Put more eyes on the Goals

UN Development Programme
5 min readJan 22, 2020
Entertainer Josh Horton juggles at the UNDP ‘Eyes on the Goals’ event. Photo: UNDP/Sumaya Agha

It’s 2020. Leaders from every country pledged that by 2030 they would end poverty, rescue the planet and wage peace everywhere. That means we have ten years to achieve these audacious Global Goals.

The only way to get there is to go faster, get louder, speak truth to power and get EVERYONE’S eyes on the Goals. From passionate street protests demanding climate action and human rights, to investors and companies feeling pressure to lead with purpose, not only profit: it’s clearer than ever that getting everyone involved is the most powerful way to spark action.

As part of the Fridays for Future school strikes, youth protest for climate action in New York, August 2019. UNDP/Sumaya Agha

And how do we get everyone informed and involved? One thing is clear — that this requires new ways of spreading the word, and new approaches that acknowledge the realities of a world where we spend hours and hours on digital social networks, bombarded with advertising, hoping to be entertained and excited. This gives us, as communicators and campaigners, so many opportunities to think outside the box.

Here’s some of the unique ways that we are reaching people where they spend their time, so that they can spend it for good.

One great example is the partnership we did together with musical artists and iHeart Media, that created short radio messages about the Goals delivered by leading artists that reached hundreds of millions of people in the United States, as they grooved online and on the radio. Giving creative context to the Global Goals underscores their universality and their importance, especially if the message is coming from your favorite radio pop-star.

At the UNDP Eyes on the Goals event, partners discuss innovative ways to achieve the SDGs. left to right: Alissa Pollack, iHeartMedia Executive VP of global music marketing and strategy; Stacie George, Senior Vice President of Talent at Live Nation for the New York region; Adam Met, Sustainable Partners founder and UNDP Advocate. Photo: UNDP/Sumaya Agha

Another example is the innovative way that the non-profit Sustainable Partners Inc. (SPI) is generating support for action on the Goals, by hacking one of the big hurdles in the digital advertising world: getting consumers to watch more than a few seconds of any online video advertisement. With SPI’s Time for Change approach, the advertisers make it clear through a message at the bottom of a social media video that a complete view…

UN Development Programme

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