UNGA Daily Highlights

Friday 25th September

LIVE FROM LONDON, KIGALI & ABU DHABI

Goals House 2020 came to a close, with events broadcast live from London, Kigali and Abu Dhabi.

The day concluded a week of incredible discussions, interviews, panels, dinners and interventions from all the amazing partners that are part of this historic project.

At the heart of everything we've said and done is the urgent mission of advancing the Global Goals: ending global hunger, harnessing tech and innovation, the great green reset, clean water and sanitation, restoring the oceans and breaking the barriers to women’s health.

As Stuart McLaughlin of Google commented this afternoon, it's hard to feel positive at this strange moment in history. But there's also an increasing sense that governments, the private sector, NGOs and individuals are coming together to take on the huge challenges facing the world, around the framework of the Goals.

Thank you to everyone who has been part of this week and is part of this great movement to achieve the Goals. This is just the start.

Nations United: Urgent Solutions for Urgent Times

To kick off the afternoon we were joined by Kate Garvey, Co-Founder of Project Everyone, and Stuart McLaughlin, Global Executive Engagement at Google.org, from London and Ireland respectively. Kate and Stuart spoke to broadcaster Karthi Gnanasegaram and discussed Nations United, a new film produced by the UN, Project Everyone and 72 Films. Nations United focusses on the urgency of the Sustainable Development Goals, against the backdrop of the pandemic, and is the first film of its kind to be released on the UN YouTube channel.

Speaking about how business can contribute to change, Stuart McLaughlin said: “working with organisations like Project Everyone is so extraordinarily important. For us, the Goals are a framework for solutions… Businesses can do things two ways: through their own action (such as Google’s recent commitment to be carbon-free by 2030) and by using their platforms to support individual actions that make a difference”.

Kate Garvey commented that the film attempts to provide a ‘roadmap’ for change: “people are asking ‘what more can I do?’ and this is about individuals, businesses and communities all doing the right thing”.

Warning of the urgency of the task, Stuart added: “The pandemic affects us all but it affects us incredibly unequally around the planet, and the film really highlights that inequity.”

Africa Accelerated: How can Science, Technology & Innovation Advance Transformative Impact?

For the last session from Kigali, which was moderated by Fiona Muthoni, Anchor and Producer of CNBC Africa, a panel representing government, the development sector and business came together to discuss ways in which technology offers solutions to socio-economic challenges, and the opportunities available to scale digital finance, health-tech and ed-tech in Africa.

We were joined by Yves Iradukunda, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of ICT and Innovation, Rwanda, Nathalie Munyampenda, CEO, Kepler, Eniola Mafe, Lead, 2030Vision, Technology and Sustainable Development, World Economic Forum and Patrick Buchana Nsenga, Founder and CEO, AC Group Ltd.

Yves Iradukunda, from the Rwandan government, commented: “Data is going to be the biggest opportunity that we have to continue to create relevant solutions, but also to understand how you can predict the next trend in the future, so I would definitely make an argument that we must invest in training more people in that area”.

Eniola Mafe, from WEF, said: “Covid has taught us a lot, especially on the African continent, and shifted thinking about the digital economy not as a luxury but now as a strategy”.

Patrick Buchana Nsenga, Founder and CEO of AC Group Ltd, concluded: “Innovation should not just be seen in the perspective of technology and having smart phones and the like. Innovation can still be done without using these tools, and I think young people should have this as their challenge and take it up... The single most important element for innovation is an enabling environment”.

Culture through Covid

The final session of the week from Abu Dhabi, this afternoon saw a fireside chat between His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture & Tourism, Abu Dhabi & Dr Tristram Hunt, Director of the V&A Museum, to discuss the impact of Covid on our cultural institutions and the importance of safeguarding the arts and culture, which are at the heart of the SDGs.

Discussing the opportunity brought about by virtual exhibitions, His Excellency claimed: “today in the UAE we are a boiling pot of world cultures. The opportunity we see in front of us with Covid is how we take that and broadcast it in a much louder voice than we ever did”.

When discussing the crucial task of bringing the experience of museums to a younger audience, Tristram said: “for the younger generation, digital is not enough. They want to be with each other and museums are places where that can happen whilst providing great insight into history, art, culture and identity”.

Is there an economic silver lining to this crisis?

H.E. Dr Bandar Hajjar, President of IsDB Group, participated in a panel discussion, alongside esteemed speakers, Brian O’Hanlon, Executive Director, The Rocky Mountain Institute’s Centre For Climate-Aligned Finance, Delilah Rothenberg, Founder and Executive Director, The Predistribution Initiative and Jaakko Kooroshy, Head of Sustainable Investment Data and Methodologies, FTSE Russell.

The panel which was titled Is there an Economic Silver Lining to this Crisis? The Rise of Ethical Investing for a Sustainable Future was moderated by Billy Nauman, Producer of Moral Money, FT and focussed on how the pandemic has severely damaged the global economy. H.E. Dr Bandar Hajjar emphasised the role that Islamic Finance can play in bridging the $2.5m trillion funding gap to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. He also urged organisations to continue supporting women and children and other vulnerable groups during these unprecedented times.

H.E. Dr Bandar Hajjar also touched upon IsDB’s commitment to supporting the most vulnerable and responding to the ever-changing market. “We need to focus on the future and address the challenges of aligning finance with growth. We need to know what growth will look like in the future (the economy of 2030 and beyond) to be able to provide an adequate response as the world is on the threshold of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

Embracing Circularity and Social Impact

In the final session of the week, AB InBev brought together panellists to discuss how circularity can unlock innovation, regenerate local economies and deliver positive social impact for communities.

COVID-19 has brought circularity into sharp focus for many organisations. As global communities grapple with the far-reaching impacts of the pandemic, AB InBev discussed this complex issue, and explored possible solutions.

Panelists for the event included:

Ezekiel Chisenga Sekele, Director of Corporate Affairs, AB InBev - Zambia

Siphokazi Mthathi, Executive Director, Oxfam South Africa

Ashish Gadnis, Co-Founder and CEO, BanQu Inc

It was moderated by Kate Robertson, Co-founder, One Young World.

Ezekiel noted early on that “when Covid came in, it was a huge challenge, but we soon realised we did the right thing as technology gave us the resilience to confront the enemy of Covid”.

There was a wide range of topics covered, including the role is of technology and innovation in harnessing circularity. Siphokazi brought the issue into sharp focus, noting that “Circularity in the waste industry has to be one of the avenues we have to focus on”.

We heard great examples from the panellists about how their work is benefiting communities, and what the social and economic impact has been.

The discussion was followed by a fireside chat between Kate and Maisie Devine, Global Director, 100+ Accelerator, AB InBev, during which a partnership between One Young World and 100+ Accelerator was announced. Kate noted the importance of partnerships in general, reminding us that “the work of the world is enough to end our problems in a year. But you realise the inefficiency of the world with no partnerships”.

Thursday 24th September

LIVE FROM GOALS HOUSES ABU DHABI, KIGALI & LONDON

“The world is going to be in turmoil forever; now is not the time to back off, we are not going to back off” - Alan Jope, CEO, Unilever

Thursday saw Goals House hubs across Abu Dhabi, Kigali and London come together to broadcast some incredible panels and content.

From exploring the power of the arts, and how creativity can link to recovery, through to exploring the power of technology - how it can help connect women and girls so that their life opportunities are broader and richer, or how it can transform the health industry, particularly now in these Covid-19 times.

WILL THE GLOBAL PANDEMIC FAST TRACK THE HEALTHTECH REVOLUTION?

Thursday’s panels kicked off live from Abu Dhabi with ‘Will the global pandemic fast track the healthtech revolution? We were joined by Bernardo Mariano Junior (Chief Informational Officer, World Health Organization), H.E. Dr Jamal Mohammed Al Kaabi (Acting Undersecretary of Abu Dhabi’s Department of Health), Patty O’Hayer (Director, Global External Relations, RB), Dr. Farida Al Hosani (Director of the Communicable Diseases Department at Abu Dhabi Public Healthcare) and Ashish Koshy (CEO G42 Healthcare) moderated by John Defterios (anchor CNN International).

They discussed the pandemic and the opportunities it has presented to accelerate the development of HealthTech as a way to achieve the SDGs.

“A lack of unity is a bigger threat than coronavirus”Bernardo Mariano Junior

WOMEN AND GIRLS, CONNECTED: TECH FOR GENDER EQUALITY

We then made our way over to Goals House London where Andrew Dunnett, Group Director, SDGS, Sustainable Business and Foundations and Patricia Obo-Nai, CEO of Vodafone Ghana were joined by Jessica Posner Odede, CEO of Girl Effect, Nimco Ali OBE, FGM campaigner and founder of the Five Foundation, and Glamour's Editor-In-Chief Deborah Joseph to discuss the role and power of technology in achieving gender equality.

The discussion centered around how women and girls represent half of the world’s population, yet gender inequality persists everywhere and stagnates social progress. Technology has a huge role to play in empowering women and tackling gender based issues such as FGM, child marriage, violence against women and obstetric fistula.

Nimco Ali said that “technology is key to democracy” and added that “with the power of the phone and technology, you can tell a girl she is not alone.” Andrew Dunnett from Vodafone added how “using technology to give women skills doesn’t just teach them that skill, it empowers them in their relationships with others.”

CREATIVITY & RECOVERY: THE HEALING POWER OF ARTS AFTER TRAUMA & CONFLICT

Remaining in Goals House London, Community Jameel, in partnership with The Future is Unwritten, brought together a high-profile UN75 dialogue to highlight the innovative use of art to tackle complex health issues. The event explored ground-breaking research into the links between art and health, with a focus on the specific case study relating to the preservation of Yazidi culture following the ISIS genocide in 2014.

The event was hosted by Fady Jameel, President, International, Community Jameel, and moderated by moderated by Katy Wickremesinghe, Founder, KTW London.

Panellists included:

Lord Ed Vaizey, Former UK Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries

Christopher Bailey, Arts & Health Lead, World Health Organization

Hannah Rose Thomas, Artist

Dr Maher Nawaf, Director, Yazda UK and board member for Yazda Global

Antonella Caruso, Founder, LAMEDINA Institute and ex-Director of Middle East and Western Asia Division, Department of Political Affairs, United Nations

Injonge Karangwa, Chief Organizer at University of Global Health Equity, Hamwe Festival

A wide range of topics were covered during the event. Areas ranged from how philanthropy and intervention can help to re-build and protect cultural heritage and custom, to protecting the ‘Voices of the Voiceless’ and how art-work and creative practice enables this.

During the event, Fady Jameel spoke on the power of art, reminding us that “through the power of art, we can support healing, greater understanding, community solace, and hope for the future.”

At the end of the discussion, Katy left us with the words of Tolstoy – “all art has this characteristic – it unites people”.

FIRESIDE CHAT: PROTOCOL PROFILE

After an inspiring Arts & Health panel out of London, we traversed across the ocean to Goals House Kigali and Goals House New York, as Rwandan ICT and Innovation Minister Paula Ingabire sat down (virtually) with Protocol’s Kevin McAllister to discuss the importance of harnessing technology and digital infrastructure for sustainable transformation.

The Minister highlighted the level of integration of technology and forward-thinking approach that has positioned the country to be steps ahead of the rest of the world, in their response to Covid-19. “We’ve been privileged to find different ways of leveraging technology in our response to the pandemic and thanks to the investments that have been made in the past 10 – 15 years, one, in terms of laying out the required connectivity infrastructure and also the ability to afford universal healthcare coverage for the citizens, and a combination of other investments, came in to play when we were hit by the pandemic.”

In line with the agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals, the country is also pioneering inclusive smart city and sustainable urbanisation solutions, environmental resilience programmes and health-tech solutions. Rwanda is utilising AI technology to conduct air quality monitoring and drone technology for emergency health and COVID-19 response - an approach that is being replicated in Africa and around the world.

THE GLOBAL GOALS ARE IN BUSINESS: 10 YEARS TO GO

To round off the day, we had Richard Curtis, Writer, Director and SDG Advocate, Kelly Joscelyne, Chief Talent Officer, Mastercard, Alan Jope, CEO, Unilever, Bethel Tadesse, Campaigns Monitor, Project Everyone, Halla Tomasdottir, Co-Chair of the B Team and Imperative21, Yonca Dervisoglu, CMO EMEA, Google, and moderator Gail Gallie, Co-Founder, Project Everyone come together to discuss the role of the private sector in delivering the goals, through the lens of the Business Avengers - a group of 17 of the World’s most significant companies aligned to the Goals and to the collaboration required to achieve them. These 17 Avengers include: Mars; RB; Pepsi; Diageo; Avanti Communications; SAP; Salesforce.org; Salesforce.com; Google; ARM; Unilever; NTT Communications; Commvault; Mastercard; Nike; Microsoft; and Coca Cola

As the goals turned 5, and with less than 10 years to go, the panel looked back at what has worked so far, and what else needs to be done in order to accelerate progress.

Powerful statements were made from all panellists on the subject of sustainability, with Richard Curtis declaring “I am now referring to the SDGs as the UN sustainable solutions not the goals – we know what to do we just have to get them done” and Alan Jope, CEO of Unilever, saying “we have a modest ambition which Is to the global leader in sustainable business.”

AND FINALLY

We were also excited to be joined by a number of artists and panellists, in between panels, to talk about their work including Zeina Durra, a British Director with Middle Eastern and Bosnian descent who discussed her upcoming film LUXOR which focuses on the importance of female empowerment and reducing gender equalities. We were also joined by Hannah Cameron, Creative Director at Project Everyone who discussed the work the business is doing to achieve the goals and work towards achieving a fairer world for women & girls.

Wednesday 23rd September

LIVE FROM LONDON, NYC, KIGALI & ABU DHABI

“When you call someone a refugee you’re making them different to you. What people don’t realise is that we’re all the same. We’re bonded by our common humanity and that idea can change the world” - Marc Quinn

Yesterday marked the single most international day in the lifetime of Goals House, with events, panel discussions and interviews broadcast from London, New York, Abu Dhabi and Kigali.

The Great Green Reset: Rebuilding Sustainably

Live from Goals House Abu Dhabi, today’s panels began with The Great Green Reset: Rebuilding Sustainably, led by His Excellency Awaidha Murshed Ali Al-Marar, Chairman, The Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, Her Excellency Dr Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary General, Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, Vivian Schiller, Executive Director Aspen Digital, Alan Smith, CEO Agthia Group, and moderator Dan Murphy of CNBC. They focused on how the pandemic has created an opportunity for governments and the private sector to reset and rebuild for a more sustainable future.

H.E. Awaidha Murshed Ali Al-Marar commented: “the pandemic has stress-tested our systems, and tested our objectives of how we can continue to move towards renewable energy... We saw Covid as a test to our journey which has actually brought us together - now we are stronger in our energy transition than ever before”.

Vivian Schiller added: “just as we need to look at sustainability, issues of climate, water and poverty, so we must when it comes to media channels and misinformation... There must be unrelenting focus to ensure that we have fact-based education, focussing particularly on science and sustainability”.

100 Heads: Portraits of Refugees for Social Change

Artist Marc Quinn joined us at Goals House in London for an incredibly powerful panel discussion focussing on the refugee crisis. The panel also featured Adiam Yemane, from Eritrea, and Ahmed Mohammed, from Nigeria, moderated by broadcaster Emma Freud. The discussion considered Marc's latest non-for-profit sculpture project 100 Heads, made in collaboration with refugees of all genders, ethnicities and ages.

The project challenges the public perception of refugees by showing them as individual and unique people first and foremost. As Emma Freud put it, Marc is “individualising people rather than just calling them refugees”.

In the course of the event, Adiam told her extraordinary life story of moving to the UK from Eritrea as a young child, and navigating the British care system. Ahmed spoke about his inspiring working with young people and his London-based non-profit You vs. You.

Marc Quinn also spoke about a future project Our Blood, which will put 2 tonnes of blood on public display in two large blocks. One of the blocks will be made of the blood donations of refugees, while the other will be sourced from people who are not refugees, including celebrities and other high profile individuals.

The powerful message of the piece, to use Marc's own words, is that “when you call someone a refugee you’re making them different to you. What people don’t realise is that we’re all the same. We’re bonded by our common humanity - and that idea can change the world”.

Opening The Tech Sector To African Women

Later in the afternoon we hosted Nathalie Munyampenda, CEO of Kepler, who joined from Goals House Kigali, and Eniola Mafe, Lead of the 2030Vision, Technology and Sustainable Development, World Economic Forum, to talk about the importance of engaging women and girls in Africa’s tech industry.

The panel discussed a generation of women and girls that are being left out of Africa's technological revolution. They highlighted the importance of building support systems, and safe harness technology for non-digital natives and new entrants, emphasising that Africa is on a dual system of transformation where innovation is going at light-speed, and policy is still playing a very crucial role. It is therefore crucial to build-in public-private partnerships to enable access for marginalised groups.

As Nathalie summarised, “We need to move away from the idea of Hackathons and the idea that Africans need to crack the code on how to fix hunger. I can tell you that there are a lot of entrepreneurs and innovators on the continent who have cracked the code, and what they really need is to find funding for that”.

Across the Atlantic...

Goals House New York, at the beautiful Dumbo House, streamed the whole programme of Goals House events, with access to the stunning roof terrace overlooking Brooklyn Bridge.

Goals House NYC: Insides and Outwards

In partnership with Atomized Studios, the NYC in-person programme kicked off with a screening of Inside and Outwards, a short film considering mental health during the Covid-19 pandemic. The film was directed by Ezra Hurwitz, a former professional ballet dancer, with a surprise a-list voiceover by Sarah Jessica Parker.

This visually stunning and moving film is all the more impressive given that it was shot during a global pandemic at the peak of New York's shutdown. The film encapsulates a rare moment in history where we were all told to stay still - during the screening, the audience sat socially distant complete with masks - and yet beautifully documents people dancing and expressing themselves through movement. We are so honoured to have shown this incredible film, many thanks to the talented cast and crew for sharing the experience with us.

Dine with purpose

Dine with Purpose was introduced and moderated by Tracy McVeigh, Editor, Global Development Desk at The Guardian, with an agenda on how, globally, we can adjust our food systems to ensure a sustainable and healthy future for all. His Excellency, Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi, Director General, Abu Dhabi Investment Office, presented the evening’s opening remarks live from Abu Dhabi, speaking on the role of AgTech and food supply in building a resilient food system in an ever warming climate: “We’ve built many cities out of the desert and the last nine months have brought to the forefront agriculture and technology”.

The event’s special guests, Sabrina Dhowre Elba, Actress, Model and United Nations' IFAD Goodwill Ambassador and Sara Mbago-Bhunu, Agricultural Economist and Director of IFAD's East and Southern Africa Division, discussed the importance of supporting smallholder farmers and the issue of food poverty.

Sabrina commented: “My roots are in Africa – I’m passionate because they are issues that are personal to me. My mother always asked how I can help Africa and I have worked to answer that question”.

The panel welcomed Dr. Ute Klamert, Assistant Executive Director, UN World Food Programme, Tony Milikin, Chief Procurement and Sustainability Officer, AB InBev, Rebecca Marmot, Chief Sustainability Officer, Unilever and Vivek Bapat, Senior Vice President, Purpose and Brand Experience, SAP. The discussion explored how the private sector can drive food system transformation, sustainable supply chain practices, and how cross-sector collaboration can help fix our broken food systems, working towards SDG 2 - Zero Hunger.

After the panel Goals House London hosted a dinner in partnership with Farmacy Kitchen.

Direct from the Goals House Interview Room

Poppy Jamie, Entrepreneur and Co-founder of Happy Not Perfect

Today we heard from Poppy Jamie, Co-Founder of mental health and wellbeing app Happy Not Perfect. She discussed the importance of looking after our mental health and how it’s inextricably linked to our ability to care for the environment, in relation to SDG 3 and how we can all practice optimising our mind and potential to achieve the SDGs.

Jamie Crummie, Co-Founder of Too Good To Go

Jamie is the co-founder or the biggest food waste app in the world - Too Good To Go. During his interview he discussed the importance of SDG 12 and the impact of food waste and what we can do to combat this by thinking broadly about our impact on the supply chain and the work and resources that go into putting food on our plates. Jamie also discussed the importance of breaking the stigma around best before dates and the impact that COVID has had on allowing people to reduce their food waste in the home.

Tuesday 22nd September

LIVE FROM NEW YORK

“There is no healthy planet without a healthy ocean, and the ocean’s health is under threat”

Peter Thomson, UN Secretary - General's Special Envoy for the Ocean

Yesterday saw us travel across the pond as New York hosted its first set of Goals House panels and events in this week-long discussion of the next steps needed to help achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Tuesday's panels delved deep into many of the SDGs - from Clean Water & Sanitation, to Tech and Innovation, the conversations and learnings were enthralling and educative, with the hope that those tuning in across the globe logged off knowing the next steps they personally needed to take to help build back better.

Breaking Barriers For Women's Health

Spread across the world, yesterday's first panel included Natalia Vodianova, Model & Philanthropist and Founder, Flo Health; Patty O’Hayer, Global Head of Communications and Global Policy, RB; Vera Hahn, SVP Head of Corporate Sustainability, Bayer, and Mariarosa Cutillo, Director of Strategic Partnerships, UNFPA.

CNBC Broadcaster Tania Bryer opened a fascinating discussion around female empowerment with a reminder of just how lacking women’s access to healthcare is in so many parts of the world.

Looking at the pandemic’s impact on women and girls, Patty O’Hayer highlighted, “women are now more at risk of gender-based violence, FGM and early marriage, not to mention the global digital divide which will prevent tens of millions of girls from ever returning to school.” In contrast, she also looked at the multiplier effect of investments in women, who “reinvest the vast majority of anything they make back into themselves and their whole family.”

On smashing the stigmas around female health, Natalia Vodianova pointed to the importance of “talking to boys about sexual education, periods and contraception, before they already have ideas in their heads,” to which Mariarosa Cutillo added, “we cannot design women’s health solutions without involving those who will be benefiting from them: women.”

Along the same vein, Vera Hahn drew the conversation to a poignant close in reminding us: “Ruth Bader Ginsburg was asked when there would be enough women on the Supreme Court. She said, ‘When they are all women.’”

“The SDGs remain our north star.”Mariarosa Cutillo

Tech and innovation for sustainable economic development

His Excellency Dr Tariq bin Hendi, Director General, Abu Dhabi Investment Office, Stasia Mitchell, EY Global Entrepreneurship Leader, EY Private, Hanan Harhara Al Yafei, CEO of Hub71, and Kai Fu Lee, Chairman and CEO of Sinovation Ventures, AI leader and MBZUAI board member, came together at Goals House to discuss how technology and innovation can be used to achieve the sustainable development goals, a conversation moderated by Nick Thompson, Editor in Chief of WIRED.

The panellists discussed the crucial role of new  technologies, AI and  innovation in moving economies towards a sustainable future. The conversation outlined how Abu Dhabi and other global leaders have been working to address complex environmental, social and economic issues and it was recognized that these challenges are best tackled through collaboration with business, NGOs and consumer society. 

Clean water and sanitation saves lives

Hosted by ABI InBev and Water.org, the Clean Water and Sanitation Saves Lives panel discussed how access to clean water and sanitation is crucial to ensuring communities are able to function. The session brought together Ezgi Barcenas, Global Head of Sustainability at AB InBev; Gary White, CEO and co-founder of Water.org and WaterEquity; Alice Moore, Global Head of Harpic at RB; and Mai-Lan Ha, Senior Advisor at the UNGC CEO Mandate.

The panel was moderated by Matt Mace, Content Editor at Edie.net.

Mai-Lan Ha noted that even before the UN adopted water and sanitation as a human right, companies were starting to ask about their responsibilities on the issue. Ezgi Barcenas and Alice Moore shone a light on some fantastic initiatives their companies are taking, such as the partnership between AB InBev brand Stella Artois and Water.org – bringing the issue in front of millions of consumers.

On the importance of sanitation, Alice Moore said “A toilet is so much more than a convenient thing you have access to. It’s the segue into a more dignified life”.

Ezgi Barcenas summed up the panel perfectly, saying “Water is core to our products - no water, no beer. We aren’t going to reach SDG6 through corporate support alone, we need partners. Change takes time and the time is now – we need to be resilient and invest in long lasting solutions.”

30% BY 2030 I RESTORING OUR OCEANS TO SLOW CLIMATE CHANGE

“Today, the biggest threat is us, if we give up on the idea of having a healthy ocean.”Professor Carlos M Duarte.

The panel, moderated by Elsa Palanza, Global Head of Sustainability & ESG, Barclays, explored how cross-sector collaboration can help achieve SDG 14 – Life Below Water, and help contribute towards ocean conservation and restoration. The discussion focused on the need to improve governance of our seas and bottom-up project delivery to help local communities who are at the front line of ocean conservation – the ones most vulnerable to climate change.

Our esteemed speakers, Peter Thomson, UN Secretary - General's Special Envoy for the Ocean, Professor Callum Roberts, Professor of Marine Conservation at the University of Exeter, Professor Carlos M Duarte, Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Shaha Hashim, Project Manager, Blue Marine Foundation, Maldives and Dr. Arlo Brady, CEO of freuds/ The Brewery, and Chairman of the Blue Marine Foundation urged us all to act now.

NYC SCREENING: INSIDE & OUTWARDS

A room full of New Yorkers gathered at Dumbo House's Soho Works to watch a screening of Inside & Outwards, directed and co-created by filmmaker and former ballet dancer Ezra Hurwitz.

Inside & Outwards, a short film narrated by none other than the wonderful Sarah Jessica Parker, explores mental health through the lens of Covid isolation, looking at how everyone can still remain connected, even in a time of aloneness. After the film was shot Hurwitz secured a partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City, who helped create amazing language around mental health in support of the film.

AND FINALLY

We were also excited that in between panels we were joined by number of artists and panellists to talk about their work and the Goals including an interview with singer, Seyi Shay to discuss her involvement in the United Nations Global Goals #WhatIReallyReallyWant project and the importance of female empowerment, and a up and close drawing session and Q&A with visual artist and author Oliver Jeffers around why we need to look after our planet and an in conversation with CEO of Girl Effect, Jessica Posner Odede discussing her work on gender equality and how this is fundamental in achieving the Global Goals.

Monday 21st September

LIVE FROM SOHO HOUSE, BERLIN

“The murder of George Floyd made us all realise that racism is not only a problem for people of colour. Finally, white people and people in power are being forced to be accountable for this unjust system” - Antonio Lucio

After an amazing opening day of London-based discussions on Sunday, yesterday Goals House centred on Soho House Berlin, with a full programme of in-person and virtual events.

Panellists from businesses, NGOs and governments came together to discuss how to accelerate progress towards the Goals, with a particular focus on harnessing science, technology and innovation.

Scaling Innovations to Disrupt Global Hunger

For our first Berlin-based event of the week we convened a discussion in partnership with the UN World Food Programme about how businesses, innovators, governments and NGOs can work together to end world hunger, Goal number 2.

Moderated by Bernhard Kowatsch, Head of the World Food Programme’s Innovation Accelerator, the panel included Bayly Mattes, Director EMEA Equality Programs at Salesforce, Jeffrey Oatham, Director of CSR & Sustainability at Delivery Hero, Joyce Shen, Investment & Operating Partner, Tenfore Holdings and Lecturer at UC Berkeley, and Saswati Bora, Head of Food Systems Innovation at the World Economic Forum.

The discussion addressed how we can encourage innovation in the food system to tackle hunger around the world, attracting the necessary investment to scale the solutions that are needed. Joyce Shen emphasised the need for partnerships between governments, aid agencies and the private sector: “Scaling innovation is really hard. It’s like running a marathon. It takes a lot of people and a lot of setbacks”.

Reflecting on the success of Delivery Hero’s Share The Meal initiative, Jeffrey Oatham called out for all people to consider what they can do to help alleviate hunger: “World hunger is a huge issue, but we need to focus on empowering individuals to make a small difference. If we all work together we can have a massive impact”.

Saswati Bora commented: “start-ups and others should invest in developing countries where there are huge growing markets in health, nutrition and the environment” and implored businesses to consider the 'triple bottom line’ of people, planet and profits.

Echoing this sentiment, Bayly Mattes ended the session with a rallying cry for companies to see the bigger picture: “Corporates need to focus on being a platform for change. . Profits are not the purpose, they come from purpose”.

Sustainable Innovation for the SDGs

Next up we turned to innovation, bringing together John Blood, Chief Legal and Corporate Affairs Officer at AB InBev; Rowan Barnett, Head of Google.org EMEA and APAC; Vera Hahn, SVP Head of Corporate Sustainability at Bayer; H.E. Dr Fitsum Aseefa Adela, Minister of Planning and Development Commission for Ethiopa; and H.E. Salama Al Ameemi, Director General of Ma’an, Abu Dhabi.

Panellists discussed how we can encourage and champion innovation that will help us achieve a better world and the role of NGOs, Governments and the private sector in financing and driving this innovation.

The session was moderated by Founder and CEO of PlanA.Earth and Co-founder of GREENTECH Alliance, Lubomila Jordanova.

John Blood commented that the private sector can: “uniquely provide our skillset to the sustainability cause” and has a responsibility to “bring to the table things like consumer insights, leading brands and communication tools through advertising” in support of the Global Goals.

H.E. Salama Al Ameemi highlighted the role of governments and public bodies as enablers for sustainability initiatives to work effectively in society; Rowan Barnett discussed the importance of philanthropy in supporting non-profits and universities; Vera Hahn explained Bayer’s vision of “Health for all, hunger for none”; while H.E. Dr. Fitsum Assefa Adela explored how business can be incentivised and supported to drive sustainable innovation.

Is Data the New Oil?

In the afternoon we saw Chris Powell, Chief Marketing Officer at Commvault, Damian Bradfield, President of WeTransfer, Michelle Lancaster, Director of Sustainability Engagement and Partnerships from Microsoft and Abhijit Sunil, Analyst at Forrester Research, come together for a virtual panel moderated by Bennett Richardson, VP and General Manager at Protocol.

The panellists discussed the importance of not only collecting data but refining it so that it adds value to the way we operate as a global community. We are dependent on data in everyday life and yet industry experts estimate that nearly 70% of data is redundant, obsolete, or trivial. The speakers agreed it is time for a meaningful discussion about how we intelligently manage data to get all the goodness, while minimizing the impact on the planet.

Chris Powell from Commvault stated that “right now most companies look at their data and try to manage the value they get from it. However, one of the things that is entering this conversation is the environmental discussion. This allows IT departments to broach this topic within their companies and how they can help with the missions their companies are embarking on for their environmental status.”

Harnessing the Power of Science, Technology and Innovation to Achieve the SDGs

Dr Hayat Sindi, Senior Advisor to the President for Science, Technology and Innovation, IsDB, joined a virtual session with Jacquelline Fuller, VP, Google and President, Google.org and Matthias Berniger, Public Affairs, Science & Sustainability, Bayer AG for a discussion moderated by Jessica Espey, Senior Advisor to SDSN and Director of SDSN TReNDS.

The panel looked at the barriers to women and girls in accessing careers in science, technology and innovation and how the Islamic Development Bank has created a scholarship programme for sustainability science with a focus on this group. Conversation turned to COVID-19 and the application of technology in tracking down where outbreaks are moving, as well as what insight we can take from this data for decision makers around the world to use effectively. The panellists discussed the use of data, the barriers to accessing data sets in developing countries, and the importance of giving people the rights tools to flourish. They concluded by discussing the role of cross-sector collaboration in driving the achievement of the global goals across the public and private sectors.

Dr Hayat Sindi: “The SDGs give us a great platform to help women and young people excel in their own countries”

Jacquelline Fuller: “There is a need for structured data which is aimed to serve the public, especially under-serviced populations. We want to make sure everyone can benefit from machine learning and AI”

Building Cohesion in Diversity: Challenges and Opportunities

To conclude the day, Antonio Lucio, Global Chief Marketing Officer of Facebook, joined Misan Harriman, Photographer and Founder of What We Seee, and June Sarpong, Broadcaster & Director of Creative Diversity at the BBC, to discuss diversity in the media and beyond, moderated by Sarah Syed, M Technology Reporter, Bloomberg.

Reflecting on the past six months, Misan Harriman commented that “the largest civil rights movement in history is occurring right now. I speak to 15 year old boys and girls who say they don’t believe what is taught to them in classrooms anymore”.

Antonio Lucio also reflected on the moment, saying that “the murder of George Floyd made us all realise that racism is not only a problem for people of colour. Finally, white people and people in power are being forced to be accountable for this unjust system”.

But overcoming racial injustice is not only a moral imperative. Antonio Lucio added that “the business case for diversity has been proven time and time again. We have all the data we need. What we need is translating that data into systemic and holistic change”.

Concluding the discussion with a thought about how the fight for justice has changed since his parents' generation, Misan Hariman commented that “the internet is a gift and a curse. We can never be alone again because we are connected on this information super-highway. The internet has let us know that we are not alone in this struggle”.

Sunday 20th September

LIVE FROM THE LOFT, 180 THE STRAND, LONDON

“The reason the Goals House sessions are so important is that these issues are about coalition-building, not just here in the UK but around the world” Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

Goals House 2020 launched with a bang yesterday afternoon.

In this most unprecedented of years, Project Everyone and freuds have partnered with Soho House to host a week-long series of virtual and in-person events in London, New York and Berlin, with satellite sessions taking place in Abu Dhabi and Kigali.

The discussions will centre on the key themes of the Global Goals, including: how to end global hunger, harnessing tech and innovation, the great green reset, clean water and sanitation, restoring the oceans and breaking the barriers to women’s health.

#BLM: The Movement of Our Generation

The week began with an insightful and inspiring conversation between Six-Time Formula One™ World Champion Lewis Hamilton, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, and Director, Film-maker, Writer and Fashion Stylist Basma Khalifa, who came together to discuss systemic racism and the Black Lives Matter movement.

The event was moderated by writer, author, TV presenter and documentary maker Afua Hirsch.

Lewis Hamilton commented: “Ultimately it all comes down to education. Real change will come by educating people that the more diverse industries are, the better they will be. That’s why I support the Global Goals: it’s a fundamental right for every kid around the world to have access to education”.

“People say ‘isn’t this is happening in America?’ but systemic racism is at the core of society, in the UK, in Europe, all over the world. At the end of the day Black Lives Matter is a human rights issue”.

Sadiq Khan said that he is more optimistic about change than ever before. He commented that “if black people are the victims of racism and exploitation, all of us suffer”.

Basma Khalifa added that “true diversity is about different people working together on an equal footing”

Investing in Africa's Female Future

We were then joined by the Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP, Secretary of State for Trade and Minister for Women, Nimco Ali, British FGM campaigner and founder of the Five Foundation and Georgina Campbell, Head of Climacell.org, who convened for a hybrid in-person and virtual panel moderated by Ross Kempsell, Special Correspondent, Times Radio.

The panellists discussed how Covid19 is disproportionately affecting women and girls in Africa, with hard-won gains being lost across the continent.

Nimco Ali: “If you can control the money in your pocket, you can control your destiny. The reality is that economic injustices are leading to FGM, enforced marriage and poverty – women need to be active participants in society to keep girls in school, marry when they want and end FGM.”

Re-thinking and Rebuilding a Sustainable Fashion Industry

Caroline Rush, CEO of the British Fashion Council, joined Cigdem Kurtulus, CMO of RB Hygiene (UK & Ireland), Gail Gallie, Co-Founder of Project Everyone and Founder of the Fashion Avengers, Maria Srivastava, Chief Impact and Communications Officer of Pangaia, and moderator, Sarah Kent, Senior Sustainability Correspondent of Business of Fashion, to discuss fashion’s role in the path towards a circular world.

The panel looked at how fashion brands, consumer goods companies and industry leaders can work together with a new wave of conscious consumers to create a more sustainable market, from an item’s conception to its final wear.

Caroline Rush celebrated the moves young designers are making to repurpose waste, while Maria Srivastava spoke of Pangaia’s insistence on sharing their research into intersectional environmentalism with fellow brands. Cigdem Kurtulus highlighted how little consumers know about their purchasing power, to which Gail Gallie added, “Everyone’s heard the terrifying threats to our climate’s survival. But barely anybody’s connecting those to all the clothing they throw away after two wears.”

Caroline Rush: “We can’t wait for a light-bulb moment to change the fashion industry. We all need to change things right now.”

An Evening with Dazed: In Conversation with Ramla Ali

“The world should be a boxing gym… where else other than a boxing gym would you see a police officer training with a criminal, or a Muslim person train with a gay person”

To round off an incredible day of thought-provoking panels and discussions, Ramla Ali – boxer and model – sat down with Dazed’s Group Digital Editor Thomas Gorton to talk through a multitude of topics, from the future of female boxing, and the upcoming Olympics, to Ramla’s personal experience of growing up in Britain.

Whilst Ramla Ali talked so eloquently about all of these topics, it was her passionate delivery on the Government and British media’s current depiction of immigration and refugees that highlights the severe issues we see within politics and the media today.

Ramla Ali and her family fled Somalia when she was a young child, coming to the UK to seek asylum. Ali made it clear that whilst she is “a positive example of someone who has been immensely supported by the British Government”, since she arrived in the UK some 20 years ago times have changed. The British political and media landscape has also changed. Ali highlighted that “what sells newspapers is bold headlines of Islamic terrorism...the language used to describe these stories is the same language used to describe refugees.

I think the Government’s approach to the current refugee crisis is despicable... I think the media’s attitude towards it is disgusting and it serves no-one but themselves”

Between Panels

Between panels we were lucky enough to speak to Patrick Hutchinson, viral hero and BLM activist, as well as visual artist, Àsìkò, and curator Péjú Oshin. Both discussed their experiences within the BLM movement with Patrick reliving the moment he rescued a white ex-police officer from a BLM protest which resulted in a picture that made him a viral hero and Àsìkò discussed three images from his upcoming series around racial equality and the global significance of the BLM movement.