Media Leaders Return to the United Nations to Advance Sustainable Development at SDG Media Summit
For the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the SDG Media Summit returned to United Nations headquarters on September 9th. More than 100 leaders in advertising, marketing, communications, public relations, broadcast, digital and technology sectors gathered at the UN to emphasize the role that media plays in promoting sustainable development and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals SDGs by 2030 through action-driven discussions and campaigns.
With the world falling behind on the goals during the pandemic, the SDG Media Summit featured urgent calls by UN leaders, panelists and speakers to collaborate and take more action to end poverty and combat climate change.
“We need the important contribution of the private sector to foster innovation and leverage the power of the creative industries and media to help amplify our message and accelerate progress towards the SDGs.” said Usha Rao-Monari, Associate Administrator for the United Nations Development Programme, during her welcoming remarks.
Created by PVBLIC Foundation and co-convened by the United Nations Office for Partnerships since 2014, the SDG Media Summit is a high-level gathering that brings together leaders from media companies and various United Nations agencies to engage on the most pressing sustainability issues, activate around solutions, and celebrate projects and partnerships that are helping achieve the SDGs on a global scale
This year, for the first time, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) joined as co-convener to celebrate the incredible global success of the climate-focused campaign “Don’t Choose Extinction”. Broadcom Foundation and EarthX served as partners, leading conversationsaround how younger generations can use STE(A)M to become change agents, and the role of creative media to advance the SDGs.
The 2022 SDG Media Summit kicked off with remarks from Sergio Fernández de Córdova, Chairman of PVBLIC Foundation, Usha Rao-Monari, Associate Administrator for the United Nations Development Programme and special remarks from Annemarie Hou, Executive Director at the UN Office for Partnerships.
“I believe our best future is still ahead of us as long as we make the right choices, as long as we are giving the agency to make the right choices, and we work with each other as a global community,” said Rao-Monari, ending her speech with a message of hope.
Following the opening remarks, speakers; Boaz Paldi, Chief Creative Officer at the United Nations Development Programme, Peter Simek, Chief Communications Officer at Earthx, Aislinn Derbez, actress and CEO of La Magia del Caos, and Sergio Fernández de Córdova, Chairman of PVBLIC Foundation took the podium for the panel, Creative Media For Impact: The Viral Success of Frankie the Dino, which focused on the impact of the Don’t Choose Extinction campaign one year after it’s launch.
During the panel discussion, Frankie the Dino barged into the UN Headquarters once again to remind everyone of one important message: Don’t Choose Extinction!
“Frankie has come back to tell us that we all need to take urgent climate action. Thanks to partners like Pvblic Foundation and EarthX, the Don’t Choose Extinction campaign has not only gone viral online with over 1.8 billion views, but we also now have a real-life Frankie visiting New York City and other places around the world to urge for change now.” said Boaz Paldi, Chief Creative Officer at UNDP.
The summit also featured various high level conversations around:
● How creative agencies and their clients are responding to issues like climate change, gender inequality, health crises and poverty.
● The role media plays in supporting a successful UN General Assembly and COP27.
● How companies and brands are stepping up to promote sustainability.
● Conscious fashion and the role of media amplifying sustainable women-lead initiatives.
● How the UN uses creative media to drive global change.
Melissa Fleming, Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications at the United Nations, gave an impactful keynote focused on how the UN leverages media to advance the Agenda 2030. Fleming highlighted the growing problem of news avoidance and misinformation and encouraged the audience of media leaders to also focus on solutions, stressing the importance of hope even when things seem so challenging.
“We need to give our audience access to information and activities that help them clearly envision how to build a more equitable and sustainable future,” said Fleming.
The 2022 SDG Media Summit showcased conversations featuring speakers from all sectors. Boaz Paldi, Chief Creative Officer at the United Nations Development Programme, Neil Heymann, Chief Creative Officer at Accenture Song, Auro Trini Castelli Chief Strategy Officer at DDB and Liz Taylor Chief Creative Officer at Ogilvy joined the panel, Creativity for the SDGs to discuss how and why brands are using creativity to address the world’s biggest problems.
“We are starting to move from the age or purpose to the age of impact and realizing very quickly that intention is nothing without action,” said Trini Castelli.
Youth played a crucial role at this year’s summit with Broadcom Foundation hosting the panel, STE(A)M for the SDG’s: Engaging Youth By Coding with Commitment. The panel focused on how STE(A)M, specifically coding and the arts, can be used to educate youth and inspire them to become future changemakers. Robert Thomas, a highschool student participating in the Renaissance Youth Center (RYC) “Code the Bronx” program and Prisha Shroff, a highschool student awarded the Arizona Science Fair and Broadcom Coding with Commitment recognition, participated in the panel and mentioned how STE(A)M is helping them make a difference in their communities by solving real world problems.
“We’re looking at the 17 sustainable Development goals of the United Nations and combining that with coding and computational thinking, so the kids can actually come up with solutions for community issues that concern them. Not only will they learn about mathematics and computational thinking, but they’ll be applying it to an area that they are concerned about,” said Paula Golden, President of Broadcom Foundation, while talking about the Coding with Commitment program.
To close the SDG Media Summit, Dan Thomas, Chief of Communications at UN Global Compact, took a few minutes to talk about the PVBLIC Foundation and the work they have done over the past 10 years.
“This SDG Media Summit has always been a great way to connect us in the UN system with people on the outside who are willing to help. PVBLIC Foundation has been an amazing partner to all of us in the past ten years,” said Thomas.
This year’s SDG Media Summit ended the evening with powerful commitments which will utilize media, technology and communications to advance the Sustainable Development Agenda. One of these commitments was made by Rajan Singh, Head of Global Distribution at EarthxTV who announced that EarthxTV will be donating free commercial time to the Don’t Choose Extinction campaign which will air around the world. This commitment will help spread the UNDPs message of lowering fossil subsidies, tackling climate change and addressing inequalities.
Rijul Gupta, CEO of Deep Media also made a $1 million dollar pledge of the company’s AI translation and vocal synthesis technology to translate and push SDG content in non official languages around the globe. This pledge will help spread the importance of the SDGs and facilitate action at the grassroots level around the world.
With events like the SDG Media Summit, PVBLIC seeks to continue strengthening its mission to connect leaders from all sectors in order to work for a more sustainable and equitable world.
Watch the entire 2022 SDG Media Summit here.