Happy Holidays & See You in 2016!

Happy Holidays

We did it! 

Thanks to your outstanding contribution to the MY World survey, almost 10 million people from 194 countries had a say in the political deliberations that led to the historic adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by all the UN Member States in New York on September 25th, 2015.

In the words of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, “MY World has shown how international organizations, together with civil society groups, can use data to feed people’s perceptions and priorities into the heart of the political process.” 

As we celebrate this unprecedented achievement, we should also get ready for the implementation phase of the SDGs…

…and we count on you as a MY World partner to continue playing a key role!!


MY World 2030 is the next generation of MY World surveys, and it is bigger and better! Please visit the MY World 2030 beta site at https://myworld2030.org and send us your feedback and click here for an overview describing the next phase of the initiative.

As you will see, MY World 2030 is designed to allow people from around the world to tell the UN which of the 17 SDGs they are most passionate about and to reflect on progress over the next fifteen years.

The next phase of MY World  will includes a library of questions which you can use to localize and tailor the survey….so look out for this functionality early next year


Once again, the support of MY World partners will be critical for the success of MY World; and particularly in reaching out directly into communities and drawing the digitally disconnected, illiterate and poorest communities into the global debate.

We are building a brand new partner system with more and better features to facilitate your engagement and give you access to a wide range of new features and assets…


…as it is a new system we need to ask you to register as a MY World 2030 partner (…we know, again! But we promise it will be worth your while!)


Thank you for your continued support! We very much look forward to continuing working with you in this new and very exciting phase!!!

Here’s a Recap Video to reflect on all that was achieved together:

Happy Holidays to you all!

MY World Team


Millennium Campaign Hosts Screening of Clouds Over Sidra for Woodside Intermediate School 125 in Queens

Syrian native and presenter Sinan watches Clouds Over Sidra before event

On 12 November Date, the UNMC and UN Visitors Center co-hosted a special workshop on refugees with eighth graders from the Woodside Intermediate School 125. Following a screening of Clouds Over Sidra, three young refugees in various statuses in their legal application processes spoke to the students about their personal experiences. 

The workshop was a part of the Teen Thursdays Program, a collaboration between the NYC Mayor’s Office, NYC Department of Education and the UN Department of Public Information’s Visitors Center. During an 8 week program, seventh and eighth grade students participate in workshops and tours at the UN to learn about and become engaged in the UN’s mission. This screening of Clouds Over Sidra was the first in a planned sequence of of workshops in partnership with the program. The Millennium Campaign hopes to further expand the program so Virtual Reality can be used as an educational tool in informing young people about critical issues underlined in the SDGs.

Clouds Over Sidra is the story of a 12 year old girl, Sidra, who is a Syrian living in the Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan. The experience gave the students a glimpse into the daily life of Sidra: her favorite subjects in school, her family, her hopes for the future, and her desire to leave Za’atari and the Syrian conflict behind. Many of these students were the same age as Sidra at the time of filming. 

The eighth graders were joined by three young students from Salve Regina College: Sinan, Karma, and Uma who told their experiences as refugees seeking asylum from Syria and Nepal respectively. Sinan explained how the Syrian war interrupted his studies and how the United States presented the opportunity to finish them. Karma was in the US when the Earthquake struck Nepal, and now she is seeking temporary asylum. Uma’s family were originally refugees from Bhutan. Her heartfelt story touched on how the UN helped her family through tough living conditions in a Nepalese refugee camp, and guided them through asylum application in the US.

Students from Woodside Intermediate School 125 watch Clouds Over Sidra

The response from the children showed a maturity beyond their age. One student stated: “It’s really heartbreaking listening to [the stories of the Sidra and the other presenters] because, we worry about having the newest game when many people are worried about getting food to eat”. This is especially poignant as many of the students knew little about the Syrian conflict or other important issues underlined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) prior to the workshop.   

Clouds Over Sidra and Virtual Reality experiences like it were designed to support the Millennium Campaign’s efforts to draw attention to some of the world’s greatest challenges, allowing people living through them to tell their stories in their own words. Previously, the vast majority of screenings had been directed towards decision makers, many of whom are involved in the international community. This screening was considered pilot testing to find the best practices in using Virtual reality as a learning tool in the classroom. 

Data and Development – A Conversation with Peoples’ Voices Challenge Winner, Popily

Throughout the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the UN Millennium Campaign had the pleasure of hosting the Peoples’ Voices Challenge Award Ceremony at the We the Peoples Hub. The Peoples’ Voices Challenge Awards is a celebration of the work of the hundreds of partners at the United Nations who gave voice to those who don’t often get a say in global conversations.

Data visualization is not normally the first thing you would think of when talking about empowering marginalized communities, but Popily is not your average data analytics firm. Popily is a data science and visualization company that lets everyday, non-technical people figure what is important from their data and share it with anyone, anywhere. The Popily team used the millions of MY World survey results and thousands of Humans of MY World Facebook page posts to generate interactive data visualizations. The public can explore these visualizations on their website, so people can discover the stories in the data that they find most meaningful. We talked to Popily Co-Founder Vidya Spandana about the role data visualization and analytics plays in the Post-2015 Agenda.

Tell us about Popily, some of the things you work on, and your goals as an organization:

Popily is a data visualization and data science company, we let people put in their data and automatically generate thousands of visualizations so that they can walk through a data set instead of being confused by a giant spreadsheet of lots of numbers. [Popily] is really there to democratize data so that people who don’t have a background or experience in science or statistics can actually engage with it in a real way. Imagine being able to walk through a visual representation, instead of just looking at a piece of paper. The more people who can do that, the more empowered they can be to make decisions on what is actually happening.

For us data is a way to see the world in an observational way with some kind of reality to it, and so for more people to have the ability to access that the better we think so that we can make collective decisions together. That aligns perfectly with the work that the [UN Millennium Campaign] is doing with MY World.

What was it that made [Popily] decide that [The MY World Survey] would be a perfect pilot project for you guys to work on?

When [CEO Jonathan Morgan] brought [MY World] on for us we were really excited because the idea of actually getting information and data about peoples lives around the world really humanizes the whole date concept and really brings our tool to life. We would actually really like to step back and let the data and the voice of the people shine and this was the best opportunity to do that.

What does this mean for Popily to win [Most Innovative Visualization] right now?

It’s extremely exciting for us, we launched officially about two or three months ago so it’s very new for us and to be able to announce partnership with the United Nations, to explore people’s data that actually has meaning has us over the moon. This is an opportunity that we’ve really been able to leverage and open up new opportunities around democratizing data. What were are more excited about is to bring data in the hands of regular people and whatever tools they need to be able to explore it.

What are some of the ways that people can actually use Popily?

 Sure! You would just go to Popily.com and then there you can sign up to either upload your own data sets and explore it or there are loads of public data sets – including the MY World data set – that you can explore yourselves.

What are some of the finding you saw in the [MY World] data?

 There were so many things that were really exciting. Just getting to actually look at what is in there has been sort of like a treasure that you can open up and see. One of the things that was really interesting is how education is such a priority across gender, age, and country… I also thought that is was interesting how in certain countries the younger generation… its better to reach them via paper balloting as opposed to any kind of web or mobile tools, and I would have never expected that.

What do you have planned for the future?

 There’s a lot actually! We’ve been partnering with companies and organizations, especially governments and city governments, to be able to explore data that citizens would care about. So helping organizers put the data in a shape that they can make some decision on and then put it back out in the hands of regular people is really fun and is exactly what we got to do.

Bógóta, Colombia- Las VOCES de la Juventud: 15.000 voces por el Liderazgo y Partición Juvenil

Colombia  Colombia
Las VOCES de la Juventud: 15.000 voces por el Liderazgo y Partición Juvenil
fue liderado por la Secretaría de Educación de la Ciudad de Bogotá, en cabeza del Sr. Óscar Sánchez, Secretario de Educación del Distrito y un grupo de jóvenes de diferentes organizaciones sociales, denominado equipo motor, con el apoyo del PNUD en Colombia. Ver informe

Las voces de la Juventud es el resultado del trabajo realizado durante los años 2014 y 2015, en el marco de la encuesta MY World y que expresa las prioridades de desarrollo de más de 15.000 voces de niños, niñas, jóvenes y adolescentes de la ciudad de Bogotá y que apoyaron la definición de la nueva Agenda de Desarrollo 2030 con sus respectivos ODS.

Estos resultados han apoyado discusiones que en materia de temas de Juventud se han dado en el país, incluyendo una presentación en la Presidencia de la Republica de Colombia. El documento también muestra acciones de la juventud como: las experiencias ambientales en colegios públicos bogotanos “Pacto Mundial de jóvenes por el clima”, encuentro realizado en Toulouse Francia, que sirvieron como insumo a la reunión del COP 21 y escenarios de participación en la Universidad nacional de Colombia y el simulacro de la ONU más grande de Latino América SIMONU (ingles) .

Otro articulo sobre los resultados en Humanum Colombia



We the People’s Hub China Moment

By Di Cao-Youth Advocate of UN Millennium Campaign

During the 70th UN General Assembly, the UN Millennium Campaign (UNMC) together with our important partners from Chinese civil society organized a series of events to further engage Chinese NGOs in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With one-fifth of the world’s population, China has achieved the Millennium Development Goals in seven development indicators ahead of time, including poverty reduction, halving the hungry population, universal primary education, eliminating gender discrimination in primary and secondary education, reducing under-five mortality, tuberculosis and malaria prevention and control, safe drinking water and basic sanitation facilities. The direction of China’s future development endeavors and the degree of its commitment to global public goods will have a significant impact on the entire international community.

2015-09-17 16.41.04Director of the UNMC Mitchell Toomey and Secretary General of China NGO Network for International Exchanges You Jianhua

On September 18th, 2015, UNMC supported the China NGO Network for International Exchange (CNIE), the China All-Women Entrepreneurs (CAWE), and the China Great Wall Society (CGWS), in organizing “Balance and Sustainability: Chinese Civil Organizations Support Global Development Agenda” Roundtable in the UN Headquarters in New York City. Guests from the UN, government, private sector, and civil society from around the world attended the meeting. Keynote speakers from various professions shared their experiences and inspiring ideas about the SDGs: Mr. Yang Xiaoping, Vice President of Charoen Pokphand Group, talked about the innovation PPP model in developing modern agriculture; Mr. Huang Haoming, Vice Chairman, Executive Director of China Association for NGO Cooperation (CANGO), shared his research on activating the role of NGO in helping government to achieve poverty reduction goals. Chinese civil society has been actively involved in the implementation of the MDGs in the past. As the SDGs are about to launch at the time, a new proposal of Chinese civil organizations on the implementation of the post-2015 global development agenda was presented during the GA.




Attendees of “Balance and Sustainability: Chinese Civil Organizations Support Global Development Agenda” Roundtable 

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Following the roundtable, UNMC welcomed the Chinese delegation to hold a moment in the We the Peoples’ Hub to present significant achievements of China implementing the MDGs such as climate change and affordable energy from the NGO’s perspective. This moment also served as a platform for conversation between the UN and Chinese civil society on SDGs as well as the moving forward partnership.

2015-09-27 11.41.06Director of the UNMC Mitchell Toomey and guest speakers from Chinese civil society in We the People Hub

2015-09-27 12.54.46Youth advocates from YouThink

To bring a human perspective to the development agenda of China, UNMC showcased Humans of MY World in China, which featured the voices of various vulnerable communities and marginalized individuals in the country, including low-income groups, migrant workers, children and youth. During the China Moment, these stories were exhibited to a global audience through multi-media tools. The stories are also available on https://twitter.com/myworld2015




Citizens Around the Globe to Celebrate International Volunteer Day by Rallying to Support the Sustainable Development Goals on 5 December


On Saturday, 5 December 2015, people around the globe will celebrate International Volunteer Day by rallying to support the world’s new Sustainable Development Goals, through initiatives ranging from a massive group hug in Brazil to an online selfie campaign. The Sustainable Development Goals, which were adopted by the General Assembly in September, aim to end extreme poverty in all its dimensions, irreversibly, everywhere, by 2030; fight inequality; and address climate change. This year’s International Volunteer Day (IVD) theme, “The world is changing. Are you? Volunteer!” is challenging each and every one of us to be part of implementing the Goals.

“The actions of volunteers around the world are critical to ensure that the world’s next plan for ending poverty leaves no one behind,” said Richard Dictus, Executive Coordinator of the United Nations Volunteers Programme. “When people volunteer their time, skills, and energy, they are addressing inequality, innovating, and working with a broad range of partners to accomplish the Sustainable Development Goals. Volunteers create spaces for people to engage, acquire voice, and contribute to saving the planet and humankind.”

On International Volunteer Day 2015, the UN Millennium Campaign would like to thank volunteers who showed how their #actioncounts for MY World – and from now on, for the Sustainable Development Goals!

More info

Google Cardboard Distributed to General Assembly during Refugee Meeting

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On Thursday November 19th, the United Nations Millennium Campaign (UNMC) partnered with the Office of the President of the UN General Assembly to make Virtual Reality available to the entire General Assembly via google cardboard. This effort brought the voice of a Syrian refugee straight to decision makers and marks the first time the UN has been able to distribute its films in a way to directly advance the UN’s advocacy efforts on a larger scale in a more sustainable way.

IMG_8373During the meeting, UNMC placed Google Cardboard viewers and information sheets for delegates and observers alike to gain a better understand of the human side to the Syrian refugee crisis through Clouds Over Sidra. H.E. Mogens Lykketoft, President of the General Assembly invited delegates to use the cardboard to understand the reality of refugees in his opening statement

On your desks, you will see a small box through which you can watch a short film about one of these people: Sidra, a twelve year old girl who has fled her home in Syria due to the ongoing crisis. Having watched this video myself, I recommend it highly as it really brings home just how difficult life can be for a refugee in our world today.

Our meeting, however, is an opportunity to help refugees like Sidra, an opportunity to identify key actions to advance a more comprehensive and proportionate response to the overall global humanitarian and refugee crisis.


The President of the UN General Assembly called this informal meeting of the General Assembly three weeks prior due to the growing crisis in Europe.  The meeting, entitled “Global awareness of the tragedies of irregular migrants in the Mediterranean basin with specific emphasis on Syrian asylum seekers” included H.E. Mogens Lykketoft, President of the UN General Assembly; H.E. Jan Eliasson, UN Deputy Secretary-General; Mr. Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees; Mr. David Miliband, President and CEO of International Rescue Committee; Ms. Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict; H.E. Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Co-Chair of the High Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing; Mr Stephen O’Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator; Ms. Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme; and Mr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, Corporate Secretary and Special Envoy of the President of the World Bank Group.

The meeting was separated into three panels, which addressed protection and legal asylum measures, ensuring adequate financing, and resilience efforts to advance support for countries dealing with the largest burdens as well as the connection between humanitarian and development efforts. Each was permeated with discussion moments from member states.

Coordinated by the UNMC for the past year, the United Nations Virtual Reality (UNVR) series has attempted to use Virtual Reality as a way to advance empathy and understanding for people living through some of the world’s greatest challenges. As the UNMC works towards advocating for marginalized communities and other critical development issues, new mediums of communication have shed light on critical issues in new, imaginative ways.

To coincide with the event, UNVR.org, was launched to organize information on the series into one location. The website highlights the importance of using UNVR for advocating for bold action towards critical issues presents in the Sustainable Development Agenda and especially for focusing on the most vulnerable.

For more information, please visit UNVR.org

Celebrating 1.6 Million MY World Votes from Mexico City

By Di Cao – Global Youth Advocate at the UN Millennium Campaign

Answering the United Nations Secretary-General’s call, MY World was developed with one clear goal in mind —to reach out to people all over the world— and ask them: “What would make your life better?” As an integral part of the UN’s “global conversation” initiative, MY World gave people across the world a platform and the tools to raise their voices and tell the United Nations what is important to them. By engaging 8.5 million people in the global survey, MY World has proven that people want to be involved in defining their government’s priorities, and they are already actively working to make change in their communities. It has also proven that governments are interested in what their people prioritize and are willing to integrate their opinions into their public planning.


(MY World Youth Ambassadors in Mexico City)

Mexico was responsible for 23% of the 8.5 million votes collected globally. The great success came from the massive mobilization of youth across the country, and in Mexico City in particular with the Mexico City Youth Institute. Mexico City had the highest number of people participate out of any city with 1.6 million votes. The city-wide initiative not only helped the government see priorities at the local government, setting the stage for the implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but it also had a positive impact on the local policy making and funding decisions made by the Mexico City government.


(Mayor of Mexico City Dr. Miguel Ángel Mancera at the launch event of MY World Survey)

“The MY World survey recovers that democratic spirit of listening and taking into account the perspectives of young people who with their perseverance, talent and creativity have contributed to make of our city. The survey results allowed us to approach the priorities of 1.6 million people, it represents the most important youth public opinion consultation that has been realized in the country.”

——Miguel Ángel, Mayor of Mexico City
“MY World Mexico City Executive Report”

Recognizing this significant achievement, the UN Millennium Campaign and INJUVE DF launched the “MY World Mexico City Executive Report” on November 9th, 2015 at the UN Headquarters. INJUVE DF presented the report to the UN as well as the general public through live streaming. Maria Fernanda Olvera Cabrera, Director of INJUVE DF, shared the agency’s experiences in inspiring 3,000 youth ambassadors to collect millions of votes:

“Local, common people are receiving services from the government, therefore the government needs to know people’s priorities,” she said. “We inspired 3,000 youth ambassadors and created an educational program to teach them how to collect the votes; furthermore, we provided young ambassadors with small scholarships, which supported them to be completely devoted to the MY World survey for 3 months.”


(Maria Fernanda Olvera Cabrera, Mexico City Executive Report in UN Headquarters)

1.6 million voices had a great impact on the local policymaking. Although Mexico City offers universal healthcare, the result of MY World survey highlighted the need for greater mental health services for young people, causing INJUVE to investigate with a more robust survey, focusing on emotions. In response, the government now offers free services for emotional health care and risk reduction for young people. “It is a long lasting experience and inspiration of empowering youth for the future,” said Mitchell Toomey, the Director of the UNMC.

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(Youth Ambassadors were collecting votes in Mexico City)

H.E. Mr. Zinsou, the Ambassador of Benin to the United Nations, joined the Executive report to celebrate 1.6 million Mexican voices. Ravi Karkara, the World We Want Policy Strategy Group Co-chair, praised the survey of Mexico City as “an great example of how to ensure inclusiveness for people-centered policy”.


(L-R: Director of INJUVE DF Maria Fernanda Olvera Cabrera, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Benin to the United Nations H.E.Mr. Jean-Francis R. Zinsou,  Director of the UNMC Mitchell Toomey,World We Want Policy Strategy Group Co-chair Ravi Karkara)

Phasing in the new SDGs, the upcoming MY World 2030 survey will move forward to a more customized and localized platform with continued monitoring of SDG progress. INJUVE DF proposed a specific survey for young people to provide empirical evidence to inform youth-related policies in capital cities across the world.


La sociedad civil celebra el 70 aniversario de Naciones Unidas con las agencias, fondos y programas con representación en España

Cientos de visitantes de todas las edades han participado en las celebraciones del 70 aniversario de la firma de la Carta Fundacional de Naciones Unidas que han tenido lugar en el Centro Cultural Conde Duque de Madrid el 24 de octubre 2015. A través de una jornada de puertas abiertas en la que las 14 agencias, fondos, programas han expuesto su trabajo con muestras fotográficas, debates y actividades para niños, los visitantes han podido tener la oportunidad de conocer más sobre la familia de Naciones Unidas. 

“Es emocionante conocer el trabajo de las agencias de cerca, en áreas como la infancia, el turismo sostenible, los refugiados o el trabajo digno, y también analizar los logros y todo lo que queda por hacer”, comentaba un grupo de visitantes a la exposición ‘Naciones Unidas, un Barrio Global’.

En la primera acción conjunta de este tipo que tiene lugar en España, los visitantes tuvieron oportunidad de dejar sus mensajes y deseos escritos a Naciones Unidas así como de interactuar con el personal de las agencias que cuentan con representación en España. Una de las actividades más emotivas de las celebraciones fue la suelta de globos colectiva que portaban deseos escritos por los visitantes desde primera hora del día. Cientos de personas corearon al unísono la cuenta atrás junto con la periodista Teresa Viejo que moderó el encuentro con la sociedad civil. En el encuentro además de un vídeo-mensaje de Ban Ki-moon, secretario general de Naciones Unidas con motivo del 70 aniversario de la Organización, representantes de las agencias en España así como de organizaciones de la sociedad civil debatieron sobre la relevancia de la ONU y los retos a los que se enfrenta.

“Todas las agencias de Naciones Unidas tenemos un objetivo común: construir un mundo mejor para todos. Seguiremos trabajando juntos para marcar la diferencia”, señaló Marcio Favilla director ejecutivo de la Organización Mundial del Turismo, única agencia con sede permanente en España, en este caso en Madrid.Susana Malcorra jefa de gabinete del secretario general de Naciones Unidas Ban Ki-moon acompañó a los representantes de las agencias y mencionó que “estamos en un momento de desafíos pero también de oportunidades y la Agenda 2030 con los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible son la herramienta para poder aunar voces y acabar con la pobreza y el hambre en el mundo”.

Además de reconocer los logros conseguidos el debate también dejó espacio a la reflexión crítica y a estrategias de mejora del sistema de Naciones Unidas. Mercedes Ruiz-Giménez, presidenta de la Coordinadora de ONG para el Desarrollo insistió en “la necesidad de dotar de mayor transparencia al sistema y de aumentar la presencia de mujeres en puestos de responsabilidad”.

En la clausura del evento, Francesca Friz-Prguda, representante de ACNUR en España quien recordó la tragedia humana de los desplazamientos de refugiados y la necesidad de trabajar de manera coordinada. Sólo en 2015, según Friz-Prguda, “han llegado a Grecia e Italia unas 700.000 personas, mayoritariamente refugiados; más de 3.100 han muerto ahogadas. En este momento hay 60 millones de personas desplazadas por conflictos en el mundo, la cifra más alta jamás registrada por ACNUR; esto sin olvidar los cinco millones y medio de refugiados palestinos con los que trabaja la UNRWA”.

La soprano Pilar Jurado, embajadora de la OIT para la erradicación del trabajo infantil, cerró el acto junto con los niños y niñas del Coro de Las Rozas que entonaron la ‘Nana para dormir a un niño que no descansa’, ya considerada el himno contra el Trabajo Infantil.

Esta celebración conjunta de todas las agencias de la ONU radicadas en España forma parte de las celebraciones del 70 aniversario que tendrán continuación con la visita del Secretario General de Naciones Unidas, Ban Ki-moon, que estará en España entre los días 28 y 30 de octubre.