About us

The Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development is brought to you by the UN SDG Action campaign and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), together with the City of Bonn, Cepei, Data-Pop Alliance, Engagement Global, Plan International, Salzburg Global Seminar, UNDP, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Resources Institute (WRI). New partners are welcomed – the organisers are committed to working with many organisations from different regions and sectors to produce an event that is dynamic and innovative, and built on the best knowledge and experience.

The UN SDG Action Campaign

The UN SDG Action Campaign is an Initiative of the Secretary General, with the mission of ensuring that everyone has the support, encouragement and capability to advocate and act to ensure the SDG agenda is brought to life. It recognises and celebrates the innovators, conveners and break-through actors who are transforming lives, tackling trade-offs and generating practical solutions to some of the world’s most intractable development problems.

The 2017 Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development will be the inaugural annual event to convene these actors and advocates, to ensure they have the innovative tools and approaches to accomplish their missions. Each year the event will be designed to meet the needs of this dynamic global community of change-makers.


2017 Organising Partners

The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) is the UK’s leading independent think tank on international development and humanitarian issues. Our mission is to inspire and inform policy and practice which lead to the reduction of poverty, the alleviation of suffering and the achievement of sustainable livelihoods in developing countries.


City of Bonn

City of Bonn: As Germany’s former capital, Bonn has an established global network of relations and contacts in the fields of environment, development, and science. Bonn’s population of over 320,000 citizens is multicultural, educated and cosmopolitan. It is the ‘Federal City’ – the second political centre of Germany and seat of many Federal Ministries. It’s also a host city for many international and internationally active NGOs and is the German United Nations City. 19 United Nations organisations, programmes and offices are located in Bonn. These operate in a wide variety of areas, but all are connected through the contribution they make to sustainable development.


Cepei is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental think tank, working through field-based analysis and high-level advocacy to increase the effectiveness of development cooperation in Latin America and the Caribbean.

In March we’ll be in Bonn to be part of the Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development. We believe that to keep up with the 2030 Agenda the new path to sustainable development should be inclusive and will require stakeholders to move on from ‘business as usual’. This is why Cepei decided to partner with the Global Festival of Ideas: we need new roads to move ahead towards new horizons.

It’s essential to play the game for setting new rules on a multi-stakeholder and free environment, and Cepei is ready to face the challenge, are you?


Data-Pop Alliance is a global coalition on Big Data and development created by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, MIT Media Lab, and Overseas Development Institute that brings together researchers, experts, practitioners, and activists to promote a people-centered Big Data revolution through collaborative research, capacity building, and community engagement. As of February 2016, Flowminder Foundation has joined Data-Pop Alliance as its fourth Core Member.

As a leading global coalition on Big Data and development, Data-Pop Alliance of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, MIT Media Lab, ODI and Flowminder Foundation, is thrilled to be an organising partner of the Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development. Based on the success of the 2015 Cartagena Data Festival, we created an event where the greatest development challenges of our time – poverty, inequality, sustainability, safety, etc will be discussed, dissected, and addressed holistically, boldly and creatively. Over three days, some of the most knowledgeable and dedicated people on the planet – data scientists, technologists, activists, journalists, researchers, policymakers, and more will mingle in Bonn, to talk, listen, share, and play! Our ambition is that all participants leave the Festival feeling determined and empowered to leverage data, technology and ideas to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.


Engagement Global

Engagement Global – Service für Entwicklungsinitiativen informs about current projects and initiatives in Germany and worldwide, advises individuals and groups on development projects and also offers financial support. We provide the necessary qualification at a needs-based level, unite individuals and institutions and support the commitment of civil society, of municipalities, private operators and institutions.


Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. We strive for a just world, working together with children, young people, our supporters and partners.

Plan International is committed to advancing children’s rights and equality for girls. Through our Because I am a Girl movement, we aim to ensure the promises made to girls in the Global Goals are realised, and that no one is left behind. The Global Festival of Ideas promises to be a powerful event inspiring new solutions to the challenges we all face in creating a just and equal world for all by 2030.


Salzburg Global Seminar aim to challenge current and future leaders to solve issues of global concern. We do this by designing, facilitating and hosting international strategic convening and multi-year programs to tackle systems challenges critical for the next generation.


UNDP works in some 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results. 


World Food Programme logo

The World Food Programme (WFP) is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. In emergencies, we get food to where it is needed, saving the lives of victims of war, civil conflict and natural disasters. After the cause of an emergency has passed, we use food to help communities rebuild their shattered lives. WFP is part of the United Nations system and is voluntarily funded.


The World Resources Institute (WRI) is a global research organization that spans more than 50 countries. We work closely with leaders to turn big ideas into action to sustain our natural resources—the foundation of economic opportunity and human well-being. Our work focuses on six critical issues at the intersection of environment and development: climate, energy, food, forests, water, and cities and transport.


2017 Supporting Partners


Deutsche Welle (DW) is Germany’s international broadcaster. It conveys Germany as a nation rooted in European culture and as a liberal, democratic state based on the rule of law. DW is known for its in-depth information and promotes exchange between the world’s cultures and people. DW reaches out especially to international decision makers and opinion leaders. In authoritarian states, this applies to those who actively stand up for democracy, human rights and civil society. DW has television programs in English, German, Spanish and Arabic. News, features and documentaries cover everything from business, science and politics to arts, culture and sports. Radio and online content is available in 30 languages. Every week, DW reaches audiences of more than 135 million people worldwide. DW also provides access to the German language. DW Akademie offers training and consulting services for media professionals, traineeships, a bilingual master’s degree and media trainings for executives of international organisations and companies.


European Union

With the assistance of the European Union in the framework of the project “EYD 2015: The future we want – Local Authorities for Sustainable Development”. The contents of the local track events are the sole responsibility of the City of Bonn and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.


Within the German government, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is responsible for Germany’s development policy. The BMZ’s task is to determine the objectives of German development policy; to negotiate with about 80 partner countries worldwide regarding bilateral cooperation; and to play a part in shaping multilateral cooperation. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the United Nations forms the international framework for Germany’s development policy. A special focus for the BMZ is creating better opportunities in the countries where refugees originate. Other important topics are global food security, sustainable economic development and climate action. The Ministry has its headquarters in Bonn and Berlin. The BMZ also has some staff seconded to German embassies in its partner countries and to international organisations. For the implementation of its projects, the BMZ relies on the following organisations among others: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), KfW Group, and Engagement Global – Service for Development Initiatives.


The Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum is the Place Made for Minds, where decision makers and influencers from all over the world come together. It’s the global platform put on by Deutsche Welle and its partners and the place where you can connect and strengthen relations with over 2,000 inspiring representatives from the fields of journalism, digital media, politics, culture, business, development, academia and civil society. The conference provides a unique opportunity to network, get inspired and collaborate using a wide variety of state-of-the-art formats.


The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) was launched in 2012 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. We mobilise global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical problem solving for sustainable development, including the design and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We’re committed to supporting the implementation of the SDGs at local, national and on a global scale.


Join us

We’ve given ourselves a 15-year deadline to achieve the SDGs and it’s going to take all of us, working together, to get the job done. Please do join us in Bonn. We have a huge task ahead of us, but the results will be ground-breaking!

To find out more or to get involved please contact info@globalfestivalofideas.org