis. However, to be considered for the VR/AR-focused cohort, we ask you to submit your application by September 17, 11:59pm EDT.

Are you up to the challenge? Call for proposals: UNVR App

SUMMARY

We believe that virtual reality has the ability to unlock real potential for change. We have already witnessed the positive effects that early UNVR content has had on small groups via targeted screenings, and are now seeking to move our project to scale. That’s why we’re calling for the support of the international creative & tech community!

The UNVR project is seeking the services of an experienced team for the creation of an application that will host 360 video, and eventually room scale virtual reality content from across the UN system. This app will also be an environment to suggest ways to make impact, such as educational curricula, fundraising links, advocacy initiatives, etc.

To apply, please send a proposal to support@sdgactioncampaign.org by 31 August 2017. Extra consideration will be paid to those applications with reduced or pro bono suggestions. Please see the full terms of reference for more details below!

 

BACKGROUND

About Sustainable Development Goals https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs

In September 2015, countries ratified the new Global Sustainable Development Agenda, with the target of creating a better world for people and planet and leaving no one behind. Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent an unprecedented leap forward in the fight against poverty and inequalities, as well as in the struggle for environmental sustainability. The SDGs embody a universal, inclusive and transformative vision of development, which calls upon all Member States to ensure a life of dignity for all, leaving no-one behind. The realization of this agenda will require the existence of sufficient political will and the generation of an enabling environment for citizens to actively engage in the implementation, monitoring and review efforts.

This presents the opportunity for renewed energy for global action to build a more equal and peaceful world. In effort to build global awareness and people’s’ participation in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals between now and 2030, the United Nations SDG Action Campaign is working with innovative partners to capture the attention and imagination of people who might not otherwise be aware of major development issues in their countries or locally.

About the UN SDG Action Campaign http://un.org/sdgaction

The UN SDG Action Campaign is a special initiative of UN Secretary-General, administered by the UN Development Programme and mandated to support the UN system-wide and the Member States on advocacy and public engagement in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. With a proven track record since 2002, it empowers and inspires people across the world to take action in supporting their governments, building multi-stakeholder partnerships and leveraging cutting-edge communication technologies to bridge the gap and ensure a transparent dialogue between world leaders and their constituencies, especially the most marginalized and vulnerable populations. Through virtual reality (UNVR), new and traditional media, and other immersive experiences, the UN SDG Action Campaign leverages new technology and creative storytelling to empower individuals to share personal anecdotes of the SDGs. These initiatives create a bridge of understanding, empathy and collective accountability for building a better world and achieving the SDGs by 2030.

About UNVR http://unvr.org

Since 2015, the United Nations SDG Action Campaign has coordinated the United Nations Virtual Reality Project, using the power of immersive storytelling to inspire viewers towards increased empathy, action and positive social change. The project unites the UN system’s immersive content under one brand and distribution system, allowing the system to mutually leverage each other’s expertise and to collaborate.  The films provide a deeper understanding for those living in the most complex development challenges, catalyzing urgency for those most in danger of being left behind if the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are not met. It highlights those already creating solutions to inspire a sense of shared responsibility and collective action, however small. It will seek to capture the common human experiences that individuals face and showcase UN solutions and results that are both uplifting and enduring. It will illustrate partnerships with government especially at the local level, and show how the UN helps meet national priorities through sustainable development. By sharing these VR experiences the SDG Action Campaign is hoping to inspire change that improves peoples’ lives and creates the world we all want.

Building upon its mandate to amplify the voices of those who are often unheard, particularly the world’s most vulnerable, the project will also work to build partnerships that empower storytellers with sharing their talents by connecting people from the diplomatic, tech and creative world to innovate upon how VR stories are created, shared, and used for impact. Through such partnerships, UNVR aims to ensure a diversity of voices are heard and empowered with the right technology and mentoring. It will also allow people with the power to make a difference have a deeper understanding of their world, and hopefully to act to make a difference.

The Campaign created its first 360’ film in January, 2015. The project targeted decision makers primarily in the first phase of the Virtual Reality Project to spread awareness and create empathy; coordinating a series of exhibitions, workshops, panel discussions, and media moments to further elevate the critical issues it addressed. The films were screened at the most important diplomatic forums to use in high level advocacy and policy impact, shown to decision makers as encouragement for them step into the shoes of their constituencies & take bold actions, creating media attention and momentum.

The films have helped position the UN brand positively, showcasing the organization’s ability to lead in both innovative technologies and storytelling. It has spearheaded a shift in storytelling, amplifying the voices of the most vulnerable people who are in danger of being left behind, while allowing these individuals to tell their own story with dignity. Finally it has allowed the UN system to unite under one platform to share resources and address cross-cutting issues.

Initial findings from testing VR for fundraising have shown the ability to inspire large increases in face-to-face fundraising across a variety of different variables, including: increased propensity to stop and engage; increased inclination to donate after engagement; increased average donation value. Apart from this, it was also found that the VR experience enables access to better locations and venues so that more individuals can witness the content.

The Campaign has ambitious plans to package each of the films in different ways so that they may be used by a variety of stakeholders to continue to raise awareness and for the complex global issues highlighted, especially for young people around the world. In addition to showcasing the VR experience at high-level UN meetings, the SDG Action Campaign is working with partners to create advocacy platforms, awareness and fundraising campaigns. Films will be distributed widely to raise the profile of individual issues with the purpose of helping raise resources and to promote awareness, as we have seen with previous VR documentaries from the UN SDG Action Campaign.  

By partnering with leaders in the field of new technologies for education and communication, the Campaign wishes to develop kits and curricula so that the films may be used in classrooms across the world to promote understanding, empathy and critical thinking for young people – connecting them across the globe. Initial testing has shown that VR is an effective tool to build context, awareness and interest for understanding and discussing real world situations. Through an open sourced app and accompanying curriculum, teachers can use it as a guided learning tool, inspiring brainstorming on ways to create real change.

 

UNVR APP

The UNVR app will allow the UNVR project to move to scale, creating an tool for advocacy, fundraising, and education. The UNVR app will serve as a home for some of this select content and encourage people to take actions related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UN produced films have traditionally lived on third party VR apps. The UNVR app will centralize the content being made into one platform, solving the critical need for a distribution method for the UN System. The app will include action-oriented messaging and links to complimentary campaigns so viewers can directly have an outlet for responding to the content.

In the future we foresee the project working as a distribution platform, and also a catalyzing agent to host educational information and curriculum, and to provide ways to take action on the issues contained within. It will serve as another critical open source tool for citizens around the world to easily contribute and campaign for the SDGs.

Criteria for first phase release

  • Display 360 VR video
  • Integrate audio formats for current content and Integrate dynamic audio formats such as .Mp3 and .tbe
  • Intro screen with multiple tour option, where user can select content/Scene by sliding the screen.
  • White labeled custom branding
  • Content to be categorised using a given taxonomy by UN Agency, region, SDG, topic and custom tags.
  • Keyword search for contents using the taxonomy and tags above.
  • In-app push notification functions.
  • ‘Sticky’ functionality for preferred placement in list for certain contents.
  • Click on title, thumbnail or short description brings audience to title page with more info with credits.
  • Hotspot option to display more info on the scene.
  • Click, GYRO and accelometer sensors based on app capabilities. When user gazes/clicks a link icon it should directly navigate to the content.
  • Users can navigate initially from device without HMD or while in HMD.
  • Universal access through WebVR or similar service.
  • Available on App stores for Google and Apple.
  • Action buttons after each video.
  • App will be dynamic for input from the UN which can be updated with new content from the UN side using specific style guides.
  • VR Analytics: Integrate with a 3rd party app provided by the UN that has normal analytics plus 360′ heat maps; advanced tech for emotional tracking to use head movements to decipher head movements and behavioral insights of users.
  • Supports branching narratives in 360 video.
  • Supports room-scale experiences.
  • Linked to SteamVR, Oculus and other non app or HMD specific storefronts.
  • Live streaming capabilities.
  • Multilingual capability for content and the app.

Criteria for next phase development (wishlist)

  • Supports branching narratives in 360 video
  • Supports room-scale experiences
  • Linked to SteamVR, Oculus and other non app or HMD specific storefronts

Format, branding

Appealing apps to model off of:

  • NY Times App
    • Positive: playlist capabilities, clean layout,
    • Negative: lacks an overarching search matrix of playlists, not easy to find new content in this layout
  • Within
    • Positive: new release notification on thumbnail. Download/stream buttons easy. Not easy to find content in this layout.
    • Negative: no further contextualized information listed
  • UNICEF 360
    • Positive: Donate button. Introductory video about the project, links to About Us Canada to drive towards further info.
    • Negative: lack of overarching info about the project and how it integrates into unicef – fragments UN messaging.

 

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS

  1. At least 3 years of demonstrated experience (sample work available on app stores) in developing apps for hosting content (preferably VR).
  2. Ability to design interactive user experiences that span across multiple app stores.
  3. Previous experience in working with the UN is highly desirable but not required.

 

DELIVERABLES:

  1. A VR app that will be supported for 1 year for maintenance after sign off on delivery by the UN.
  2. The application to be available on Apple, Android, VIVE, Oculus, Daydream and webVR.
  3. All source code and completed documentation handed over to the UN at the sign off off the project.
  4. All 3rd party servers and SAAS apps used  to be purchased (should be included in the financial proposal) for 1 year and credentials handed over to the UN at sign off.
  5. A detailed cost projection for 2nd year based on 3rd party servers and subscriptions used.
  6. Knowledge transfer of how to add new content and make minor UI updates such as adding new logos.

 

TO APPLY

Please send a detailed proposal to support@sdgactioncampaign.org with the subject: UNVR App Proposal by 31 August 2017. Proposals should address the listed qualifications and include a methodology, timeline, and supporting documentation that will help our consideration in choosing the best content proposal. Extra consideration will be paid to those applications with reduced or pro bono suggestions. During launch, a PR strategy will acknowledge the firm that produces the content, and proper accreditation will be paid as agreed.

How the United Nations is using Virtual Reality

On the 20 April, Kristin Gutekunst, Executive Producer of the UN SDG Action Campaign and project lead on UNVR, and David Cravinho, Global Fundraising Specialist for UNICEF presented at the Virtual Reality Show in London. Joining top brands from creative, technology, hardware agencies, as well as government institutions and NGOS, the show provided an opportunity to present the UNVR system’s achievements, future strategy and establish the UNVR brand as an industry leader in using interactive experiences for social impact.

In this video, Kristin Gutekunst gives an overview on the various ways the United Nations system has been using VR to allow people to step into the shoes of people around the world – creating deep human connections and fighting preconceptions. She discusses the many ways the UN system has been testing these films; potential impact on fundraising, high level advocacy, and educational programs. She also give hints about some of the big plans in store.

David Cravinho provides best practices and lessons learned on the initial findings from UNICEF’s global project to incorporate VR into their fundraising strategy, and showcases some of the innovative ways UNICEF National Committees are using it in the field through face-to-face-fundraising.

The show was an arena for Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality professionals and enthusiasts to explore experiences, witness panels and meet the top brands and innovators working in the fields of social impact, education, automotive, gaming, medicine, amusement parks, space, etc.

For more information about the UNVR program, please visit www.UNVR.org