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.

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!  

“SPARK, SCALE, SUSTAIN”: UNDP’s approach to innovation

For a growing number of countries, innovation — spurred by technological advances and increased access to global markets — is a leading driver of economic growth and prosperity. New technologies and an appetite for social, economic, and policy reforms are creating new entry points to address the most stubborn development challenges. Whether it is around technology innovations, alternative finance models or experimentation policy, governments are increasingly realizing that they need to invest in social innovation approaches to better engage with citizens, establish their overall legitimacy and create the next generation of services.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The report ‘Spark, Scale, Sustain’ shares UNDP’s approach to innovation: over 40 case studies of innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals in practice and Features on Alternative Finance, Behavioral Insights, Data Innovation and Public Policy Labs.

The innovation initiatives are testing and scaling solutions to address challenges across five areas:

 

HLPF SDG Pop-up Exhibit at UN Visitors Lobby

Are you at the High-Level Political Forum #HLPF2017? Come to the SDG pop up exhibit in the UN Visitors Lobby on Thursday, July 20 and Friday, July 21 from 10am to 4:30pm

Check out:

  • Interactive data visualizations on the Sustainable Development Goals, in partnership with Tableau Public and featuring data from MY World 2030, u-Report, UNICEF and UNSDSN
  • United Nations Virtual Reality films

Pace of progress must accelerate to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, finds latest UN progress report

New York, 17 July – If the world is to eradicate poverty, address climate change and build peaceful, inclusive societies for all by 2030, key stakeholders, including governments, must drive implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at a faster rate, says the latest progress report on the SDGs launched by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres today.

Using the most recent data available, the annual Sustainable Development Goals Report provides an overview of the world’s implementation efforts to date, highlighting areas of progress and areas where more action needs to be taken to ensure no one is left behind. This year’s report finds that while progress has been made over the past decade across all areas of development, the pace of progress has been insufficient and advancements have been uneven to fully meet the implementation of the SDGs.

“Implementation has begun, but the clock is ticking,” stated Mr. Guterres. “This report shows that the rate of progress in many areas is far slower than needed to meet the targets by 2030.”

Despite advances, acceleration is needed

While nearly a billion people have escaped extreme poverty since 1999, about 767 million remained destitute in 2013, most of whom live in fragile situations. Despite major advances, alarmingly a high number of children under age 5 are still affected by malnutrition. In 2016, an estimated 155 million children under 5 years of age were stunted (low height for their age). Between 2000 and 2015, the global maternal mortality ratio declined by 37 per cent and the under-5 mortality rate fell by 44 per cent. However, 303,000 women died during pregnancy or childbirth and 5.9 million children under age 5 died worldwide in 2015.

In the area of sustainable energy, while access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking climbed to 57 per cent in 2014, up from 50 per cent in 2000, more than 3 billion people, lacked access to clean cooking fuels and technologies, which led to an estimated 4.3 million deaths in 2012. From 2015 to 2016, official development assistance (ODA) rose by 8.9 per cent in real terms to 142.6 billion US dollars, reaching a new peak. But bilateral aid to the least developing countries fell by 3.9 per cent in real terms.

Progress is uneven

The benefits of development are not equally shared. On average, women spent almost triple the amount of time on unpaid domestic and care work as men, based on data from 2010-2016. Economic losses from natural hazards are now reaching an average of 250 billion to 300 billion US dollars a year, with a disproportionate impact on small and vulnerable countries. Despite the global unemployment rate falling from 6.1 per cent in 2010 to 5.7 per cent in 2016, youth were nearly three times more likely than adults to be without a job. In 2015, 85 per cent of the urban population used safely managed drinking water services, compared to only 55 per cent of rural population.

“Empowering vulnerable groups is critical to ending poverty and promoting prosperity for everyone, everywhere,” stated Mr. Wu Hongbo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.

Harnessing the power of data

Effectively tracking progress on the SDGs requires accessible, reliable, timely and disaggregated data at all levels, which poses a major challenge to national and international statistical systems. While data availability and quality have steadily improved over the years, statistical capacity still needs strengthening worldwide. The global statistical community is working to modernize and strengthen statistical systems to address all aspects of production and use of data for the SDGs.

About the Report

The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2017 is the annual assessment of global and regional progress towards the Goals. The report is based on latest available data on selected indicators of the global SDG indicator framework, prepared by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs with inputs from a large number of international and regional organizations.

For more information on the SDGs Report 2017, please visit: http://unstats.un.org/sdgs

Download report: English / French / Spanish

Source: United Nations

High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2017

The High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) at the United Nations is a central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals This year’s meeting will be held from Monday, 10 July, to Wednesday, 19 July 2017; including the three-day ministerial meeting of the forum from Monday, 17 July, to Wednesday, 19 July 2017.

The theme is Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world. The set of goals to be reviewed in depth will be the following, including Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, that will be considered each year:

  • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  • Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  • Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  • Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  • Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  • Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

The UN SDG Action Campaign would like to highlight the following events taking place during High-level Political Forum, don’t miss them!

Perception Data as a Metric of Well-Being

When: Thursday, 13 July 2017, 1:15-2:30 pm EST
Where: UNICEF House Lobby (Danny Kaye Visitors Center)
Register here by 11 July 2017
See flyer

This side event will showcase the results of several pilots that have used quantitative and qualitative methodologies to collect perceptions on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to assist decision-makers in SDG review activities. Panelists will discuss how mobile tools like UNICEF’s U-Report and WFP’s mVAM, on-line surveys like MY World 2030 and qualitative methods like the Participatory Monitoring and Accountability Programme can inform SDG implementation and decision-making. The event is co-sponsored by the Government of Guatemala, UNICEF, WFP, and the UN SDG Action Campaign.

Speakers:

Mobilizing Religious Communities to Act with Solidarity and Shared Responsibility to End Poverty and Promote Peace

When: Monday, 17 July 2017, 1:30 – 3:30 pm EST
Where: 866 United Nations Plaza, Suite 120, New York, NY 10017
Register: dsingh@rfp.org

While sustainable development requires the best of science, technology, and practical problem solving, it also requires a strong ethical foundation—and this foundation has its sources in the world’s religious traditions. Religious leaders have a tremendous capacity to affect change by mobilizing their communities to advocate with world leaders in the context of advancing the values needed to end poverty and advance peace. Therefore, Religions for Peace is holding a multi-religious discussion on the role of religious communities in accelerating the implementation of the SDGs.

Speakers:

  • Dr. William Vendley, Secretary General, Religions for Peace
  • Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network
  • Archbishop Bernardito Cleopas Auza, the Apostolic Nuncio, Holy See’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations in New York
  • Dr. Azza Karam, Senior Advisor, UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and Coordinator, UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Religion and Development
  • Mr. Mitchell Toomey, Director, United Nations SDG Action Campaign
  • Ms. Elena Cedillo, Regional Representative, Central America Program, Lutheran World Federation (LWF), and Co-Coordinator, Latin American and Caribbean Inter-Religious Alliance for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The SDGs in Action: Eradicating poverty and promoting inclusive prosperity in a changing world

When: Monday, 17 July 2017, 6:15-7:30 pm EST
Where: ECOSOC Chamber in the UN Conference Building and on UN Web TV
Register here
See concept note

This event will focus on how countries at various stages of development, including those faced with complex situations such as violent conflict and fragility, are accelerating efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It will illustrate the UN Development System’s support to Member States, including tools and solutions, to address the integrated nature of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the imperative to leave no one behind and risk-informed planning. The role of the UN in peacebuilding and prevention; connecting efforts for peace and security, sustainable development and human rights will also be highlighted in reference to the Sustaining Peace resolution.

Speakers:

  • Amina J. Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General
  • Achim Steiner, UN Development Group Chair
  • H.E. Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria
  • H.E. Hélder Lopes, Vice Minister of Finance, Timor-Leste

Engaging Everyone for the SDGs

When: Tuesday, 18 July 2017, 3 – 4:30 pm EST
Where: UN Correspondents Association Room 0310 (3rd Floor of UN Secretariat Building)
See concept note
Register here

The event will help strengthen the global community of SDG communicators. Participants will discuss how to measure progress in building public support for the SDGs and identify ways to continue collaborating and learning from one another. The event is co-organized by the Government of Canada & OECD Development Communication Network (DevCom)

Opening Remarks: Celina Caesar-Chavannes, Parliamentary Secretary to Canada’s Minister of International Development

Moderator: Bathylle Missika, Head of Partnerships and Networks, OECD Development Centre

Panelists:

  • H.E. Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria
  • Davis Adieno, Senior Advisor on Sustainable Development, Civicus Alliance
  • Adolfo Ayuso, Director General of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Office of the Presidency, Mexico
  • Erik Ringborg, Agenda 2030 Coordinator, Swedish International Development Agency
  • Mitchell Toomey, Director, UN SDG Action Campaign

Stay connected

Don’t miss our #HLPF2017 coverage on Twitter @SDGaction and Facebook

Above photo credit: UNIDO Office New York

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

European Development Days #EDD17 – Celebrating the SDGs and One UN

(Top image: UN colleagues & Young Leaders with Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of the Belgians / UNRIC)

Organised by the European Commission, the European Development Days (EDD) is Europe’s leading forum on development since 2006. The development community comes together every year to share ideas and experiences in ways that inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. This year’s edition took place on 6-8 June, 2017 in Brussels.

Young Leaders & UN Colleagues with Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General / UNRIC
Visitors experience virtual reality at the UN stand at European Development Days / UN SDG Action Campaign

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals stand at the European Development Days included a wide range of exciting and innovative features such as the #SDGstudio, virtual reality films, touch-screens showcasing data visualizations and polling mechanisms on the SDGs, and a selfie photobooth to invite visitors to show their commitment and take action on the Goals.

Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of the Belgians & Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium, explore MY World 2030 data / UN SDG Action Campaign
Anand Kantaria, UN SDG Action Campaign, shows MY World 2030 to Queen Mathilde of the Belgians & Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium

The UN stand is organized by the UN SDG Action Campaign, the UN in Brussels (25 UN entities), UNECE and the World Bank. Occupying a central space at the European Development Days global village, the UN SDG stand is a convening space to engage thousands of visitors on the Sustainable Development Goals and showcase the efforts of the United Nations and its partners around the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General takes the MY World 2030 survey: myworld2030.org / UNRIC

During the European Development Days:

  • Thousands of people visited the United Nations stand, with active participation of several hundreds per day (in total there were 8000 participants attending EDDs)
  • There were 35 #SDGStudio dialogues! 16 on Day 1 and 19 on Day 2. 
  • The United Nations was involved in more than 50 out of the 120 EDD sessions
  • More than 90 UN colleagues were hosts at the UN Stand, inviting delegates and showcasing SDG innovation
  • Around 350 people took a selfie at the photobooth 
#SDGstudio / UN SDG Action Campaign
UN colleagues with Professor Muhammad Yunus, Founder, Grameen Bank & SDG Advocate / UNRIC

The #SDGStudio was a new and exciting feature of the United Nations stand, which is a unique platform to generate informal and insightful inter-generational dialogues between young leaders and high-level officials from the United Nations, the European Commission and a wide range of other institutions present at the EDDs. The #SDGstudio was proud to host the following dialogues:

In addition to the above guests who visited the #SDGstudio, the UN stand also welcomed the following visitors:

  • Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of the Belgians & SDG Advocate
  • Professor Muhammad Yunus, Founder, Grameen Bank & SDG Advocate
  • Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer, Unilever & SDG Advocate
  • Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank
Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General and Dr. Alaa Murabit, SDG Advocate hug each other at the UN stand, as Thomas Gass, UN Assistant Secretary, DESA looks on / UNRIC
UN Colleagues at the photo booth
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General elect, WHO & Kalaba Nkonde, EDD Young Leader & Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety. They put their hands together in solidarity for the SDGs / UN SDG Action Campaign
UN stand / UNRIC
Professor Muhammad Yunus, Founder, Grameen Bank & SDG Advocate, learns about MY World 2030 from Anand Kantaria, UN SDG Action Campaign / UN SDG Action Campaign
Rebeca Grynspan, Secretary-General, Ibero-American Conference (SEGIB) at the #SDGstudio / UNRIC
Xavier Longan, UN SDG Action Campaign welcomes Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of the Belgians to the UN stand / UN SDG Action Campaign
Leonardo Parraga, EDD Young Leader takes a selfie with Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium / UNRIC
Nadir Nahdi, BENI Founder & Youtube Creator for Change Fellow, presents at the #SDGstudio / UN SDG Action Campaign
Dream team! UN family with colleagues from the UN SDG Action Campaign, UN Brussels and UNRIC / UN SDG Action Campaign

View more photos: UNRIC Gallery / SDG Gallery

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

Advocating for the SDGs through poster challenge in Saskatoon, Canada

In 2015, 11 year-old Sumaya Murabit noticed that there was very little awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals in her local community in Saskatoon, Canada which made it difficult to actually mobilize others into action.

Eager to create awareness and mobilize action Sumaya brainstormed different ideas; in the end she felt that the most cost-effective and practical awareness raising idea was a poster challenge. “With posters it is more fun. Other things like essays make it feel too much like school work and for things like making videos a lot of us don’t have cameras or computers. So the posters were easier because we could do it in art class at the schools and even at home it is not expensive and its fun. And sometimes it’s easier to express your ideas in art.”

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(c) A. Murabit – SDG Poster Challenge organizer Sumaya Murabit addressing the audience

After getting her family’s support, Sumaya approached her school teacher, principal and the Saskatoon Public School Board to tell them about the Goals and her idea for a “Poster Challenge” where students designed posters based on the goals. Sumaya also emailed the City Mayor, University Professor Keith Walker and well known radio personality David Kirton. She recruited them onto the “judging panel” and by creating more collaboration with other sectors was able to ensure greater public and media awareness. In the first year, three classes participated in the poster challenge.

Now in its second year, students from three grades in 14 schools – a total of 42 classes – in the city cake together at Roland Michener School Saskatoon where the final posters were viewed and the winner and finalists were announced.

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(c) A. Murabit – SDG Poster Challenge Finalists with judges and speakers

Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark spoke to students about the importance of local leadership and taking action, Chief of Staff Michelle Beveridge spoke about women’s leadership, Saskatoon Public Schools Director Barry MacDougall spoke about how an idea – with action – can transform the world, indigenous rights activist Andrea Ledding spoke about her work advocated for murdered and missing aboriginal women and the necessity to start now (even if that means starting small). Whitney Graves from Rock 102 told everyone to just “do whatever they put their mind to (unless it’s illegal)”.

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(c) A. Murabit – Saskatoon City Mayor Charlie Clark with SDG Poster Challenge organizer Sumaya Murabit and SDG Poster Challenge four top finalists

The students each spoke about their posters, which Global Goal meant the most to them and what they felt needed to be done to actually achieve them. The winner of the poster challenge was 13 year old Jordyn Guan whose poster focused on “Quality Education”.

Jeff Shepherd, principal of Roland Michener School is incredibly excited to see the challenge continue to grow over the next 13 years, anticipating that next year at least 24 schools city wide will be involved. He encouraged all students with ideas, telling them that while it may seem small, it can impact so many and turn into something great.

All 17 finalist posters have been framed to be showcased by the Saskatoon Public School District and City of Saskatoon.

(C) A. Murabit – Quality Education by Jordyn Guan (Winning Poster)