Digital’s ‘$.2.1tn role’ in global goals

Governments, business, NGOs and others are coming together in a coalition to deploy digital technology to help the United Nations deliver on its global goals to end poverty, inequality and injustice by 2030. One of the leaders of the global goals campaign will set out how, at our Impact Awards event on March 7. Julian Blake reports.

global-goals-full-icons.png__2318x1180_q85_crop_subsampling-2_upscaleA United Nations-backed campaign to make sure its 17 sustainable development goals are known and understood by every person on earth is stepping up its work with tech business, as the UN backs efforts to bring together governments, business, NGOs, universities and more to deploy digital technology to help deliver on its 17 sustainable development goals.

Non-profit Project Everyone was created by filmmaker and Comic Relief founder Richard Curtis in 2015, as the leaders of 193 countries worldwide agreed to the 17 sustainable development goals – aka the global goals – looking to end extreme poverty, inequality, injustice and the threat of climate change by 2030.

Project Everyone has thrown its campaigning weight behind the UN and business-backed 2030Vision coalition – which in December set out the role for digital in delivering each of the 17 goals.

2030Vision’s report launching that coalition effort estimates that “digital solutions with positive impact on the goals” could unlock $2.1tn in additional annual revenue for the tech sector by 2030 – with benefits in the “critical areas” of food and agriculture, transport, infrastructure and logistics, and health.

But, 2030Vision – a coalition founded by Arm – warned that the target could be achievable only with “unprecedented levels” of private sector collaboration and innovation. “We can achieve the global goals, but only by finding new ways to channel the power of technology to help realise them,” concluded the report.

Gail GalliProject Everyone co-founder Gail Gallie, leading the campaign’s digital engagement effort, joins DigitalAgenda at our Impact Awards event in east London on March 7. She’ll explain how the organisation and wider coalition are engaging the UK digital business community to help it deliver on the goals.

Project Everyone has used its campaigning expertise and network to help take the goals out of the corridors of government power, using the power of films featuring the likes of Beyonce to help educate people across the planet about the goals and what’s needed to achieve them.

The effort has already proved effective, as a multi-media ‘tell everyone’ campaign – crossing TV, film and social media, as well as in classrooms across the globe – was estimated to have reached 3 billion people across the planet as the UN General Assembly formally adopted the goals in 2015. The campaign now counts among its key supporters the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Pearson and the World Food Programme.

The 17 global goals are ambitious, but we live in critically important and dangerous times. “If the goals are met, they ensure the health, safety and future of the planet for everyone on it,” says Project Everyone. “And their best chance of being met is if everyone on the planet is aware of them.”

Gallie, who has worked with on Project Everyone since launch, has a career spanning business, politics and social purpose. A former BBC marketing head, she spent four years running advertising agency Fallon, with roles supporting the likes of Sony Music, Camden’s Roundhouse and Comic Relief.

Joining Gallie on stage at the Impact Awards on March 7 will be government digital director general Matthew Gould, as well as the winners of a dozen awards honouring the best in UK tech for good.

DigitalAgenda’s 2018 Impact Awards take place at east London’s Oval Space on Wednesday March 7 from 3-9pm. Tickets are on sale, starting at £49.

The 17 global goals

1: No poverty
2: Zero hunger
3: Good health and well-being
4: Quality education
5: Gender equality
6: Clean water and sanitation
7: Affordable and clean energy
8: Decent work and economic growth
9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure
10: Reduced inequality
11: Sustainable cities and communities
12: Responsible consumption and production
13: Climate action
14: Life below water
15: Life on land
16: Peace and justice strong institutions
17: Partnerships to achieve the goals