Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development

01-03-2017 to 03-03-2017, Bonn, Germany

The Sustainable Development Goals represent a holistic agenda which can only succeed if policy areas often deemed to be in opposition can be reconciled. The Global Festival of Ideas will allow participants a unique opportunity to chart new thinking on how to overcome seemingly conflicting, and contradictory, objectives.

The Global Festival of Ideas is the first in a series of annual forums, hosted by the UN SDG Action Campaign and supported by the Federal Government of Germany. The Festival brings together leading thinkers, policy-makers and civil society, together with gaming experts and policy simulators, to deliver the world’s first playable policy conference.

Too often, policy-makers focus on one development objective, at the expense of others. But in the SDG era, a radically different approach must be found: we must be able to promote economic growth and prosperity with environmental sustainability; we must challenge inequality and exclusion in a rapidly globalising world; and we must find ways of protecting individuals and communities caught up in conflict or affected by mass migration; we must deliver effective health services, even though resources are limited.

By transforming participants from passive delegates to active players, the Festival will provoke new thinking on these global challenges, involving policy-makers, the private sector, investors and civil society. The interactive event will feature:

  • High level plenary sessions, presentations, discussion and debates to share critical ideas, showcase success and hear from keynote speakers.
  • Real time problem-solving through policy simulations and participatory games based on interactive technology, built by expert game designers.
  • Innovation hubs that showcase the work of wide variety of organisations.

Each of the three days will focus on a particular development challenge. These are: disruptors (violence, movement of people, and responses), inequality (reducing inequalities, revisiting globalisation), sustainability and growth (water, food, energy and green growth).