The Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development features a range of sessions, innovations and performances, all contributing to the Festival experience!

Crowdsourced Festival

The Festival adopts a crowd-sourced approach to shape the most impactful programme, designed BY the SDG Action community FOR the SDG Action Community.

In order to create a diverse, dynamic and inclusive event for the international SDG community, the UN SDG Action Campaign are calling for sessions, innovations, films, artist contributions and will strive to recognise and celebrate some of the greatest SDG achievements through the SDG Action Awards!

The Global Festival is co-designed, co-curated and co-owned be each and every  Action Partner, whether hosting a session, running a workshop, showcasing a new project, sharing the latest creative endeavours, each active stakeholder in the event will become a much needed and much appreciated Action Partner of the Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development.

How to contribute

In order to develop the most diverse and valuable programme for the SDG action community, we are looking to you to share your insights, projects and tools, the application is now LIVE for the following opportunities:

Interactive sessions

The Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development is looking for SDG leaders to host sessions that highlight the latest thinking, approaches, problem-solving and innovations.

Increase awareness, understanding and building capacity to further SDG action by hosting interactive and engaging formats such as; expert panel discussions, interactive workshops, hands-on learning sessions, world cafes, case study snapshots or policy simulations.

Sessions will be 45 or 90 minutes in length, geared for audiences ranging between 50 – 150 people.

Each session should be clearly designed for targeted groups, with tangible outcomes, all aligned with the core Festival themes

Sessions will represent global voices and perspectives – priority will be given to sessions that ensure No One is Left Behind.



Expert panel discussion

An engaging, in-conversation style session to draw out the latest thinking, research and ideas into a thorny issue around SDG Action


    • 3-4 speakers plus a moderator from different sectors/ regions
    • Minimum 50% female speakers
    • Dynamic discussion sharing different insights into a topic
    • No PPT presentations
    • At least 25% of the time allocation spent on interaction with participants

Case study snapshots

A fast-paced, dynamic insight into a series of interconnecting projects and initiatives, highlighted to demonstrate varying contexts, conditions or approaches to tackle interlinking challenges.


    • Dedicated moderator
    • Series of 5 min presentations into a selection of diverse case studies used as a tool to highlight cross-contextual approaches/ models to further SDG Action
    • At least 40% of the time allocation spent on interaction with participants

Interactive workshop

A shared learning experience geared to draw out insights and ideas from all participants as a means to further understanding/ skills around a topic.


    • Expert facilitator(s)
    • Focus on applied learning/ thinking/ sharing, collaboration and interactivity
    • Speaking time for all participants in either group work or as a whole

Hands-on learning

Practical skill-building session where participants have the opportunity to try out the focus of the session for themselves


    • Expert facilitator(s)
    • Hands on activities
    • Focus on applied learning/ thinking/ sharing, collaboration and interactivity

Decision-making simulation

An interactive ‘role-play’ type session where participants are introduced to an issue/ concept and split into groups that represent different constituents or stakeholders to debate solutions with the other groups. This format helps to draw out inherent biases when working on cross-cutting agenda and encourages a deeper learning and understanding of considerations at play in decision-making to further SDG action


    • Expert facilitator(s)
    • Focus on group work and debate
    • Conclusions and feedback from groups to conclude the session

Network/Knowledge Café (rotating group discussions)

Knowledge Café is a structured conversational format for knowledge sharing in which groups of people discuss a topic at several tables, with individuals switching ables periodically and getting introduced to the previous discussion at their new table by a “table leader”. These sessions conclude with an interactive discussion with the whole group. This model provides a framework to problem solve and network.


    • Keynote address
    • Strong facilitator
    • 60% group work
    • 25% Q&A

Music workshop

A learning experience focussed around music as a means of communication and collaboration. Musical sessions should provide the opportunity for all participants to learn and experience music as mechanism for empowerment, story-telling or team work to strengthen unity among stakeholders.


    • Expert facilitator(s)
    • Instruments (if applicable)
    • Group participation

Art workshop

A learning experience focussed around expressive arts as a means of communication and collaboration. Artist workshops could be centred around any form of art including visual or performance art and should be designed as a hands-on, ‘how to, participatory session, equipping participants with new insights into expression of voice, raising awareness and collaborating through the chosen medium.


    • Expert facilitator(s)
    • Appropriate materials
    • Group participation


There may be other session formats that you have in mind that don’t fit with any of these categories! If it is interactive, participatory and the model lends itself well to further engagement and understanding around any of the Festival themes, we want to hear your ideas!


    • Interactive, engaging, participatory model
    • Innovative approach to apply learning, share new ideas, tools or techniques

SDG Action Talks

Deliver a TED-style talk, pitch an idea, project or inspiring approach to SDG action


SDG Action Talk

A 10-15 minute TED-style talk that delivers a very human, story-telling style of sharing information.


  • The talk should be prepared as a ‘story’
  • Visual aids should be used pique the interest of the audience in an often thought-provoking or thought-challenging way
  • Content needs to stand alone and offer something new, different, exciting

Film screenings

Share short and virtual films to be shown in a dedicated area throughout the Festival. The production team/ director can also join discussions at the SDG Studio and/or host a session on the storytelling process of the film creation or providing cross-sectoral insights into the impact of the project.


Film screening


Screening of the latest shorts drawing out key issues around SDG impact on communities and people across the world, awareness raising and campaigning and highlighting the interconnected nature of this ambitious agenda.


    • Permission/ copyright to screen the film
    • Detailed information about the project, team and impact to be shared for promotion
    • All films must be submitted via a streaming link
    • Film formats: short, episodic or VR/AR/MR project
    • Equipment required for supporting the viewing format

Innovations and immersive experiences

Feature new media, new technologies, innovations, games and immersive experiences that participants can interact with to increase knowledge, empathy, and action for positive social change.

Hosts can also join discussions at the SDG Studio and/or host a session to provide insights into the impact of the project.


Innovations and immersive experiences


    • Expert host or facilitator at the space to show, guide and assist participants
    • Necessary equipment or materials for the experience

Art showcases and musical performances

Share short and virtual films to be shown in a dedicated area throughout the Festival. The production team/ director can also join discussions at the SDG Studio and/or host a session on the storytelling process of the film creation or providing cross-sectoral insights into the impact of the project.


Art showcase

Art that tells SDG stories or inspires action in the form of illustrations, photography, comic book exhibits, sustainable fashion showcases, and more!


    • Management of logistics to support installation of exhibit/showcase  
    • Artist/ host available to interact with participants and provide further information about the project at the event
    • Detailed information about about technical specifications/ dimensions and logistical requirements/ considerations for operations


Performances from every genre and culture that help bring the creativity and enthusiasm of the SDG action community to life!


  • Content to focus on core issues related to the SDGs
  • Materials and equipment required to support the performance

Do you have a story to tell, a new approach or tool to share or a network to build to further SDG action? If so, we want to hear from you!

Each session host will become an Action Partner for the event and once approved, will be responsible for developing the content, securing speakers, running the session,experience or innovation onsite at the event, and covering association costs.

Please note: If you plan to apply for the UN SDG Action Awards, you are also encouraged to share to apply to host a session, innovation and experience during the Festival to provide further insights into their incredible efforts, the impact achieved and the innovative approaches adopted.

The submission window will close on 14th January 2019.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes – we are looking for as many ideas as possible to create an impactful, interactive and engaging programme for the Festival.

Sessions will run for 45 or 90 mins.

Innovations, installations and exhibits will be featured across the 3 days of the Festival. Depending on the type of experience or exhibit you wish to showcase, they will either be programmed for just one day of the event or if significant build is required, may be featured throughout. Once the submission window closes, the organising team will review the applications and provide further information/ guidance on the duration of your ‘feature’ at the Festival. As the call is open for all types of immersive and interactive experiences, one size will not fit all. If you have specific requirements or restrictions that will need to be considered, please detail this in your application form.

The main language of the Festival will be English and due to the interactive nature of the Festival, simultaneous translation will not be possible. As the sessions are hosted in English, applications are also encouraged in English.

For experiences, innovations, installations, performances, films and SDG Action talks – other languages are encouraged, although facilitation or explanation in English will be required in order to make the ‘feature’ accessible to Festival-goers.

As the working language of the Festival is English, all applications are encouraged to be shared in English. Applications submitted in other languages may be reviewed using online translation software.

The window for submissions will close on 15th January 2019, these will then be reviewed by the UN SDG Action Campaign and successful applicants will be contacted via email by the end of February 2019.

Session, innovation and experience hosts/ performers will are required to cover:

  • The costs of their representatives, staff and/or speakers to attend the event – including insurance, transportation, accommodation and expenses
  • The transport of installations and provision of any equipment required to host the feature

The organizers of the Festival will cover:

  • The venue costs
  • Costs of standard technical requirements and logistics
  • Provide support staff and volunteers to help run sessions and spaces

All session organisers, innovation hosts and experience leads will have their logos featured on event materials and on the website and all participants of the Festival will be invited to join the SDG  Awards Ceremony (2 May) and the social event on the evening of 3rd May free of charge.

All features of the Festival will be promoted through the event website, Festival app and UN SDG Action Campaign’s social media channels.

Hosts are also encouraged to cross-promote on their own platforms. Further guidance will be provided upon acceptance of submissions.

In advance of the Festival, the organisers will share logistical guidance to help you plan your trip to Bonn.

Members of the organizing team will connect with all session, innovations and experience hosts to:

  • Support the development of sessions – providing expert advice on session formats, briefing notes for speakers and moderators
  • Support will be provided for innovations and experiences in the form of logistical/ operation guidance and further details on programming and scheduling.
  • Ensure that all sessions, innovations and experiences are appropriately promoted through Festival communications channels.

All active partners engaging in the Festival, whether speaking, hosting a session, innovation, experience or performing will be offered privileged visa support which includes an official visa invitation letter and a waiver of visa fees. General Festival participants however will be offered a confirmation letter when their registration is accepted but will not be eligible for further support.