With the arrival of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, the world’s eyes are focused on Rio de Janeiro, the “marvelous city.” Known for its good vibes, warmth and joy, Rio de Janeiro is home to many local characters with inspiring stories to tell, whether in line at the bank, on the road or at happy-hour after work.
To honor the people of Rio in the lead up to the Olympics, Roberta Thomaz, member of the RIO+ Centre team set off for the streets of Rio to capture the peoples’ energy, creativity and hope in their attempt to live more sustainably. The RIO+ World Centre for Sustainable Development, a legacy of the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), was set up to keep the commitment to sustainable development alive in both action and ideas. A partnership between the Government of Brasil and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) based in downtown Rio, every day they inspire and inform policies and practices that lead to greater social, environmental and economic justice in an attempt to transform the urban daily life, artistic and social of Rio’s population.
On January 22nd, over 500 educators and students from around the world participated in the Committee on Teaching About the United Nations (CTAUN) 2016 annual conference to learn more about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDG Action Campaign was invited to showcase Humans of MY World data and stories, the World We Want platform, and the UNVR series.
In September 2015, delegates from 190 countries met at the UN headquarters in New York to agree on the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets to guide global development over the 15 years. The SDGs are the most inclusive and transparent goals for the world ever because the consultation process was truly human-centered: 10 million people all over the world have voted for their most passionate goals through the MY World 2015 Global Survey. In this world’s largest survey, “A Good Education” has been identified as the most popular priority among voters across region, gender, and age (See data: http://data.myworld2015.org/). With that said, worldwide educators and administrator are key partners of the SDGs.
The conference acknowledged the significance of taking immediate actions. Anne-Marie Carlson, Chair of CTAUN 2016, said at the beginning of the conference:
“Knowledge and good intentions are not enough. It is vitally important that we act now to bring these issues to the fore in every school’s curriculum, so that, to our children, behaving responsibly and living sustainably will become simple common sense. ”
The mission of the SDG Action Campaign is to empower people from various backgrounds with knowledge and tools to become actively involved in supporting the SDG implementation. At the CTAUN 2016 InfoFair, we brought a comprehensive yet easy-to-start SDG Implementation “manual” for 500 educators, administrators, and students around the world to inspire and help them to plan and make their own SDG actions. (click here to download) The one-page “manual” was welcomed by many of our guests:
“We really want to know that as college students, what we can do for the SDGs, where can we get resources and how can we start?”— Eayne Castillo, student of Pace University
“I believed that many of my colleagues working in schools would find this very helpful.—Ruth Nielsen, CTAUN
Ruth later shared with the SDG Action Campaign that we “certainly had the most innovative displays” – thanks Ruth! The SDG Action Campaign also showcased the well-known Virtual Reality films “Clouds Over Sidra” and “Waves of Grace” to the InfoFair. The strong emotions that brought by the films as well as the cutting edge VR technology enhanced people’s understanding of the most marginalized groups. Teachers and professors were eager to use this powerful empathy tool in their future class of SDGs; Students were inspired to organize VR screening events on campus to bring awareness of SDGs among youth.
“This film brings in the truth and reality of Syrian refugees, which is all we need right now.”
— Aliya Bultrikova, Permanent Mission of Kazakhstan to the UN
“I plan to add SDG contents to my curriculum, and this (VR) will be an amazing experience that enriches the learning process.”
— Chris Rhodenbagh, teacher of Democracy Prep Public Schools
“I’m thrilled. I want all my students to watch this!”
—Dr. Kathryn Lawter, Advisory Council Chair of CTAUN
On the same day of CTAUN 2016, we welcomed a group of young delegates from University of International Business and Economics of China discussing SDGs and education with the Campaign. Tim Scott, policy advisor on Environment of UNDP, and Antje Watermann from UNDP Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific kindly joined the meeting and introduced the 17 global goals as well as the implementation process in China to the young delegates. The audiences were passionate about the MY World 2030 survey and highly interested in the innovative waste project initiated by UNDP China and Baidu.
Alice Chen presents results of MY World 2015 survey and introduces MY World 2030 to young delegates from China.
In 2016 when the SDGs officially came into force, there really has been no better time than now for global educators to think deeply about how to take actions and to inspire the action of students, to ensure the successful implementation of the 17 goals in the next 15 years. To that end, CTAUN, which has been enthusiastically advocated for the SDGs, passionately addressed the 2030 global agenda in its 2016 annual conference with hundreds of educators and students. The all-day conference gave an explicit overview of the SDGs, discussed topics such as global food security, sustainable food production and consumption. It also addressed environment issues surrounding water, energy use and climate change. From the Campaign’s perspective, we are delighted by this opportunity to speak directly with educators in the field who are inspiring young minds on a daily basis. These young minds will one day become the leaders of tomorrow and the ones to transform the SDGs into reality over the next 15 years.
Ever wonder what can happen on an epic train ride across India to talk about the SDGs? Here’s your answer! I was a part of a Jagriti Yatra journey with 449 other young people to 12 destinations in India to share news on the SDGs and the World We Want. A Yatra takes us along the major challenges and help us shape our own ideas. It dives into the rich cultural heritage that our country is honored with and experience the shift in climate as the train proceeds from South to North. The Yatra is the germinating ground for ideas and exchange of culture. It is a place where individuals from different backgrounds come together and feel the responsibility of being the change. Fifteen years is what we have to create a better society and youth is the Only Catalyst. Yatra teaches us the best to way to contribute. Get down to the society and get our hands dirty!
Journey with a Vision
Jagriti Yatra is a 15 days, 8000 km world’s largest national train journey, which takes selected youth to meet the role models who are developing unique solutions to India’s developmental challenges. It attracts 17,000 registrations through India and some parts of the world of which only 450 of the most qualified are selected for the journey. The train stops in 12 locations and youth delegates have the opportunity to personally meet exceptional change-makers who are transforming India.
Jagriti Yatra has been a transformational journey, which aimed for an equal representation of young women and men to achieve the Planet 50-50 by 2030. Jagriti Yatra had 40% girls and women representation in 2015. During my Yatra (Journey), I had been advocating for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the World We Want platform. Sustainable Development Goals need to be trickled down in the society through the youth body channels and it’s very important for youth to know about the SDGs. Unfortunately, a minority of us know about our vision of 2030. Thereby, it’s essential for us to show a clear vision of the next 15 years before we actually jump right into achieving the goals.
Advocating about SDGs and World We Want
Gender Equality is not a short-term goal. However, we need to start bringing a shift in the mentality of the people from today by talking about the equal opportunities.
Through the MY World 2015 Survey, we can see that of the 902,300 people who have voted in India, over 400,000 prioritized Equality between men and women, making Gender Equality the number 5 most prioritized issue in the survey.
Young women and men are the carriers of our vision and we need to engage discussions with more young people. The role of young people is not only important as actors in attaining gender equality, but also as partners in creating a world that is equal if we want to achieve the goal of planet 50-50 by the year 2030. Campaigns such as HeForShe, MARD, #YouthForGenderEquality need strengthening as we move towards the SDGs.
Founder of Innokul commits to Goal 5 vision
Life on the train is as busy as it gets! With a packed schedule of debates, presentations and conversations, and a blend of art, music and poetry, Yatris find themselves fully involved at all times. The Yatra sets out to be a life changing experience for us to catalyse that shift in mindset. Not only to you but through you, to millions of youth who are watching this expedition as it curves across this great and beautiful land of ours. When we hear how our inspiring role models have created their institutions surmounting all odds; when we hear of the stories of leadership and courage from our co-travellers, we discovered an India that waits to be unleashed. You are that dynamic spirit that will unleash a new society.
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.
Director 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
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.
Director of the UNMC Mitchell Toomey and guest speakers from Chinese civil society in We the People Hub
Youth 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
Humans of the world can now visually explore the data from the MY World global survey in new ways. Popily – a data science and visualization company — has uploaded the open data from the survey onto their site, allowing users to further investigate, discuss and understand the survey via thousands of data visualizations. The site allows for easy social sharing, allowing users to collect, comment and share the data. Popily will also partner with the UN Millennium Campaign to analyze and curate this data, providing new insight ahead of the UN General Assembly in September 2015. See Popily site
MY World is the UN Global Survey for a better world, conducted between 2013 and 2015 across the globe. The 7.7 million responses have been collected mostly from person to person paper based methods, as well as online and through SMS. Although this data is all open source, the current data visualizations allow for disaggregation by country, age, gender, income level and method of collection. Popily will now allow people to further explore the data with new ways of comparison, diving deeper into the database. Each visualization is a potential insight into the priorities, needs, and voices of the citizens that have spoken up to help guide the new UN development agenda. Continue reading “Visually explore MY World data with Popily”
“Let’s stand for the world as it SHOULD be. That’s what the 7 Million Voices are telling us” – Deputy UN Secretary-General Jan Eliasson
Last week, the MY World global survey achieved its 2014 goal of reaching 7 MILLION people around the world!
Thanks to the dedication and hard work of MY World partners, 7 million people from 194 countries have had their say at the United Nations. A special thanks is owed to the government of Nigeria which has led an incredible outreach during the past two months.
In celebration of this achievement, and to ensure that the UN is listening to these voices, We the Peoples – Celebrating 7 Million Voices, a special report detailing the global results of the MY World survey was launched at United Nations Headquarters in New York last Friday.
Photo Credit: UNPhoto/Yubi Hoffmann
According to Corinne Woods, Director of the UN Millennium Campaign, the report details how the results of the MY World survey reveal important trends for the Post-2015 Development Agenda, “The existing Millennium Development Goals continue to be important, but we also see new issues which people prioritize highly, such as ‘An honest and responsive government,’ ‘Protection from crime and violence,’ and ‘Better job opportunities.’”
“We need a paradigm shift and a coming together. MY World results show there is more that unites us than divides us. Working together we can be the generation that ends poverty and preserves the planet,” added Ms. Woods.
The evening of 25th of September during the UN General Assembly week brought together MY World friends from far and near, in person and via live web-stream – and these MY World friends had 5 million reasons to celebrate!
The hard work of dedicated MY World partners brought the voices of 5 MILLION PEOPLE from 194 countries into the United Nations. MY World has had very extensive support from a range of partners, over 700 organizations, including NGOs, heads of state, faith groups and youth movements who are still currently participating in its roll out and this collective achievement provides the perfect backdrop for a MY World Partner Recognition Event and MY World Award Ceremony which took place in New York during the UN General Assembly week.
This global survey, thanks to the dedication and enthusiasm of all is now the largest survey of its kind ever undertaken.
By Karol Alejandra Arámbula Carrillo, Youth Advocate for MY World 2015
The Red Elephant Foundation (REF) is an initiative built on the groundings of story-telling, civilian peace-building and activism for gender sensitivity. We recognize the many different challenges women and girls continue to face in today’s world.
As such, we look forward to strengthen our actions in favor of gender equality within the international community. To do so, we have become official partners of the MY World Global Survey on the Post-2015 Development Agenda aiming to position gender equality as one of the top priorities of international development.
We believe global civil society plays a very important role in the construction and follow-up mechanisms of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Through MY World, which represents a fundamental tool to share some of our needs and interests as global citizens, we can have a real impact towards the adoption of new global development policies and actions led by the United Nations.
We are a committed group of over 70 volunteers of all ages living in 30 countries. We specifically work on the promotion of online and offline voting in the MY World Global Survey and we have developed different strategies and activities aiming to reach the most vulnerable and isolated communities.
Our strategy is simple: we create awareness on post-2015 processes among our volunteers and staff, which is expected to gather over 200 votes. We request them to do the same with their family members, colleagues and friends. Once they have completed this step, we ask them to engage in offline voting among civilians of their respective countries, especially in communities where there is limited Internet access. We particularly care about the participation of children and elders.
Text adapted from the original Press release by Supavadee Pink Chotikajan, UN Thailand
Since the launch of the 2013 MY World campaign entitled “Mark a Difference,” over 70,000 people in Thailand have participated in MY World survey. Thailand is among the top 10 countries with the most votes collected in the MY World Survey. This is a result of the strong partnerships between the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) and 60 other agencies in Thailand to promote the MY World.
The “Have Your Say at the United Nations” campaign in Thailand builds on the success of last year. Its official publicity launch was co-hosted by the UN and Procter & Gamble Thailand Ltd. on 15 July at Esplanade Ratchada, Bangkok. The event was opened by a beautiful performance by Satit Prasarnmit School singing to the song “Heal the World” by Michael Jackson and “Happy” by Pharell Williams.
Acknowledging the importance of Thais’ voices, the UN selected Thailand to be one of the 20 countries to launch the “Have Your Say at the United Nations” campaign. For the first time, this campaign brought the MY World Podiumto Thailand. Signed by Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General, the Podium is travelling the world to gather people’s opinions on issues that are most important to them and their families. “The Podium signifies that the UN will always reach out to hear your voices no matter where you are,” stated Mr. Luc Stevens, UN Resident Coordinator in Thailand.
Over 3,000 factory workers from rural Shanxi Province voted for a better world through the MY World Global survey.
When the factory manager heard about the United Nations MY World survey through relatives who lived abroad, she became curious and searched online to learn more about the MY World survey. She found the video with Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, encouraging more people in China to vote for a better world. Although the idea seemed distant to her at first, the Secretary-General’s words and the video by Nelson Mandela’s granddaughter Zoleka Mandela struck a cord and she became convinced and was able to inspire over 3,000 of her employees to take the survey with her and tell the United Nations what they thought would make the world a better place.
Most of these factory workers are women and migrant workers, which means they do not live in the province they currently work in but travel thousands of miles from home. Most of them only see their husband, wife, son, or daughter once a year during Chinese Lunar New Year. One of the factory workers said, “no one has ever asked me what I wanted before, and now the United Nations is asking me!”
Right now, over 15,000 people have already taken the survey in in China, and partners such as ShiQing are preparing for a massive offline effort to engage China in MY World. People young and old are joining online and offline in this effort. In this video, a 10 year old girl, with the help of her parents, told the UN that the most important thing for her is to protect the environment, because she wants her birds to have a home. So many of these stories are happening in China and people online and offline are joining the MY World survey to tell the United Nation what it is they truly care about.