When is the Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development happening?

The Festival will run from Wednesday 1 March to Friday 3 March 2017. To save time at the Festival, registered participants can pick up their name badges on Tuesday 28 February – see information below.

How do I book a place at the Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development?

Registration for the Festival has now closed. However you can sign-up to watch the Festival plenary sessions and Live Stage via livestream using the online form. We’ll send you reminder emails before the event. To find out the schedule please download the PDF agenda. Don’t forget you can also follow us on Twitter: @GlobalFestIdeas and like us on Facebook: @GlobalFestIdeas, #GFI4SD.

I have a confirmed place to attend as a participant, what do I need to do when I arrive at the Festival?

We strongly recommend you pick up your name badge as early as possible so that you don’t miss the opening plenary at 9AM on 1 March.  We have a fantastic number of people attending! Please make your way to the registration desks and our staff will be available to check your name against the attendee list during:

  • 28 February: 3PM to 6PM
  • 1 March: 7.30AM to 6PM
  • 2 March: 8AM to 6PM
  • 3 March: 8AM to 2PM

Ideally please come and collect your badge on Tuesday 28 February between 3PM and 6PM. On 1 March coffee will be served from 8AM and you can explore the conference game 2030 Hive Mind and other exhibits and experiences.

Please bring a form of photo identification such as your passport, driving licence etc. To enter the venue you will need to wear your name badge and pass through the airport-style security checks during which your belongings may be screened and possibly searched. Please try to limit the number of bags and electronic items you bring to the Festival to save time getting through security.

I’m a Festival speaker/attending as a member of the press. What do I need to do when I arrive at the Festival?

There will be a separate speaker and press registration desk. If you are a member of the Press please bring along your Press ID. Please see the information above for full details on what you need to bring and timings of when you can pick up your name badge.

I'm not able to attend the Festival in person, how can I keep in touch with what's happening?

You can find out the latest news from the website, by following us on Twitter (@GlobalFestideas), liking us on Facebook (@GlobalFestIdeas), #GFI4SD.  You can also sign up to watch the Festival plenary sessions via live-stream by using the online registration form.

Who is speaking at the Festival?

Take a look at our speakers page  or download the PDF agenda to find out more.


How much does it cost to attend?

As a delegate, you don’t have to pay to attend the Festival but you will have to cover your own accommodation, flights, travel insurance and all expenses.

Are there any scholarships available to cover expenses?

Unfortunately not – you will need to cover your own costs.

How do I get to the Festival?

You can find details on travelling to Bonn under the ‘getting here’ section of the website. You can also download our logistics guide (PDF) for more information.

What languages will the Festival be conducted in?

The main working language of the Festival will be English. Interpretation services will be available in German, Spanish and French for all the plenary sessions. The SDGs in Germany/Europe track will be in German.

Where can I stay near the conference centre?

You can find hotels close to the World Conference Centre in Bonn under the accommodation section or in our logistics guide. We advise that you book as early as possible as the city will be hosting a number of other events in March 2017.

What is a 'playable' conference?

Our partners Free Ice Cream have built a playful layer into the Global Festival of Ideas. They will be launching 2030 Hive Mind – the beta version of a never-seen-before collaborative digital game that enables delegates to explore the themes of the conference and the broader working practices of the development sector. The game will be a representation of the effort needed to achieve the SDGs, with delegates focussing on the set of goals to be reviewed at the High Level Political Forum in 2017. You’ll be able to download the game to a smartphone and will become part of the world’s first playable conference.

How do I download the game - 2030 Hive Mind?

You’ll be able to download the conference game – 2030 Hive Mind – during the week starting 20 February. Watch this space for more information.

Will there be data charges to play 2030 Hive Mind at the Festival?

There will be WiFi available throughout the World Conference Center so please make sure you access it to prevent unwanted data roaming charges. Your printed agenda will contain a WiFi login and password.

Will there be networking opportunities?

Absolutely! There will be lots of space during the agenda to meet your fellow delegates, discuss and share ideas, and build the partnerships and alliances that will turn ambition into action on the SDGs in the future.

What catering will be provided at the venue?

We’ll provide drinks and snacks to all conference participants free of charge during the breaks. You’ll be able to buy full lunch from restaurants within the venue which will cost under 10 Euros.

I have accessibility or dietary needs, who do I contact about this?

If you have any special requirements, please let us know via our ‘contact us’ page or email info@globalfestivalofideas.org

My organisation would like to become a Festival partner, how can we get involved?

The Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development is co-ordinated by the UN SDG Action campaign and the Overseas Development Institute, together with the City of BonnCEPEI, Data-Pop Alliance, Engagement Global, Plan International, Salzburg Global Seminar, the World Food Programme and the World Resources Institute. Our supporting partners are Deutsche Welle, the European Union, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Global Media Forum hosted by Deutsche Welle and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. We welcome new partners and 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. Please email info@globalfestivalofideas.org to let us know if you would like to get involved.

Who will be attending the Festival?

The Festival will bring together leading thinkers, policy-makers, civil society and activists, together with gaming experts and policy simulators, to deliver the world’s first playable conference on the SDGs.

I need a visa invitation letter. Who do I contact about this?

We are unable to provide visa letters this close to the Festival. Please see below for information for EU nationals on visas:

Visa advice for EU nationals (in English)

Visa advice for EU nationals (in Spanish)

Visa advice for EU nationals (in French)

Why did a colleague receive a place at the Festival and I didn't?

We’ve tried hard to make sure that the Festival includes a diverse delegate list to bring together a wide range of sectors across as many different countries as possible. Unfortunately we’ve not been able to offer places to everyone, especially where we’ve had lots of interest from the same organisation.

I'm no longer able to attend the Festival. Who do I tell about this?

You can let us know via the ‘contact us’ page or email info@globalfestivalofideas.org. We’d appreciate you letting us know as soon as possible as we may be able to allocate your place to someone else.

I’m a member of the press – who should I contact about covering the Festival?

We welcome press coverage of the Festival! Please check the Press section for more information.

Will you be holding the Festival again next year?

Yes, the 2017 Global Festival of Ideas is the first in a series of annual forums, hosted by the UN SDG Action Campaign.

Will you be taking photographs or filming during the Global Festival of Ideas for Sustainable Development?

Yes, to share the event with others that aren’t able to attend, the Festival will be filmed (with parts live-streamed online) and photographed. We and our organising and supporting partners may post these films, photographs and recordings online and use them in future communication materials. They may also be posted on social media under a creative commons licence. If you have signed up for this event, we assume your implicit consent to use such images and/or recordings of your participation in the Festival online and in future materials. Please contact info@globalfestivalofideas.org if you have any concerns.