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2020 Super Year


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Chairman: Matthew Freud Chief Executive: Dr. Arlo Brady

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A Special Message Amina Mohammed United Nations Deputy Secretary-General


Introduction A Super Year demands a supranational response Dr. Arlo Brady CEO of freuds and Chairman of the Blue Marine Foundation


Goal 1. No Poverty The right to dignity and a decent life Naomi Campbell No Poverty Ambassador #Togetherband


Goal 2. Zero Hunger Hitting the hungriest the hardest David Beasley Executive Director, World Food Programme


Goal 3. Good Health & Wellbeing Dear Madam President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Nobel Laureate and former President of Liberia


Goal 4. Quality Education In one day I left behind everything I knew Muzoon Almellehan Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF


A Message Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan



Goal 5. Gender Equality Would there be a tampon tax if more women were in power? Natalia Vodianova Supermodel, philanthropist and entrepreneur


Goal 6. Clean Water & Sanitation Loan sharks charge 125 percent interest to build toilets for destitute families Gary White, Matt Damon & Jennifer Schorsch Co-Founders and President, Water.org


Youth Bear Grylls Adventurer and World Scouting Ambassador


Goal 7. Affordable & Clean Energy The Climate Decade is coming - are you ready? Helen Clarkson CEO, The Climate Group A Message Achim Steiner UNDP Administrator


Goal 8. Decent Work & Economic Growth We’re in a unique position to bring about significant change Carlos Brito CEO, AB InBev


Goal 9. Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure Charge your engines: The great electric car revolution will arrive by 2024 Nico Rosberg Former F1 World Champion and Co-Founder of the Greentech Festival






Politics Ryan Heath Senior Editor, Politico


Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities Geography and gender are the major factors driving global inequality Joe Cerrell Managing Director, Global Policy & Advocacy, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


Goal 11. Sustainable Cities & Communities The Children's Continent H.E. Dr. Bandar Hajjar President of the IsDB


Activism Zion Lights Spokesperson, Extinction Rebellion


Goal 12. Responsible Consumption & Production Discovered: Plastic With A ‘Decomposes By’ Date Niall Dunne CEO, Polymateria


Goal 13. Climate Action A Challenging Climate: The lessons of tackling Goal 13 Andy Pharoah Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Strategic Initiatives & Sustainability, Mars Inc.


A Message Richard Curtis Founder, Project Everyone and UN SDG Advocate


Goal 14. Life Below Water Changes in our oceans today would have seemed like science fiction 20 years ago Ambassador Peter Thomson UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean


Goal 15. Life on Land The illegal wildlife trade is wiping out our wildlife Dominic Jermey Director General, ZSL


Goal 16. Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions Putting diesel in the dock James Thornton CEO of ClientEarth


Goal 17. Partnerships for the Goals We should acknowledge Greta’s phenomenal impact Kate Garvey and Gail Gallie Co-Founders, Project Everyone


A Message Matthew Freud Chairman, freuds & The Brewery


The Super Year calendar




A special message from Amina Mohammed

United Nations Deputy Secretary-General


5 Summits. 1 week. 17 Sustainable Development Goals. This year’s United Nations General Assembly, the 74th of its kind, will, for the first time, host five Summits fully focused on the Sustainable Development Goals. Member States and partners from around the world will come with the knowledge that despite progress; we are off pace to deliver at the scale we need to reach the people in most need. To make good on global commitments, the Secretary-General has asked world leaders to come with plans, not speeches. As we gear up for 2020 to kick-off a decade of Action to Deliver on the SDGs, we must harness the power of partnership and collaboration. We have the individual and collective responsibility and ability to head in the right direction – towards action and impact. It will be a massive effort. But together we can get it done.

The Global Goals were designed to reflect inclusion, empowerment and equality, which is why we simply must do more to reach the most excluded and discriminated in our societies including migrants and refugees, women and girls, and persons with disabilities. We must respond with greater urgency to the risks facing hundreds of millions of people living in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. We must channel greater investment towards the full empowerment and employment of young people. We must speed up – not fall back – on our push for gender equality. And we truly must come to terms with the requirements of SDG10 – recognizing that extreme inequality is never inevitable. Governments, civil society organisations and the private sector are highlighting the importance of effective, transparent and accountable institutions in achieving the Global Goals. These inextricable linkages between institutions and the protection of human rights, and the principles of the 2030 Agenda will form the bedrock of successful Global Goals implementation. We need to see more political will turned to political action. At the Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit, leaders can demonstrate their commitment to respond to the climate emergency, with clear plans that are fully aligned with a 1.5 degree world. 9

At the SDG Summit, governments are called on to bring concrete acceleration commitments that will help get the world on track to success by 2030. And in the high-level meetings on universal health coverage, financing for development and the Samoa Pathway for Small Island Developing States, we have a chance to identify actions and partnerships to address these critical aspects of the 2030 Agenda. In each of the five meetings, we need action from governments at the highest political levels. We need to hear the voices of our partners from the private sector, civil society, science and technology, academia and many more, to bring our response to the next level. And we need to listen to the world’s children and young people who are telling us very clearly what changes they expect their leaders to deliver. We have seen some important advances in data analysis and visualisation this year but there remains a critical need for clear baselines and better-quality data to judge the effectiveness of our actions. This is the time to put in place the foundations for a decade of action, to deliver on the Global Goals and put a pathway towards peace and prosperity for all on a healthy, thriving planet. It will be a massive effort. But together we can get it done.



A Super Year demands a supranational response Dr. Arlo Brady CEO of freuds and Chairman of the Blue Marine Foundation


2020 Super Year

Dr. Arlo Brady

Uncertainty is contagious. It leads to division and doubt. It is in the context of international uncertainty that the Global Goals offer us a practical vision. A road map to the future, where we all have the potential to be goalscorers. The 17 Global Goals represent an achievable vision that transcends the everchanging political landscape and offer a tangible spring of hope, opportunity and direction in an increasingly chaotic world.  This journal looks at these ambitions through the lens of 2020 – a ‘Super Year’ – a year that will be vital to translate the intention of the Goals into action, as the UN's Deputy Secretary-General rightly points out in this journal. One of the central reasons that the year 2020 is so pivotal to achieving the aims of the next decade will be the decisions made at three conferences: UN Conference on the Oceans in Lisbon, Portugal in June. UN Conference on Biodiversity in Kunming, China in October. UN Climate Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow, Scotland in November. These summits will set out a path to achieving the world we want to see. Together they can also fulfil the promise of the Goals, by seizing on collective will to tackle the devastating effects of manmade climate change, the perilous decline in the world’s biodiversity and the remorseless plundering and polluting of our oceans. Making headway will be extremely challenging. We live in a world not of superheroes, (sorry Marvel) but of superpowers – China and the US – nations with vastly differing agendas. Yet it will be important to recognise that both nations still only represent just 1.7 billion of the world’s 7.7 billion people.


Extraordinary answers are at our fingertips. 14


2020 Super Year

Dr. Arlo Brady

As the Chairman of the Blue Marine Foundation, a charity that creates marine reserves and models of sustainable fishing, I’m well aware of the issues facing our oceans - more than 90 percent of global fish stocks are overexploited and the same proportion of larger fish have now vanished from our oceans. Likewise, the distinguished authors of the articles on the following pages are a diverse range of influential and dynamic figures in their fields, each facing a distinct and extraordinary set of international issues, almost any one of which could be considered beyond the reach of a conflicted world to solve. But it is not in human nature to duck a problem. That’s why the purpose of this journal is to unleash some of the solutions, practical steps and extraordinary thinking that abound around each of the 17 Global Goals.


Extraordinary answers are at our fingertips: whether it is fashion icon Naomi Campbell’s call to see ‘Made In Africa’ clothes labelling to inspire change, or astonishing technologies like the world’s fastest car, the electric Pinnafarina Battista, introduced by the former World Champion Nico Rosberg, or the Instant Detect wildlife monitoring system that ZSL is using to anticipate where poachers will strike in Kenya. While it’s easy to submit to an occasional feeling of powerlessness, as Joe Cerrell, the Managing Director of Global Policy and Advocacy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation points out: ‘The world does better with measurable targets and a clear strategy for achieving big audacious aims – even when the ambition may be beyond us.’ As Joe explains, we have already made radical and extraordinary gains, even in just the past 20 years, as the world has made a 99 percent increase in improvement in child mortality and schooling – and we have begun to win the battle against malaria, TB and HIV/AIDS diseases that raged across the planet less than a generation ago. Of course, it would also be misleading to only put our faith in conversations between countries. Many of the world’s largest companies are becoming increasingly dynamic. Mars, Inc. - which recently calculated that its carbon footprint is the same size as a small country - has already pledged to cut emissions

across its full value chain by 27 percent by 2025. Meanwhile, the world’s largest brewer, AB InBev, producer of Budweiser, brought its mission to achieve 100 percent renewable energy to audiences, via the Superbowl. These considerable successes are also exemplified by a growing army of companies, as explained by The Climate Group CEO, Helen Clarkson. Perhaps, most important of all, the central role to achieving long-term sustainable change in our lives will be that of the public, as described by the adventurer Bear Grylls. Bear’s most recent Man vs Wild episode with the Indian leader Narendra Modi has become one of the most watched episodes on television internationally. But in the following pages, he explains the much less well known - but extraordinary - mobilisation of 50 million young people who are working voluntarily to achieving the Global Goals through the Scouting network. Meanwhile the work of environmental movements is outlined by the activist group Extinction Rebellion, fresh from a successful high profile campaign in the UK, while the work of Greta Thunberg and her legions of young supporters across the planet continues to lead the way. In 2015, freuds partnered with Project Everyone to help launch the Global Goals worldwide. Five years on, the stakes have been raised considerably higher. This journal seeks to bring together a small section of the extraordinary community helping to achieve them. In 2020, we hope that dream can move considerably closer to becoming a reality.

Dr. Arlo Brady is CEO of freuds and Chairman of the Blue Marine Foundation




The right to dignity and a decent life Naomi Campbell No Poverty Ambassador for #Togetherband


2020 Super Year

Naomi Campbell

Eradicating poverty remains one of the greatest challenges facing humanity and it is the Global Goal that is closest to my heart. Its importance grew from meeting one of the people that I loved and respected most in the world, President Nelson Mandela. He always believed poverty was man-made.

As he once said: “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life. While poverty persists, there is no true freedom.” It is six years since the man I liked to call ‘Granddad’ passed on, but the fight goes on. While the number of people living in extreme poverty dropped by more than half between 1990 and 2015, far too many are still struggling for the most basic human needs. Many of them lack clean drinking water and sanitation and, as of 2015, about 736 million still live on less than US $1.90 a day. Across the world, women are more likely to be poor than men, because they have less paid work, education and own less property, while South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa account for 80 percent of those living in extreme poverty. The Global Goals are a universal commitment to end poverty in all forms and dimensions by 2030. Tackling poverty in all its form will be fundamental to changing the world we live in; whether it is poverty of hunger, of housing, of skills or of education, but – if we do our part – it can happen. As a model, I’ve been tackling the big fashion brands that I work with to not just take from the continent of Africa, but to give back.



736 million people still live in extreme poverty. 10 percent of the world’s population live in extreme poverty, down from 36 percent in 1990. 1.3 billion people live in multidimensional poverty. 50 percent of all people living in poverty are under 18. 1 in 10 of the world’s population are extremely poor.


2020 Super Year

Naomi Campbell

To make clothes that say, ‘Made in Africa’. Why can’t we have that and let these people learn a skill? They deserve to have what we have in the West, in Europe, London and America. No matter what part of Africa I’ve been to I’ve left inspired. I’ve left happy that they are open to share their lives with you, to show their world and bring you into their homes. It really puts things into perspective and makes you realise when you moan about something, that you don’t have any right to. On my wrist I like to wear something that represents them, the people that I care about and the importance of seeing them get where they want to be. It is a #Togetherband and it’s made by women in Bahia in Brazil and Nepal from melted down ocean plastic, and from illegal firearms from El-Salvador. Wearing it is already a commitment just knowing the workmanship, the history and the backstory that’s gone into it is amazing. It’s also teaching women a skill to do something that is helping the world.


You also get to share your band because you get two, so you’re able to share it with someone that’s close to you, or someone that you love, or someone that you respect highly. I share mine with Edward Enniful who is like a brother to me. Edward is the Editor in Chief at British Vogue. He stands for Gender Equality and balanced diversity. Being the first man to ever have the position, we’re all extremely proud. He has just been the champion of all these issues since the day he got there. He’s sticking to them, he’s supporting them 100 percent, so I couldn’t think of anyone better to share my second band with. Despite the gains since 1990, 736 million people living in extreme poverty are themselves under 18. Another 1.3 billion people live multi-dimensional poverty, which incorporates poor health, education, living standards, quality of work and environmental conditions.

Naomi Campbell is the No Poverty Ambassador for #Togetherband


No matter what part of Africa I’ve been to, I’ve left inspired.



Hitting the hungriest the hardest David Beasley Executive Director, World Food Programme


2020 Super Year

David Beasley

We used to understand the weather. Not anymore,

said a member of an indigenous community in the Republic of the Congo to one of my colleagues recently. Her words reverberate far beyond the central African country. Here, temperatures have risen by 0.6 degrees Celsius since the 1950s, rivers rich with fish are running dry and unreliable rainfall means growing crops is a yearly gamble. I wish I could say the Republic of the Congo was an isolated case, but it is just a snapshot of a trend I have observed in countries around the world. When it comes to the impact of climate change - regardless of any particular views about what is causing it - the world’s poor and vulnerable feel it first. Nowhere are people struggling to understand the climate more than in Mozambique. Earlier this year I witnessed at first hand the devastating impact of the widespread flooding from Cyclone Idai. Communities mourned their dead while all around them an estimated 400,000 hectares of crops had been washed away - just weeks ahead of the main harvest - and livestock and fisheries were also ravaged. Increasingly inconsistent The Idai disaster is part of an increasingly consistent pattern. The number of weather-related disasters – droughts, floods and storms – has more than doubled since the early 1990s. Just in the past two years, the World Food Programme (WFP) and our humanitarian partners have been at the forefront of responding to these disasters: Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in the Caribbean in 2017, and Cyclones Kenneth and Idai in Zimbabwe, Malawi and the aforementioned Mozambique in 2019, and Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas in 2019. Last year, weather-related disasters pushed 29 million more people around the world into acute food insecurity - in essence, often chronically hungry people with little access to a dependable food supply other than through humanitarian assistance.


We estimate that of the more than 100 million people experiencing acute hunger around the world, 54 million are affected by climate extremes. These include heat waves in Pakistan, drought and loss of crops in Southern Africa, and dying livestock in Somalia. Small island nations are suffering more from storms and flooding, farming in coastal areas is impacted by increased salt in soil and water, while melting glaciers heighten the risk of flash floods. The impact is significant, and it is often felt most in the poorest of nations. A one-two punch Climate shocks and conflict are often a one-two punch for those at risk for hunger. Recent research by WFP, the International Research Institute on Climate and Society, and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security has highlighted these links, finding a concentration of hotspots where high rainfall variability and violent loss of life overlapped. This is particularly apparent in the Sahel, Northern Africa, the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa - all areas where WFP is being called upon to provide emergency and development assistance. 30

Climate shocks can destabilize communities, leading to fresh outbreaks of conflict that drive new humanitarian crises as well as forced displacement. Competition for reduced natural resources brought about by climate shocks can also fuel conflict. Change lives, not simply save them As the largest humanitarian organisation in the UN system, WFP is often first on the ground responding to disasters and providing emergency relief in the shape of food, cash or other supplies. In the middle of an emergency, our main job is to save lives. But the scale of the problems today - conflict on top of the impact of climate - means simply saving lives is not a long-term solution. We have to change lives as well by making it possible for people to withstand and adapt to the worst effects of weather extremes. WFP and the entire humanitarian system must move from simply reacting to crises. We must look forward, anticipating the problems and building up resilience. This is the only way to truly tackle the monumental threat posed to millions of people’s livelihoods and their food security.

Last year, weather-related disasters pushed 29 million more people around the world into acute food insecurity.


2020 Super Year

David Beasley

A 15-day warning We can do this in an innovative way, one that has the potential to save money that might otherwise have to be spent in a humanitarian emergency. In Nepal we are piloting an approach known as Forecast-based Financing. Using improved early warnings based on credible weather forecasts, communities can be alerted to floods a full 15 days ahead of time, with local disaster-response committees getting money early in order to take pre-emptive action. These investments have remarkable potential, as the cost of providing emergency aid for 175,000 people living in flood-prone areas could be reduced from around US$32 million to just US$10 million.


Another risk-management approach we have rolled out is weather-based index insurance. This uses primarily remote sensing and hydrometeorological data to determine more precisely when crop losses occur, for the triggering of insurance payments. The approach saves time and cuts the potential for human error. When dry spells blighted crops across Africa in 2018, farmers in Ethiopia, Senegal, Kenya, Zambia and Malawi received insurance money that enabled them to buy food, seeds and fertilizer. We’re also using insurance to finance WFP’s humanitarian operations in vulnerable African countries prone to extreme drought, via what is known as ‘ARC Replica’. Under this innovative approach, WFP and partners can buy insurance coverage for countries under the Africa Risk Capacity, a specialised agency of the African Union that receives administrative support from WFP. The initiative supports African governments to better plan, prepare and respond to extreme weather events and disasters. Fertile after 50 years On a recent visit to Burkina Faso, part of the Sahel region, I saw for myself how droughts and failed harvests have produced the worst lean season since 2014, compounded by instability caused by extremist groups. Here, in a small centralnorthern village named Bissighin, I stood on land that had lain barren for up to 50 years and that was now fertile and growing crops. How? A WFP initiative called Food for Asset Creation provided families with food or cash in exchange for work to restore the land through ploughing new irrigation channels.



2020 Super Year

David Beasley

In Bissighin, I met a young man named Tasseré and his family, who had fled from violence in central Burkina Faso. Through Food for Asset Creation, they had a piece of land to farm and grow crops. This is WFP’s approach, helping governments create ways for people to adapt and stand on their own. So while the poor and vulnerable may often be the first to feel the impact of a changing climate, they also can lead the process of learning to adapt to it. Behind our targets It is clear that taking pre-emptive steps can make it possible to mitigate the impact of a changing climate. But WFP and other humanitarian organisations cannot introduce these solutions on their own. We need national governments to be at the heart of these efforts, determining their countries’ own futures over the longer term. This means we also need peace, because where there is conflict and instability, long-term work is extremely difficult. The impact of climate change and the destructive influence of conflict on hunger means that we are already lagging behind our targets to reach the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of zero hunger by 2030. But I believe that if we combine a sharper focus on resolving conflict and a renewed push for long-term investment in programmes that can combat the impact of climate change, we can get back on track and meet this most important goal that will not just save lives, but also change them.

David Beasley is Executive Director of the World Food Programme




Dear Madam President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Nobel Laureate and former President of Liberia


2020 Super Year

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Dear Madam President... You were appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the Health Workforce in March, what would you like to bring to that role? The first thing I wish to bring to my role as a Goodwill Ambassador is a focus on women in the health workforce. Over 70 percent of care givers are women, but only 25 percent of leadership positions in healthcare are held by women. According to the World Economic Forum, women contribute â‚Ź2.6 trillion euros annually to global healthcare, half of which comes in the form of unpaid care work. Clearly, women need to be given greater recognition and voice in the health workforce. I hope that as a Goodwill Ambassador I can give women healthcare workers a greater voice and advocate for them. I also wish to advocate for all healthcare workers, particularly those in rural areas and high population communities who are on the front lines of global health crises. During the West Africa Ebola crisis, healthcare workers bore the greatest risk when caring for the sick. They put their lives on the line to help others. With an ongoing Ebola crisis in the DRC - which is also in a conflict zone - healthcare workers are again in the front lines of combatting the disease. I wish to bring immediate attention to them and to advocate for them so that they receive the training, compensation and security required. The world has had some major progress, in combatting malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS - although some of these gains have since slowed, does it still give you room for optimism? I believe we must always remain optimistic when confronting these global challenges. Just because the number of new cases of these has not dropped in the last few years does not mean that global leaders, experts in health or scientists have slowed in the fight to eradicate these diseases. In fact, I am highly encouraged by recent innovations which have the potential to save millions of lives in the coming years. For example, new malaria vaccines have entered major testing phases in several African countries, notably Malawi and Kenya. If successful, these new drugs could reduce severe cases of malaria by over one third of cases and are a major step forward in eradicating malaria once and for all. As you know, I sit on the End Malaria Council, which is a committed group of global public sector and


business leaders who see malaria eradication as a critical health and development priority. The Council is working to eradicate malaria for good, by focusing on three key areas: Leadership: Ensure that malaria eradication remains high on global and regional agendas with strong political commitment from leaders at all levels. Financing: Advocate at the global and country levels to ensure sufficient funding to protect our remarkable progress and end malaria for good. Technology: Support the introduction of new technologies that can accelerate the path to eradication. While there are still challenges to overcome and more can be done, I have full confidence in world experts, scientists and healthcare workers to find new and innovative solutions to world health problems.


One of the most pressing issues in the developing world is the shortage of millions of health workers. They do a vital job, but many of those who do that work are in dangerous conditions with little training, low pay, and little prospect of advancement. How can the world go about addressing this deficit? Any position in health care - whether it be a surgeon, general practitioner or nurse, requires a high degree of skill, years of training and most importantly an education. Unfortunately, many who desire to become healthcare professionals are unable to access the education necessary to fulfill these roles. The first step in remedying the problem of a lack of healthcare professionals is for governments and the global community to prioritize providing quality education for all citizens, with incentive programs for those seeking to become health workers. Related to an access to education is an increase in training programs and facilities. After obtaining the required education, healthcare workers need to receive intensive training to perform the duties they will face in their profession. Governments can and must do more to provide better training programs that will enable health care professionals to give the care their patients need. Lack of adequate pay is another obstacle that keeps many potential healthcare professionals away from the field. Governments should place a priority on increasing funding for the health care systems so that qualified workers can receive reasonable wages. While many healthcare workers are motivated by a

2020 Super Year

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

sense of duty and a desire to help the sick, one cannot feed his or her family on good intentions alone. More attention needs to be paid on the positive results and cost effectiveness of prevention – better sanitation, better nutrition and better information to enhance self-effort. As someone with an overview of Global Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing, what do you view as the greatest challenges the world faces before 2030? Because of my experiencing guiding Liberia through the terrifying Ebola crisis and my current work on combatting malaria, I believe eradicating communicable disease, such as AIDS, Ebola and tuberculosis is one of the greatest challenges we face. Each year these diseases take millions of lives, often from the most vulnerable populations such as children. These diseases also cost billions to fight. Over $12 billion is lost annually in the global GDP due to malaria alone. The benefits of eradication these diseases are obvious, but there are many challenges and hurdles that remain. A major challenge to overcome is on-going conflicts which pose serious global health challenges. A notable example is that conflict in the eastern regions of the DRC, which is making it difficult to put an end to the Ebola crisis in the area. Healthcare workers are unable to treat infected regions and many of the sick are fleeing violence, further spreading the disease. This is only one example. In other regions of the world, conflict prevents people from getting adequate medical care. Displacement camps, lack of clean water and poor hygienic facilities further aggravate health situations for those affected by conflict. What role will technology have in providing and communicating solutions over the next decade? New and emergent technologies are an exciting aspect of global health. As the world becomes increasingly connected, it will be easier to people to become connected to healthcare providers, for healthcare professionals to share information, and it will become easier to inform and educate the public on health matters. For example, in the last two years, the use of smartphones in Africa has doubled. By 2020, over 750 million Africans are projected to have access to a mobile device. This means that more and more Africans will be able to access information about diseases, preventative care, or contact a doctor who might be hundreds of miles away. Connectivity can help medical professionals learn more


about the people who they care for or be connected to other experts in ways not possible in the last decade. I also believe that artificial intelligence will play a larger role in global health in the next decade. As technology continues to improve and computers become more powerful, we can use these new technologies to help solve medical problems, find new solutions in curing diseases, or assist medical professionals care for patients. Madam President, you have been described as a ‘health for all’ champion. What does that mean to you? As a leader, I strive as others to motivate and inspire others toward share values and the achievement of common goals. As a woman leader, I recognize the value of life and have a stronger sensitivity to respond to human kind. To enhance the ownership, value participation and contribution in the society. This calls for stronger advocacy and action to promote universal healthcare which will ensure that the marginalized and physically challenged will have access to healthcare. 42

You were the first female elected head of state in Africa in 2005. Did you bring a different leadership perspective from other leaders? Every leader of a nation brings a unique perspective to his or her post. Yet, on a continent with over fifty nations that had only seen leaders who were men, being the first woman head of state did give me a different perspective. At the time, Liberia was emerging for a long and protracted conflict, of which women bore the brunt of the violence. Being a woman allowed me to take new approaches and better engage with the women of Liberia to help navigate the complex postconflict situation. I believe that my perspective also helped my administration focus more on women's empowerment, providing women better vocational opportunities and increasing access to healthcare, of which women were the target beneficiaries. Perhaps one of the greatest health challenges of modern times was the Ebola crisis that began in 2014 and tragically killed 11,000 Liberians, but it was a response for which you received a lot of international respect for. What did you learn from the experience about the way the world reacts to international health challenges? In 2013, when the deadly Ebola plague hit our nation and killed over 4,000 persons my administration was able to revert back to the successful, integrated community

2020 Super Year

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

approaches used in our early malaria fight. When I first took office in 2005, Liberian women and children were dying of malaria. We had no data or statistics on the disease and little to no diagnostic capacity at the local level to differentiate a patient with a fever from a patient with malaria. My administration had to make informed decisions and meaningful interventions while being in the dark. We took a holistic approach. My health and finance ministers partnered with civil society and non-governmental organizations to launch community education campaigns, with a focus on women as primary care givers. We reached out to world leaders and the international community and joined forces with all those working to fight against malaria looked to the international community and joined forces with all those working to fight against malaria. When Ebola hit, we were forced to adapt to this unknown disease. I assumed personal responsibility visiting and taking supplies to clinics and hospitals around the country; This addressed fears and gave hope. I reached out to world leaders and brought my people together, shifting our initial militant approach to a community health education agenda. With support from UNICEF and our local partner, Last Mile Health, the government of Liberia will scale the national community health worker program used during Ebola by recruiting, training, and deploying approximately 4,100 community health workers and 230 clinical supervisors over the next 7 years. As a mother, what is your view of the challenges for improving maternal health? Giving the number of years of conflict, the Liberian healthcare systems suffered major deterioration. Women, the majority of whom reside in rural areas and are in the informal sector bore the brunt of this condition. As a result, Liberia registered one of the highest rates of child and maternal mortality. In reconstruction of the health care system, the government prioritized the training of midwives who have traditionally provided the service most times at great risk to women and themselves. Giving Liberia’s high population rate, the huge infrastructure deficit which exist, it is likely that the number of women and children who reside in rural areas will continue to have limited access to health facilities. This will remain a challenge into the future.



2020 Super Year

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Often there is a separation between how health is perceived in different parts of the world. What is your view of the rapid emergence of traditional Western lifestyle diseases, like diabetes and heart disease, in developing nations? More can be done in national policy to maintain as much as possible the culture, lifestyle and originality of communities and countries. There is great value in diversity. Madam President, you have a background in economics and studied Public Administration at Harvard, what is your personal message to the world leaders, the business leaders, the activists and the public about the importance of the Global Goals and the need for funding? In the year 2000, Millennium Development Goals launched as the world development agenda. Whilst subservient progress was made in several countries, the goals were full achieved in many countries. In 2015, on exploration of the MDGs, the world launched the Global Goals and Africa launched 2063. For the Global Goals to be achieved, world leaders must take immediate and timely action. The goals need to be domestic and aligned to national agendas. The international partnership communities need to provide more financial technical and advisory support to countries, particularly to those with limited endowment and count fragility. The monitoring system envisioned in the agenda requires stronger and faster action. World leaders could engage in more action and less talking.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the former President of Liberia. A Nobel Laureate, she is a leading promoter of freedom, peace, justice, and democratic rule. Africa’s first democratically-elected female head of state, she led Liberia through reconciliation and recovery following the nation’s decade-long civil war, and the Ebola Crisis, winning international acclaim for achieving economic, social, and political change. President Sirleaf was awarded the prestigious Nobel Prize for Peace in 2011. She is the recipient of The Presidential Medal of Freedom—the United States’ highest civilian award—for her personal courage and unwavering commitment to freedom for Africans. In 2017, former President Sirleaf was awarded the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, which celebrates excellence in African leadership. Sirleaf was the first female recipient.


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In one day I left behind everything I knew Muzoon Almellehan Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF


2020 Super Year

Muzoon Almellehan

Education changes the course of life for so many children. It changed mine. In February 2011, the life I once knew started to disappear. The years that followed the start of the Syrian war saw the destruction of my country, the death of my family members and friends, the displacement of so many children, and a war that has destroyed countless schools, and in doing so destroyed countless lives and futures. I kept going to school, even during the violence. Doing what I could to hold onto my future. Dedicated and brave teachers doing what they could to keep the classrooms open. But it became too dangerous. There was no respect for the protection of schools as safe havens for children. Nowhere was safe. In February 2013, the violence became too much. I didn’t want to leave, but to survive we had to. In one day, I left behind my school, my friends, my aunt, my uncle, my neighbours, and everything I knew. The only things I carried were my school books, and a book of memories my friends had made for me. Millions of Syrian children have been left without an education, and for a short time I was one of them.  I was shocked, so many girls were being forced into marriage. In the moment we fled, I didn’t know what would come next, what life would be like in the refugee camps. At least there would be no fighting but would there even be a school? To my huge relief there was. But I was shocked because so many girls were being forced into marriage and were missing out on school. This is when I realized that I needed to do something. I went from tent to tent in the camp, talking to children and their parents about the importance of education, persuading them to have hope for the future. Since those days, I have a bigger platform as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. But I am also still a young person knocking on different kinds of doors with the one mission of creating a world where children can learn in peace, where the rules of war are respected, and schools protected.



Education offers children a sense of normalcy when their lives have been turned upside down.

2020 Super Year

Muzoon Almellehan

I was inspired by 17-year-old Seydou. Recently I travelled to Mali with UNICEF where I met a Back to School Ambassador called Seydou. I accompanied 17-year-old Seydou to visit a family in Bamako as part of his efforts to go door-to-door to speak to families about the importance of education. I was so inspired by him. He is visually impaired and one of UNICEF Mali’s most effective campaigners helping to encourage families to send their children - especially girls - to school. During the visit, Seydou said to the family, “Everything has its time. Girls can get married but there’s an age for that. A girl should finish her studies first and get married later. Perceptions are changing and there are many women working for the government of Mali who are doing so many good things.” As attacks on education continue, and millions of children are deprived of their right to learn, we cannot allow ourselves or others to become numb. We all need to find our inner Seydou, and work together to encourage others to knock on doors, discuss and change minds. Education can make or break a child’s future. Quality education is the foundation of peace and prosperity, and the most powerful tool to achieving equality. Education can make or break a child’s future, their family’s future, and the strength of their community. But it’s power reaches far beyond the individual family and their community. Education is a strategic development opportunity. Better educated girls and boys are more likely to be healthy, work in better-paid jobs and earn higher incomes. When girls are able to complete their education, they are likely to have fewer children, marry at a later age, and provide better health care and education for their own children, should they choose to become mothers. All these factors are key to lifting not only households but communities and nations out of poverty. Today, there are more children in school than ever before. Yet, despite the progress we’ve seen in recent decades, more than a quarter of a billion children are still missing out on their right to education. And for many children who are in school, a lack of quality teaching or materials, an outdated curriculum, or an unsafe or unfriendly environment that is not conducive to learning means they are not being empowered or equipped with the skills they need to succeed in life.


2020 Super Year

Muzoon Almellehan

One in three children not in school live in a country affected by conflict or disaster. Global Goal 4 commits us to ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and the promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all. And without addressing the root causes that keep children out of school - and prevent children in school from learning - we will remain a far way off from achieving this commitment. 


As many as 1 in 3 of the world’s out-of-school children lives in a country affected by conflict or disaster. What chance of peace and prosperity do these children have if they cannot go to school to learn the skills they need to contribute to their societies and economies, sustain peace, and rebuild their communities when the conflicts or disasters are over? For children caught up in war or uprooted from their homes because of violence, climate change or extreme poverty, education provides a routine, a safe place to learn, and an opportunity to play and make friends. It offers children a sense of normalcy when their lives have been turned upside down. It’s for these children, and every child missing out on their right to learn, we must speak out for. We must continue our fight for a world where the right to education is respected – for every child. To achieve Global Goal 4, schoolchildren and young people must be able to learn in a safe environment. To achieve this goal we must create opportunities where children are afforded their education, no matter where they live, or who they are. Where children are no longer forced to work or marry young. Where children are no longer killed or injured in their classrooms, or on their way to them.

Muzoon Almellehan is a Syrian activist. In June 2017, she became the youngest Goodwill Ambassador to UNICEF.



A message from Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan

There is no single solution to the many developmental challenges the world faces – but the surest path forward lies in educating our children. In 2016, we set our sights on making education inclusive and accessible to all. Yet, just one short decade away from 2030, a record-breaking 4 million children worldwide are currently out of school. The global education crisis has hit us in slow motion, but its impact will be felt for generations to come. Only by investing in education around the world can we create a future where all children have the opportunity to reach their potential.




Would there be a tampon tax if more women were in power? Natalia Vodianova Supermodel, philanthropist and entrepreneur


I know how it feels to have nobody to confide in, nobody to trust.

2020 Super Year

Natalia Vodianova

Goal 5 is the ambition to provide women and girls with equal access to education, health care and decent work, as well as political and economic decision-making processes. As a philanthropist, you find yourself exposed to many important issues and your experiences guide you to focus your energy where you really feel your contribution could make the difference. Supporting better health for women and fighting the stigmas that surround this are the latest causes I am fighting for. I was inspired by the film ‘Pad Man’. It is the story of a very brave and unique man in rural India who took on the challenge to try to convince local women to use pads instead of cloths during their menstrual period and therefore get girls back to school and women to work. When the film came out he became a victim of stigma and abuse, a laughing stock everywhere he went. I was asked to support the film’s release by posting a selfie with a pad on my socials, but I definitely didn’t expect what came next. I didn’t think twice about it, but then I began receiving thousands of hate comments mainly from women themselves. Stepping into Pad Man’s shoes wasn’t easy, but it didn’t discourage me. On the contrary, it proved that this is a global issue and doesn’t only affect places like India and Nepal. I launched a campaign with the largest health and fitness app in the world ‘Flo’ called ‘Let’s Talk About It. Period.’ The friends I interviewed for the campaign (who ranged from supermodels, editors, CEOs) and I were simply, freely, without judgement talking about our periods and the ways we have experienced the stigma around them. I wanted to show all women that even women who may seem strongly confident about their bodies are actually no different when it comes to female health issues. I wanted to encourage the conversation among girls about the topic. The conversation has expanded thanks to our partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which has allowed us to host events all around the world. I was honoured recently to be invited to join the UN President of The General Assembly, Mariá Fernanda Espinosa Garcés’ Gender Equality


Group, which has gathered some of the most incredible women from around the world to meet and discuss how we can gather more momentum and accelerate the progress in this area. I have been so inspired by the work in the UK by Amika George, who is fighting for the rights of young women and girls in schools up and down the country. I am constantly bowled over by the work of my charity platform Elbi’s partners like United Nations Population Fund, Dharma Life, Bal Utsav, WE charity, Binti and Period Dignity who are working tirelessly in India to tackle these issues. If we can achieve this goal in India, we will get a lot closer to achieving the Global Goals more broadly.


I am very hopeful that we can achieve the Goals themselves and I'll tell you why. Last year I stood at WE Day UK (one of Elbi's charity partners) in front of 10,000 children between the ages of 9-15 and talked about periods. After five intense minutes we were all shouting ‘period’ together at the top of our lungs. My talk inspired some school projects led by the students who were at 'WE Day UK' to help change the conversation in their own communities. That kind of response makes me believe that these kids will grow up in a more inclusive world and that small actions together can make a big difference; these goals are achievable. Stigma and taboos around women’s health are pervasive in most societies and their effects have serious negative consequences, sometimes putting lives at risk. Taboos around menstruation, for example, can lead to women not having access to hygiene products, being deterred from taking part in school or sports activities, and being at risk of infections and other complications such as diarrhoea. Stigmas around the sexual and reproductive health of persons with disabilities can lead to a lack of adequate maternal health services, and fear of repercussions for talking about domestic violence can result in women not seeking help when in an abusive relationship. It remains difficult for women to talk openly about issues that affect them, but I don’t think there is one single cause. In many countries, men are the primary decision-makers and have greater control over finances. In this case, it is easy to see why women’s basic needs are less likely to be considered. Think about the tampon tax across Europe. Do you think it would be the case if more women

2020 Super Year

Natalia Vodianova

were in power? Shaving foam is not taxed! There are still not enough of us who know that this is true for most of the world. Life was super tough at times when I was young. We were very poor in Russia and growing up with my sister Oksana, who has autism and cerebral palsy, things were certainly never easy. We faced a huge amount of abuse, sometimes physical, as a result of my sister’s disability. People would spit at me and say I was dirty like my sister and that they didn’t want to touch me because I would poison them. I know how it feels to have nobody to confide in, nobody to trust. I had no choice but to be strong. Where I came from, you had to use your imagination to get through another day. I hate to think that anybody has to go through this now anywhere around the world. Today, my charity platform Elbi is a huge part of my philanthropic life. It’s a platform that supports over 60 charities in countries around the world. At Elbi you can do good, look good and feel good at the same time. Elbi incentivises people to donate to causes they care about and become a part of a like-minded community of everyday philanthropists. The power of digital platforms is ever-expanding. We live in a digitalized world now, so it’s important to have a platform to access as many people as possible. I also started the Naked Heart Foundation 15 years ago, creating play parks and playgrounds and promoting professional support for children with mental disabilities and their families.

Natalia Vodianova is a Russian supermodel, entrepreneur and philanthropist




Loan sharks charge 125 percent interest to build toilets for destitute families Gary White, Matt Damon & Jennifer Schorsch Co-Founders and President of Water.org


2020 Super Year

Gary White, Matt Damon & Jennifer Schorsch

Nearly 850 million people will wake up tomorrow not knowing if they will be able to find clean drinking water, or from where it will come. On that same day, and really every day, women and girls will spend 200 million hours walking to collect water for their families because they have no household tap. They will spend another 266 million hours seeking a safe and sanitary place to relieve themselves because they lack a toilet at home. Some will even be faced with an impossible choice – go without water or give their children water that they know will make them sick. No easy access to clean water and sanitation means an erosion of time, health and wealth. We know there are huge economic costs to leaving these basic needs unmet. The World Health Organization estimates that a lack of basic water and sanitation results in a loss of $260 billion in global productivity each year, disproportionately affecting women and girls. We’ve known how to make water safe for centuries, so why don’t we do it? Water scarcity is an acute problem and daily reality for billions of people living in poverty. The stresses brought about by climate change threaten to expand the crisis to new populations and reverse gains made in the last twenty years. We’ve known how to make water safe for centuries, so why don’t we do it? The answer lies not just with engineering or technology, but with finance. As part of its ambitious 17 Global Goals mandate, the United Nation calls for clean water and safely managed sanitation for everyone by 2030 with SDG 6.1 and 6.2. To achieve SDG 6.1 and 6.2 requires an investment of roughly $114 billion every year for the next decade. And each year we fall short –nearly $90 billion short – with conventional forms of development assistance and aid. Struggling families often pay 125 percent interest to loan sharks to build a toilet. Looking at this creatively, how do we harness capital from different sources to close that gap? In addition to governments, private capital markets are going to have to come into play. We believe that hundreds of millions of people


Water is not only the foundation of life itself, but the bedrock of economies.


2020 Super Year

Gary White, Matt Damon & Jennifer Schorsch

who lack basic water services could pay for their own tap and toilet solutions if they simply had access to affordable financing. Through our field work in developing countries we have regularly witnessed broken systems in which people paid 12 to 15 times more per gallon for water obtained from vendors than someone with a connection to a public utility. Others had no choice but to pay 125 percent interest to loan sharks to build a household toilet. Driven to address this broken system, in 2003, we proposed to financial partners– and piloted – a solution that enabled borrowers access to microloans to finance a connection to water infrastructure.” The inspirational tale of Mama Florence in Uganda demonstrates the power and potential of this approach. Several times each day Mama Florence would ride her bicycle laden with jerry cans from her home to a remote water source – that was the only way she could provide water for her family. Through one of our partners she took out a small loan, built a water storage tank and installed a small pump. The family now had regular access to water. We soon discovered she was also a serial entrepreneur. She started using the water to grow vegetables and would feed the fodder to the pigs which she was starting to raise. The local soil conditions with the clay were perfect for brick making so she built rooms adjacent to her house and started renting them out. The domino effect, or cascading value of these loans, should be clear to everyone. Water is not only the foundation of life itself, but the bedrock of economies. A hand up, not a handout. To date, Water.org has used $29 million in grants to help build a loan portfolio of roughly $1.8 billion. Every dollar we’ve granted to our partners has generated $57 in loans toward water and sanitation. Nearly every loan is repaid by the borrowers and more than half of the people who benefit from these loans live on less than $2 a day. People living in poverty have the intrinsic power and knowledge to solve their own issues, if given the chance. They need a hand up, not a handout, and we are debunking the myth that water is a risky, lowreturn investment. It took us nearly 20 years to reach our first million people in 2012 and now we’re reaching nearly two million people each quarter. The model is proven. We’re continuing to build the evidence base of loans borrowed and repaid, knocking down capital barriers.


2020 Super Year

Gary White, Matt Damon & Jennifer Schorsch

The Global Goals are crucial to our efforts because they rally the world around solving the world’s most serious problems and allow us to look further into the future than the next quarterly profits of a corporation or the next five-year plan of a government. The drive to achieve the Goals enables us to think about truly longterm solutions, and water infrastructure is one of the ultimate long-term solutions. Impact investing is a powerful way to bring in private capital to fuel this market. Because we saw the potential of our loans and knew that some of our partners needed access to larger chunks of capital at more affordable rates, we created WaterEquity. It is an asset manager, providing investors an attractive financial return while also having tremendous social impact. Since 2017, it has grown its assets under management to $60 million. To reach the UN’s goal of providing clean water and sanitation globally by 2030, the World Bank estimates that annual investments and grants would need to jump more than tenfold. We are faced then, not with a discovery problem, but a math problem. 68

In 2020, we must redefine the Goals as largely being constrained by access to finance in order to achieve them. Philanthropy cannot solve this crisis alone, but a blend of private, public and philanthropic finance can. Now that we have demonstrated the market exists, it is time to fuel it. We need to break the log jam of financing for social entrepreneurs so that they can provide solutions on the ground, develop the evidence and then scale up what we know works. There must be diversity in the types of organisations that are addressing this issue, as well as diversity in the sources of capital in order to solve this crisis. Wealth continues to concentrate in fewer and fewer hands. The challenge now is to open the tap to that wealth, so it flows toward a water solution that ensures each person wakes every morning knowing safe water and sanitation are just a few steps away.

Gary White is the CEO and Co-Founder of Water.org Matt Damon is an actor, producer and screenwriter and Co-Founder of Water.org Jennifer Schorsch is the President of Water.org


Youth: Mobilizing 50 million young people to learn more about the sustainability of our planet By Bear Grylls, Adventurer and Chief Ambassador of World Scouting

Bear Grylls has reintroduced audiences worldwide to the outdoors, including teaching survival skills to Zac Efron, Ben Stiller, Kate Hudson, former President Barack Obama, and most recently, even Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. His latest challenge is enabling a new generation to navigate a perilous future. You don’t have to look far to see first-hand the devastation that’s happening. It’s so important to get outdoors so we can all forge a stronger relationship with the natural world. That's the reason US President Obama wanted to go on the journey with me. He said, "I've seen all the science, I understand that, but I want to see it." Ditto Prime Minister Modi of India, who after I took him on a journey to the rainforest announced his vision to ban one use plastic in India. These moments are the seeds of change. Because when we stand up close and we see first hand the effects of climate change, then that's the best classroom. 70

“I believe in the power of young people to change the world.” We’re seeing more and more acts, both collectively and individually, that have generated awareness around important issues like climate change, human rights and gender equality to have a positive impact on society. When we all work together and speak out about the change we want to see in this world then organisations can be an unstoppable force for good.” ‘A week in the field is worth a year in the classroom’, as Baden Powell the founder of Scouting said. Spending time outdoors is always powerful as a way to feel connected with nature and empowered for life. I see those positive effects on people every day. The outdoors develops friendships and tenacity and a never give up spirit. If we learn these things through adventures and besides good friends, we become so much more resilient and effective in life. The responsibility is on us to adapt to the natural world, not the other way around. While people and animals are incredibly resilient, it’s clear that we need to change our behaviours and habits if we are going to protect the only planet we have for future generations to enjoy. If my travels have shown me one thing it’s just how precious this planet is and how fundamental nature is to humanity. Anything that young people are doing to

raise awareness about the urgency of the climate crisis is important. Greta Thunberg and the Friday for Future Movement are yet another powerful example of how young people are standing up for what they believe in and challenging us all to get serious about sustainability of the planet. My belief in the power of Scouting to unite and empower started as a young Cub Scout nervous of my first adventure away from home, and that belief has continued to grow throughout my adult life. It instils leadership skills, a love for nature and the outdoors and it teaches young people how to help others in need. It’s an organisation made up of millions of unsung volunteer heroes, all helping young people in their local communities to live boldly and with eyes open to friendship and adventure. Scouts have already delivered more than 1.2 billion hours of community services towards the Goals. Together with the Scout Movement we launched Scouts for the Sustainable Development Goals last year in New York at the UN headquarters with the aim of making it the world’s largest youth contribution. Through this global initiative we are currently mobilizing 50 million young people around the world to learn more about how to improve the sustainability of our planet and take action in their communities. That’s a tribute to the spirit of Scouts around the world who want to make the world a better place. If we keep this up we will be on track to be contributing a total of 4 billion hours of community service through millions of local actions by 2030. It’s not surprising that the goals that I feel most passionate about are related to the environment… but I also see so clearly the importance of helping the world’s most vulnerable gain a fuller education - it is through education that we can unite and protect our planet. It’s more important than ever to equip young people with 21st century skills that can help them reach their full potential. The world today is changing rapidly with so many advances in technology, science and business. Young people are the key to our future and it’s activities like Scouting that are helping them adapt and thrive to meet the many diverse opportunities and challenges of the modern world.

Bear Grylls is an adventurer and Chief Ambassador of World Scouting




The Climate Decade is coming are you ready? Helen Clarkson CEO, The Climate Group


2020 Super Year

Helen Clarkson

As another summer of heatwaves across Europe draws to a close it’s tempting to take a deep breath of autumnal air and move on. But even if the temperature on the streets is no longer getting you hot under the collar, the climate trends driving these weather patterns should be. Everyone should be thinking seriously about what this level of global heating means for their companies. Though we at The Climate Group work with 250 multinationals, there are thousands of large businesses still unprepared for the scale and speed of change coming. We urgently need to contain global heating. To do that we need to halve global emissions by 2030. There’s no more waiting for every government, no more ‘we’ll do it if they do it’, or ‘but what about China?’: we all need to escalate our actions to get emissions down. Right down. Halved in a decade, and more beyond. Halving global emissions is going to be the story of the next 10 years. There’s no more waiting for every government, no more ‘we’ll do it if they do it’, no more ‘but what about China?’, we all need to escalate our actions to get emissions down. Right down. Halved in a decade, and more beyond. This is going to be the climate decade. Businesses that aren’t ready will disappear. They will be buffeted by changing demands; the best talent will steer clear. Investors have already started to price-in climate risk. If you think creative destruction was just a theoretical part of your economics degree, talk to people at Blockbuster or Kodak about how external existential threats can play out.



Helen Clarkson

Super Year

As a business exec you need to do your part to help the world hit the goal of being net zero by 2050 because it’s a real threat to your business right now. So how can you help your business to negotiate this existential threat? Like any business plan, this huge ambitious goal needs to be broken down to clear achievable actions with deadlines. So on the opposite page is my list of nine steps every large business can take now to prepare for The Climate Decade. The combined impact of implementing these will also shift global markets and happen to help save the planet. Will you play your part? What will you do today?


Helen Clarkson is the CEO of The Climate Group

Commit now to using 100 percent renewable electricity.

It’s cheaper, popular with employees, and businesses in our RE100 programme are stimulating some pretty amazing solar and wind investments.

Commit to all your cars & smaller trucks going electric going 100 percent electric by 2030.

Business fleets are a big chunk of the auto market and EVs are already cheaper over their lifespan. So why are you not already joining programs like EV100?

All property/plants should use smart energy systems by 2030

Energy efficiency is no longer boring, it’s mood lighting LEDs, remote sensing, data and AI. And you save lots of money too.

Demand the same from all your big suppliers.

If you can do it and it cuts costs, so can they. Admit it, it’s fun to challenge suppliers.

From the canteen to the car park, lead by example with employees and customers.

Don’t be chauffeured in a gas guzzler - make it a plug-in. Ditch the plastic, take the beef off the menu (burger lovers will get over it) and ban domestic flights in Europe.

Divest pensions and other investments from fossil fuels.

If your business is dropping oil & gas like a hot potato, won’t everyone else soon too?

Don’t duck it, if your business is based on carbon.

Easier said than done. But airlines, steel and cement companies need to make some big decisions and investments during the next decade to not be curtailed in the 2030s.

Align your lobbying with your pro-climate public positions.

Only lobby to improve climate policies, not stop them, or you will be called out. Ensure your sector bodies are pro-climate or leave them and set-up new ones.

Align your long-term business strategy with a net-zero emission by 2050, max 1.5C warming world.

Don’t wait for government. Join the Science Based Targets Initiative now to give your team the planning certainty they need.



A message from Achim Steiner UNDP Administrator

The urgency of stepping up efforts on the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement on climate change cannot be clearer. On current trajectory, the SDG target to eradicate extreme poverty might not be reached by 2030; hunger is on the rise after a prolonged decline and inequalities are growing.




We’re in a unique position to bring about significant change Carlos Brito CEO, AB InBev


2020 Super Year

Carlos Brito

The CEO of the world’s leading brewer explains why global companies must take a local approach, how it’s integrated the Global Goals into the business and what needs to happen to accelerate progress on Goal 8. How are the Global Goals relevant to your daily work? At AB InBev, we know that sustainability is not part of our business, it is our business. We rely on fresh water and on natural ingredients, like barley, corn, rice and hops, to brew our high-quality beers. We source these ingredients from 35,000 direct farmers in 13 countries on five continents. If our farmers aren’t skilled and connected, or if they do not a have healthy natural environment in which to grow their crops, we can’t bring our consumers around the world the beers that they love. We are the world’s leading brewer, but our beers are largely sourced, brewed and consumed locally. Because of this, we play a big part in fostering the economic well-being of communities, and the only way we’ll continue brewing beer for the next 100 years and beyond is by creating a better world for all of our stakeholders. How is AB InBev helping people and communities succeed in a changing world? Our global scale and local presence put us in a unique position to bring about significant change – but we recognize we cannot do it alone. We rely heavily on local insights and action to drive real and lasting results in our communities. We’ve forged many partnerships across sectors to foster entrepreneurship and build strong, local businesses that offer job opportunities to change people’s lives for the better. Together with our partners we’re developing skills, knowledge and resources for colleagues across our value chain, and we are making investments in new ideas and technologies to meet challenges head on – from delivering new solutions for a circular economy, to our work to mitigate the effects of climate change.


What’s an example of your company’s local economic impact? Small retailers are an important part of our distribution network and crucial to our value chain. But many of these small retailers, especially in emerging markets, often lack the skills and resources to effectively grow and sustain their businesses, especially during economic downturns. Together with our local partners we’ve developed Retailer Development programs in places like Colombia, Peru and Ecuador to provide business skills and access to financial services to thousands of small retailers, including specialized offerings to empower more women-owned businesses. We also empower our colleagues to support the future of work. For example, in Brazil, the VOA program is an employee-led volunteer initiative that provides management consultancy to non-profit organizations. Through Volunteers Of America we work with social impact organizations all over Brazil to share knowledge and skills to help them grow and succeed. This volunteer program has reached more than three million people so far. 84

How do you see emerging technologies impacting Goal 8? More and more we are embracing technology as an opportunity to continually upskill and re-skill people throughout our value chain and improve transparency and efficiency. For instance, in 2018 we partnered with BanQu, a blockchain-based software and service platform, to give 2,000 of our farmers in Zambia access to banking services. The mobile platform gives the farmers their first ‘digital identity’ and ledgers, enabling them to harvest, record and sell cassava, a crop used in several of our local beers. Moreover, this newly acquired financial identity enables farmers to obtain bank loans so they can grow their business and better support their family needs. Since 2018 we’ve expanded this platform to Uganda, India and Brazil - to thousands of farmers and across multiple crops - and we look forward to bringing financial empowerment to even more farmers around the world. More broadly, we’re also backing the development of disruptive technologies aligned to our company’s 2025 Sustainability Goals through our 100+ Sustainability Accelerator. We launched the Accelerator in 2018 to help us identify emerging technologies that are positively driving sustainable development. After just one year, we are supporting 21 start-ups around the world that are building and scaling solutions to tackle water stewardship, farmer productivity, product upcycling, and green logistics – all with the potential to make a significant, positive

2020 Super Year

Carlos Brito

impact in the communities where we live and work and to support our business goals for the long-term. How else is AB InBev integrating the Global Goals into its business? Last year we launched four ambitious sustainability goals to be achieved by 2025 that are directly aligned to 12 of the UN SDGs. Our goals aim to make a measurable impact within and beyond our own operations by connecting thousands of farmers to finance, technologies and skills; ensuring water access and quality in high-stress communities; partnering with suppliers to increase recycling content; and purchasing electricity from renewable sources while reducing CO2 emissions across our value chain. As always, we are relying on partnerships with state and local governments, civil society, research institutions, NGOs and other businesses to help. For example, we can only reach our renewable electricity commitment if there’s an adequate supply of renewable electricity sources in our markets. We are already half-way to our goal, but we need support from local energy providers and governments to ensure adequate capacity in all of our markets. Partnerships, as outlined by Goal 17, are essential. What’s more, we work with public health experts, governments and other partners to contribute to Goal 3 and the World Health Organization’s (WHO) target of reducing the harmful use of alcohol by 10 percent by 2025. We are doing this through pilot programs in six cities around the world. We are focused on moving beyond raising awareness to driving real change in our communities, through evidence-based interventions and actions that can be replicated throughout the world. As a large user of roads around the world, we want these roads to be safe for our communities, which include our colleagues and families. Leveraging on a vast amount of data collected over the years in many different cities, in partnership with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), we recently launched a toolkit that provides governments with a proven methodology to design and implement local solutions to reduce traffic crashes. Our partnership with UNITAR and rollout of the Road Safety Toolkit reinforces our commitment to strengthening global partnerships between the public and private sectors in support of the UN SDGs.



Carlos Brito

Super Year

Why should businesses align with the Global Goals? People no longer judge a company based solely on the products or services you provide. Consumers want to know what’s behind the product, what are your company’s values, what do you care about and support. If you want to be viable for the next 10, 50, 100 years, you have to connect your business to what’s happening in the world and to what your customers care about. For us, water stewardship, smart agriculture, circular packaging, road safety and climate action are not only fundamental to sustaining our business - these actions help communities thrive, economies grow and livelihoods flourish. Our sustainability goals support the SDGs because we know when you bring people together you can create a better world.


Any final advice to accelerate progress for Goal 8? At AB InBev we are a company of owners. We do what we say, we take results personally and surround ourselves with great people who can help us raise the bar. I like to think anyone – any company, organization or nation looking to bring about meaningful change – can find inspiration in these principles. Seek out diverse talent to bring new perspectives. Encourage entrepreneurship and innovation. Be open to partner with others to join efforts and bring positive change. Develop new skills and challenge the status quo not just on the front lines, but throughout your entire organization.

Carlos Brito is CEO of AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer

If you can't demonstrate value beyond profit, you'll be left behind.




Charge Your Engines: The Great Electric Car Revolution Will Arrive By 2024 Nico Rosberg Former F1 World Champion and Co-Founder of the Greentech Festival


2020 Super Year

Nico Rosberg

The world’s fastest car does 0 to 62 mph in two seconds – it’s electric. You founded a festival to inspire people with the possibilities of future technologies. Why? I’m a huge enthusiast of green technologies and a shareholder in Formula E, so I thought it would be awesome to build something big around that. The inspiration came from CES, the consumer electronics show, in Las Vegas. We aim to inspire and entertain people with the greatest innovations for our planet and thus accelerate positive change. To make it more of a celebration, we added concerts to our setup. Our inaugural festival was a massive success. We had 30,000 visitors and a gross media reach of 1.5 billion. We were all overwhelmed by the positive feedback and I’m looking forward to the 2nd edition coming in June 2020. Why did people respond so well? Two main reasons: first, green technologies have begun to evolve in fascinating ways and second, the public interest in finding new ways of preserving our planet is at a cultural high point. We had food technologies, like Beyond Meat, showcasing their newest foods, Volocopter, the world’s leading man carrying drones, Q Yachts, which are electric motorboats, the fastest car in the world, the £2m Pininfarina Battista with its Rimac electric powertrain that does 0-62mph in two seconds, as well as inspiring new concepts like a torch powered by the heat of your hand. These are all things I’m really passionate about, so it was so amazing to see. And how do you see these technologies evolving? We want to bring these topics to a wider audience. Entertainment plays a crucial role in our mission of celebrating change. We had the Formula E race, for example, and a lot of music with the band Bastille showcasing songs from their new album. To break the mould and create excitement? Exactly, because I strongly believe that in order to make a real impact on society you need reach. You need consumers to embrace green technologies and to embrace the global sustainability goals and sustainability in general. That’s important. With technology itself, you're



Great innovations are taking place in the urban setting, from electric motoring, to Luxembourg making public transport free and Copenhagen turning to bikes.


not going to get that reach, so what you're doing with music really enhances the reach in a powerful way. How easy is that? This is the thing that's so cool. At the moment, in the B2B world, one of the leading marketing topics is sustainability and so our platform has arrived at the perfect time for them to activate their messages. We are also a “melting pot”, uniting different worlds: startups, corporations, NGOs, VCs and a wide public audience of music, racing and sustainability enthusiasts. It’s amazing to see these target groups interacting and building synergies. You’ve shown some interest in plant-based foods yourself, in terms of investing, is that right? Yes, absolutely! That is increasingly becoming a passion of mine. It’s a fact that if we all go a little more plant-based in our diets than we are today, that will benefit our health and the environment. Eating less meat is one of the most powerful ways to help preserve our planet, so it’s a win-win.


As someone who’s come from Formula 1, how important are these innovations? Because F1 is obviously not known for its sustainability. That’s not exactly fair to say because you could argue that Formula 1 has some of the most sustainable engines that are available today, because electric engines still depend on where that energy comes from if you’re going to look at how sustainable they are. But, yes, the bridge is to innovative technologies. Another reason for me investing heavily in the alternative and green mobility markets. Where are you seeing the most interesting innovation taking place? One of the sectors that is experiencing a notable change is first and last mile transportation. That’s why I have invested in shared mobility services, autonomous driving solutions and future mobility research, like air taxis. Another aspect to consider is that cities are growing rapidly, as well as the number of people commuting every day, technologies have to provide solutions for taking people from A to B in the most efficient and sustainable way. Public transportation and infrastructure play an essential role. Great innovations are taking place in the urban setting. Take Luxembourg making public transportation free, or Copenhagen turning to bikes. A truly green infrastructure is one which residents enjoy, but that provides durable and inexpensive mobility, while being practical and addressing the underlying conditions of our energy crisis.

2020 Super Year

Nico Rosberg

Why do you think electric cars have been slow to take off? It’s mainly the price and then the range, but there’s going to be a transition very soon. The price will be equivalent, and once the range is the same, sales will really take off, probably in four to five years. You recently met Donald Sadoway, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and one of the world’s leading battery experts. How did it go? He made it clear we’re still in the development of battery technologies, and that there’s so much room for progress. Local production and the recycling of batteries will be increasingly important for the European market. He also foresees hydrogen technologies becoming the long-term fuel of choice for shipping and many other kinds of transport. It was great to speak to a real visionary. You obviously have a deep interest in engineering, you were offered a place in aeronautical sciences at Imperial College and you achieved the highest score in Williams team history in the aptitude test they give to new F1 drivers. Yes, I have a keen interest in aeronautical sciences and engineering. My engineering firm TRE, for instance, is involved in the research and development of vehicle dynamics. How confident are you when you think of all the Global Goals need to achieve? I’m a huge fan of the Global Goals because they address all over the global challenges we are facing. The 9th goal, which focuses on “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure” also happens to merge well with my own brand mission. However, we need to invest more time and effort into making them better known. If you stopped people in the street and asked them only a handful of people would know what they’re for. There remains a huge need to communicate them publicly, so we can all share a common goal and take action on both an individual and collective basis. Unfortunately, many countries have yet to adopt a more sustainable way of living and there is still too few of us that making a conscious effort to change. We need to reach out to the public worldwide if they’re to achieve a lasting positive impact!

Nico Rosberg is a former F1 World Champion, GreenTech Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of the Greentech Festival


Politics: Taking the collective political pulse By Ryan Heath, Senior Editor, Politico

Across the world today, we can see the reality of globalization and the influence of the digital world. What began as piecemeal international effects are now merging together into a more cohesive pattern with disruptive results. While politicians and business leaders like to see themselves as being in charge of events, the actions that leaders like to brand as ‘offensive’ shifts may instead be mostly defensive plays. Take the recent announcement by the US Business Roundtable that companies should not focus only on shareholder value, but agree and adopt the idea of stakeholder value. On the face of it, the moves seems like a brave shift towards a more liberal position, but it is also a broad acknowledgement that growing inequalities in society are a risk for CEOs: it’s now in their own best interests to be more equal and egalitarian if they’re to keep the pitchforks from their doors.


Likewise, a similar theme was apparent during planning for the new European Commission which takes office November 1 in Brussels. Officials there propose investing directly into high potential companies and strategic industries. But what at first sounds like a grand new plan that for protecting EU citizens, might also be translated as: ‘We realise that popular support to our institution in general is at risk, so we’re prepared to temporarily ditch our economic textbooks to survive.’ ‘Western middle classes feel their security and identity is at risk’. In national politics it’s expected for a politician to talk about stronger borders. The underlying meaning is that politicians recognise the collective power held by the millions of people who feel left behind and threatened by globalisation. The fundamental thread that ties these political realities together is that most societies are getting more unequal, and millions in Western middle classes feel their security and identity is at risk. Layered on top of that is the multi-faceted effect of digital technologies on our sense of self. Digital innovations are putting previously comfortable middle class jobs in high-wage countries at risk. Marginalised. They elevate previously marginalised voices and communities, and they also thrust the fabulous lifestyles of the rich and successful into the palms of hands in real time. Among that mix of effects, one’s own daily struggles can feel harsher, and one’s

sense of a place in the world can feel more tenuous. It’s not easy to constantly confront what one doesn’t have, or make space for people and communities trying to claim a seat at society’s table, when you’re struggling to maintain your own place. This rapid shift in the status of modern politics makes it much more difficult to make the kind of longterm change required by the Global Goals. The political environment is so much more complex, yet patience with political classes is shorter than ever. And leading countries like China and the US show a shrinking appetite for change via UN channels and structures. Monumental shift. This landscape is a monumental shift from the time when the United Nations was founded in 1945. Then there were barely a dozen democracies in the world, many of today’s independent countries were colonies, and the US and the Soviet Union directed world affairs. The global economy was still small and fragile, much of it in the rubble of war, making basic improvements everybody’s priority. ‘It’s really hard to get everyone pointing in the same direction’. Today, we have that incredibly complex supply chains, and 200 independent countries, where everyone has a view and an ability to say ‘No’ to a project or an idea. Mixed in with the feelings of people being left behind, it means it’s really hard to get everyone pointing in the same direction. 97

Perhaps this change in the world’s tectonic plates, will leave a vacancy for cities to take a greater role for their citizens: big enough to make a difference, but small enough to manoeuvre through the choppy waters of international politics? New York City itself, could lay claim to being the fourth biggest state in the United States, with an economy as big as that of Canada, a G7 member country. Corporations. The position of the US Government on climate turns attention to the many large corporations who want to take climate action, no matter what the national position is. Does that leave us with a bleak view of national and international leadership? Perhaps, but one effect should be to remind the rest of us of our roles in global change. Whether working from the outside-in as activists and donors, or from the inside-up (think of this week’s UN entourages who will end up being the Prime Ministers and Presidents of tomorrow), we all have a responsibility to address global challenges. This newly complex and disrupted world requires all hands to pitch in. Ryan Heath is a Senior Editor at Politico



Geography and gender are the major factors driving global inequality Joe Cerrell Managing Director, Global Policy and Advocacy, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


2020 Super Year

Joe Cerrell

The world does better with measurable targets and a clear strategy for achieving big, audacious aims. By design, this type of goal setting needs to be ambitious. At the turn of this century, when the Millennium Development Goals were created, later morphing into the Sustainable Development Goals, both sets of goals included steep targets for human development. While the world didn’t quite meet the full ambitions of some of the MDGs, the progress that was achieved allowed the world to again think big about the prospects for accelerating our efforts, this time as a universal agenda and not just poor countries. It is in this spirit that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently launched of a report, ‘Examining Inequality’, which continues to demonstrate how the world is coming to grips with the big challenges in health and education. 101

‘Best Buys’ of the future. The good news is that this new data illustrates some surprising signs of progress, with modelling that shows that every country in the world has reduced child mortality and increased levels of schooling dramatically in the past 20 years. Even in the worst affected areas of the world, we have seen a 99 per cent increase improvement in both child mortality and schooling. Taken together, the results are fascinating because for the first time they contain district-level data; micro-targeting that gives us a sophisticated insight into the changes that are occurring, and which guides our understanding of the result of investments and what will become the ‘best buys’ of the future. As an organisation, the Gates Foundation has been active in trying to move the development dialogue and to stress how important it is to invest in what’s referred to as human capital – particularly in health and education. Our work has been backed up by studies that demonstrate the long-term economic benefits of strong health and education programs, particularly in countries where there are high percentages of young people. It’s easy to chart the stark differences in economic growth between those countries in Southeast Asia that made large human capital investments when experiencing a demographic ‘bulge’ in populations of young

2020 Super Year

Joe Cerrell

people and those that didn’t. The findings will be particularly useful in subSaharan Africa where more than 70 of the region’s population is under the age of 30. As these young people grow, they can either contribute to unprecedented growth on the continent or be a source of instability that impacts security around the world. While our Goalkeepers ‘Examing Inequality’ Report illustrates some of the progress achieved in recent decades, it also shows huge gaps that remain between the best and worst off. Almost half a billion people (nearly 1 in 15) still live in communities without basic health and education. Simply put: those are the bottom are not progressing fast enough to reach a decent standard of living. The two major factors driving this global inequality are geography and gender. Huge gaps remain between rich and poor country, and within countries. In highincome countries, child mortality is less than 1% and nearly all countries have more than 12 years of education. Yet the same cannot be said of a single country in SubSaharan Africa or South Asia. 102

Accident of birth. High population countries like India and Nigeria have some of the largest inequalities. Within India, child mortality ranges from 8% in some districts to less than 1% in places with better health access. We see similar variations in education levels. Today, the geographic accident of birth still remains a major factor in determining your future. Another sad reality is that no matter where you’re born, your life is harder if you’re a girl. A combination of social norms, discriminatory laws and policies, and gender-based violence limit girls’ opportunities around the globe. This shows up in several ways. Girls typically spend 40 percent more time on unpaid household chores than boys their age. In sub-Saharan Africa, girls average two fewer years of education than boys. And in the labour market, 24 percent gender gap in participation by women. In India and Pakistan, where women do the most household work, the gap is even greater. So what’s the answer? First and foremost, governments must invest more in those at the bottom to close the inequality gap and reach the SDGs. Without a more targeted approach, the majority of children living in low and middle-income countries won’t reach the child mortality or education SDG targets by 2030. Governments should prioritise primary healthcare for all, delivering a health

system that works for the poorest. They should invest in digital governance, ensuring governments are more responsive to the poorest and least empowered, including women. And they should urgently act to address the looming effects of climate change, starting with farmers who will face worst effects of a warming planet. While we need to encourage countries to make these necessary changes, we still face a huge challenge in making the case for multilateralism to fight global problems. Climate change and epidemics continue to be issues with no regard for borders. Yet, perhaps the biggest hope for optimism is the progress that has been made as a result of international cooperation so far. The latest replenishment of the Global Fund, an entity set up to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, is on track to be a historic fundraising round, helping to reverse the effect of these three big killers. ‘If it bleeds, it leads’. There is certainly reason to feel positive about our progress as a society is making, even if it is also true that credit isn’t always shared for the remarkable developments that have taken place. Across the world, it remains difficult to sell good news – ‘if it bleeds it leads’, as the old adage says. Today, more is being done than ever before, particularly against diseases that were raging across the planet 10-15 years ago. There may not be an antagonist, enemy or villain to blame, so we have to do a better job of storytelling and inspiring people to believe in the struggle to eradicate them. But the way in which so many countries continue to pledge billions of dollars for diseases thousands of miles away from their shores, with very little publicity or press coverage, suggests that compassion and empathy are still features of international cooperation. One further positive development is pace of innovation and the opportunities this presents. Whether in the form of new medicines — or the ways in which we’re able to deliver these tools — new seeds to help small farmers to be more productive or new technologies to help transition the world to a low carbon economy, innovation continues to help us imagine new ways to fight stubborn global challenges. A practical plan. Another example of how we can use innovation to fight inequality is in digital financial inclusion. This year, Melinda Gates outlined a



Our report emphasizes geography and gender, where there are huge gaps.

2020 Super Year

Joe Cerrell

series of recommendations to the G7 that shows how we can empower more than 400 million people on the continent by providing access to digital services, including mobile payment platforms and digital identity systems. It also lays out a strategy for how governments in Africa can build their capabilities to be more digital-ready and embrace new technologies that will allow them to deliver services more efficiently to citizens. It’s a practical plan for creating a world that is both more prosperous and more equal for everyone for equality that we can start implementing right away. On a personal level, I feel incredibly fortunate to have been working for an organization whose mission is to help everyone, everywhere to live a healthy and productive life. In my nearly 20 years with the foundation, I’ve had the chance to travel to all parts of the globe. One of the most gratifying experiences is to revisit these places and see how much progress has been made and to meet with people on the frontlines effecting this change. The Ethiopian miracle. One of the best examples is Ethiopia, a country that has moved from desperate poverty, with high levels of malnutrition and mortality for children under five, to now having one of the best health systems on the continent. Ethiopia’s example and many others directly challenge the commonlyheld notion that extreme poverty is an intractable reality. Although I’ve only been around for 50 years, I do know it’s better to be alive in this era than in any time in human history. By almost every measure, life is better today than in previous era. We have health, better standards of living, and a host of innovations that have made the quality of life so much better than just 100 years ago. The challenge ahead is the challenge of inequality and making sure that everyone has the chance to fulfil their potential, no matter where one is born or their gender. While this is a formidable task, the progress we’ve made should give us confidence and lessons for how to meet this challenge.

Joe Cerrell is the Managing Director of Global Policy and Advocacy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.




The Children's Continent H.E. Dr. Bandar Hajjar President of the IsDB


2020 Super Year

H.E. Dr. Bandar Hajjar

The world’s population is growing, but it is in Africa where this challenge is particularly acute. We know Africa as the place where human life began; a place with an ancient and noble history, but today it is also a place that is becoming home to more children than any other place on earth. Already, 77 percent of the population is below the age of 35. A children’s continent. For many decades the enormous populations of South America, and Europe and Asia have grown quickly, but today they have slowed, and the majority of their populations are adults. In India the average age is 29, in China it is even older, at 37. But in Africa, the average age is 19 years old and rapidly getting younger. The continent is growing so quickly that by halfway through this century, it will be home to one billion children. By the end of the century, one in every two children in the world will be born here. This is going to present a unique challenge. Graça Machel has warned, “even though our youth have the potential to transform Africa, if neglected, they could exacerbate poverty and inequality while threatening peace, security and prosperity”. Therefore, we must be proactive in ensuring we meet the needs of this burgeoning population. But this flourishing of exciting new generations presents acute challenges. Evolving in tandem with this exponential population growth is a rate of urbanisation in Sub-Saharan Africa that is unmatched in the rest of the world. Africa’s urban population is expected to nearly triple by 2050, to 1.34 billion. Coupled with a high rate of urban primacy in African countries (whereby one city is multiple times bigger than the next nearest) and the high number of mega cities, enormous stress is going to be placed on the physical, political, economic and societal infrastructure in these places.


The challenges ahead of us require diverse, innovative 110

Think about the value of tacit knowledge, experience, intuition, evidence -

all that has been lost in the pursuit of endless efficiency.�


solutions for the new generations in Africa.

Young people across the continent are increasingly migrating towards the modern technology, connectivity, and entrepreneurial opportunity of city life. Poverty, lack of resources and financial independence are simultaneously pushing them away from their rural lives. Urbanisation is being driven by rural-urban migration, but city planners and management are not always prepared. Growth rates are unplanned, unregulated and beyond their ability to control. The problems manifest quickly from this point. High levels of unemployment lead to high levels of informal employment, which in turn is improperly taxed, denying vital financial capital to the state. Physical infrastructure is unable to keep pace, leading to overcrowding and informal accommodation. Waste management is unable to keep up, bringing its own environmental dangers.


SDG 11 has the stated goal of making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. While progress has undoubtedly been made on this, there is a great need to act fast to guarantee the last part of this goal: sustainability. The environmental impact at local, national and international scale is at high risk, with rapidly-growing urban populations demanding instant solutions. We have seen innovative ideas spring from the continent already, such as Diamniadio in Senegal, Tatu City in Kenya, or Vision City in Rwanda – but more is needed. It would be possible to talk at great length on the issues, and how one enables the next, creating a vortex of seemingly never-ending challenges. But we should view these challenges with resolve and see the opportunities that lie ahead. Yes, Africa is facing some of the toughest challenges in the world right now. But it is also in Africa that we are seeing some of the most innovative, forward thinking ideas when it comes to tackling the issues. It is in Africa where we can see the beginnings of the development of truly smart cities, with smarter infrastructure. The Fourth Industrial Revolution has given us unparalleled access to data analytics, providing us with real time solutions to real world problems, based on empirical data. We need to ensure we are making the most of this, driving smarter decision making. The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) believes that science, technology and innovation have been solving global challenges on how we build and maintain our

2020 Super Year

H.E. Dr. Bandar Hajjar

cities since the very beginning of civilisation. Investing in science, technology and innovation is a key driver for growing urban populations creating sustainable cities and communities, thereby achieving SDG 11. Cities occupy just 3 percent of the Earth’s land, but account for 60-80 percent of energy consumption and 75 percent of carbon emissions. Affordable housing, safe & sustainable transport, mass migration, climate change and pollution affect us all, but those in the developing world experience these issues much more keenly due to weaker infrastructure. IsDB has actively launched a science, technology and innovation fund to accelerate progress in cities worldwide. Transform is a $500 million fund for innovation and technology that provides seed money for start-ups and SMEs to facilitate economic and social progress in their respective cities and communities. During 2018 and 2019, we have been holding our Transformers events, Member Countries including Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Bangladesh and Niger, awarding innovators $3,000 to scale their solution to one or more of the SDGs. We will use our operating assets of $16 billion and subscribed capital of $70 billion to continue providing solutions to international infrastructure challenges. This year we will also be holding our second annual Transformers Summit, in Dakar, Senegal, following the great success of the inaugural Summit in Cambridge, UK, focused on discussing solutions to SDG 11. The challenges ahead of us require diverse, innovative solutions for the new generations in Africa. Already we can see young entrepreneurs taking the lead in their countries, but we need to be there to support them: helping develop human capital, nurturing the growth of science, technology and innovation in the journey towards the achievement of SDG 11. Our energy must be focused – the size of the challenge offers little room for error – but we can look forward with optimism that the solutions to the problems are taking root. We need to nurture and encourage them to flourish. H.E. Dr. Bandar Hajjar is President of the Islamic Development Bank. He has previously written at length on how development can be made to work for the SDGs in his book ‘The Road to the SDGs: A New Business Model for a Fast-Changing World’. The IsDB also hosts an annual summit focusing on SDG 11: The Transformers Summit.


Activism: Success means mobilising 3.5% of the population By Zion Lights, Extinction Rebellion

How do you start a movement? There have been many varied successful social movements over the years and the beautiful thing about Extinction Rebellion is that it is based on research that has analysed those movements. XR's founders include scientists and academics who looked at the available data and formed our "theory of change" based on them. One of the main bodies of research has come from Professor Erica Chenoweth, who found that successful campaigns need to mobile up to 3.5 percent of the population to achieve their demands. In Chenoweth's paper she studied 323 social movements and found that the most successful were: a) non-violent b) decentralized c) practiced constant, disruptive civil disobedience – i.e breaking the law and d) they took this NVDA to the capital cities, which is why our main actions in the UK are in London.


What did you learn from movements that had failed? It's odd to say that previous movements failed: I suppose it depends on what their goals were and whether or not they felt that they had been met. We generally see ourselves as standing on the shoulders of those many activists who came before us, whether or not their aims were met. In the case of Extinction Rebellion, none of our demands have actually been met, yet we've helped to get the climate and ecological crisis in the agenda and into public consciousness. That in itself has been an achievement. What have been the most successful grassroots campaigns and why did they work? There have been many successful movements over time - for example we all know about the Suffragettes who fought for women's rights, Gandhi's movement for Indian independence, and Martin Luther King Jr's campaign for civil rights. But as Chenoweth says, there is no blueprint for success. The reasoning behind the 3.5 percent of population engagement figure is that once a movement achieves that number, everyone knows someone in the fight. Everyone has a neighbour, a daughter or an uncle, involved in the movement. So, if the state comes down heavy on us, it might be that people pick a side whereas previously they hadn't done so.

As I said earlier, it's difficult to speak of movements in terms of successes. This is all one big social experiment, but the cost of losing is basically all life on this planet. How deeply do the public care about these long-term issues and how can they be made to care continuously? There was a poll by Christian Aid a few months ago where they asked the public what their most pressing concerns were. 71 percent of people said that they want Boris Johnson’s government to focus on climate change, so actually, ordinary people don't massively need convincing of anything. Equally, just a few weeks ago an Ipsos MORI poll found that 85 percent of people are concerned about climate change, and 52 percent are very concerned – these are the highest levels Ipsos MORI have recorded since they began tracking concern in 2005. The problem is that our democracy is broken, so we're not seeing these views reflected in the government, and we’re not seeing them reflected in the media, and that’s why our number one demand is ‘tell the truth’: to get the government and the media to tell the truth about the scale of the crisis that we are in. Until we see these concerns raised in the cabinet and the news on a daily basis to reflect the fact that we are facing an emergency, we are nowhere near achieving the aims needed to prevent runaway climate change and further mass extinction.

Zion Lights is a spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion




Discovered: Plastic With A ‘Decomposes By’ Date Niall Dunne CEO, Polymateria


2020 Super Year

Niall Dunne

In October 2017, David Attenborough framed the plastic pollution problem in a way that woke the world up to the epidemic nature of the issue. His BBC programme successfully defined the problems with our ecosystems, and, while climate change and other environmental issues can be very difficult to grasp, plastic pollution was made a very tangible problem. As we saw in Blue Planet, the issue of plastics was transformed from theory to hard-to-watch footage of tortoises being caught in plastic packaging and sea horses wrapping themselves around plastic cotton wool buds. As a result of this priceless education, the public rallied behind solving the plastics issue and as the problem became mainstream it seemed to become a lightning rod for environmental activism. When I came across a technology that could solve the plastics issue, I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to it. Historically, the science is clear when it comes to preventing climate change, as are the solutions; eat less red meat, drive less, fly less and switch the global grid to renewable energy, but a few years ago, when it came to the issue of plastic, there was no silver bullet; no solar energy, and no Tesla. And this intrigued me! I knew there would be a company somewhere working hard in an R&D lab trying to solve the issue. I’ve spent my whole career commercialising solutions to a lot of these big issues, so when I came across a technology, via Polymateria, that could solve the plastics issue by fully biodegrading plastic, I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to it. Polymateria was founded in 2015 by the grandson of Marks and Spencer’s founder Jonathan Sieff. Jonathan & his business partner Lee set a diverse team of scientists the challenge to create a new technology which could biodegrade plastic avoiding microplastic and not impacting recycling. Many of the technical answers were found by being based at Imperial Innovation in White City, and tapping into the scientific rigour and excellence from a rich and diverse scientific ecosystem around us.


2020 Super Year

Niall Dunne

Plastic works too well until it’s no longer needed. We are also able to work with many talented PhD students and the networks that have allowed us to develop a technology that was unprecedented. Plastic as a product ‘works’, perhaps too well; it keeps food dry, stops it from perishing, and is perfect for transportation. Its issue is what happens it at the end of its life. There’s no doubt we need to reduce needless uses of plastic, but for food packaging where plastic alternatives have very serious unintended consequences, we need to come up with solutions that work for the environment. In developing the technology, we were keen to get it right, so that the technology and the process involved didn’t impact recycling in any way. Our first message at Polymateria is that recycling needs to work, but when it doesn’t, we’ll be the safety net.


32 percent of our plastic leaks into the natural environment. We can also look at the plastics problem through statistics. 32 percent of plastic leaks into the natural environment, and out of this, 2/3 of that 32 percent is single-use plastic. When these leaks happen, we need a back-up plan. The extent of this problem is enormous. It would take 1.6 trillion US dollars to create enough sanitary landfill just to catch the 32 percent of plastic which is leaking into the environment. This will take decades to deploy, mostly in the developing world. I am optimistic about the progress that has been made so far, but I am also reminded of the facts, that only 9 percent of plastic ever made has been recycled. There is still a long way to go in both innovation and also rallying mass support and commitment to solving this issue. I believe that in order to accelerate progress, there needs to be a three-pronged approach. Big brands need to authentically engage with their customers. This approach will require brands like Polymateria to continue innovating and large producers and manufacturers to recognise the role they must play. In recognising the role of big brands, their communications need to change, and these brands need to proactively do this through their product messaging on the shelf, innovative campaigns, online orders and any other way they can authentically engage consumers in sustainable consumption without preaching or greenwashing.

There is still a long way to go in both innovation and also rallying mass support and commitment to solving this issue.


If we work with retailers and brands to do this, we will ground the issue and establish it as a problem that affects everyone. We also need to be able to ignite energy at a grassroots level and that emotional connection and desire to do something different, because this will lead to raising the profile of actual brands that are championing the technology. I believe that you have to get this right first and then you create that organic energy and enthusiasm for the technology, which is less ‘cool’ to the general public. That way, consumers will seek out the technology, buy brands that use the technology and direct that energy and momentum to retailers and FMCGs and other smaller challenger brands to make the change.


We’ve created a technology that allows plastic to degrade by a specific date. At its most basic level, we have created a technology that allows plastic to biodegrade, but what is unique about our technology and business is the ability to reconcile the tension between the worlds of recycling and biodegradation. We do this by being able to set the date by which biodegradation happens. This process can be as precise as setting it to a specific month in the future. The reason why this is important is that this extended shelf life of the packaging can be set to give recycling every chance to happen. This idea can be communicated with ease to consumers, using the synergy of a food use-by-date which consumers understand. That way, consumers still feel a responsibility to recycle. We do need to be careful however that we do not become too reliant on this ‘safety net’ as this can negatively impact personal responsibility. There is a gap between cause and action. You only need to look at places like Glastonbury to see this dichotomy between sustainability messaging and largescale waste; there is a clear gap between cause and action at the moment. In order to navigate this we need to create an emotional connection with the act of recycling. We’ve seen how an emotional connection can provoke public action and we’ve seen the pace at which the public can get behind issues that are made tangible. As a result, we created the #RecycleBy movement to normalise the concept that with our technology, packaging can have a shelf life. We have had use-bydates since the 1970s and we know that if the produce is going to go off on a Thursday, generally on a Wednesday we start cleaning out the fridge. However, people can be very confused about biodegradability and composability as there


Niall Dunne

Super Year

is a whole ecolabelling jungle out there and people really don’t know what to do. Therefore, as a brand, we have borrowed from this idea that is usually associated with perishable food and used it in our products. We therefore have the ability to create a call to action through our packaging and we ask consumers to make a pledge to recycle it and if they don’t recycle the packaging by a certain date, then it biodegrades. Just like food. By 2030 all packaging should have a ‘Recycle By’ date. Looking ahead to making a success of Global Goal 12, I think that the goal more broadly is about the shift from conspicuous consumption, which in a digital world is being fuelled more and more, towards more conscientious, even more collaborative forms of consumption, making it easy for consumers to make conscious choices. There is a space to use the way digital technology is pushing us to purchase for good and as a tool to effect behaviour change in consumer purchases. By 2030 I would expect all packaging in the world to have normalized the concept of a #RecycleBy date. To get there, a technology like ours needs evolving out of being an additive to plastic into actually being a plastic in itself. 123

This way when you’re producing plastic, our technology is incorporated within the production process. As a result, instead of tens of thousands of plastic products making their way into landfill and ultimately becoming pollutants, the waste can naturally breakdown so that leftover plastic will return to its natural state in an environmentally friendly way. The plastics movement in the UK was kickstarted when Attenborough showed us mother whale nursing her dead calf, who had too much plastic in its stomach. This wouldn’t have happened with our technology and knowing this gives me hope. I think we can give so many of the other sustainable development goals hope too, that what we’re facing now, we can liken to the hole in the ozone layer thirty years ago. So, if we can tackle this, we can tackle climate, we can tackle greenhouse gases and we can tackle the plastics issue. We can attach real momentum to the other Global Goals to actually being able to resolve the issues they are all looking to tackle.

Niall Dunne is the CEO of Polymateria



A Challenging Climate: The lessons of tackling Goal 13 Andy Pharoah Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Strategic Initiatives & Sustainability at Mars


2020 Super Year

Andy Pharoah

This is set to be a defining 12 months in the fight against climate change. There is a clear and present danger - and we need to accelerate the action we are taking. Climate change is already impacting biodiversity, agriculture, and the lives of global citizens. Without concrete steps to mitigate its advance, climate change could destroy communities and create global political upheaval. We see impacts today in our food business at Mars, our petcare business, our confectionery business. We see that climate change causes a real threat to the communities in which we work and to the smallholder farmers who we rely on to supply the vast majority of the world’s raw ingredients. The stakes are high. We are working hard to play our part with a $1bn investment in our Sustainable in a Generation Plan. As I write this, 53 percent of our global electricity needs come from renewable sources and we have a clear path to 100 percent. We are seeing that it is possible to grow the business while continuing to reduce our total carbon footprint including our extended supply chain. This is hugely significant. It makes very strong business sense. At Mars, for instance, our renewable electricity use comes at the same, or lower prices than fossil fuel sources. We also know that in the future, carbon is going to have an economic price. If you can build a company based on low carbon, you put yourself in a strong position. The economic case is clear. I’m very positive about the actions that leaders in business are taking. The opportunity is to increase the scale and the speed of that action across all industries. So what actions can all businesses take to effectively tackle climate change? The first thing is to understand your impact. Make sure you know the scale of your carbon footprint. The work we have done to map our footprint at Mars has been revelatory. It came with the realisation that our impact is about the same



Emissions from our operations make up only around 6% of our footprint.


as a moderately-sized country. With that scale, comes responsibility. It also means that our actions as a business really can make a significant difference. There are many companies out there that have an equally relevant impact on the world. Imagine what’s possible if we all fixed what wasn’t working across these eco-systems? Secondly, replace your fossil fuels use with renewable electricity. The business and the environmental case is clear. At Mars, we are committed to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions from our operations by 2040. We are using or purchasing renewable electricity to cover 100 percent of our operations in countries including the U.S., UK and Mexico plus seven others. We will make the switch in Australia in 2020.


We also have to keep listening to what the science tells us when it comes to tackling the impacts of our operations. That’s why when global experts like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently documented the increased urgency for action we responded by upgrading our target for climate action in our direct operations to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5˚C. The sands are constantly shifting and, as a business, you have to keep responding. Thirdly, it is critical to recognize that tackling greenhouse gas emissions in direct operations isn’t enough. For Mars, emissions from our operations make up only around 6 percent of our footprint. The other 94 percent of our carbon emissions come from our extended supply chain and actually from things that we didn’t fully understand when we started looking at this. For instance, it is amazing the impact of changes of land use have on carbon. In our supply chains we’re striving to halt deforestation, starting with our supply chains for beef, cocoa, palm, paper/pulp and soy. Equally, we’re looking to improve agricultural production practices to ensure they are more sustainable, and our supply chain is more resilient. Delivering these significant impacts down our extended supply chain isn’t easy - and effective action depends on partnership. A great example is our work with The Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming, an impact investment fund created in collaboration with by Danone, Firmenich, and Veolia to foster sustainability and poverty reduction in supply chains.


Andy Pharoah

Super Year

We’ve increasingly been speaking out on these issues to attract partners and drive coalitions of change and collaboration. Speaking out at a time like this is also critical because of the role business has to play both in driving change at scale and being willing to stand up and be counted. The world right now is messy. Some of the issues that we all need to solve are hugely complex with many different and deep-rooted causes. Complexity cannot be an excuse for delay or inaction as the stakes are too high. The real question we need to be asking each and every day is are the actions we are taking today positively contributing to the world we want tomorrow and, if not, what we are going to do about it? I believe strongly that climate action offers a powerful opportunity for business to lead on these critical issues and to collaborate with consumers in a meaningful way to create our future. That is a huge prize - to work together and take collective action today - and to create a thriving planet for future generations. 131

Andy Pharoah is Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Strategic Initiatives & Sustainability at Mars Inc.


A message from Richard Curtis

C0-Founder, Project Everyone and UN SDG Advocate

“When you hear that word “urgent” – I beg everyone never to lose their sense of the simple, intimate, daily urgency in the lives of those we serve. Never forget the people, in your countries and abroad, we can’t wait patiently for change – the young girl being prepared for child marriage, tomorrow. The mother choosing today whether to spend her money on food for all her children, or life-saving medicine for one sick child – the family deciding whether they must abandon everything tonight and begin the life of refugees – the father, whose child just attempted suicide yesterday and without proper help will do so again. The changes the Global Goals promise could not be more urgent.” “I am obsessed by the partners we could have on this Global Goals journey. They are legion. Governments – churches – trade unionists – business leaders – employees who are proud of the companies they work for but want to be prouder – bankers & investments bankers & insurance companies & pension providers – civil society – tech leaders who are moving fast into the unknown and know they should do so with purpose and principle or they will fail – young activists – older activists – scientists – technologists – environmentalists – philanthropists – academia - mayors – feminists – school children. When we reach 2030 – let’s be amazed by the irresistible alliance we’ve brought together. "




Changes in our oceans today would have seemed like science fiction 20 years ago Ambassador Peter Thomson UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Ocean


2020 Super Year

Ambassador Peter Thomson

Seventy-one percent of the world’s surface is water and the ocean is home to the majority of life on Earth. But, while momentum has been building, some of the most pressing targets to combat the harm we do to the ocean are not being met. The ocean is a mystery to most of us, but should that limit our understanding of the damage we’re doing to it? For a long time, people thought the ocean and the rivers that enter it were an endless source of fish; we now know that’s not true. They also believed that if they tossed something in the ocean, it would just be diluted and disappear. Now we know that plastic washes up on beaches thousands of miles away from where it was dumped in rivers that run to the ocean. People should also know that the ocean is becoming steadily more acidic, due to the carbon dioxide dissolving into it from our polluted atmosphere. That process has been going on ever since the onset of the industrial revolution, but it has been accelerating in recent years. This poses a particular difficulty for calciumcarbonate-based life like shellfish and that is a serious concern. Responsible organizations are now at work around the world to monitor and examine what we can do about ocean acidification. Meanwhile, the ocean has absorbed 90 percent of the extra heat generated by human activities since the industrial revolution. This has caused levels of oxygen in the ocean to steadily diminish, again making life more difficult for sea creatures. Most people understand that warming is causing rising sea levels, now and well into the foreseeable future. But many have yet to comprehend that global temperature rise to 2˚C above the pre-industrial age will cause the demise of coral, and that current trends have us heading for over 3˚C. Coral reefs are home to 30 percent of the biodiversity of the ocean; therefore their loss is almost unthinkable.


2020 Super Year

Ambassador Peter Thomson

What wider impacts are these changes having? Some of the changes taking place in the ocean’s ecosystem today would have seemed like science-fiction 20 years ago – warming and rising seas, worldwide movement of species, changing ocean currents and the like. The Caribbean’s sargassum seaweed problem is a case in point. Seaweed doesn’t sound like an economic disaster, yet it is closing down hotels and fishing in some places. Have you seen a shift in the public focus towards these issues? We were losing the struggle pretty badly up until SDG14’s creation; then with the momentum that developed out of the 2017 UN Ocean Conference to support SDG14, a worldwide awareness of the need for ocean action took hold. Instead of feeling overcome by the immense problems confronting us, we began the global struggle to overcome them.


Good examples would be over-fishing, illegal fishing and harmful fisheries subsidies. While the severe problems are still there, we are now making good progress in tackling over-fishing and illegal fishing through the good work of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation; and in the case of subsidies, through negotiations currently underway at the World Trade Organisation. Do you sense that there is progress taking place? I’m neither an optimist nor a pessimist – I’m a pragmatist. I have a strong faith that we’re going to win the long struggle ahead of us. It will be long, because the greatest enemy of the changes that the climate and ocean are going through is, without doubt, our greenhouse gas emissions. And by now I expect everyone knows where those greenhouse gases come from. It will be long and hard, because as we can see, it’s proving difficult to persuade some very powerful interests that their short-term gains do not equate to the enormity of their long-term losses. For the ocean, the problems we have to solve are summarized in the targets of SDG14: Life Below Water. We have a plan to reverse the cycle of decline of the ocean’s health and we must implement it with an iron will. I refer of course to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement. Eliminate those greenhouse gas emissions, and get the world to carbon neutrality by 2050, and we will indeed succeed.

Does Goal 14 have tougher deadlines in comparison to many of the goals? In some ways, yes. There are four SDG14 targets that come due in 2020, the first being to sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems; the second being to end illegal fishing. Those jobs are not going to end next year - it’s a bit like saying we’re going to stop all crime by next year! I would say the other two targets for next year, which include conserving 10% of the ocean in marine protected areas, along with ending harmful fisheries subsidies, do have a good chance of being achieved. What innovative solutions could be implemented to confront these issues? There is a general awakening as to the responsibilities that cities have. The world’s population is increasingly urbanising, so that we have concentration of problems and solutions in cities great and small. Through better education for all, will come the innovative solutions we need. Innovation is everywhere, from those tackling ocean acidification, to the work being done on the inseparable ocean-climate nexus. Technology for traceability of fish from catch to retail counter has already been developed, and the systems for recycling and replacing plastics are well on the way to adoption. When it comes to the steady march of innovation, I could go on and on. What is your overall impression of the likelihood of achieving the goals' targets? I wouldn’t say that we’re winning the war yet, but I don’t think we’re still losing it. We have a plan and we’re putting it into action - implement it with a common will for the common good, and we will prevail. That’s my general feeling. Historically, humanity has progressed through the ages on the back of two fundamental properties. The first is our ability to share. We would never have moved from hunting and gathering to agriculture, to industry, and onwards to space technology had we not been able to effectively share our resources and knowledge with each other. The second is humankind’s incredible ability to innovate. History demonstrates that in times of crisis, such as extended war, we heighten our sharing of resources and knowledge, and intensify our innovation skills.



I have to give my grandchildren hope that we’re doing the right thing in this generation.

So why, when faced with the greatest existential challenge that humanity has ever encountered – and here I refer to climate change and ocean change – would we not apply those two fundamental human properties to their greatest extent? It is illogical to suggest otherwise. So let our brightest minds come forward, and let us work to bring out the best in all of us, that we may overcome this great challenge to the security of our children and those who come after them. Together we can, together we will.


Ambassador Peter Thomson is is the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean



The illegal wildlife trade is wiping out our wildlife Dominic Jermey Director General, ZSL


2020 Super Year

Dominic Jermey

The illegal wildlife trade is wiping out our wildlife, but… we allow our systems to support it. Over 100 million sharks are killed every year, mostly for their fins. 20,000 African elephants are slaughtered annually for their ivory. More than 1,000 rhinos are poached every year from South Africa alone. The growth of the illegal wildlife trade has become one of the biggest causes of extinction and is driven by well-armed and resourced criminal gangs operating on what can only be described as an industrial scale. And it’s having a major effect on the world’s biodiversity. The 2018 Living Planet Index, produced by ZSL for WWF and used by international governments and the UN, showed that populations of monitored mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates and fish have, on average, dropped by more than half in little more than 40 years. 2020 will provide proof - the world’s nations are failing to preserve their wildlife. In 2020, we will see a separate assessment, when the results of the Aichi Targets for biodiversity - set nearly a decade ago - will confirm that many of the world’s nations are failing to preserve their wildlife. There are clear indications that we are in the midst of a biodiversity crisis. A scourge of the modern world, the illegal wildlife trade is up there with climate change and habitat loss as one of the reasons we’re now in this situation; one of the main ways in which we, the dominant species on the planet, is negatively impacting the world’s wildlife. One of the four great global criminal networks, alongside the smuggling of people, drugs and money laundering and in many cases using the same networks, transport and funding, it’s a tragedy that it’s not treated in the same way - morally or legally - by the international community. The trade in illegal wildlife will remain one that we are all shareholders in as long as we allow our systems to support it.



The pangolin is the most traded animal in the world, yet few people have ever seen one.


2020 Super Year

Dominic Jermey

We have seen poaching protection work. So how can we combat it and encourage people and wildlife to co-exist so that we all have a future? One answer is to focus on education and building sustainable livelihoods for local communities, developing economic models that support people to benefit sustainably from biodiversity while encouraging them to become part of its preservation. We’ve seen it work - thousands of people in the Philippines are benefitting from Net-Works, ZSL’s innovative approach to coastal biodiversity conservation: creating community income streams that reduce plastic pollution and replenish fish stocks. We need to invest more in new conservation technology while providing professional law enforcement training to help combat the increasingly wellfinanced criminal gangs in control of the trade. 148

In Southern Kenya, ZSL has equipped rangers with its award-winning wildlife monitoring system Instant Detect, which uses predictive algorithms to anticipate where poachers may strike so they can respond in real time. 36,000 critically endangered pangolins in a single raid. During a single raid in Singapore in April 2019 14 tons of pangolin scales were seized en-route to Vietnam by well-trained law enforcement officers - the equivalent of 36,000 individual animals, worth around ÂŁ36million. We urgently need international agencies to collaborate so that law enforcement, freight transport, shipping companies and airlines can work together to tackle this insidious global trade. And we need more conversations around demand reduction; the fashion industry, traditional medicine and the pet trade must all face questions. A home for Red Rain Frogs. The Reptile House at ZSL London Zoo recently became home to four Chinese giant salamanders that were smuggled into the UK from China crammed into cereal boxes.

ZSL has long worked with customs officers to help identify and rehome seized animals, which are often smuggled into this country to be ‘pets’. In fact, since 2000, we’ve provided a home for more than 3,000 animals confiscated by the UK’s Border Force, including Egyptian tortoises, red rain frogs, green tree pythons and hundreds of corals. It is only by taking a joined-up approach that looks at the problems facing all life on earth – including those facing humans – that we can truly turn things around. This situation is not irreversible. It’s not all bad news and the situation is not irreversible: we’ve doubled the number of tigers in protected areas in Nepal and Russia and we are starting to bring huge social investment capital into conservation with the introduction of the Rhino Impact Investment Project – the world’s first pay-for-results financial instrument for species conservation. Governments around the world are taking action: the UK brought together the world’s leading transport businesses and banks for the first international conference on illegal wildlife trade in 2014, while China closed the domestic ivory trade market last year - a terrific step forward. Engagement at both government and corporate level is increasing, especially in the context of the climate emergency, so the need for change at a global level has been recognised – it’s clear now we can’t continue on the same path or we’ll find the end of the road arrives alarmingly quickly. If we can bring the enormous expertise we have globally in the field of disease eradication, human development and law enforcement together to tackle the illegal wildlife trade, then I believe we can have a substantial impact on the future of all life on earth.

Dominic Jermey is Director General of ZSL - the Zoological Society of London.




Putting diesel in the dock James Thornton CEO of ClientEarth


2020 Super Year

James Thornton

One of the best ways to learn what a culture values, what a society thinks about itself and how they expect people to live their lives, is to look at the rules embedded in its legal system. Legal systems around the world continue to play catch up with enormous environmental problems. They are struggling, slowly, to combat the emergencies that we actually face. We work on the basis that the Earth is our client and that the law is one of the most effective tools that we have to save it. How do we interview our client? Through science. Then we move into the legislative phase which involves parliament or congress. Finally, we try to capture policy through legislation which is enforceable and accepted by the regulated community, so that it can be implemented by law. One of the difficulties is that laws are not self-enforcing. Industries try to influence a law in their direction and not in the intended one, so we need to make sure the law gets implemented the correct way. One of the great achievements of the European Union (EU) is that laws are passed across member states, so you get uniformity in climate-related areas such as air pollution. But, to enforce those laws, we have to work with national courts. We have cases going on in 19 EU countries and 6 international tribunals. Logging Europe’s last primeval forest. We recently helped to prevent the Polish government from illegally logging the last primeval woodland in mainland Europe, the Białowieża forest. There was no possibility of suing the Polish government for local legal reasons so we applied to the EU, who in turn applied leverage on their member state by taking them to the European courts and winning. The EU can help tackle deforestation, environmental harm and human rights abuses by enforcing the law, and by introducing mandatory due diligence – rules which require companies to identify and prevent the negative impact of their operations and supply chains.


2020 Super Year

James Thornton

In 2010, we started a lawsuit against the British government over air pollution. Back then, there was no environmental group in the UK that was interested in the issue, even though 40,000 people a year were dying as a result. We had the expertise, brought the case, and then – because of the value of the case – generated a huge amount of press. Five years later we beat the government in its own Supreme Court and there are now hundreds of air pollution organisations that sprung up due to local efforts. The publicity highlighted the legal value of the case changing the government’s behaviour and raising the issue allowed the public to get involved because they realised they were no longer powerless.


A free press. A key component of Goal 16 is the preservation of a free press, who are able play a role in shining a light on important, often opaque, causes. Sadly, divisive, dangerous rhetoric in developed and developing worlds alike has indirectly contributed to a rise in the deaths of human rights defenders, journalists and trade unionists. From 2017 to 2018, the UN recorded 431 killings across 41 countries, every passing week seeing at least eight people murdered at the front lines of efforts to build more inclusive and equal societies. We must protect those who speak truth to power. After our success against the UK’s air pollution, we joined a German NGO to bring air pollution cases across that country. As a result German judges banned diesel in large city centres such as Dusseldorf and Stuttgart. There was a significant reaction from the car manufacturers and the government, but Germany’s highest court upheld the judges’ right to issue the bans. Across England and Germany, sales of diesel vehicles started to fall as people came to realise the connection with pollution and that the value of the vehicle would simply go down in the coming years. BMW and the other car companies had clean technology available, but were doing very well with their diesel engines so had no interest in improving until the German courts gave them a push. Had the German companies continued to flog diesel vehicles instead of investing in electric, the Chinese would have been poised to take over the market because they would have been so far ahead. Naïve to trust markets. One of our biggest challenges is, how do you use enforcement efforts to drive markets and generate a reaction in order to ensure investment goes into clean technology, while helping move society forward more quickly? Compared to 20 years ago, science can now deliver the things we need. The price of renewable energy has fallen dramatically and is cheaper in many parts

of the world than coal. However, we cannot trust the market to push renewables forward – that would be naïve. There are still enormous industries who are uninterested in change. RWE and other big utilities remain focused on starting new coal mines, German companies are still dedicated to producing diesel cars. Who will deliver? If you imagine there’s a road, how can we deliver these environmental solutions and what are the blockages sitting in the middle of it? Who’s likely to remove them? Not the government or big utilities, who are often interconnected. Not the new industry providing solutions because they tend to be small or start-ups and not designed to undertake large litigation. Who will come and move them out the way? The answer is citizens. That’s how we come in, acting on their behalf. A lot of the enforcement work we take is not just against an individual act. It is with the intention of moving markets in the right direction and taking away the economic advantage that dirty industries are enjoying, so that clean industries can come forward. It is a huge project, and one that will only succeed if it is reinforced by civic action. Nevertheless, I am given hope by our recent work in China. Back in 2014, we helped to bring in a law to allow citizen groups and NGO’s to sue polluting companies. Then, that relationship turned into an invitation from the Supreme Court to train judges in environmental decision-making, because the Chinese had just put in a system of environmental courts all across the country, from the local level to the Supreme Court. Chinese initiative. They had the intention of completely changing the behaviour of companies in China. There was no culture of compliance with environmental law. They decided to change this as they became aware of the terrible problems they faced. I was deeply moved by the sincerity of the Chinese in cleaning up the environment and becoming leaders in climate change and biodiversity. To date, we’ve trained hundreds of environmental court judges. And also prosecutors, helping empower them to bring environmental cases against the government for the first time on behalf of the people. In 2018 alone they sent 48,000 notices of violation, settling around 95 percent pre-trial. What we see now is that behaviour change in China is rapid and that there’s not just an intention - action follows. One of the most refreshing things about this work is the first thing they say is “who has already encountered this


If the Earth really is your client and everyone who lives on it, how do you 156


interview your client and see what your client needs?


James Thornton

Super Year

problem around the world and what have they done?” They want to learn quickly from the successes and also the failures others have had. We bring in experts from South Africa, the United States, Sweden, Australia and many other countries, and offer the opportunity to see what has worked, and also avoid 20 years of making mistakes. It’s a remarkably enlivening experience and their open-mindedness is something we in the Western world could really learn from. Make 2020 meaningful. Over the last five years, Beijing has seen a 30 per cent improvement in air quality levels and concentrations of fine particulates in Chinese cities have decreased by an average rate of 32 percent. I am continually encouraged that the world’s biggest polluter is doing everything it can to fundamentally change the way it does business, economics and agriculture in order to restore biodiversity and cleanse its air and water.


Today, the Paris agreement still stands as the first meaningful global treaty on climate change. It was clever in its design, in that everyone agreed that they were going to go home and create their own national plans, which meant it was sensitive to the needs of different countries in different stages of development. The problem is now to move on to the next stage and make those targets practically achievable, and connect climate protection with nature protection. In 2020 the real question, as the world gathers in China to rewrite the Convention on Biological Diversity, is whether countries are going to rise to the challenge and make those regimes meaningful. Unless there is peace, and until justice and strong institutions support environmental action around the world, the lack of progress towards combatting climate change and protecting biodiversity will be catastrophic. The philosopher Thomas Hobbes noted that “The law is the public conscience”. If we are to ensure the safety of future generations and the health of our planet, we must empower the public and listen closely to our conscience.

James Thornton is the founder and CEO of ClientEarth




We should acknowledge Greta’s phenomenal impact Kate Garvey and Gail Gallie Co-Founders, Project Everyone


2020 Super Year

Kate Garvey and Gail Gallie

“Young people are a force for good and we will have a much better, more balanced world if the people who will inherit the planet are designing its future with us.” The year 2020 is expected to see a surge in international action aimed at achieving the Global Goals, so how do you see the role of partnerships evolving? Gail Gallie: Watching Greta Thunberg arriving in New York recently there was a sense of an enormous campaign that was a part of an even bigger framework and ambition to end poverty, climate change and inequality by 2030. That bigger, overarching framework is the Global Goals and, over the next 18 months, we will need as many people as possible to join up to raise awareness and accelerate action that will hold leaders to account. That’s the ambition, uniting movements across the world – citizens, the private sector, civil society, and young people – so they come together for the planet using the Global Goals as their guiding star. Kate Garvey: The catalysing role is so beneficial to the Global Goal’s overall progress. There’s no lack of people who are making progress towards achieving the Goals and there’s no lack of action – but the results are so much greater when they work in a cohort with others across skillsets, audiences and geographies. How important has the Greta effect been? GG: We should acknowledge Greta’s phenomenal impact; first on young people, and then across generations through the global climate strikes, but many of the widespread successes can also be traced to the UN’s door. The UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed is a leader who has reinvigorated an ‘SDG action hub' at the heart of the UN, drawing together a multitude of partners, including ourselves. Why is 2020 so vital? KG: The phrase ‘super year’ emerged from the NGO community. It refers to the three key conferences being hosted by the UN next year, covering the oceans, renewable energy and biodiversity. There is also the 75th anniversary of the UN,


It’s a ‘super year’ in that many things could go the right way if ambition is raised enough. 164


and a year when the ‘Aichi’ targets for biodiversity are being renegotiated, so there is the potential for many things to go the right way, if the ambition is raised enough. Marking the importance of the year 2020 is also a really useful way of showing younger people that if they raise their voices, there are moments over the next 12 months when they can influence society to do the right thing. How can we gauge the progress? GG: There are some very clear indicators, in Global Goals terms, it is very useful to look at the number of businesses who are now using the Goals to measure their own impact, while the UN have recently opted to measure the impact of countries even more frequently.


On a general level, thought leaders, influencers and philanthropists, and institutions from the Gates Foundation to the World Economic Forum, all use the Goals now with many agreeing to a ‘10 percent commitment,’ - meaning that a proportion of all the work they do will be towards achieving the Goals. It’s also very satisfying seeing schools, communities and grassroots organisations now using the Goals to help them achieve their own targets. What shifts are you seeing in the way the Goals are being communicated on a global scale? KG: We’ve seen Denmark take the lead in the tracking performance and translating of the Goals into every aspect of everyday life, meanwhile Japan, who will host the Olympics in 2020, has adopted the logo throughout every aspect of its society. There’s a great partnership called 'Goalkeepers' which has been forged between the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and ourselves at Project Everyone, while both Google and Facebook will get behind the Goals next year. It’s also likely that we will begin to see three campaigning areas emerge: gender, equality and climate, and we will need to see progress and commitment to ensure real progress is made. When I was in government in the 2000s, organisations like Gavi and the Global Fund were creating a new way of thinking about global problems, but that was 20 years ago and now we need to find some equivalent structures for inequality, gender, and violence against women, which is where we

2020 Super Year

Kate Garvey and Gail Gallie

could begin to see change. Behavioural change is crucial but structural change will be another win. Over the next 10 years, where do you think a different level of connection or combination might be possible? GG: The opportunity is to work with the next generation, whether in finance, climate or gender equality, that’s where the new energy is coming from and so the emerging power structures are going to have to work out how to partner with that generation more effectively. They’re a force for good and we will have a much better, more balanced world if the people who’ll inherit it are actually designing its future with us.


Kate Garvey and Gail Gallie are Co-Founders of Project Everyone – the organisation devoted to promoting the Global Goals


A message from Matthew Freud

Chairman, freuds and The Brewery

freuds has spent much of the last 35 years on the preachy end of the communications spectrum. We have helped all manner of impassioned zealots and would-be messiahs spread their gospels of development, conscious consumerism, environmental awareness and socially-minded behavioural change. But in truth we have not always been able to do much on the practice side of the equation. As a service company with some 300 committed souls, there have been some impediments to our engagement in the campaigns we have supported. We have tried to be a bit greener, but we haven’t meaningfully reduced the number of refugees by offering our spare rooms, we haven’t distributed anti-retro viral drugs to mothers to prevent infant transmission of HIV, we haven’t made poverty history or the earth actively any more ‘live’ than it is. We haven’t changed our own lives for good by eating less fast food and doing more exercise, nor had much to offer the researchers into cancer, dementia or issues of mental health. We just got to talk about it and amplify the voices of the campaigns designed to bring these critical issues to the forefront of the national and global conversations. But the Global Goals are different. From our earliest work in 2013 with Richard Curtis and Project Everyone, we realised that the goals could and should become a framework for everyone to play their part in a global prescription for our planet and people. They allow all of us to take a personal inventory of the goals most relevant to our work and lives. How can we stop being part of the problem of some and how can we contribute to meaningful progress on others? I hope this journal will act as a catalyst for action; not just in supporting the organisations and institutions on the front line, but also in looking at opportunities to set personal targets for helping more and harming less. I hope that if you are reading this in printed form, it’s the last of our journals that you will consume in a physical form. One of freuds’ goals is to move to a near paperless business by the end of 2020 (Goal 12). Another is to do all we can to champion mental health and combat loneliness and isolation (physical and digital) (Goal 3 and 11). But the main one is to preach less and practice more, and work in partnership with our clients and stakeholders (Goal 17). And let the Global Goals for Sustainable Development lead and guide us. I hope you have a super year. Matthew Love & Work


The Super Year 2020 World Economic Forum Davos, Switzerland 21-24 January UN Conference on the Oceans Lisbon, Portugal 2-6 June UN General Assembly New York City, US 15-30 September


Climate Week New York City, US 21-28 September Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the UN New York City, US 21 September Global Day of Action 25 September Global Goal Live 26 September UN Biodiversity Conference Kunming, China 5-10 October UN Climate Change Conference UNFCCC COP 26 Glasgow, Scotland 9-19 November


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2020 Super Year  

2020 Super Year