On 25 September 2015, the 193 Member States of the United Nations agreed a global agenda, unprecedented in its scope and ambition. Agenda 2030 represents an unprecedented opportunity for humanity to create a better future for everyone.  Building on the original three dimensions of sustainable development, Agenda 2030 introduces the idea of the 5 Ps—adding Peace and Partnership to social inclusion (People), environmental protection (Planet) and economic growth (Prosperity).

While it is a huge achievement to have created Agenda 2030, the real challenge still lies ahead: delivering the change which the Agenda promises. Reaching the Sustainable Development Goals until 2030 requires holistic and transformative thinking and ambitious actions now. We need to identify and overcome the barriers and obstacles, creating systematic change together. Governments, companies, civil society, cities and individuals all need to contribute if we are to achieve our shared goals.

The Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development is a ground-breaking annual event powered by the UN SDG Action Campaign with the support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. The Festival will bring together the global community taking action to make the Agenda 2030 become reality. It will recognise and celebrate the innovators, conveners and breakthrough actors who are transforming lives, tackling trade-offs and generating practical solutions to some of the world’s most intractable development problems.

Taking place in Bonn each year, the Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development provides a dynamic and interactive space to showcase the latest innovations, tools and approaches to SDG implementation. The Festival will bring together a wide array of organisations and individuals – spanning multiple sectors and regions – to build synergies amongst different constituencies, increase mutual understanding, and approach problems and solutions from multiple angles.

The Festival is based on the premise that to realise the SDGs by 2030, a revolution is required in the way we think about some of the world’s biggest development problems. Protecting communities, individuals and social progress in an era of shocks and threats (including conflict and mass migration); addressing the growing crisis of disillusionment, exclusion and inequality experienced by so many; reconciling the twin necessities of economic growth and environmental sustainability: these challenges are huge but not insurmountable.

The Festival will bring together diverse individuals and organisations including from governments, civil society, the UN, business, cities, academia as well as youth representatives and interested citizens. If you are interested in the SDGs, you should come to the Festival. It’s that simple.

Specifically, you will:

  • Acquire knowledge, build skills and learn about new tools that can help you to act more efficiently for Agenda 2030 in your daily tasks.
  • Meet diverse individuals and organisations with whom to partner to create synergies and help you better reach your organisational goals.
  • Be inspired by the creativity, dynamism and innovation, including elements you can take home to use in your local context.
  • Present your latest projects, achievements and approaches and let your fellow participants learn from you.
  • High-level plenary sessions, presentations, discussions and debates to share critical ideas and hear from keynote speakers;
  • Deep-dive immersive sessions into specific topics as well as real time joint problem-solving using policy simulations and an Open Situation Room;
  • Innovation hubs, interactive small-group sessions, the SDG Stage and Open Space sessions to showcase and discuss the the work of wide variety of organisations and individuals;
  • Skill-sharing and hands-on learning sessions which enable participants to receive tools and practical tips in different areas from top experts and practitioners;
  • Simultaneous tracks which allow participants to engage at different entry points and levels of interest and expertise;
  • Interactive Festival Experiences going on throughout the three days to meet, exchange, learn and  collaborate amongst all participants including UN Virtual Reality, the Innovation Fair and artistic performances and displays.

Throughout the Festival three themes will be in focus alongside an Open Track:

  • Innovation & Disruptive Change
    To deliver Agenda 2030 we need transformative change. What are new technological innovations that can help? Which underlying social norms and value systems need to be disrupted? How can disruptive change globally, nationally and locally be fostered at high pace?
  • Citizen Engagement
    Agenda 2030 was created with broader citizen consultation than any previous global political agenda.  Why does it matter to include citizen voices in global political debates? How can people from around the globe be engaged in the implementation of the SDGs? How can the impact of citizen engagement be maximised?
  • Communicating the SDGs
    Everyone can contribute to achieve the SDGs. To do that everyone has to know about the SDGs. How can we reach people who are not yet aware of Agenda 2030? How can we reach those people we don’t usually reach outside “our bubble”?  How can we make data and topics like governance be interesting – or “How to make data sexy”? How can national and local ways of communicating the SDGs be devised?
  • Open Track
    The Festival will also feature sessions not directly related to any to the three themes to showcase the broad spectrum of issues which matter for delivering Agenda 2030. The topics are deliberately open to allow a broad spectrum of actors and issues to be present at the Festival.

The Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development is hosted by the UN SDG Action Campaign. The first edition in 2017 was implemented in partnership with a wide array of organisations. Partners are now being sought for the 2018 edition. The UN SDG Action Campaign is committed to working with many organisations from different regions and sectors to produce an event that is dynamic and innovative, and built on the best knowledge and experience. To find out more about partnership opportunities please refer to the Festival Partnership document or contact us.

We’ve given ourselves a 15-year deadline to achieve the SDGs and it’s going to take all of us, working together, to get the job done. We have 12 years left! Please do join us in Bonn in order to co-create ambitious actions to make Agenda 2030 become reality.

To find out more or to get involved please contact the conference team at info@globalfestivalofaction.org .