UNVR Curates Exhibition for The Ocean Conference

Have you ever had the chance to go scuba diving with whales? How about hanging out with penguins in Antarctica? Have you heard the personal stories of those working on the front lines of ecological activism, such as scientists and indigenous people?

Would being exposed to these experiences help you to become a stronger and more informed advocate about the ocean, or SDG 14, Life Under Water? 

To support the Governments of Fiji and Sweden in their mission to inspire advocacy and action for SDG 14 during the Ocean Conference, 5-9 June, UNVR curated a playlist of some of the best in 360’ video and interactive virtual reality to transport viewers to the coasts and deep waters of the sea, bathing them in the sights and sounds of the ocean.

“We have two and a half years’ experience organizing VR exhibitions that transport policy makers into the development challenges the SDGs are seeking to alleviate, especially at UN forums. This is the first time we have brought together multiple VR experiences that coalesce focus on one SDG, in this case SDG14: Life Under Water. The diversity of issues covered provide visitors with a broader context, a choice of issues they can champion, and actions they can take.” said Kristin Gutekunst, Executive Producer of UNVR for the UN SDG Action Campaign.

Curated and produced by the UN SDG Action Campaign, the exhibition is powered by Samsung and includes content collaboration with the Permanent Mission of France, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and through the generous permission of many VR Creators.

The exhibition will feature the following experiences (detailed information here: http://unvr.sdgactioncampaign.org/ocean-conference), some of which are exclusively available at this event:

  • Chasing Coral: the VR Experience – Directed by Jeff Orlowski. An Exposure Labs Production in partnership with Seaview 360 and The Ocean Agency
  • The Click Effect – Directed by Sandy Smolan and James Nestor. A Within production in partnership Annapurna Pictures.
  • Infinite Scuba VR – Mission Blue and Cascade Game Foundry
  • Out of the Blue  – Directed by Sophie ANSEL, narrated by Sylvia Earle and Judith Castro. A Film produced in partnership with VR for good by Oculus, Pelagic Life and Reelfx.
  • Science on the Great Barrier Reef – Directed by Christophe Bailhache. A Seaview 360 Production.
  • Tubbataha – Directed by Christophe Bailhache. A Seaview 360 Production in collaboration with the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco
  • Valen’s Reef – A Conservation International Film in partnership with Within, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation
  • Walk With Penguins – Directed by Will McMaster. A production by BirdLife International and Visualize

The special exhibition will be on display in the UN General Assembly Visitor’s Lobby 5-9 June, from 10:00 – 16:00. The exhibition will be open to those with a UN grounds pass or a special events pass.

@UnitednationsVR @SDGAction #UNVR #SDGs #SaveOurOcean

A Year of SDG Action: MY World Mexico

Written by Karol Alejandra Arámbula Carrillo
National Operations Coordinator at MY World México

Three years ago when we had the opportunity to implement the United Nations Global Survey For A Better World MY World 2015 in my hometown Jalisco, México we were able to realize people’s interest in being part of the new global development agenda. Back then, I was amazed by people’s willingness to act and help others participate in the definition of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At the end of the day, having collected nearly 400,000 voices in the survey thanks to the mobilization of 500 young volunteers and 255 organizations, Jalisco was able to position itself as one of the most participative entities in the world in the definition of these new Global Goals.

This also led to make Jalisco’s the first in our country to align its State Development Plan to the SDGs taking into account the MY World 2015 results. Jalisco was also part of the adoption of the SDGs and was also awarded the “People’s Voices Challenge Award” for Best Multi-stakeholder Collaboration in September 2015. The results also had a considerable impact in Mexico’s First National Voluntary Review before the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in 2016, as a significant input for SDG actions coming from civil society’s mobilization mechanisms.

However, as soon as the SDGs were adopted in September 2015, the big questions for an already highly motivated team made mostly of young people, were “so what comes next?” and “how do we make sure that the SDGs are a reality by 2030?”. Thankfully for us this was also a question raised by the United Nations SDG Action Campaign which had recently transform itself from the United Nations Millennium Campaign and was exploring the different ways in which MY World could be used as a platform to track awareness and implementation on SDGs and monitor progress according to peoples’ satisfaction until 2030.

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(c) MY World 2030 México – UN SDG Action Campaign. School kids hold the SDGs they feel most passionate about.

This is how a group of organizations and highly motivated people supported by the United Nations SDG Action Campaign and United Nations Volunteers in Mexico, decided to establish a national network called MY World Mexico in April 2016. This network, would not only implement the MY World 2030 survey throughout Mexico, replicating Jalisco’s successful strategy, but would also lead actions at the local, national and international levels for the implementation, monitoring, financing, follow-up and socialization of the SDGs in Mexico.

In its first year, MY World Mexico was able to collect close to 30,000 MY World 2030 votes in at least 25 states around Mexico thanks to the efforts of 75 volunteers and 20 Civil Society Organizations. By July 2016, during the first HLPF that would review countries the team was able to provide the United Nations SDG Action Campaign and Mexico’s Office of the Presidency, the first results of the survey. At the same time at the United Nations Headquarters MY World 2030 was officially launched and members of our team were able to present some of the outcomes of this first implementation phase.

Simultaneously at the grassroots level, our volunteers were activating hundreds of other activities that were able to get others engage in the SDGs. The first challenge that the MY World 2030 results showed was that people did not know about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Around 83% of the people who were surveyed, said they never heard about the SDGs before. The second challenge was that the results of MY World 2030 were quite different from what the MY World 2015 had shown in the past. For example, Water and Sanitation (SDG 6) were among the top priorities, as well as Health and Well-being (SDG 3), which led to identify that people indeed perceive implementation of the SDGs as quite a challenging effort.

Ever since, the network has grown significantly. As of today, MY World México is composed by nearly 60 organizations from academia, civil society, the public and private sectors, as well as 130 volunteers in almost all states in Mexico. The actions and strategies MY World Mexico focuses on are:

  1. Promote and socialize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with the support of key stakeholders at the local, national and international levels.
  2. Strengthen and expand the participation and commitment of people in the implementation, monitoring, financing, follow-up and socialization of the SDGs in Mexico.
  3. Lead actions in favor of the SDGs through volunteerism and multi-stakeholder mobilization at the local, national and international levels to achieve all goals and targets proposed in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  4. Empower citizens to they promote actions and activities to tell everyone about the SDGs.
  5. Lead national communication campaigns with key stakeholders of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  6. Promote the creation of local and inclusive networks for individuals and institutions in favor of the implementation, monitoring, financing, follow-up and socialization of the SDGs.
  7. Co-create and promote accountability mechanisms at the local and national levels by people through ground mobilization and the search of multiple sources, as well as publicly acknowledge efforts and best practices.
  8. Use technology, innovation and creativity to maximize the impact of people’s participation, as well as knowing SDGs progress in the country for information sharing and appropriate use of data.
  9. Lead advocacy actions at the international, national and local levels.
  10. Promote the annual participation of people in the MY World 2030 Survey.

The network has also participated in key advocacy processes in the United Nations, such as:

  • 2016 United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.
  • 2016 71º United Nations General Assembly.
  • 2017 United Nations Economic and Social Council Youth Forum.
  • 2017 United Nations 55º Commission for Social Development.
  • 2017 1º Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development.
  • 2017 Youth Forum of the United Nations 61º Commission on the Status of Women.
  • 2017 United Nations 50º Commission on Population and Development.
  • 2017 United Nations First Regional Meeting on Sustainable Development of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)

The network is leading actions across the country on a daily basis to achieve the SDGs. We have also taken into account other projects such as Humans of MY World; Virtual Reality; Hackatons; hundreds of conferences and other mechanisms that allow us to tell everyone about the SDGs and incentive action.

The network has been one of the first partners to sign a National Voluntary Commitment before the President of the United Nations General Assembly for the 2017 Ocean Conference leading 25 coastal cleaning activities; 50,000 MY World 2030 surveys and 87 educational activities to achieve SDG 14 on Life Below Water.

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(c) MY World 2030 México – UN SDG Action Campaign. Coastal cleaning activity volunteer holds SDG14
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c) MY World 2030 México – UN SDG Action Campaign. School kids participate in educational activities around SDG14

We have partnered with initiatives such as TeachSDGs, The Global Goals and The World’s Largest Lesson to use existing creative platforms to engage many others in the process. The network grows by numbers every week and is trying to ensure State and Municipal Committees on SDGs are implemented and that the recently established National Council on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development mandated by the Office of the Presidency includes the participation of all social actors involve in the SDGs. The MY World Mexico’s team took part in the installation of this Council, which is hoped to shape federal policies in the SDGs for the years to come.

A year of great achievements for our time has not only motivated others to participate in the SDGs but has built a solid, diverse and talented team across the country. As one of the first pilot countries of the second phase of MY World 2030 we have been able to secure a place for the SDGs in many people’s hearts and minds, as well as in key efforts in organizations from across sectors. We are certain that MY World Mexico will continue to grow and expand itself to make the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development a reality in our country.

Being able to lead this amazing project has taught me great life lessons, among them realizing how interested young people are in shaping their future. Interest has led to amazing daily actions, which is why I see MY World Mexico as more than a team but a community that has been able to build a strong spirit of commitment to make our country better. We are in contact every day, through every possible mean, making sure we connect our ideas and our work wherever we go. Part of the success of our strategy depends on respect to diversity and willingness to work despite challenges.

We are forever grateful with each and everyone of the individuals, organizations, authorities and United Nations entities that have participated in this one-year journey as MY World Mexico. We could not have done this without out you. We hope to continue to work together for another year of great efforts!

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c) MY World 2030 México – UN SDG Action Campaign. MY World volunteers

To know more about MY World 2030 : myworld2030.org

The SDG Action Campaign recently issued a Global Call for Partners to take part in supporting the MYWorld 2030 survey on Wed 31 May 2017 at 10am EST: Join the MY World 2030 Partner Team

 

 

Does your neighbour know about the Sustainable Development Goals?

By Felix Zimmermann, Coordinator at OECD Development Communication Network. Originally published at OECD

Words OECD governments use
to describe the SDGs online.
Source: OECD DevCom 2017

I don’t really know my neighbour. What I do know is that she can get pretty grumpy when my kids are too noisy. I also know that she uses the recycle bins. But what does she think about sustainable development? I wouldn’t have a clue. That needs to change.

An urgent task: mobilising citizens into action for the SDGs

To have any hope of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, we need all citizens to change their behaviours, no matter where in the world they live. SDG priorities may differ from country to country, but we need citizens in all countries to call upon governments, companies – and neighbours – to act.

The good news is that the SDGs give us a powerful story to tell – just check out the inspirational word cloud we created using only language from the SDG web pages of OECD governments.

The even better news is that people are beginning to engage. One year into the “SDG era”, about 3 in 10 citizens say they’ve heard about the SDGs, according to both Globescan and Eurobarometer. Almost 10 million world citizens have shown they care about sustainable development by participating in the UN MyWorld survey. These numbers will rise further thanks to the work of initiatives like the UN SDG Action Campaign, Project Everyone and the World’s Best News.

Will new SDG narratives and campaigns convince my neighbour to shop differently or support global efforts to end hunger? They should!

But these are tough times for SDG communicators in public institutions. Their audiences include many people who have lost trust in public institutions and become resentful about international co-operation. In a changing media landscape, they have to compete for attention with “fake news” and “clickbait”. And, with social-media algorithms deciding what people read and dividing readers into different bubbles, communicators may just be preaching to their own audiences.

Good listeners make great SDG communicators

To overcome these challenges, the first thing government institutions need to do is improve their listening skills.

Take the opinion polls that some institutions commission on a regular basis. These surveys should tell communicators what citizens really think, particularly when coupled with other kinds of public attitudes research, such as focus groups.

The problem is that polls are designed not only to provide accurate information on public attitudes. They are also designed as advocacy tools, for example to strengthen the case for specific policies.1  With budgets being squeezed, public institutions have strong incentives to make public support for their work look higher than it really is.

Yet, polls are not the only way to understand public attitudes today. Businesses mine online data to find and target new customers. Political parties have done the same in their quest for votes. The development community has begun to embrace the data revolution, but the digital transformation has not yet reached all of its communications departments.

Facebook and Twitter have become daily business for institutions that deliver development assistance, according to a recent survey conducted by the OECD Development Communication Network (DevCom).2  However, when DevCom members were asked why they use social media, interacting with citizens and seeking feedback on policies ranked amongst their lowest priorities (see figure below). Amongst 13 respondents, only six had specific budgets for social media, and only two were confident in their abilities to make use of web analytics.

The bottom line is that if they want to mobilise citizens for the SDGs, then communicators need better listening architectures. They need to invest in opinion polls and public attitudes research that provide reliable information. They need to consider how social media and web analytics can and should inform their public engagement strategies.

Applying the right SDG narratives for different audiences

It is only by listening more carefully – setting up stronger listening architectures – that SDG communicators will know what SDG messages work best for different audiences.

For example, many people will want to be reassured that their taxes are being spent wisely and achieving SDG results. Some will want to be moved by stories that evoke shared values – they may want practical suggestions on how to become global citizens.3  Others will want to take pride in their country’s performance or global leadership on the SDGs. Others still will need reminding that the SDGs are in everyone’s interest, including their own.

Listening better will also help choose the right SDG messengers. Consider who represents the development community in the media today: political leaders, policy experts and celebrity ambassadors. But where some audiences see trusted figureheads, others only see big words, big numbers and big egos.

Most audiences today also want to hear from “real” people: People who share their interests, such as business leaders, fellow hikers or young bloggers; people actually delivering on the SDGs, such as doctors, teachers or engineers; people in their entourages; peers; parents.

Open government: building trust and seeking genuine dialogue with citizens

Of course, clever and targeted messaging alone won’t convince everyone to join the global SDG effort. To have any chance of reaching the sceptics, government institutions will need a deeper change, linking words to actions. They will need to become more open, building trust, pursuing an honest dialogue and finding new ways to collaborate with citizens, both offline and online.

Leading the way, Indonesia, Georgia, Peru, Tanzania and dozens more countries have joined the Open Government Partnership. Governments in Mexico, Germany, Finland and the Netherlands have launched ambitious platforms for citizens to share ideas and make personal commitments to sustainable development. Austria’s Mitmachen portal invites individuals, schools and small businesses to sign up and shows them how they can participate in both local and global efforts. Last year, Canada and the European Commission conducted major public consultations to help design new development policies.

And there are more reasons for optimism: in the first set of SDG progress reports to the UN High Level Political Forum, most governments provide examples of how they are listening to and engaging with citizens, NGOs, businesses and local communities.

These experiences need to be shared. That’s why, together with its members and UN partners, DevCom is setting up a Peer Learning Hub for SDG Communicators. Please contact us with your guidance, ideas and examples.

And: go and talk to your neighbour about the SDGs. As an SDG communicator, I should have done so a long time ago. She may have some great ideas on how we can engage the whole neighbourhood!



1. For a discussion on development polls, see Good Practices in Development Communication, OECD Development Centre, 2014.

2. OECD DevCom is a platform where communications managers from development institutions explore ways to engage with citizens for sustainable development.

3. A survey of young people by the Varkey Foundation shows that young people want to make a wider contribution to society, but need more knowledge and skills to make a difference.

 

How can new technologies ensure we leave no one behind

Professionals developing world class innovation discuss the real potential of virtual reality and new media and the challenges that lay ahead:  How do we make sure it brings a positive impact to global issues.? How can we bring it to everyone and really use it to help the people who need it the most?

 

 

Friedrich Kurz, General Manager Social Innovation, Deutsche Telekom, Marisol Grandon, CEO of Untold Stories, Kristin Gutekunst, Executive Producer of UNVR, UN SDG Action Campaign, Wilfried Runde, Head of Innovation Projects at Deutsche Welle join the discussion at the SDG Live Stage of the Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development.

To convey the stories of the most vulnerable people in the world and bring them home to the decision makers and global citizens around the world, pushing the bounds of empathy, the UN SDG Action Campaign has coordinated the United Nations Virtual Reality Series since 2015.

This discussion happened during the first Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development. Watch more: http://globalfestivalofideas.org/

 

WANTED: 1000 Hackers to Help Change the World in 3 Days

Apply until 3 March 2017 to become a Sustainable Development Goal Entrepreneur!

Website:   www.connect2effect.com        Facebook, Twitter & Instagram:  @InfluxTrust.

From 10 to 12 March 2017, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Action Campaign, the Office of the President of the United Nations General Assembly and Influx Trust are teaming up to turn 1000 people in 9 cities around the world into SDG Entrepreneurs during the inaugural #Connect2Effect event, a 3-day global hackathon around the SDGs. Winners of the hackathon will be invited to present their work at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, NY USA.

In September 2015, 193 countries agreed to work together on a 15-year global plan to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all by 2030. This plan includes 17 Goals that serve as an urgent guiding masterplan to tackle the world’s greatest challenges and ensure that no one is left behind. Innovative individuals are urgently needed to join together with countries and partners to turn the bold and ambitious global plan into action. See the 17 SDGs here.

To rapidly generate an unprecedented level of innovation and collaboration around the SDGs, the 3-day #Connect2effect Global Hackathon will bring together these innovators with different skillsets ranging from marketing to programming to designing.

The event will produce a series of basic workable prototypes that can be further expanded after the event. The best ideas will be developed and supported through local incubation programmes, mentoring on crowdfunding platform. Winners will receive an invitation to pitch their ideas at the UN Headquarters in New York at the Science, Technology & Innovation Forum taking place at the UN Headquarters in NYC 15th – 17th of May.

Mitchell Toomey, Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign stresses the value of #Connect2Effect for the UN: “At the UN SDG Action Campaign, we consistently strive to find ways to reach new audiences to inform and inspire them about the SDGs. We also empower individuals to work together and serve as agents of change, honouring the best solutions in a variety of methods. We are eager to empower the best creative thinkers and problems solvers to help the UN and governments achieve their goals”.

H.E. Peter Thomson, President of the United Nations General Assembly, fully supports the #Connect2Effect initiative: “Each and every one of us has a critical role to play – as individuals role-modeling sustainable living, as innovators and creative thinkers conceiving new ideas, and as activists working with others to implement solutions to shape our world towards a sustainable future. I look forward to being inspired by the outcomes of the hackathon and to warmly welcome the winners to the United Nations“

The initiative is the first of an annual series which over time will create a sustained network of individuals who can mentor each other and work together to come up with the best ideas for achieving the SDGs, as Max Kallis, CEO of Influx Trust points out: “We are eager to support the UN by leveraging our network and expertise to come up with solutions to some of the world’s greatest problems.”

This year’s hackathon will bring together people in Manama, Bahrain, Lagos, Nigeria, Chandigargh, India, and Lisbon, Portugal to tackle industry innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9), in London, U.K., and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to reduce inequalities (SDG 10) and in Bali, Indonesia, Geneva, Switzerland and New York City, USA to generate a shift towards more responsible consumption and production (SDG 12).

FACTS & FIGURES:

  • 1000 Entrepreneurs, thinkers and creatives working together across 9 global locations (Manama, Bali, Chandigarh, Geneva, Lagos, Lisbon, London, New York and Rio) on 5 continents.
  • 193 United Nation Member States
  • 17 Sustainable Development Goals to solve by 2030
  • 72 hours for teams to collaborate and help hack three of the SDGs.
  • 6 Headline Partners for #Connect2Effect 2017 to help our teams with the resources they need.
  • 3 SDGs to hack during #Connect2Effect
  • 1 Crowdfunding platform that will take an idea and put it in the market in a weekend.

ABOUT THE COLLABORATORS:

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The Influx Trust
is a UK charity that fosters a community of individuals and businesses eager to share their knowledge and resources to support the UN’s priorities. @InfluxTrust

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The UN SDG Action Campaign is a global interagency initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General, with the mission of ensuring that everyone has the support, encouragement and capability to advocate and act to ensure the SDG agenda is brought to life. It recognises and celebrates the innovators, conveners and break-through actors who are transforming lives, tackling trade-offs and generating practical solutions to some of the world’s most intractable development problems. The Campaign is supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the German Federal Government. @SDGAction

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The President of the General Assembly is an annually geographically rotating position voted for by representatives in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The President of the 71st and current session, H.E. Mr Peter Thomson from Fiji, presides over the General Assembly, one of the principal organs of the United Nations. Made up of all the 193 Member States of the UN, the General Assembly provides a forum for multilateral discussion of the full spectrum of international issues covered by the UN Charter. It meets in regular session intensively from September to December each year, and thereafter as required. @UN_PGA

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Jayne & Misael | Kitsch.inc on behalf of Influx Trust | kitschinc.digital@gmail.com
Kristin Gutekunst | UN SDG Action Campaign | kristin.gutekunst@undp.org
Katharina Kandt | Office of the President of the UN General Assembly| kandt@un.org

Building Bridges the Road to Nairobi launches on International Youth Day

Road to nairobi-logo (2)The Building Bridges Foundation’s Road to Nairobi 2016 project kicked off on International Youth Day, 12 August 2016, in Johannesburg and at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The Building Bridges Foundation is a not-for-profit organization established in the Netherlands. The mission is to foster youth-led solutions at the grassroots level in order to contribute towards the effective implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In their first project last year, the Foundation collected the opinions and priorities from young people by bike riding from Amsterdam to Cape Town in an effort to include youth voices in the development of the Sustainable Development Agenda.

In this second phase, the Road to Nairobi 2016a team of Dutch and South African youth will travel by bus from Johannesburg to Nairobi, meeting 80 inspirational and innovative youth entrepreneurs from all industries and walks of life in eight countries. In each country, these real life case studies of the challenges youth entrepreneurs face will be presented to government officials, CEOs, foreign ambassadors, representatives of the UN and the media during a youth summit in the capital. The project co-creates solutions that promote youth employment and aims to inspire African and global leaders by showcasing how young people are making a difference, and how their work can be further promoted to help achieve the SDGs by 2030. The results will be presented at the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) in Nairobi in December.

Building Bridges bus, which will carry the team and youth entrepreneurs to the Second High-Level Meeting of the GPEDC in Nairobi

“Young people often have the best out of the box solutions for difficult problems. So if we want a better life for unemployed young Africans, who else to ask then young African entrepreneurs.” said Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen. She continued, “they show that starting your own business empowers and creates jobs and income. The Road to Nairobi brings these smart youngsters together with politicians and business leaders who are eager for innovative and smart solutions. To reach the Sustainable Development Goals, young people are key.” Minister Ploumen supports the project in her role as co-chair of the GPEDC.

Through a series of multi-stakeholder events at the local and national levels, the project will help facilitate the co-creation of solutions and actions to promote youth employment in their respective countries. “We believe that only by working together with all stakeholders, can we achieve a more just, sustainable and equal world by 2030,” says Jilt van Schayik, co-founder of the Building Bridges Foundation. “Youth are traditionally seen as a problem, but we believe they are the solution. There are many youth entrepreneurs with innovative businesses solutions to overcome local challenges. We need to listen to their ideas, and help them grow to scale to create real impact for people on the ground.”

The Project was launched in South Africa in the Diepsloot Township jointly with the Building Bridges Team and the Dutch Embassy in South Africa. Focus on youth entrepreneurs in townships and rural areas, the launch included a panel discussion, about the enabling factors for innovative entrepreneurship and the necessary steps that will allow South African entrepreneurs to benefit from increased globalization.

IMG_2163The Road to Nairobi launch in Johannesburg with the Building Bridges team and the Dutch Ambassador in South Africa, H.E. Marisa Gerards

In addition to the project’s launch in South Africa, the project was ceremoniously launched at the SDGs exhibition in the United Nations Visitors Lobby by H.E. Mr. Karel van Oosterom, the Netherlands Permanent Representative to the UN and the UN SDG Action Campaign. The Ambassador toured the exhibition, seeing the enormous influence the first phase of Building Bridges had in collecting people’s voices to support the development of the SDGs. HE van Oosterom then viewed the current platforms for action, taking the MY World 2030 Survey reading the Humans if MY World stories and experiencing UN Virtual Reality. The visit concluded with a live video chat with the Building Bridges Team in South Africa, providing words of encouragement for their journey to foster youth employment on the African continent.

IMG_0051.jpgThe Road to Nairobi launch at the UN HQ with the Netherlands Permanent Representative to the UN, H.E. Karel van Oosterom

The Ambassador, his son as well as a team from the Permanent Mission of the Netherlands to the UN and the SDG Action Campaign wrote their good wishes to the Building Bridges Team on the large sized exhibition blackboard. In a statement on the occasion of the virtual launch in New York the Ambassador said, “youth must have a central role in the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals. We hope projects like this inspire other youth to step up and help realize the Sustainable Development Goals.”

IMG_20160812_121005Ambassador Karel van Oosterom’s good wishes to Jilt van Schayik, co-founder of the Building Bridges Foundation, and part of the Road to Nairobi team

Kristin Gutekunst, UN SDG Action Campaign Project Manager, remarked, “we are excited to be partnering with the Building Bridges Foundation and the Government of the Netherlands to continue SDG momentum in this new phase of the Building Bridges project. Young people are integral to making the SDGs a reality for all by 2030. The MY World 2015 Survey identified Better job opportunities as one of the main priorities for youth globally. Advancing youth entrepreneurship through this project and bringing people’s voices to the United Nations will support us in achieving the SDGs.”

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 17.29.40The Road to Nairobi’s route across 8 countries

The Building Bridges team operates with the idea there is a gap between between local and international policymakers and the challenges faced by young people at the grassroots level. Simultaneously in New York, Building Bridges Representative and UN SDG Action Campaign Youth Advocate Jonas Lossau introduced the Road to Nairobi 2016 project and how it contributes to ‘17 SDGs in Action’ at the UN Headquarters on International Youth Day. Samantha Ndiwalana, a Building Bridges Project Manager, added, “the project is a way for young people to get together, to learn from each other, to share their solutions and to inspire each other. It is time for real action, not empty words.”

To create real changes, the Building Bridges team together with the most inspiring youth entrepreneurs will present their data and suggest solutions at the Second High-Level Meeting of the GPEDC in Nairobi.

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SDGs: A People-powered Agenda – Leave No One Behind

The SDGs Exhibition Launches July 18 at the United Nations!

Throughout the post-2015 process and following a call to action from the United Nations Secretary-General in 2012, over ten million people shared their hopes and dreams with the UN to help shape the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As we enter the era of Agenda 2030, the challenge now is to show that the SDGs are in fact achievable through partnership and action from everyone everywhere.  Will YOU become a part of this movement to build a better world?

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INTRODUCTION

The exhibition recounts how millions of ordinary people have ensured the Sustainable Development Goals are a bold and ambitious agenda through the most inclusive and transparent process the UN has ever seen. It also provides some concrete examples of the actions people can take now to help their governments with the implementation of the SDGs by 2030.

We need YOU to help ensure the SDGs become widely known and to ensure that as the Agenda 2030 is implemented, and NO ONE IS LEFT BEHIND.

The exhibition was curated, designed and produced by the UN SDG Action Campaign on behalf of the UN Development Group (UNDG), in partnership with: the Federal Government of Germany, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

It features voluntary input and stories from millions of people around the world through data visualizations, photographs, videos, virtual reality. It also allows interactive ways to share your opinion, make your commitment and explore how to take action on the SDGs.

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HOW TO VISIT

The exhibition is open to the general public during official UN visiting hours, 418 July 18 – 7 September 2016,

Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
Saturday & Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm
All visitors must exit the building by 5:30pm

The entrance is at 46th Street and 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10017. Visitors without an official UN Pass will have to first obtain a guest pass at the screening station on 46th and 1st across the street from the UN. Be sure to bring a photo ID.

If your delegation or mission would like to schedule a special exhibition tour, please kindly contact Alice Chen at alice.chen@undp.org (6096510945)

FEATURED CONTENT

MDGs to SDGs

MyWorld-29Learn about the process that led us from the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals with a special emphasis on peoples’ voices. By using cutting edge technology and data visualizations, the voices of over 10 million people, especially the voices of the most vulnerable populations, are told through the following initiatives:

  • MY World 2015 Survey – over 10 million people, most of them youth, have told the UN their top six of sixteen priorities for a better world, data that has fed into the post-2015 agenda
  • World We Want – a knowledge platform hosting documentation, and data visualizations including those from online, national and thematic civil society consultations
  • Humans of MY World – a photo exhibition telling the stories of MY World voters around the world
  • Virtual Reality – immerse yourself in the life of some of the world’s most vulnerable using high-tech 3D VR headset

Action to Engagement Arena

MyWorld-53The action and engagement arena allows visitors to “get their hands dirty” and take action for furthering the SDGs: right here, right now! These are some of the ways to take action:

  • MY World Survey2030 – Modeled after the first phase of MY World, this citizen satisfaction survey will monitor Global Goal progress and allow further specialization at a local level
  • Women’s Economic Empowerment– tell us what you think would help to empower women economically by filling out our survey
  • Own Your Voice– Virtually “Meet” six young women from around the world who are using their voice to change the world, they are the Youtube Change Ambassadors!
  • Commitment Corner – How will you help achieve the SDGs by 2030? Make your commitment on our SDGs blackboard and take a selfie, tag us @SDGAction

There’s more, but you’ll have to come see for yourself. Visit the SDGs Exhibition before September 7th 2016 and see what actions you can take for the SDGs!

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SDG Action Campaign at Columbia University School of Social Work: Linking Academia and the Most Marginalized for the SDGs

Written by Di Cao

Academia and the most marginalized groups are two crucial stakeholders for implementing the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But how can the two be connected and collaborate on achieving the SDGs? On March 28th, during the Annual Community Day of Columbia University School of Social Work (CUSSW), the UN SDG Action Campaign came to Morningside Heights and found the answer by meeting with great minds from the social work profession, who are dedicated to reducing poverty and changing lives.

Alice Chen from the Campaign carried out in-depth discussions with faculty members of CUSSW on how to bring SDGs to the most marginalized groups. Professors shared their groundbreaking intervention research on poverty, health, refugee, immigrants, and many other topics that are directly linked to the SDGs. Alice introduced our innovative works on using big data and new technology to include people’s voices in the SDGs implementation, which excited our audiences.

“The work of SDG action campaign brings awareness of SDGs and build empathy through new technology…this is the new approach to development.”

– Natasha Dachos, Director of the Office of Professional Excellence, CUSSW

“I expect that the MY World data and Virtual Reality films become the most exciting experience of my International Social Development class.”

-Mashkhura Akilova, Professor of CUSSW

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The CUSSW Community Day is an annual event organized by a coalition of student caucuses at the school. This year over 50 workshops on cultural topics were held for students, faculty, staff and community members to explore cultural diversity and cultural competence. The UN SDG Action Campaign brought our VR films “Clouds over Sidra” and “Waves of Grace” to the audience in the cultural showcase session. Participants were transported to the Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan or the streets of Liberia by way of VR goggles. Many students experienced this new technology for the very first time and they were profoundly moved by both the story and the way the story is told. Gulnara Zhakupova, a second year Master student of CUSSW, said  that “Clouds over Sidra” prepared her better for her future works with the refugee population.

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“(The VR) hit me hard emotionally, but I was also focusing on what we can do over here and how we can help this (refugee) crisis.”

– Candice, First year Master student of CUSSW

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This International Women's Day, add your voice for gender equality!

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On International Women’s Day, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Action Campaign and YouTube are launching an initiative to reach new audiences and inspire awareness and action on the Sustainable Development Goals.

The #OwnYourVoice campaign is the first in a year long series of efforts to inspire people around the world to raise their voices for gender equality and take action by sharing how they will contribute to the cause. 

IMG_3208In its pilot year, the inaugural group of Change Ambassadors include seven international YouTube creators who are passionate about global issues. When combined, Jackie Aina (US, lilpumpkinpie05), Taty Ferreira (Brazil, AcidGirlTestosterona),  Hayla Ghazal (UAE, HaylaTV), Ingrid Nilsen (US, missglamorazzi), Louise Pentland (UK, Sprinkleofglitter), Chika Yoshida (Japan, cyoshida1231) and Yuya (Mexico, lady16makeup), represent fan communities comprised of millions of people around the world. 

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are a remarkable opportunity to build a more sustainable and equitable world for present and future generations. This project aims to show the integrative nature of this universal agenda while highlighting the complexity and diversity of each of the issues.

“By working with YouTube and the Change Ambassadors, we can help inform and inspire new audiences to support the implementation of the SDGs” said Mitchell Toomey, Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign. “The United Nations can also learn a great deal from the Change Ambassadors by analyzing the measurable impact of the campaign and seeing how their audience reacts to this new approach.”

Throughout the year, the UN’s SDG Action Campaign will work with partners across the UN system to help the Change Ambassadors learn about the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as about the calendar of international events during which their influence could make strong impact. The creators will work to integrate the advocacy language into their own content programming on an ongoing basis and will also come together several times throughout the year to activate these topics through various angles.

“The ultimate goal is to empower current new media experts to get involved in issues that are important to the United Nations so they can take an active role in creating conversation and change with their highly engaged communities. We look forward to building this program together with YouTube and the inaugural group of Change Ambassadors over the coming year.”

Join in and take action to support gender equality: www.GlobalGoals.org/girls-progress

For more information on the Sustainable Development Goals, visit: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs

For more information please contact Kristin Gutekunst, Project Manager, UN SDG Action Campaign (Kristin.gutekunst@undp.org) 

En el Día internacional de la Mujer, ¡Levanta la voz por la igualdad de género!

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En el Día Internacional de la Mujer, la Campaña de Acción para los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible de las Naciones Unidas y YouTube lanzan una iniciativa para llegar a nuevos públicos e inspirar conciencia y la acción sobre los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible.

‪#‎OwnYourVoice‬ es la primera campaña de otros esfuerzos durante un año para inspirar a la gente en todo el mundo a levantar la voz por la igualdad de género, actuar y compartir cómo van a contribuir a la causa. Continue reading “En el Día internacional de la Mujer, ¡Levanta la voz por la igualdad de género!”