Held on the sidelines of the High-Level Political Forum at the UN Headquarters in New York, the SDG Media Zone engages experts, innovators, content creators, young leader, and personalities to highlight actions and solutions in support of the Sustainable Development Goals. Day 1 was filled with engaging panels covering a broad range of topics including Indigenous perspectives, education, public-private partnerships and much more. Whether you were able to join us or not, you can learn more about today’s panels and watch them here.
The SDGs in Action Film Festival, coordinated by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), is a competition promoting short films highlighting how people and organizations around the world are taking action in support of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Throughout this panel, Tadeu Jungle, a filmmaker from Brazil and winner of the “SDGs in Virtual Reality” category, explores how VR helps to engage the public with environmental disasters that are often overlooked. Similarly, Lisa Russell, a filmmaker based in New York and a jury member of the film festival, points to the potential of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and facial recognition in promoting sustainable development.
Indigenous Perspectives on Climate Action
While 80 per cent of global biodiversity is managed by indigenous peoples, they hardly get any economic downfall from these vast resources. Tarcila who has been an Indigenous activist for 25 years and who is the founder of CHIRPAQ, discusses how traditional Indigenous knowledge can help address climate change. Implementing Indigenous Peoples’ perspectives into environmental policies can help us achieve a more symbiotic relationship with nature.
As a large number of girls in Africa struggle to complete education, Jon Kalage, Executive Director of Haki Elimu, explores why the dropout rate is so high for female students and provides information on necessary social policies that could solve this issue. Mouminatou Barry, a young and bright software developer of African descent, entertains the idea of experimental learning by bringing scientific perspectives and creative spaces together to create innovative solutions and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
FinTech Commentator Chris Skinner discusses the importance of combining technology with the world of finance and explores the potential of cryptocurrency in the global market. Similarly, Matthew Blake from the World Economic Forum highlights the importance of partnerships between financial institutions and governments. UN Chief Economist Elliot Harris touches upon changing dynamics in the financial sectors of every country, explaining how sustainability is a profitable part of business thinking as well as a principle of responsible banking.
With innovative ideas and novel approaches, young leaders are essential advocates for the Sustainable Development Goals. To foster global climate action, Kehkashan Basu, a young environmentalist, created a platform providing tools and resources to children around the globe. Reece Kilby, a representative from the Boy Scouts, touches on climate action at the grassroots level. Similarly, Yolanda Joab points to the importance of building spaces for communities to fight climate change using simple plans.
The Lion’s Share is a simple yet powerful initiative to protect animals and biodiversity. Each time a corporation features an animal in their ads, they can make a contribution to wildlife conservation, habitat preservation, and animal welfare. Abdoulaye Mar Dieye from UNDP explores the potential of behavioural change and reminds us to appreciate biodiversity before we become victims of the sixth mass extinction. Maaike de Bats, from Nielson Global Advertising Intelligence, shares her private-sector perspective and discusses how as an employee she feels proud to give back to the community by using eco-friendly methods to raise awareness.
According to the Chief of the UN Statistical Division, Francesca Perucci, data is fundamental to target audiences and track progress on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Ann Rosenberg from SAP Next-Gen draws attention to good data reporting and the role of global companies in the fight against climate change. Laura from the UN Global Compact explores the role of key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the impact of the SDGs.
How can the private sector reconcile sustainable development with profits? According to Joseph Weiler from FullCylce, philanthropy not only supports sustainable development but also makes economic sense. Similarly, Wineke Haagsma from PWC says that in order to gain society’s trust, businesses must give back to civil society.
La Neice Collins from the UN Department of Global Communications, engages with young children ages 6 to 12 through a fun story-telling session. Along with other books handpicked by the SDG Bookclub, Maddi’s Fridge gives children a fresh perspective on Sustainable Development Goal 2 ‘Zero Hunger’. Drawing attention to small healthy food choices that can have a big impact.