Travelling through schools makes the SDGs classroom huge

Travelling through schools makes the SDGs classroom huge

GoalsOnWheels is truly unique. An intense effort carried out voluntarily by an individual to reach the most unreached with the SDGs. The project has reached 88 schools so far, impacting about 80,000 individuals. It is not just addressing the SDG awareness gap but also inspiring others to follow suit helping the cause to reach a larger audience and multiply the impact. The initiative paved the way for many localised solutions specific to the issue. It has drawn attention from global peers who are willing to replicate the initiative in their countries.

An inspiring story of this initiative is that when the project leader met a student, Rithwik, in the initial days of the campaign. The campaign gave him a stage to speak and only then they could know how intelligible that kid was. He has volunteered to lead SDG 13 within his school. Recently, the project leader has revisited them and was surprised to hear and see transformational change. Rithwik convinced not just his friends but the school management to reduce usage of polythene bags and the school has taken a resolution to make the premise a polythene free zone. He says now he wishes to become a global climate champion by saving his planet from climate deterioration.

This is all what the initiative aspires to do, apprise and inspire. The current ambitious target to reach hundred thousand students is only a initial phase of the global impact going to be created. In the next phase multiple campaigns will be launched across the world. Together with all the countries, large scale implementable solutions will be worked on. Furthermore, this entrepreneur is working with the local government to make their policies in line with the SDGs.

Who is behind this?

Akhilesh Reddy Singi Reddy

For more information:

Visit http://singanna.com/goals-on-wheels/

SDGs Youth Training Canada

Youth is already organized, you just have to knock on their student groups’ doors

Youth is already organized, you just have to knock on their student groups’ doors

How can youth meaningfully participate in the movement toward a sustainable, prosperous and equitable Canada? How can Canadian civil society create space for youth, moving beyond just few youth representatives, to include diverse youth as active, fully engaged global citizens?

That is the problem the Foundation for Environmental Stewardship (FES) set out to tackle in 2016-2017, partnering with student-organizing groups across post-secondary institutions in Canada to bring the Sustainable Development Goals Advocacy and Local Implementation program across the country; from St. Johns, Newfoundland in the Maritimes, all the way to the west coast in Kamloops, British Columbia.

The first initiative of its type, the SDGs Youth Training Canada program is designed to engage and mobilize young people and build their capacities in sustainable problem solving, exercising this muscle to make it our generation’s core competency. Understanding the history, guiding principles and measurement of the SDGs is just the first step of the program, which is what students are introduced to at the training on their campus. The most important part of engagement with students is facilitating the design and implementation of an SDG Project in their local communities, catalyzing them to action.

Every campus SDGs Youth Training event hosted this year was entirely organized and driven by students, for students. Club organizers, student activists, elected departmental representatives and all other types of student leaders were the drivers of the SDGs Youth Training on their campus, and they are the leaders taking on the mantle of local implementation.

It is FES’ firm conviction that youth serving work must center the value, capacities and goals of youth themselves. Through the cross-country tour, Canadian students have demonstrated irrevocably that youth are willing and able to be the champions of the SDGs.

Nearly 6000 Canadian students came out from coast to coast to 32 trainings, representing 77 post-secondary institutions across the country. When asked if the training increased their understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals , 96% of the 400+ respondents asserted that it did and, perhaps most humbling for us is that when asked how much more likely they are to take action (e.g. advocacy and local implementation) on the SDGs after this training, 81% of respondents said they were likely to do so.

With the energy the program has generated at the grassroots, and guidance from FES SDGs Program Staff, students are collectively organizing the first ever Canadian Student Network for the Sustainable Development Goals, a national level youth body that will represent student voices in policy advocacy!

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/

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

Youth SDG Action Morocco

The Youth SDG Action Morocco’s inspiration led to action, and their action leads to real change. The group is Working to pave the way towards achieving the 2030 Agenda in this North-African country, this initiative was created to engage Moroccan youth in reaching the 17 Goals

The Youth SDG Action Morocco’s inspiration led to action, and their action leads to real change. The group is Working to pave the way towards achieving the 2030 Agenda in this North-African country, this initiative was created to engage Moroccan youth in reaching the 17 Goals

Inspiration happens! From the first edition of the UN SDG Festival last year which ignited the spark of change that brought together rebellious spirits from all over Morocco to create the Sustainable Development Youth association. Working to pave the way towards achieving the Agenda2030 in the North-African country and the rest of the region, this initiative was created to express Moroccan youth’s engagement towards reaching the 17 Goals, with the aim to educate and empower Moroccans to achieve Agenda 2030, through the initiation and facilitation of partnerships between government officials, civil society institutions, youth voices and the UN SDG Action Campaign to break barriers.

The change maker’s engagement is fueled by the desire of making Morocco a pioneer in achieving Agenda 2030. The uniqueness of their work lays in the launch of a national campaign to promote the SDGs (the first of its kind in the MENA region), and the training and advisory they provide to civil society in order to elaborate concrete solutions to fulfill the SDGs. Accordingly, the project is a major partner of the UN SDG Action Campaign for the MY World initiative in the MENA region and is currently involved in projects with NGOs and Government Institutions.

The aim here is to push for the SDGs in an innovative way, create a network of leaders and gather the maximum of votes and stories that translate citizens’ voices. This initiative’s work in Morocco has changed the vision of many. Including Meryem, who never heard of the SDGs prior our SDGs academy in Agadir, with the support of UNIC Morocco, Climate Change summit and MY World. Following her participation, Meryem was engaged in more than 15 workshops to popularize the SDGs as the project’s coordinator in the region of Casablanca and she is in the process of creating her own association with a focus on decent work and economic growth. This effect may not seem big at first, but it is in a world where equality is aspired, better life quality expected and climate sustainability pursued. Only a true recognition of dialogue’s importance, an honest belief in the power of the SDGs to change the world, would help envision the crucial/far-reaching impact of this association’s work.

The team is wholeheartedly convinced that Impact starts with people, empowerment is a result of involvement, and inspiration is the fruit of our deeds. This initiative is one of the first to be launched in the Arab region, which aspires to reach more targets and create regional coordination bureaus in North Africa and the Middle East, to allow exchange of best practices through fellowship programs, SDG Academies, Youth councils and common research.

All this, inspired still by the reason why it all started: advocacy for Moroccan youth’s implication in decision making through the creation of local and global partnerships.

Who is behind this?

The Sustainable Development’s Youth Association, Morocco

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/

Unreasonable Goals

Each year until 2030 the team at Unreasonable Group will bring together highly scalable solutions armed with leading edge technologies and match them, during a two week gathering, with world-class mentors, select foundations, sovereign wealth funds, policy makers, multinational executives, and private equity firms to help scale-up their efforts to meet the SDGs.

Each year until 2030 the team at Unreasonable Group will bring together highly scalable solutions armed with leading edge technologies and match them, during a two week gathering, with world-class mentors, select foundations, sovereign wealth funds, policy makers, multinational executives, and private equity firms to help scale-up their efforts to meet the SDGs.

Unreasonable Goals is a first of its kind initiative with the singular focus of accelerating our ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by operating at the nexus of policy governments, finance, multinationals, and the world’s most promising impact entrepreneurs.  This matters because every year, more than $120B is spent in international development assistance, yet this system has yet to produce the game-changing results we all know are needed.

Unreasonable Goals is designed to bring new problem solvers to the table: profitable entrepreneurs with cutting edge technologies that can, in partnership with governments and select multinationals worldwide, measurably, and with financially sustainable models, solve the SDGs. During its first year, this initiative cohort of 16 world-changing ventures hailed from all over the globe with operations spanning a variety of sectors, disciplines, and markets – from managing direct trade cacao sourcing and distribution in Guatemala, to producing off-grid wave powered clean energy in Australia, to operating the first Fair Trade Apparel company on the continent of Africa. Collectively the cohort positively impacts the lives of over 8.1 million individuals directly and in a measurably way and has operations and sales reaching 68 countries.

Furthermore, the 16 ventures represent the job-creators of tomorrow around sustainable industries and are already actively supporting more than 2,000 jobs. To-date the cohort has raised $170.9 million in collective funding since the program’s launch in July 2017. These 16 entrepreneurs were uniquely positioned to each solve one of the first 16 SDG’s and the 17th “entrepreneur” representing the 17th goals was the US government itself via the State Department.

This initiative will be running annually through 2030 and each year will host the program in partnership with a new international government. The ultimate aim is to create a program where innovative entrepreneurs, governments, and values aligned multinational corporations can all collaborate towards the goal of ending poverty, globally, in all its forms. The project’s vision is that each SDG is intertwined in such a way that none can be solved individually or in silos.

Who is behind this?

Daniel Epstein

For more information:

Visit https://unreasonablegroup.com/ 

NDC-SDG Connections

Global agreements are okay but… let´s bring some action!

Major global agreements, overlapping agendas –  Finding synergies to take action!

In an ever increasingly complex world we are observing a multitude of documents that contain concrete national commitments to the global common good of sustainable development. The two guiding global agreements -the Paris Climate Agreement and the 2030 Agenda- seek to halt climate change and foster sustainable development within planetary boundaries. To keep a systematic overview on these multiple commitments, to identify gaps where action is needed and to foster learning across countries and regions, NDC-SDG Connections visualises how concrete climate action commitments in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of countries can support the achievement of a multitude of SDGs and their targets at global, regional and national level.

NDC-SDG Connections provides a knowledge hub for thematic connectivity of the two global agendas that are kept separate in implementation but benefit heavily from thematic complementarity in implementation. This knowledge hub has been taken up very positively by nation states, asking for support to deepen their national dialogue of stakeholders to achieve the two agendas as one, as well as at UN level to foster synergies between the two agendas and achieve the global common good of sustainable development.

In a next step, this knowledge hub aims at integrating the actions and commitments countries have given in their sustainable development processes to implement the 2030 Agenda in order to truly carve out at global, regional and national level the thematic overlaps and gaps between the two agendas. Knowing about overlaps allows reducing redundancies in activities, identifying the gaps is of utmost importance to strengthen action to leave no one behind.

This initiative aims at stimulating the thematic dialogue across policy sectors to implement both agendas consistently and to provide a platform for learning from each other and jointly contributing to sustainable development for all and within our planetary boundaries.

Who is behind this?

Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) / Stockholm Environment Institute

For more information:

Visit http://ndc-sdg.info/

“Leave no one behind” campaign

“Let´s be together, let´s be inclusive, let´s be united and leave no one behind / Hold hands in hands and move forward / Leave no one behind, say this together”. This is how the song of this campaign begins!

Advocacy in Pakistan sets the beat and everyone should be dancing

“Let´s be together, let´s be inclusive, let´s be united and leave no one behind / Hold hands in hands and move forward / Leave no one behind, say this together”.

This is how the song of the “Leave no one behind” campaign begins. Its original language is in Urdu, the official language of Pakistan and it was broadcasted through radio and social media across the country. Policies- to-action forums were also organized across the country, as a campaign during the last 500 days of the Millenium Development Goals (MDG) and to help kick off the post-2015 consultations with different stakeholders including governments, academia, companies, media, students and the most marginalized and socially excluded groups like religious and sexual minorities. Almost all of them were unaware of the MDGs and wanted to be part of such transformative agenda.

Based upon the “Leave no one behind” campaign and findings of the consultations, the team developed a documentary and a song in Urdu to popularize the MDG/SDGs agenda to the masses.  AwazCDS/PDA is now the only leading platform in the country that has mobilized the people from all walks of life for better understanding and implementing the SDGs through better governance and greater accountability. This initiative has also sensitized the parliamentarians in Pakistan who have been engaged in SDG taskforces at national and provincial levels to oversee the implementation of the goals.

The national government has institutionalized the creation of SDG Units at planning and development levels in order to introduce the 2030 Agenda in annual and multiyear developmental and financial plans. AwazCDS/Pakistan Development Alliance is now in the process of carrying out a mapping / gap analysis of the CSOs/ private sector engagement in the implementation of SDGs by the national and provincial governments. The mapping will help the team develop a robust advocacy plan for pushing both governments and private sector/ CSOs to join hands together for achieving the commitments made under the 2030 agenda.

Moreover, the project has also conducted a national survey in Pakistan to prioritize the SDGs and interestingly Goal 16 was recommended as the top priority of various stakeholders and governments too. The campaign has also pushed the national Government to join the Voluntary National Review (VNR) process and there is a commitment from the Pakistani leaders to conduct a VNR in 2019.

Who is behind this?

AwazCDS / Pakistan Development Alliance

For more information:

Visit www.pda.net.pk