Maintaining the momentum for the SDGs

The global goals looked challenging enough in 2015. Two years later, amid political earthquakes, tightening budgets and manmade disasters, there is a wide agreement that achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) will require nothing less than a transformative approach.

Where to begin? Join the Guardian for an afternoon of thought-provoking discussion and real world examples on Tuesday 19 September in New York. This will be the third edition of our annual side event to the UN general assembly focusing on the SDGs.

Keynote talks and panel discussions will explore these questions, among others:

  • How can we make progress on the goals despite financial constraints?
  • Taking climate change seriously in testing times: who is leading the way?
  • How can education prepare the youth bulge to have a positive impact on societies in the coming decades?


Date: Tuesday 19 September
Time: 2pm-6pm
Location: 3 West Club, 3 West 51st Street, New York, NY 10019


2pm Registration, networking reception and documentary showcase

2.30pm Welcome address, John Mulholland, interim editor, Guardian US

2.45pm Keynote address, Jeffrey Sachs, director, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network

3.05pm Reducing vulnerability to environmental and humanitarian crises: what can technology and international policies do?
As there are increasing numbers of crises impacting mainly vulnerable populations in developing countries, the international community needs ways to mitigate against them.
 How can the latest technology be employed at scale to support humanitarian relief and prevent disasters?
 As urbanisation increases around the world, how can cities become smarter – more efficient, adaptable and environmentally friendly – so that they are more resilient?
 What policies could respond to migration trends, droughts and food insecurity to minimise the humanitarian and environmental impacts?

Chaired by Tracy McVeigh, editor, global development, The Guardian

Chizuru Aoki, lead environmental specialist, the Global Environment Facility
Einar Bjorgo, manager, Unosat, @UNOSAT
Abby Maxman, president, Oxfam America, @abbymaxman
Alex Thier, executive director, Overseas Development Institute, @ODIdev

3.50pm They’re in school but are they learning: exploring the most effective ways to spend the global education budget
Significant gains have been made since the millennium development goal era on getting primary school children into school around the world. Now the work is to ensure that they stay in school until young adulthood, and receive a quality education which not only teaches the basics but ensures prosperous livelihoods.
Chaired by Tracy McVeigh, editor, global development, The Guardian

Teodora Berkova, director of social innovation, Pearson, @teoberkova
Wendy Kopp, chief executive, Teach For All, @wendykopp ‏
Alaa Murabit, SDG advocate and UN high-level commissioner on health employment and economic growth, @almmura
Liesbet Steer, director, The Education Commission, @LiesbetSteer

4.40pm Keynote address
Lessons from the She Decides campaign: how to counter threats on women’s rights
Lilianne Plouman, minister for foreign trade and development cooperation, the Netherlands government

4.55 pm Closing remarks

5pm-6pm Networking and documentary showcase

How to get involved

This event is aimed at all professionals working towards the implementation of the SDGs, whether you work for government, an NGO, a grassroots or civil society organisation or in the private sector. Register your interest by filling in the form below by Tuesday 12 September.

While this is a free event, please be aware that space is limited and priority will be given to those who meet the criteria above.

Source: Maintaining the momentum for the SDGs: how can we transform societies for good?