Cycling across Europe for Climate Action

1 man, 1 woman, 2 bikes, 10,000 km and 9 months to complete it in.
Inka, 19 years old, and Fabian, 18, are two teenagers with a mission: cycling across Europe and discovering people engaged in making a difference for our climate. They are setting an example to many and their message is clear: a sustainable and carbon neutral way of travelling is possible and it does not take too much effort.

These young advocates are the Ambassadors for Climate Neutral Now, a project run by the UNFCCC.  They visited our Global Campaign Centre to learn about the SDGs, and tell us their story of how they became passionate activists for Climate Action. Meet them and be ready to be inspired! 


“People shouldn’t be scared of doing things just because it’s not what is expected. Just do it if you think it is important! ”
Inka – Climate Ambassador

They have so far cycled over 4,000 km to reach Germany from Porto, Portugal on their way to Greece, after which they will return to Bonn in time for the annual UN Climate Change Conference COP23 (6-17 November).

Along the way they are interviewing people from key projects and initiatives, focusing on the UNFCCC secretariat’s Climate Neutral Now and Momentum for Change initiatives but with a view to also seeing what key NGOs such as C40 Cities, their respective mayors and city administrations are doing in terms of climate action.
They agreed to record our chat in a live interview that went on line on the same day on Facebook and that is now available on YouTube as well.

The planned trip of Inka & Fabian
Credit: Europe on four wheels


They are still travelling through Europe and they will be spreading the word and raising awareness on what can people do to be Climate Neutral and try to combat climate change.

Follow them on their trip on Facebook, Instagram and their blog
If you wish to know more about the project and about Climate Action visit : UNFCCC Newsroom 

Inspired by this story? Discover other stories of how people are taking action for SDGs (Humans of MY World) or take action!  

SDGs at the European Investment Bank

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are committed to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Last year, both institutions signed a memorandum of understanding to boost cooperation to reach the goals. To highlight the importance of this partnership and raise awareness about the SDGs with the EIB team, the European Investment Bank featured an SDG interactive exhibit on 28-30 June and EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle invited the EIB team to an SDG seminar with UNDP on 28 June.

Together with the UNDP family and the UN SDG Action Campaign, the EIB team became more engaged with the Goals and were empowered to learn more about what needs to be done to make the Goals a reality by 2030.

A participant views UN virtual reality films

The SDG exhibit featured UN Virtual Reality, a photo booth and materials about the SDGs. Many EIB staff members watched virtual reality films and gathered further information about the goals. Visitors to the stand were surprised how real the experience of the virtual reality films were and which insights they could provide into the life of those most affected by current humanitarian crises. This sparked many conversations about the goals and the impact they have on a global scale and how private sector partners like EIB could support them.

UN colleagues with President of the EIB, Dr. Werner Hoyer / Secretary-General, Klaus Trömel / and the Director of Institutional Strategy, Guido Bichisao

Dr. Werner Hoyer, President of the EIB, emphasized Goal #11, Sustainable Cities and Communities, as one of his personal priorities.

Participant at the SDG seminar

The UN SDG Action Campaign looks forward to working together with the UNDP family and the European Investment Bank on promoting and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Sarah Uphoff, UN SDG Action Campaign, at the exhibit
How many SDG cubes can you sit on? Participants balance themselves on the cubes
Participants take a photo with the SDG wheel and signs

A New Narrative for Development: World’s Best News

Decades of negative communication about hunger and hopelessness in developing countries has resulted in a general public attitude that the fight against poverty does not work. We need a new narrative about global development: Nuanced and current knowledge creates hope – and hope creates motivation for action.

World’s Best News is an example of a unique partnership that brings together the UN and more than 100 NGOs and 100 private companies. Since 2010, the independent media platform World’s Best News has published news about progress and solutions to the world’s challenges to the Danish population. All uniting to spread news about progress on a variety of different platforms using the Sustainable Development Goals as the frame and constructive journalism as method. The aim is to connect civil society, business, and the citizens in the pursuit of a more informed and sustainable world.

A collaboration with DSB, the Danish Railways, made it possible to decorate and InterCity train with World’s Best News messages.

Today, World’s Best News is now an international network with sister organizations in Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Finland.

It is deeply ingrained in ‘classical’ journalism to focus on conflicts and problems in society. However, while being critical is essential to all objective reporting, the focus on conflicts often gets out of hand in the mainstream media. Instead, World’s Best News focus on progress, possibilities and solutions to the big challenges facing the world today.

“World’s Best News has shown that it is possible to change the world. You are creators of hope and perspective.”
Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen, Member of Danish Parliament.

“The collaboration with World’s Best News has made us reconsider our coverage of global issues. When you started with constructive journalism it influenced the rest of the content in our newspaper”
Jonas Ratje, Editor in Chief, Metroxpress.

Meet people with constructive and unexpected development news. That is the core objective of World’s Best News.
Credit: Louise Dyring Mbae

How and why this action impacts the people in the community ?
When more people know about the solutions to the world’s problems, they are more motivated to ensure these solutions will be implemented and put into action. When World’s Best News launched in 2010, 16% of the Danes believed there was progress in lifting people out of poverty; in 2016 this number increased to 32%.

We invite you to follow this special blog series on the High Level Political Forum 2017 “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world” to find out more about the action taken by citizens and organizations of the country presenting their Voluntary National Review on the SDGs

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

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

What’s your goal tonight? SDG swing cards on buses & trams in Bonn

5,000 swing cards featuring the Sustainable Development Goals were placed in 100 public vehicles in Bonn (hung from passenger handlebars on buses and trams), along with digital slide on the SDGs on the vehicle screens, from 28 February to 14 March 2017, including during the Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development on 1-3 March.

The swing cards and screens were organized by the UN SDG Action Campaign with the support of the Bonn public transport authority, Stadtwerke-Bonn.

An SDG swing card from a Bonn public bus is shown by Festival MC, Nadira Hira, to hundreds of participants at the Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development. © photothek/Inga Kjer
Design of the swing cards, shown in German and English.

 

Bus and tram travelers were encouraged to take the informative and colorful SDG swing cards home. Some took them home, and even tweeted!

Thanks for being part of history at the Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development

Photo: Some of the Festival team members with volunteers at the Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development. photothek/Inga Kjer

We would like to thank everyone, especially the partner organizations, inspiring speakers and colleagues for being part of history at the first ever Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development on 1-3 March 2017 at the World Conference Center Bonn!

The Festival was supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

Hosts: UN SDG Action Campaign & Overseas Development Institute (ODI)

Organizing partners: City of Bonn, Cepei, Data-Pop Alliance, Engagement Global, Plan International, Salzburg Global Seminar, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Food Programme (WFP) and World Resources Institute (WRI)

Supporting partners: Deutsche Welle, DW Global Media Forum, European Union, SDSN

Plenary Speakers:

  • Mitchell Toomey, Global Director, UN SDG Action Campaign
  • Ishbel Matheson, Director of Public Affairs and Communications, ODI
  • Ashok Sridharan, Lord Mayor, City of Bonn
  • Dr. Alaa Murabit, SDG Global Advocate and UN High Level Commissioner
  • Dr. Ingolf Dietrich, Commissioner for Agenda 2030, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
  • Sarah Poole, Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Director, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP
  • Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, CEO, Plan International
  • Paul Okumu, Head of Secretariat, Africa Platform
  • Kumi Naidoo, Launch Director, Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity
  • Claire Melamed, Executive Director, Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data
  • Casper Sitemba, Executive Office of the Deputy President, Kenya
  • Philipp Schönrock, Director, CEPEI
  • Soumya Chattopadhyay, Senior Research Fellow, Growth, Poverty and Inequality Programme, ODI
  • Meng Zhaoli, Chief Economist, Tencent Institute
  • Jakob Trollbäck, Founder, The New Division by Trollbäck+Company
  • Cristina Gallach, Under-Secretary General for Communications and Public Information, UN
  • Karol Alejandra Arámbula Carrillo, International Affairs Consultant and MY World Partner in Mexico
  • Dr. Tauni Lanier, Executive Director, Impact 2030
  • Natalie Robi Tingo, Accountability Advocate, Restless Development
  • Emi Mahmoud, World Poetry Slam Champion
  • Edda Hamar, UN SDG Young Leader and Founder/ Director Undress Runways
  • Namhla Mniki-Mangaliso, Director, African Monitor
  • Pedro Conceição, Director of Strategic Policy, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP
  • Beckie Malay, Vice President, Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement

Honorable Members of the German Parliament: Dr. Claudia Lücking-Michel, Mr. Ulrich Kelber

Nadira Hira for being a fantastic MC

DW Global Media Forum for hosting 7 minutes for discussion on the Live Stage

UNFCCC for supporting communications outreach, supporting the Festival comms team on-site and event security

The UN Bonn Common Information Unit and UNRIC for supporting the press conference and media outreach

The News and Media Division and UN TV from the UN Department of Public Information for coverage and the livestream

Deutsche Post DHL Group for providing the SDG postcards, mailbox and stamps

Amazing Youth Leaders for hosting the cross-generational dialogues on the Live Stage

  • Abinav Batachan, UNDP Panda Champion
  • Usman Khan, UNDP Panda Champion Bringing Education to Youth and Learning Initiatives (BEYLI) Organization Pakistan
  • Jilt van Schayik, Director Building Bridges Foundation
  • Edda Hamar, Youth Leader, Founder and Director of Undress Runway
  • Chernor Bah, Education Advocate, Girl Champion & International Development Professional
  • Frances Simpson-Allen, Programme Management Officer, Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth at United Nations
  • Rosario del Pilar Diaz Garavito, Founder The Millennials Movement
  • Alex Wang, Secretary General of Youthink Center
  • Cunsong Xia, Youth4SDG
  • Michelle Xinyang Mei, Youthink Center
  • Karol Alejandra Arámbula Carrillo, International Affairs Consultant and MY World Partner in Mexico
  • Natalie Robi Tingo, Accountability Advocate, Restless Development

The amazing Festival volunteers

All the participants who made the Festival an enriching experience, we hope to see you next year!

http://globalfestivalofideas.org
See Festival photos

Day two at the Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development at the World Conference Center (WCC) in Bonn, March 02, 2017. © photothek/Inga Kjer.

UN Talks and UN Day in Bonn

Twenty years ago, on 20 June 1996, the flag of the United Nations was hoisted in front of Bonn’s Haus Carstanjen in the presence of former Environment Minister Angela Merkel and UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali. The United Nations Volunteers programme had just moved to Bonn, followed by the UN Climate Secretariat shortly after. This marked the beginning of Bonn’s development as Germany’s United Nations City. With roughly 1,000 UN employees and about 20 UN organizations, the location has become a powerhouse for global sustainability that is playing a key role at the international level. The UN SDG Action Campaign is proud to be one of the newest members of the UN Bonn family.

‘Shaping a Sustainable Future’ is the common theme for the work of all Bonn-based UN organizations. From Bonn, we are rendering a key contribution towards the achievement of the 17 SDGs by the year 2030. On the occasion of ’20 years of UN Bonn’, the work of Bonn’s United Nations organizations will be presented during our UN Talks this year.

Continue reading “UN Talks and UN Day in Bonn”

UN SDG Action Campaign at European Development Days

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UN team

On 15-16 June 2016,  the UN SDG Action Campaign jointly with the UN Brussels Team facilitated the setting up and coordination of an SDG Action Hub at the European Development Days (EDD) in Brussels, Europe’s leading forum on sustainable development. For its tenth anniversary, EDD 2016 focused on the Sustainable Development Goals.

Organized by the European Commission, EDD brings the development community together each year to share ideas and experiences in ways that inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

Watch our new video featuring highlights and prominent speakers from EDD 2016:

Agenda 2030 and the 17 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.

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UN team with World Bank President Dr. Jim Kim, UN Secretary-General Ban  Ki-moon and his wife Mrs. Ban, and European Commissioner Neven Mimica

The EDD provided a unique opportunity to generate momentum around Agenda 2030 in Europe and across the globe, and to reflect on the universal character of the Goals.

At this year’s forum, the United Nations (UN) showcased and celebrated the Agenda 2030’s inclusive spirit of leaving no one behind and the SDGs, which are truly the “peoples’ goals”. It also underscored the importance of citizen engagement and action-centered initiatives to deliver on the Agenda and achieve the Goals.

Queen Mathilde of Belgium visits the UN Stand

Visitors to the stand had the opportunity to learn more about the SDGs through new technologies such as virtual reality, and interact with the data generated from the MY World survey, as well as to promote the SDGs first-hand by having a say at the stand’s meeting point and taking pictures of themselves with the different Goals.

Visitors interact with data and watch virtual reality

Watch video / See photos

Future Tour "Zukunftstour" in Bonn

Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia Hannelore Kraft, Bonn Mayor Ashok-Alexander Sridharan, BMZ Minister Gerd Müller  & SDG Action Campaign's Xavier Longan support the SDGs at the "ZukunftsTour" at World Conference Center Bonn
Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia Hannelore Kraft, Bonn Mayor Ashok-Alexander Sridharan, BMZ Minister Gerd Müller & SDG Action Campaign’s Xavier Longan support the SDGs at the “ZukunftsTour” at World Conference Center Bonn

Today (30 June 2016) the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) invited the United Nations Organizations in Bonn to the World Conference Center Bonn as part of the “ZukunftsTour” – “Future Tour – One World – One Responsibility”, promoting the BMZ Charter of the Future and Sustainable Development Goals.

The UN hosted a #UNBonn20 exhibit featuring Humans of MY World, virtual reality #UNVR, the new website www.unbonn.org and information about the UN in Bonn.

Over 1300 participants and 550 students (from 9th grade upwards), as well as 50 representatives from Africa attended.

BMZ Minister Dr. Gerd Müller & Minister President of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia Hannelore Kraft launched the German-African Youth Initiative and discussed the implementation of #Agenda2030 with high-level representatives of the African Union, German and African civil society.

UN Bonn exhibit
UN Bonn stand
German youth support the SDGs
German youth support the SDGs

View event photo gallery

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Heute (30. Juni 2016) lud das Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ) die Organisationen der Vereinten Nationen in Bonn zum World Conference Center Bonn im Rahmen der #ZukunftsTour “EINE WELT – eine Verantwortung” ein, um die Themen der BMZ Zukunftscharta und der globalen Ziele für nachhaltige Entwicklung der Vereinten Nationen #SDGs zu diskutieren und mit Leben zu füllen.

Die Vereinten Nationen veranstalteten eine #UNBonn20 Ausstellung mit Humans of MY World, virtuellem Realitätserlebnis #UNVR, der neuen Website www.unbonn.org und Informationsangeboten über die Vereinten Nationen in Bonn.

Über 1300 Besucher und 550 Schüler (ab 9. Klasse), sowie 50 Vertreter von dem afrikanischen Kontinent nahmen teil.

Bundesminister für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung, Dr. Gerd Müller, und Ministerpräsidentin des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, Hannelore Kraft, stellten ein neues Austauschprogramm für afrikanische und deutsche Jugendliche vor, die “Deutsch-Afrikanische Jugendinitiative” (DAJ), und diskutierten mit hochrangigen Vertretern der Afrikanischen Union, sowie Vertretern der deutschen und afrikanischen Zivilgesellschaft über die Umsetzung der von den Vereinten Nationen beschlossenen #Agenda2030.