Ready to get your hands dirty? Our innovations and exhibits list are out!

As every year we’ve selected the most transformative and inspiring games, artistic exhibitions, innovations and more led by the SDG community to let participants watch, see and learn about SDG Action. See what amazing experiences await you and secure your place at the Festival.

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Finally… the SDG Global Festival of Action program is out!

We are only 6 weeks ahead of one of the most inspiring and energising SDG moments of the year! And thanks to the SDG community we’ve got a packed program full of workshops and interactive sessions with everything needed from learning new skills to connecting with partners and build the much-needed coalitions to advance action on the SDGs. Here’s a sample of the diversity of interactive sessions that awaits you each day…

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The UN SDG Action Campaign calls to SDG advocates, creators, influencers & stakeholders to co-design the 2019 Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development

The UN SDG Action Campaign launches its call to SDG advocates, creators, influencers & stakeholders to co-design the program of its annual Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development, taking place in Bonn, 2-4 May 2019.

The Festival will bring together leaders from governments, local authorities, international organizations, civil society, activists, young advocates, the creative industry and the private sector to scale up the impact of their work and strategize joint actions, whilst motivating new organizations and individuals to join the movement and take action for the SDGs.

A crowdsourced Festival to scale up SDG Action

Within the overall aim to mobilize, inspire and connect key stakeholders to further SDG action, the 2019 Festival will be curated around 7 interconnected themes: mobilization, storytelling, campaigning, harnessing the power of data, engaging and building networks, leaving no-one behind and creativity.

The Sustainable Development Goals will only be achieved if everyone takes action.” says Marina Ponti, Director a.i. of the UN SDG Action Campaign, “The 2019 edition of the Festival comes at a time where critical SDG milestones are on the horizon at the international level. As the global community approaches the ’10 years to go mark’, now is the time for actors at every level to renew their commitment towards achieving the goals together.”

The Global Festival of Action is co-designed, co-curated and co-owned by the SDG Action community for the SDG Action Community. Plenaries, thematic sessions, immersive experiences, performances and more: the 2019 Festival will feature a variety of formats to further understanding and awareness, build practical skills and networks and become inspired by SDG Leaders. Each active stakeholder in the event will become a much needed and much appreciated Action Partner of the Festival.

How to be part of the program

To create a diverse, dynamic and inclusive event, sessions, new projects, the latest creative endeavours, innovations, immersive experiences, films and art exhibits and performances can be submitted through an online application until 14 Jan 2019. General registration for Festival-goers will open on 15 January 2019.

Stay tuned for exciting announcements, the open call for the UN SDG Action Awards and some of the most inspiring Festival stories. Follow @SDGAction and #SDGglobalFest to stay up to date and help us bring the Festival to a broader audience or go to

Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development  2018 – In Numbers

  • Over 1500 diverse participants from over the world – representing government, youth, activists, the private sector, artists, cities and more – join us each year.
  • More than 30,000 people from 158 countries join digitally through the livestream
  • Over 66 million interactions on social media made the Festival and SDGs trend
  • Over 100 sessions, workshops, experiences, innovations and exhibitions showcased

More information & media enquiries:

Festival Video

Festival Photos

Communications Package

Go to and follow #SDGglobalFest and @SDGAction

Media Contact
Marta Rojas,  Communications Lead UN SDG Action Campaign /  T: +49 228 815 2682

Why not Cryptocurrencies to fund the SDGs?

This week I am speaking at the Festival of Ideas about financing for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the city level. Given the planets changing demographics, 54% of the world’s population live in the urban space, with expectations rising to 70% by 2030. What does this mean? It equates to cities bring the driving force to deliver the SDGs. This will inevitably put increasing pressure on cities: which are suffering globally from a decrease in financial resources and budget cuts. Thus, my thesis discussed here: cities need to become smarter and more innovative in finding ways to fund SDG projects.

I have always fretted about sustainability, impact or whatever the next name might be, where they employ financial tools that are staid, traditional and predicable. Indeed, sustainable finance has lagged behind mainstream financial innovation, focusing only on the equities market and market capitalisation via equities, until recently.

As the first Managing Director of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, I too, was focused on equities and measuring the level of Sustainable Development inherent in the value proposition of companies.

The development of new types of sustainable or green investment instruments has grown and received some well needed attention, specifically in the debt market, via recent social impact bonds and green bonds. MFIs and IFIs and charities, via balanced funds, all participating in getting into the act of looking at innovative ways of financing sustainable development activities. Indeed, I am of the opinion that environmental investment, SDG funding, sustainable funding and social impact funding would use every financial tool in the arsenal, including crowdfunding, to fund solution based projects: projects that will address and solve critical issues.

Although I am not an expert, I am going to propose something I consider very edgy, something that may not be even in the periphery of your traditional sustainable development professional: about harnessing the popularity of cryptocurrencies to fund SDG projects, whether at the local or international level. Taking the fervour further to create financial freedom and tap into new investors and financial participants. A IMPACTCoin, BitSDG, BlockChainSDG, SDGCoin, BitIMPACT… I’ve got more.

The raising of funds via cryptocurrencies can be used to support the SDGs, Environmental conservation and social impact.

Yes, I know what you are thinking, cryptocurrencies are complicated, challenging, are filled with kinks that still need to be sorted out, and at times are misaligned with what they were setup to fulfil. I posit to you, that sustainable finance needs to start looking beyond traditional financial tools and taking a page from the start-up playbook to explore innovative finance to move SDG financing forward.

The cryptocurrency for the SDGs should not be seen as different than other cryptocurrencies: open source, based on block chain technology, and support financial freedom, the only difference is that the funds raised will be used exclusively for SDG based projects – from supporting sustainable cities [SDG #11] to gender equality [SDG #5]. These projects to be supported by the UN via the United Smart City initiative [@unitedsmartcities].

What is the main complaint for cryptocurrency? What is the value of the currency? What is the value of anything. Fortunately, there are many ways that the inherent value of the environment, solution for social issues and justice is much clearer then the value of the currently traded cryptocurrency.

Also, every cryptocurrency is built on innovative block-chain technology which uniquely provides full transparency. Is that not what every environmentalist around the world, as well as social activist, is seeking? Building and maintaining a decentralised ledger? Why not use this, in some cases decades of databases, to establish a cryptocurrency? Think of the speed, security and amazing trust of the records; establishing value, value that one can visit and see positive solutions?

This IMPACTCoin can be traded on exchanges using the inherent value of the environment, as long as all agreed that the environment has value [which many, many, many do]. What is to stop active environmental and social investors legitimately speculate on the value of the environment/society/SDGs via a well-established cryptocurrency?

The cities need to raise funds, alternative to issuing municipal bonds. In some cities [most notably in France] there are many cities that have their own currency or value vouchers, easily exchanged for goods and services. Perhaps a cryptocurrency token could be used to pay for city level essential goods?

Cryptocurrency present a viable way for cities to fund SDG projects, especially those infrastructure and energy projects that do not have access to traditional funding avenues.