The Stockholm Act

A win-win-win-win program with many satakeholders (and no unintelligible jargon)

A win-win program with many stakeholders (and no unintelligible jargon)

One of the complicated challenges -as well as one of the strengths- of Agenda 2030 is the underlying goal to communicate the SDGs simultaneously. It demands a kind of whole earth approach without becoming lost in abstract detachment. The aim is to go deep as well as wide.

The team behind the Stockholm Act created a space that managed to navigate this somehow paradoxical aim. By bringing together the otherwise separated dimensions – politics, finance, culture and science – they forced the language out of a jargon that can easily be distancing. The seven day long festival included a widespread program such as philosophically contemplating “The Overview Effect” live on stage with the Swedish Space Program, Carl Folke (Stockholm Resilience Centre), Johanna Koljonen and the world famous jazz band, Fire! Orchestra.  Meantime, in another room, students from Fryshuset (16-20 years old) presented an assignment on how youth view the Agenda 2030.

The students coordinated with a startup, Inicio, the Royal Institute of Technology, the Swedish Energy Agency and Fortum Värme. Together they tried and also made a bicycle that could recharge smartphones used to upload photos on Snapchat/Instagram. Fortum Värme’s CEO also got a mentor from Fryshuset in digital transformation. A win-win coordinated event and a collaboration between different stakeholders that is still developing further.

Living in the postmodern paradigm, one of the dangers is social fragmentation, and the examples in current years across are abundant. Behind the initiative is the belief that in order to accelerate the transformation toward Agenda 2030 as much as possible, everyone should feel engaged and invited. A strategy was built to broaden the engagement for Agenda 2030 and to safeguard from creating a movement that a lot of people felt excluded from.

The team managed to create an inclusive platform open to all regardless of class, background, age, expertise or expression, gathering over 41 000 visitors. The plan for the future is to share the knowledge for the next Act (in Sweden or another place in the world) to help accelerate the movement to achieve the global goals.

Who is behind this?

The Stockholm Coordination Initiative

For more information:

 www.stockholmact.se

REACT & Youth Skills and Innovation Initiative

Education in emergencies requires urgent fundraising and a powerful business coalition

Education in emergencies requires urgent fundraising and a powerful business coalition

The business community’s contributions to education have been small, short-term, and uncoordinated – and a fraction of the size of business contributions to other sectors like health and climate. With an estimated 75 million children having had their education disrupted and more than half of the world’s young people projected to be without the basic skills necessary for job by 2030, the team behind this initiative decided there was no time to waste.

The Global Business Coalition for Education (GBC-Education) brings together business alongside NGOs, UN Agencies and young people to solve the toughest challenges in education and drive forward progress on SDG 4. Two challenges the team has prioritized are education in emergencies and the youth skills gap. The small team has “hearts of activists and heads of strategists” and they have leveraged millions of dollars in public-private support to help young people have opportunity through education. The team established the REACT digital platform to efficiently and effectively record, match, and deploy corporate resources to the education needs in emergencies. By utilizing the digital platform’s immediacy and ease of access, the project has enabled a real-time matchmaking and streamlined delivery of contributions from more than 55 companies to the most urgent educational needs.

For instance, the team worked with HP on a Livelihoods Center in Istanbul to support Syrian refugees. Marisa – a Syrian refugee who left everything behind and had her university education stopped because of the conflict – admits this project has given her the opportunity to continue her studies and to have a routine and a place to go to everyday to gain skills for a job. To address the looming skills gap, the Youth Skills and Innovation Initiative convenes business leaders, youth organizations, international organizations and civil society to identify models for industry leaders bridge the skills gap by working directly with young people.

These unique partnerships across diverse stakeholders make it possible to deliver positive impact and transformative models of change. Just last month, the project brokered a $15 million pledged from the business community to deliver low-cost technology solutions for school systems in the poorest countries and expand access to learning opportunities for millions of children. The team aspires to be the go-to source for the business community in global education to lead the private sector in driving education investments across the globe, engaging in critical dialogue on key issues, facilitating multi-sector partnerships, and harnessing opportunities to bring dozens of companies and partnerships valued at hundreds of millions of dollars to deliver SDG4.

Who is behind this?

A team of five youth leaders from the Global Business Coalition for Education

For more information:

REACT & Youth skills and innovation 

Integrando tecnología educativa en Casa de la Mujer Indígena “Mak Ujhani”

Indigenous women find a shelter to treat and avoid gender violence -and it is run by one of them

Indigenous women find a shelter to treat and avoid gender violence -and it is run by one of them

Angelica Ruiz Felix, an otomí indigenous woman from Queretaro, Mexico is a mother of 4 children, artisan, Otomi cultural manager and official Otomi-Spanish translator. She is also the administrator of the House of Indigenous Woman “Casa de la Mujer Indígena ´Mak Ujhani´” (CAMI) in Tolimán, Querétaro, Mexico.

CAMI is a center run by women trained as promoters, facilitators and traditional doctors. The problem they address with their work is the prevention and eradication of violence against women. This initiative offers services at the CAMI to prevent, assist and give follow-up care to women that have suffered any type of violence.

The center also raises awareness through workshops, courses and summits to women and men and create spaces to exchange experiences and work along with public servants to address violence against women in the municipality.

Who is behind this?

Angelica Ruiz Felix

For more information:

Visit website

AIESEC: Youth 4 Global Goals

If you watch these inspiring episodes of volunteering experiences, you will want to volunteer too

If you watch these inspiring episodes of volunteering experiences, you will want to volunteer too

Youth 4 Global Goals is an AIESEC Initiative through which the team aims to mobilize youth towards the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Their initiative aims to educate youth about the SDGs and provide practical volunteering opportunities to unleash their potential while being an active world citizen. They believe that young people need to be strong partners in the achievement of the SDGs.

The project focus on developing their leadership skills and providing a platform to act towards issues they are passionate about. AIESEC has built a strong network of young people passionate about the positive change and has mobilized 74,000 international volunteers to work in development projects for 6-8 weeks. Since the creation of the initiative in 2015, it reached over 6 million young people to educate them about the SDGs and engaged 90,000 young leaders in YouthSpeak Forums to discuss some of the most pressing issues in the local reality.

Youth 4 Global Goals is aiming to become to an umbrella for all the youth action towards the SDGs. Their ambition is to be able to engage as many young people in this movement as possible. AIESEC is actively working with various partners to increase our reach. For 2018, the team plans to reach 10 million young people through their digital campaigns, 100,000 people through YouthSpeak Forums and World’s Largest Lesson activations. Most importantly, they are keeping their focus on making sure youth will take action to impact the SDGs by facilitating 50,000 volunteer experiences this year.

AIESEC has aligned its programs with the SDGs in 2015. In 2018, the aim is to run Flagship programs focused on Good Health and Well-Being, Quality Education, Gender Equality, Decent Work and Economic Growth and Responsible Consumption.

Who is behind this?

Tetiana Landysheva / AISEC

For more information:

Visit https://youth4globalgoals.org/

My World. Challenges for a better world

One of the big boys (indeed, a bank) raising awareness through its huge platforms

One of the big boys (indeed, a bank) raising awareness through its huge platforms

“La Caixa” Banking Foundation launched the travelling exhibition “My World. Challenges for a better world”, which has been on display at the foundation’s cultural centers in several Spanish cities since 2015.

At the time, it was the first exhibition devoted entirely to the SDGs in Spain, placed in exhibition centers that reach thousands of people. When thinking about what kind of exhibition the foundation envisioned, the challenge was to take a step forward regarding the dissemination of the SDGs, and for this reason the exhibition was designed in a very participative way rather than a purely informative one.

The aim of this exhibition is to be inclusive, innovative and interactive. It uses new innovative tools, like holographic audiovisuals and virtual reality glasses. The target audience is very wide: general public, individuals, families, schools, etc. So far, the total number of visitors is over 75,000 and about 8,000 school children have also taken part in the educational workshops. The educational component of the exhibition is a particular strength and it responds to a demand from the teachers who want to explain the SDGs to their students and do not have the resources to do it in a successful and fun way.

The next step of the project is the total integration of the SDGs in the main  “la Caixa” Banking Foundation new strategic plan.

Taking into account that this organization has an annual budget of 520 million euros, its projects reach about 11 million people every year, the potential dissemination, SDGs awareness, and real impact can be remarkable.

Who is behind this?

La Caixa Foundation

For more information:

MY WORLD – La Caixa Forum 

Zamisli2030 / Imagine2030

The relevant necessity of spreading the SDGs at a country level

Spreading the SDGs at country level

IMAGINE 2030 is an initiative of the UN team in Bosnia and Herzegovina, designed to promote the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Global Agenda through the use of “strategic foresight” and the innovative and interactive SDG consultations tool with elements and the dynamics of social games through which the participants create together, and in a very democratic manner, find imaginative solutions around a selected sustainable development goal or a specific task or a problem.

To date, over 1,200 people were engaged through the SDG workshops Information gathered include negative and positive associations about the past; negative and positive associations about the present; their visions for the future; their perspectives on what key societal values BiH needs to strive for; and information on key actions and elements that need to be in place to achieve the SDGs. Additionally, citizens prioritized SDGs and targets and problem-solved SDG targets adjusted to the local context.

In the process, citizens have elaborated hundreds of brilliant ideas and have identified numerous accelerators for sustainable development. The people behind the project would like to upscale the tool globally. Adaptation would be very simple for any country or organization that would be interested to try the approach and engage citizens with the SDGs directly. Citizen participation is at the core of the sustainable development and citizens need to have a voice in shaping policies and priorities for development and determine their future together with decision makers.

The project’s core is that everyone engaged through the workshops left with clear understanding about the complexity of the task ahead and understanding that the change needs to start with each individual. Though this initiative, citizens are ultimately being empowered to co-create the future with all other relevant stakeholders and ‘nudge’ them to embrace responsibility to also co-change that imagined future.

Who is behind this?

Envesa Hodzic-Kovac / UNCT BiH

For more information:

Visit www.zamisli2030.ba

“Home” the movie

There is no way you know first hand stories from refugees and you remain doing nothing

There is no way you can know first-hand stories of refugees and keep doing nothing

Director Daniel Mulloy said: “My partner’s own experience as a refugee, the most personal to me, combined with the thought of the young family I had met, almost a year earlier guided ‘HOME’ at every stage.” With the project “HOME” the team was sending two different messages: A humanitarian message – to serve as a global call to all governments and societies to tackle the current migration and refugee crisis from a humanitarian perspective- and a development message – to showcase Kosovo as a place with talent, capacity and many young professionals who crave a platform or opportunity to produce wonderful  cinematic art, and thus make Kosovo an attractive place for the film industry.

Kosovo does not only need to create more jobs for young professionals, but also to diversify its portfolio. The best example is Production Designer, Ms. Mrinë Godanca and Art Director, Ms. Elmedinë Morina, who have put together the two most difficult sets that made the movie so original. They were architecture students at the time, they have now gone on to be architects and highly sought after as set designers. British artist, Isaac Gracie, did a video in Kosovo and the project´s set designers were doing sets for the video. Many other artists got more opportunities.

The production of “Home” was completed right before the SDGs were finalized and launched, but the team already knew most of the inputs into SDGs, hence the finalized product encompasses issues covered about 7 different goals. Probably no other UN entity tried such a complicated engagement of a multitude of stakeholders for a communications product of this level.

The movie HOME, including production, promotion and screening touched the lives of millions of people; whether they have seen it in the theatre, Vimeo, BBC iPlayer or in different TV stations. Initially, it was connected to the #with refugee’s petition and it not only serves to elicit empathy from viewers and humanize refugees, it also reminds viewers of the horrors of conflict including: sexual violence in conflict, food scarcity in conflict regions, suffering of children, etc.

Due to the success of “HOME”, the distribution partner, New Europa Cinema, estimates that the movie will generate  revenues for the next 5-6 years. The UNDC Office intends to utilize these revenues for financing similar projects. With regards to the movie “HOME”, the team plans to release it free to air soon, once the conditions allow for it to be viewed by all that have access to internet.

Who is behind this?

Dokufest

For more information:

Visit http://www.homefilm.org/

The People’s Summit / The Night Trek for The SDGs

Reaching the SDGs is literally a hike at night (and you have to light up the way to the summit!)

Reaching the SDGs is literally a hike at night (and you have to light up the way to the summit!)

This project looked inside Norway’s national hiking culture to reach the peak. It is thanks to this hiking culture -“turkultur”- that even shy Norwegians opened up to help each other. That is why the team decided to create the world’s first true SDG summit on top of two of Norway’s most popular hiking mountains. And in order to put our “turkultur” to the test, participants would climb to the summits in the dark. This idea was born by wanting to show that collaboration and fellowship are key to achieving the SDGs and believing that these qualities are inherent in all of us.

The team created a Facebook invitation and used targeted marketing, bloggers, local and national media to attract people from all across the country. Together with local municipalities, the Red Cross, the Norwegian Trekking Association and hundreds of volunteers they erected 17 light stops along the trails: Each one inviting the passing hikers to learn more about the goals. In 2016 and 2017, 20,000 hikers joined the treks up Gaustatoppen and Keiservarden. The participants lit up the trail for each other and learned about some of the most important messages of our time. Together they created spectacular human light chains that became powerful symbols of what we can achieve together. The starting point was that in 2016, only 35% of Norwegians knew that the SDGs existed, so the target was to increase awareness of the SDGs in the entire population of Norway by 10 percent in 2017.

From the summit, the message was spread through social media: using bloggers, musicians, UN agencies and even the Prime Minister as the project’s ambassadors. The campaign generated over 100 media stories including coverage in all major national media outlets. The films from the events have been viewed over 5.5 million times in social media.

But most importantly: awareness of the SDGs increased by 15%. Today, 50% of Norwegians know that the SDGs exist. This campaign started in 2016 and the idea is to continue the initiative throughout 2018 and 2019, initiating SDG events all over Norway. The People’s Summit will be expanded with seminars, outdoor activities, school activities and continue with night treks for the SDGs. All of it bound together with a social media campaign with films and pictures to tell the great stories of new communities and cities that has started their transformation towards 2030. The new goal now is that by 2020 65% of the Norwegian population is aware of the SDGs.

Circular Economy Club

Getting (really!!!) serious on circular economy

Getting (really!!!) serious on circular economy

A network that started with one member (can that be called a “network”?) is now gathering over 2,600 circular economy professionals from over 60 countries spreading knowledge, mentorship, activities and support all over the world. The Circular Economy Club (CEC) is a non-profit international network that was born due to the lack of visibility and connections that often keep circular economy local initiatives from having a higher impact.

Connecting people with the same interests allows individuals to exchange knowledge, create collaborations, and have a stronger impact than they would have separately. CEC is the only organization bringing together all actors in the circular economy space, making them visible and connected, for free.

Within 2 years, CEC has become the fastest-growing international, open, collaborative non-profit network in the circular economy field and has had a tremendous impact in connecting individuals and organizations, including 23 dedicated volunteer team members, 37 CEC Mentors providing free mentorship to start-ups and students to embed sustainability in different sectors, such as fashion, or city development, 45 CEC Organizers from all continents running local workshops and receiving recognition for being the field connector in their regions, 67 CEC Mapping Week Organisers running a workshop to identify circular initiatives in their cities to then upload all the information to a common open-source directory which enables anyone to find those initiatives and contact them, 2,600 CEC Members sharing best practices around sustainability and finding new partners; and 35,000 followers across all channels gaining access to tools on how to implement the circular economy and joining local CEC workshops to connect with other like-minded professionals.

Each of these actions has a vast impact on the individuals taking part. For instance, the Port Harcourt (Nigeria) CEC Organiser said that thanks to CEC, he is now well connected and empowered to bring together the community in Nigeria and help drive his country towards a circular economy.

Decentralizing CEC through the network of volunteer organizers has been key to its worldwide impact. In this light, the key 2018 goals are to get onboard 200 volunteer organizers worldwide who bring together the circular economy community in their cities, and also the launching of the ‘Shaping the Future’ project through which 300 CEC Members transfer their knowledge to 9,000 university students, aiming to nurture sustainability leadership among the younger generations.

Who is behind this?

Anna Tarí Sánchez

For more information:

Visit http://www.circulareconomyclub.com/

Chef´s manifesto

Cooking sustainable development from the kitchen and beyond

Cooking sustainable development from the kitchen and beyond

Chefs influence what we grow, what we put on our plates and how we think and talk about food. The changemakers behind this project felt chefs could be powerful advocates for a better food future – motivating people to make changes in their kitchens and communities and empowering them to call on governments and companies to also play their part. Disruptive new voices like chefs could help translate SDGs into a language that resonates with the public and inspires them to take the action that will contribute to delivery of the goals.

Tackling food system challenges – such as undernutrition, food waste and soil degradation – is hugely complex. Success relies on everyone getting involved. By creating an online community and a Chefs’ Manifesto with simple, practical guidance on engaging in the SDGs, this initiative saw an opportunity to amplify existing activity, promote innovation and solutions and empower chefs all over the world to help deliver a more sustainable food system.

The SDG2 Advocacy Hub was uniquely placed to lead the initiative as it could draw on the expertise of Hub members – from NGOs to business and culinary organizations – to create a new movement for food. Over the last six months, the SDG2 Advocacy Hub has established a community of 130+ chefs from 38 countries who worked together to create a Chefs’ Manifesto. This is a document written by chefs, for chefs, synthesizing the SDGs into 8 thematic areas that chefs are most interested in tackling. The Manifesto is underpinned by an Action Plan which provides practical activities across each thematic area that chefs can take to contribute to the SDGs and inspire others to act. The Hub is also collating content and case studies of best practice across the chef network – from innovative ways of tackling food waste in kitchens to examples of chef-led social action in communities.

Notably, the initiative has helped give voice to chefs from all over the world and helped champion their vital role in engaging people in SDG 2 action. For instance, a group of chefs from India, UK, Venezuela and Cameroon presented the Manifesto at the Global Nutrition Summit in Milan in November 2017- providing an opportunity for the individual chefs to both profile their own work but also the power of collective action. The initiative will aim to change lives by equipping chefs all over the world with a simple set of actions to contribute to the SDGs and a ‘one-stop shop’ where they can access and share information that will help them drive change through their kitchens and in their communities.

The project´s aim is to continue to grow the chef network and engagement from all over the world – ensuring that the community is as inclusive and representative of the diverse role of chefs as possible. The Action Plan will be turned into a practical toolkit (translated into French, Spanish and English, in the first instance) which will serve as clear guidance for chefs as how they can – through areas such as purchasing power, kitchen practices and consumer education – contribute to the SDGs.

Who is behind this?

SDG2 Advocacy Hub