The SDG Global Festival of Action 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 (BMZ), the German Federal Foreign Office and other partners with the overall aim of inspiring action for the SDGs from the different stakeholders. The Festival brings together more than 1700 leaders from Governments, local authorities, international organizations, civil society, media, foundations, youth, the creative industry and the private sector from more than 125 countries.

The upcoming 4th edition – marking the beginning of the Decade of Action – will put the spotlight on local and innovative actions and initiatives that can lead to transformative change towards the SDGs.

This flagship event provides a unique convening space bringing together SDGs changemakers, activists and leaders from the different sectors as well as artists, musicians, performers and innovators with the shared goal of finding new ways to inspire individual and organizations to take action and start a butterfly effect towards the SDGs.

The Festival also nurtures the growing SDG Action Community by making available a global platform to launch new campaigns, host network meetings and scout new initiatives and changemakers working towards the achievements of the Goals.

The Festival comes at a critical time as it coincides with the ’10 years to go’ milestone for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the launch of the Decade of Action –announced by the UN Secretary General at the first ever SDG Summit in New York on 25 September 2019.

Five years into the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, there is a need to shift trajectory and accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals for people and for planet.

The 2020 edition of the Festival coincides with the ’10 years to go’ milestone – a super year for climate and the first edition following the SDG Summit in September 2019. With the SDGs in the spotlight for international leaders, the Agenda faces close scrutiny, and the risk of waning optimism and enthusiasm.

Where there is great risk, there is great opportunity – to keep momentum strong and create a step-change in action from every level of society. With this in mind, the SDG Global Festival of Action 2020 will undergo it’s own step-change in modality and ambition – with new partnership structures being sought, with an expansion of strategically curated learning sessions, network meetings and outcome reports – the next edition will raise the bar in setting its own marker in the sand to share with the world and broader SDG Action Community, what can be achieved with cohesive action, collaboration across different sectors and geographies and with the political will of each and every Festival goer that has their stake in this important convening moment.

The overall aim of the SDG Global Festival of Action is to mobilize, inspire and connect stakeholders to further action for the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Festival pursues the following objectives:

  • Recognize and raise the visibility of the most effective SDG change-makers and innovators and connect them with national and global leaders
  • Showcase the latest and most impactful SDG innovations
  • Recruit new partners and institutions from non-traditional development sectors for the Decade of Action and connect them with SDG partners to accelerate progress
  • Bridge arts, music and creativity more broadly with SDG actions and innovations to generate impactful advocacy and communication campaigns
  • Launch new initiatives including the UN SDG Action Awards programmes, whilst leveraging the skills, lessons learnt, and success stories form SDG partners and past SDG Action Awards finalists and winners.

The SDG Global Festival will be co-curated, designed and attended by a range of stakeholders from across the world and diverse disciplines and sectors. With a focus on the power of local action and movements to impact global progress, participation from local governments and mayors, local activists and civil society will be met with international stakeholders from the private sector, UN agencies, multi-laterals and change-makers from across the creative spectrum. All of which will come together to share, learn, connect and partner to truly embody the cross-boundary approaches required to deliver on the Decade of Action!

The 2020 Festival will feature exciting new formats inviting attendees to engage for the SDGs on a next level. Popular schemes from previous years will be back, each positioned to further understanding and awareness, build practical skills and networks and become inspired by SDG Leaders.