Bringing the SDGs to the center of global media discussions at the Global Media Forum

Media is playing a major role in challenging the narrative about progress in the developing countries and shining the spotlight to the people who are often left out of the conversation. Is the UN is providing the tools, information and resources available to make sure journalists can succeed in their missions? Are media professionals aware that these tools exist?

For the 10th year, around 2,0000 journalists, media professionals, communications experts, politicians and civil society representatives from 130 countries gathered for the Global Media Forum in Bonn. This year the forum, focused on identity and diversity, hosted key international speakers such as the entrepreneur and Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky and the Secretary-General of Amnesty International, Salil Shetty, to discuss the innovations of the digital world, artificial intelligence and journalism, the threat to values that populism represents, the role of the media, as well as international politics, human rights and innovative journalism concepts.

The UN SDG Action Campaign invited participants to experiment with the existing tools for communicating the SDGs and to participate in the creation of new ones: A hands-on session focused on engaging ways to shift the spotlight to those left further behind and mobilise everyone to take action for the SDGs.

credit: Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum 2017

A hands-on session focused on engaging ways to shift the spotlight to those left further behind and mobilise everyone to take action for the SDGs. The participants discovered the MY World 2030 survey, the stories behind the data, youth-led solutions and the power of a single story from the Building Bridges Foundation.  How do we engage those millions left further behind in the conversation? How do we make people shift from observers to doers?

In our interactive SDG Space the participants had the opportunity to fully immerse in refugee realities, the life of an Ebola survivor or the struggle of a mother after losing a son to a bombing in the Gaza strip. The MY World 2030 Survey generated great interest and expectation and a number of representatives participated in the survey.

Congratulations to all participants and organisers for bringing together great ideas, new approaches and generate active discussions around key issues, we are sure will ignite positive actions in the near future.

See all photos of these 3 days of interaction

Youth Entrepreneurs take center stage with Road to Nairobi 2016 Project at GPEDC

At the end of November, a diverse group of stakeholders met in Nairobi, Kenya, to discuss critical issues at the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation’s second High Level Meeting. Building upon months of grass roots organization in the lead up, Building Bridges Foundation, with partners UN SDG Action Campaign and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ensured the ideas and opinions of young people had a special role at the conference.

For young people, by young people, the project highlighted the entrepreneurial solutions of 80 young entrepreneurs in eight countries. Their stories were shared on the Humans of MY World blog, in blog posts, in exhibitions, and in a final report that was presented to important delegates at the HLM2.

The project, Road to Nairobi 2016 has empowered young entrepreneurs across Eastern and Southern Africa to share their experiences, challenges, and ideas for local solutions to tackling the SDGs. The Building Bridges team departed South Africa in August with the mission of revealing the challenges and priorities of young entrepreneurs in eight countries in Eastern and Southern Africa. The team named a national Building Bridges Ambassador in each country who supported the local coordination on the ground. This included an open call for submissions of ongoing business solutions to addressing the SDGs in both rural and urban settings. The best were chosen to first compete to become the national winner in their country, and then were flown to Nairobi to compete in the global competition. The journey also included national youth forums with policy makers to discuss the results, where MY World 2015 results helped frame the discussions.

The youth entrepreneur’s stories were profiled on the Humans of MY World photo-narrative blog along with an identification of their most important SDG. Banners were printed for an exhibition at the conference, which also included UNVR demonstrations, selfie booths, Humans of MY World voting, previews of the publications created to support the project, the actual bus which was driven across the continent, and the ability to interact with the young people involved in the project.

Two side events were organized around the Building Bridges project. Firstly, the team presented the preliminary findings of an in-depth evaluation report of the project to Ms. Liliane Ploumen, co-Chair of the GPEDC and Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, who stressed the need to include young people in the decision making process:  “Too often we talk about young people without having them in the room.”

Ms. Sicily Kariuki, the Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs of the Republic of Kenya stated “We must invest in youth so that they attain skills and nurture a culture of entrepreneurship.”

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The team also presented a draft of their report of the Humans of MY World – the storytelling project done in collaboration with the SDG Action Campaign. Mr. Seing Falu Njie, Regional Director for Africa, reinforced the UN SDG Action Campaign’s commitment to facilitating and ensuring people around the world have a means to voice their opinion through their diversity of projects, such as MY World 2030 and partnerships.

The second event presented the opportunity for 3 of the young Building Bridges ambassadors and others from the region to compete in the “Get In the Ring Competition,” occurring in Africa for the first time. The event mimics a boxing match, placing two competitors in the ring for lightning elimination pitch rounds until one is crowned champion. Unfortunately, the Building Bridges representatives didn’t get the gold this time, but it was a revealing lesson about capacity building with young entrepreneurs from the region for the next project.

The final report about the project will be released at the Global Festival of Ideas in March, 2017.

 

Humans of MY World: Netherlands

We are happy to introduce you to Jilt & Teun, who just embarked on a trip from Amsterdam to Cape Town – by bicycle! From now till the 12th of August they will be on the road, uploading pictures of the young people they meet along the way and sharing their priorities for the world in 2030. Join their journey across two continents, more than 20 countries and over 17,000 kilometers to connect, share and inspire!
From the vast deserts of the Sahara to the central highlands of Namibia, from rural communities to crowded metropolises, and everywhere in between, Jilt & Teun want to connect with young people on the ground, share stories and inspire one another to make changes for the world we want. With a special focus on MY World & the post-2015 agenda, they will try to answer the question: “how do young people at the grassroots level envision the world in 2030?” #bb2015UN
“He is Israeli, I am Palestinian. He likes cookies, I like cookies. And even though we do not agree on political aspects, we agree on one thing: we, the new generation, need a change. And most importantly, we are true friends! Therefore we decided to start the initiative “Make Hummus Not War”. A simple dinner between Palestinians and Israelis, in which we talk about this and that and try to find human in each other.”
– Netherlands
“My top priority is ‘Freedom from Discrimination and Persecution”’ I believe the Netherlands is very good when it comes to prevention of discrimination and unlawful persecution. It is among the best in the world. Open discrimination is easy to discover, but we should not close our eyes for disguised discrimination based on ethnicity, nationality, religion or political views. Discrimination is not only taking place in Africa or the Middle East, but also in western countries in Europe and North America.”
-Netherlands
“Basically this is what happens in the world: we do micromanagement on specific issues, like this UN-list. How are they not all interconnected? Let’s compare it to a dyke with holes. (Yes, dykes and holes, we’re in the Netherlands). There’s a “political rights hole”, an “ecology hole”, and an “health care hole”. How can we prioritize one issue over another, if prioritizing one hole means that water is still bursting out of the other holes? It might go better with human rights, but on other areas there will be flooding. We have to approach the world as a whole; all those issues are interconnected.”
-Netherlands