Global Goals Week 2020 marked the start of the decade of action to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. The UN aimed to use this moment to re-energize and re-commit the international community to achieve the goals. The week was also centered around the UN General Assembly’s’ first ever virtual high level debate in the organization’s 75- year history.
To amplify the mission of advancing the SDG’s, the Global Goals Studio was launched in New York, with guests joining from around the world. The Studio brought the best of the Global Goals Week to one virtual platform. The event included interviews with leaders and activists as well as conversations about policy solutions from gender equity to financing the SDGs.
Hosted by Richard Wolffe, Handshake managing director, and journalist Chika Oduah, the studio kicked off with Dawda Jobarteh, the Global Head of the SDG Strategy Hub. Jobarteh emphasized that “we have to change the way we make decisions and work in collaboration. We have to make sure that humans, and society, and individuals, are at the very, very center of all that we do.”
Day one of the Global Goals Studio focused on People. The first panel was dedicated to a conversation on racial justice, with Rashad Robinson, President at Color of Change, Kerry Kennedy, President at RFK Human Rights, and Alicia Garza, Principal at Black Future Lab. Robinson discussed how racial justice can “act as a driver to get people involved and get people activated.”
Stephen and Ayesha Curry headlined a panel on food security and exemplified leadership in the space with the creation of their foundation to end hunger. Karlie Kloss spoke to the importance of education, touching on her experience advancing tech education for women through her nonprofit Kode with Klossy. MC Gonzalez from the Estee Lauder Companies spoke on gender equality and Eddie Ndopu spoke on the subject of vulnerable populations.
The first day came to a close with an SDG overview from the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed, who summed up the essence of the day’s events:
“The ambition to get to where we need to get to in the time we have needs partnerships, partnerships in business, civil society, and all the other parts of the multilateral system that will help us to lift the agenda.”
Day two of the Studio focused on the Planet, including a discussion about biodiversity with Mya-Rose Craig, ambassador of Survival International. Craig made it clear that we must embrace “a wider more holistic love of nature and attitude toward nature so people start to understand we are intertwined and we are absolutely reliant on the existence of biodiversity.” In addition to biodiversity, the Global Goals Studio heard from panelists on the subjects of business and climate, and youth activism. The youth activist Vanessa Nakate emphasized: “I believe we cannot have climate justice if there are voices that are being erased… there is no climate justice without racial justice.”
The third and final day of the Global Goals Studio was centered around the 17th Sustainable Development Goal: Partnerships. Norway’s prime minister, Erna Solberg, kicked off the day with a powerful address concerning the interlinked status of our world’s biggest issues and the importance of taking a holistic approach to combating them.
Charlotte Kirby from Salesforce, Sanda Ojiambo, CEO UN Global Compact, and Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, Deputy Executive Director at UNICEF, spoke on the subject of business and the SDGs. Each panelist emphasized the importance of building partnerships across borders and businesses that are anchored in the SDGs. Finally, the immense struggle of financing the SDGs was tackled by Scott Minerd from Guggenheim Investments.
Overall, the Global Goals Studio heard from leaders across a wide range of fields, working to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Some common themes included the intersectionality between each of the SDGs and the importance of universal and collective action. The Sustainable Development Goals will not be possible without the continued conversations and collective efforts on display in the Global Goals Studio. There must be accountability and collaborative work at every step of the way.
Check out the highlight of the Global Goals Studio 2020 here and reach out to our team to learn more about how you can join in this effort. Stay updated on future events by following the Global Goals Studio Instagram page: @the_ggs_studio