ParisAgreement: SDG Action Campaign @ Digital Media Zone – UNHQ

IMG_5998Two major events recently occurred at the United Nations Headquarters: the High Level Thematic Debate on Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the High-Level Signing Ceremony for the Paris Agreement.

From Tuesday 19th to Friday 22nd of April, the UN SDG Action Campaign interviewed guests about their priorities and perceived challenges in the SDGs in the Digital Media Zone (DMZ). We shared our work on MY World 2030, The World We Want and Virtual Reality and conducted interviews and social media moments. The DMZ is a designated space hosted in parallel to High Level Meetings at the United Nations, such as the Signing Ceremony for Paris Agreement, which designates a “live social media newsroom” where journalists, bloggers, celebrities and media influencers can join the conversation, generate discussion and engage the global online audience.

During these few days, the UN SDG Action Campaign emphasized the importance of empowering and inspiring people across the world to take action in supporting their governments with the implementation of the SDGs. The Campaign invited delegates to be some of the first participants to vote in MY World 2030.

The UN SDG Action Campaign also showed the power of new technologies and storytelling in bringing the experience of vulnerable communities to decision makers and global society. Clouds Over Sidra and Waves of Grace are two films in the United Nations Virtual Reality Series which help create deeper empathy and understanding. Although these have been screened at the UN many times, there are always new people who have yet to have the experience.

  • The VR experience was just unbelievable. This is truly incredible
  • It was very touching. I almost cry looking at the images. To see into the eyes of someone living in a refugee camp is really touchy and give you an other sense of what is happening there”.

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SDG Action Campaign at Columbia University School of Social Work: Linking Academia and the Most Marginalized for the SDGs

Written by Di Cao

Academia and the most marginalized groups are two crucial stakeholders for implementing the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But how can the two be connected and collaborate on achieving the SDGs? On March 28th, during the Annual Community Day of Columbia University School of Social Work (CUSSW), the UN SDG Action Campaign came to Morningside Heights and found the answer by meeting with great minds from the social work profession, who are dedicated to reducing poverty and changing lives.

Alice Chen from the Campaign carried out in-depth discussions with faculty members of CUSSW on how to bring SDGs to the most marginalized groups. Professors shared their groundbreaking intervention research on poverty, health, refugee, immigrants, and many other topics that are directly linked to the SDGs. Alice introduced our innovative works on using big data and new technology to include people’s voices in the SDGs implementation, which excited our audiences.

“The work of SDG action campaign brings awareness of SDGs and build empathy through new technology…this is the new approach to development.”

– Natasha Dachos, Director of the Office of Professional Excellence, CUSSW

“I expect that the MY World data and Virtual Reality films become the most exciting experience of my International Social Development class.”

-Mashkhura Akilova, Professor of CUSSW

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The CUSSW Community Day is an annual event organized by a coalition of student caucuses at the school. This year over 50 workshops on cultural topics were held for students, faculty, staff and community members to explore cultural diversity and cultural competence. The UN SDG Action Campaign brought our VR films “Clouds over Sidra” and “Waves of Grace” to the audience in the cultural showcase session. Participants were transported to the Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan or the streets of Liberia by way of VR goggles. Many students experienced this new technology for the very first time and they were profoundly moved by both the story and the way the story is told. Gulnara Zhakupova, a second year Master student of CUSSW, said  that “Clouds over Sidra” prepared her better for her future works with the refugee population.

“(The VR) hit me hard emotionally, but I was also focusing on what we can do over here and how we can help this (refugee) crisis.”

– Candice, First year Master student of CUSSW

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SDG Action Campaign @ CSW60: Empowering Women and Men in Gender Equality Through Innovative Technologies

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Before the opening of the 60th CSW, for the first time UN Women, World YWCA and UN Inter‐Agency Network on Youth have organized the CSW Youth Forum on 11-12 March 2016, which was held in New York, and gathered over 300 young participants.

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After an engaging opening performance by Tennille Amor and her song “I am a Girl… Woman of the World…”, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka has opened this first CSW Youth Forum declaring “This is a defining moment when women and youth make an alliance… with the potential to change the world”.

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The UN SDG Action Campaign has participated on the panel by introducing the SDGs to the youth participants at the Forum. A special interest has been highlighted on introducing youth viewpoints through the World We Want 2030 Platform, and more specifically with the e-consultation on SDG 5: Gender Equality. This was a great opportunity for the Policy Strategy Group, youth-leg organizations, and individuals who may not be able to attend the CSW Youth Forum to make sure their opinions and voices on gender equality are taken into consideration. We have shared a compilation of results from this online consultation linked with Gender Equality issues. For example, to the question “What does Gender Equality mean to you?”, a lot of responses focused on inclusion and empowerment of all genders, effective laws and legislation, and that “Gender equality is integral for sustainable development”.

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During the 60th session of the CSW, the UN SDG Action Campaign has also hosted an interactive side-event, on 15 March at the Museum of Tolerance, focusing on how innovative technology tools are being used to promote gender equality and to build empathy. The SDG Action Campaign has invited three dynamic women entrepreneurs: Tiffany Pham, Founder & CEO of Mogul, Gesche Haas, Founder of Dreamers//Doers, and Kristin Gutekunst, Project Manager at the SDG Action Campaign. As women entrepreneurs, they explained how they leverage technology to bringCSW5 employment opportunities, education and networking platforms to women. These women are in the field, taking action right now. Their stories further emphasize the need to break silos in development, as all the SDGs are interlinked and can only be realized together.

Finally, the side-event has given the audience the opportunity to “meet” dynamic women through the Campaign’s virtual reality series: “Clouds Over Sidra” and “Waves of Grace”.

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This International Women’s Day, add your voice for gender equality!

On International Women’s Day, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Action Campaign and YouTube are launching an initiative to reach new audiences and inspire awareness and action on the Sustainable Development Goals.

The #OwnYourVoice campaign is the first in a year long series of efforts to inspire people around the world to raise their voices for gender equality and take action by sharing how they will contribute to the cause. 

IMG_3208In its pilot year, the inaugural group of Change Ambassadors include seven international YouTube creators who are passionate about global issues. When combined, Jackie Aina (US, lilpumpkinpie05), Taty Ferreira (Brazil, AcidGirlTestosterona),  Hayla Ghazal (UAE, HaylaTV), Ingrid Nilsen (US, missglamorazzi), Louise Pentland (UK, Sprinkleofglitter), Chika Yoshida (Japan, cyoshida1231) and Yuya (Mexico, lady16makeup), represent fan communities comprised of millions of people around the world. 

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are a remarkable opportunity to build a more sustainable and equitable world for present and future generations. This project aims to show the integrative nature of this universal agenda while highlighting the complexity and diversity of each of the issues.

“By working with YouTube and the Change Ambassadors, we can help inform and inspire new audiences to support the implementation of the SDGs” said Mitchell Toomey, Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign. “The United Nations can also learn a great deal from the Change Ambassadors by analyzing the measurable impact of the campaign and seeing how their audience reacts to this new approach.”

Throughout the year, the UN’s SDG Action Campaign will work with partners across the UN system to help the Change Ambassadors learn about the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as about the calendar of international events during which their influence could make strong impact. The creators will work to integrate the advocacy language into their own content programming on an ongoing basis and will also come together several times throughout the year to activate these topics through various angles.

“The ultimate goal is to empower current new media experts to get involved in issues that are important to the United Nations so they can take an active role in creating conversation and change with their highly engaged communities. We look forward to building this program together with YouTube and the inaugural group of Change Ambassadors over the coming year.”

Join in and take action to support gender equality: www.GlobalGoals.org/girls-progress

For more information on the Sustainable Development Goals, visit: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs

For more information please contact Kristin Gutekunst, Project Manager, UN SDG Action Campaign (Kristin.gutekunst@undp.org) 

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En el Día internacional de la Mujer, ¡Levanta la voz por la igualdad de género!

En el Día Internacional de la Mujer, la Campaña de Acción para los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible de las Naciones Unidas y YouTube lanzan una iniciativa para llegar a nuevos públicos e inspirar conciencia y la acción sobre los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible.

‪#‎OwnYourVoice‬ es la primera campaña de otros esfuerzos durante un año para inspirar a la gente en todo el mundo a levantar la voz por la igualdad de género, actuar y compartir cómo van a contribuir a la causa. Continue reading En el Día internacional de la Mujer, ¡Levanta la voz por la igualdad de género!

African Youth SDGs Training launch report: Mainstreaming youth in the implementation of the SDGs

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On December 29th 2015, the African Youth SDGs Training Program was launched at AFPEFAM’s head office. Thirty participants from youth and women groups, civil society organizations and other associations joined the launch. The training enabled all participants share their thoughts of the SDGs and discuss what next actions to take after the training.

Ntiokam Divine, who initiated the training program, stated that 2016 is a year of sensitization and mobilization of all Cameroonians in support of the SDGs, and youth should be well informed and own the SDGs. Mr. Divine emphasized the contributions of the MY World2015 global survey has achieved in local communities in Cameroon.67, 032people in Cameroon voted on the survey. Education, health care, clean water and sanitation are the top three key priorities. Half of the voters are youth age from 15 to 30.

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Jean Njita, Director of the UN Information Center in Cameroon mentioned that the training marked a huge step forward towards the SDGs implementation since January 1st  2016. He pointed out that volunteers are crucial supporting the SDGs in Cameroonian communities through sharing stories in local languages. Such work enables the most marginalized individuals and groups to be included in the SDGs implementation process.

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we shall have another world, the world we want, a better world for the future generation.

                                                                                                                                – Jean Njita

In Cameroon and many developing countries, translating the SDGs into local languages is essential to enhance communication effectiveness. AFPEFAM collaborates with partners to translate SDGs into local languages including Ewondo, Shupamum, and Basaa. During the training, volunteers at AFPEFAM shared their experiences and motivation in translating the SDGs into Shupamum, Basaa and Ewondo. They also shared with the audience their understanding of the transition from MDGs to SDGs. Three pillars of SDGs: Social development, Economic development and Environmental sustainability, and the 5Ps: People, Planet, Partnership, Prosperity and Peace, were introduced to the audience.
The next phase of the training program is to establish SDGs Clubs in schools to engage broader audience.

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(All participants signed and took pledges)

 

Clouds Over Sidra shown at Supporting Syria Conference

unnamed (3)The UN SDG Action Campaign collaborated with the World Humanitarian Summit, UNOCHA, DFID and Samsung UK to design and coordinate two exhibition booths showcasing Clouds Over Sidra during the Supporting Syrians conference in London on 4 February.

The exhibitions gave  world leaders, conference attendees and volunteers the chance to experience the Syrian crisis through the eyes of Sidra, a 12 year old girl living in the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan. supportsyrians

The conference raised over US$ 11 billion in pledges in total. This included $5.8 billion for 2016 and $5.4 billion for 2017-20 to enable partners to plan ahead for the response. Commitments were also made to improve education and economic opportunities for refugees.

image4Those who were able to experience Virtual Reality were moved by the film, exclaiming that everyone should see it and returning with their colleagues and friends. Several visitors cried envisioning the harsh conditions many Syrian refugees face, especially children. One young visitor declared that VR would be extremely useful in his classroom to understand world issues. He was part of an exchange program between an English and Lebanese children.

More info on UNVR can be found on our website: http://www.UNVR.org

SDG Action Campaign at the CTAUN Conference 2016: How to tie Education & Action for Achieving the SDGs

Written by Di Cao

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.

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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. ”

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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.

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“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.

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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.

Nosotros las y los jaliscienses: Celebramos 400 mil voces

Por Karol Alejandra Arámbula Carrillo, Coordinación General de Operación MI JALISCO

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En septiembre de 2014, Corporativa de Fundaciones, A.C. y la Campaña de Acción para los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible (previamente Campaña del Milenio de las Naciones Unidas) firmaron una Carta de Entendimiento en el marco de la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas con miras a recolectar las voces de 200,000 personas de Jalisco, México en el proceso de definición de la Agenda 2030 para el Desarrollo Sostenible a través de la Encuesta Global de las Naciones Unidas para un Mundo Mejor MY World 2015.

JaliscoDesde entonces, MY World logró conformar una Coordinación General de Operación y un Equipo Operativo de más de 440 jóvenes provenientes de escuelas secundarias, preparatorias y universidades de fuera y dentro de la Zona Metropolitana de Guadalajara, quienes se aseguraron que la encuesta llegara todos los jaliscienses posibles entre diciembre de 2014 a mayo de 2015.

Con el apoyo de más de 255 organizaciones de todos los sectores (Organizaciones de la Sociedad Civil, sector privado, sector público y academia), la encuesta llegó a 72 municipios del estado de Jalisco y a 28 estados de la República, logrando un total de más de 400,000 votos de los jaliscienses y más de 10,000 del resto de México. El proceso fue testigo de cientos de memorables historias que recaba el Reporte “Nosotros las y los jaliscienses: Celebramos 400,000 votos”.

Con este reporte, las y los jaliscienses realizan una petición puntual a las autoridades a nivel local, nacional e internacional: la exitosa inclusión, implementación, seguimiento, monitoreo y financiación de los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible para vivir en un mundo mejor para el año 2030. Jalisco logró posicionarse en la quinta entidad con mayor participación en MY World a nivel global.

La meta pactada hace casi dos años entre Corporativa de Fundaciones, A.C. y la Campaña de Acción para los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible, no sólo superó su cometido, sino que además se convirtió en un instrumento ciudadano para involucrar a la ciudadanía en la construcción de políticas públicas sobre desarrollo sostenible.

¡Gracias!

Descárgalo aquí

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Jagriti Yatra 2015 – Train ride for a better world

Written by Sailesh Singhal

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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