A UN conference like no other: Global and local leaders in sustainability gather at the second Global Festival of Action

The festival hosted by the UN SDG Action Campaign brings together business leaders, governments, activists, and innovators from all world regions to inspire action for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 21-23 March

Bonn, Germany, 20 February – A new type of United Nations gathering – the Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development – will showcase the latest innovations, tools, and approaches to the achievement of the SDGs and connect the key players of sustainable development in Bonn, Germany, this year from 21-23 March.

Hosted by the UN SDG Action Campaign with the support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the second edition of the festival has grown not only in size but also in representation and inclusiveness. More than 1,000 participants from over 150 countries will attend the event.

“The world is facing tremendous challenges, and for the first time there is an innovative plan to solve them. But we can’t do this alone, we need everyone to be part of it. We are very excited to once more bring together different key players from governments, civil society, UN agencies, cities, business, and academia in this dynamic, inclusive and innovative festival”, said the Global Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign, Mitchell Toomey.

“The SDG community at large has helped co-create this year’s edition. An open application process has provided a voice and platform for a variety of stakeholders to contribute shaping the event” said Toomey, adding that more than 140 speakers will share their insights at around 50 substantive sessions and workshops.

UN SDG Action Awards

Another big novelty of 2018’s Festival is the UN SDG Action Awards Ceremony, which is being held for the first time to celebrate individuals, organizations and change-makers around the planet rising up to the challenge of implementing the SDGs.

Held in tandem with the festival, the ceremony is a platform to recognize some of the greatest innovators, mobilisers, connectors, storytellers, communicators, visualisers and includers from across the globe, learn from them and help them thrive. More than 700 applications from all continents were received and are being carefully reviewed by an expert judging panel.

The program

The recently rebranded Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development delivers a multitude of formats also present at its predecessor, the Global Festival of Ideas, but this time with a stronger focus on action and partnership building to implement the SDGs.

This year’s main program revolves around five main key themes: innovative approaches, citizen engagement, communicating the SDGs, mobilising action, and multi-stakeholder engagement.

Various immersive festival experiences including a virtual reality zone, workshops, demo sessions and a groundbreaking film selection round up the program. Adding up to the regular sessions, the SDG Studio presents short and snappy talks, cross-generational interviews and discussions throughout the course of the Festival.

Notes to editors:

Registrations and more information

To attend the event as a member of the press, register for a press accreditation until the 20th of March.
The Festival will be webcast on http://webtv.un.org/

For more information and live streams during the event, please visit the page of the festival and the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. The official hashtag for the event is #SDGglobalfest.



The Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development is the world´s annual event to celebrate, empower, and connect the global community driving Action for the Sustainable Development Goals.

Organised by the UN SDG Action Campaign with the support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Festival connects an inspiring mix of business leaders, activists, UN representatives, academia, governments, innovators, global organisations, and the media from across the globe. Taking place in Bonn each year, the Festival provides a dynamic and interactive space to showcase the latest innovations, tools, and approaches to SDG action and connect organizations and individuals from different sectors and regions to exchange, build partnerships, and make the impact of their solutions scale.


The UN SDG Action Campaign is a special initiative of the UN-Secretary General, administered by the UNDP to create awareness about the 2030 Agenda, empower and inspire people across the world to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while generating political will, and help make the Goals attainable by 2030. For more information, please visit http://sdgactioncampaign.org.

For more info, download the Festival Press kit.

For images, please visit the Festival photo gallery.

For interviews and inquiries, please contact:

Marta Rojas
T: + 49 (0) 228 8152 683

Priscila Jordão


Media Advisory

Download the Media Advisory in English, French and Spanish



* indicates required