Global Goals Week 2017- a Roundup

We gather resources from the major events we followed last week.

StartingUpGood Magazine
5 min readSep 25, 2017


Global Goals Week 2017 ended on Saturday, September 23rd, and it was a whirlwind of forums, summits, and panels dedicated to innovation in technology, finance, and partnership to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Here is our roundup of summaries and analysis from the week.

Event Summaries

Throughout last week, Devex, along with its digital partner Johnson and Johnson, created daily content of the various events taking place in NYC, and is now posting analyses and summaries of Global Goals Week, including extra interviews with presenters from various events. One of our favorites: Devex’s interview with the ‘father of micro-finance’ Muhammad Yunus, speaking after his presentation at We the Future.

We at StartingUpGood have also attempted to capture resources to rewatch all that happened at Global Goals Week, including a compilation of livestream recordings and videos from the week, and a running list of reports that were launched during or shortly before Global Goals Week.

Two event that occurred during the week were sponsored by the UN Global Compact: the UN Private Sector Forum and the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit. The Global Compact gathered statements, commitments, and outcomes from both of these events.

‘Financing the 2030 Agenda’ was one of the themes of the opening of the UN General Assembly, and many panels and discussions were dedicated to this topic, including one of the earliest events of the Week- Financing the 2030 Agenda: The Role of the UN. UNEP Inquiry provides a tight summary of the entire panel, and includes short video clips of speakers. Thoughts and statements made during this event were heard again multiple times in UN and private sector events that continued to be held throughout the week.

Trends and Analysis

Yesterday, Devex published seven of the biggest trends that emerged from the week of UN General Assembly and the Global Goals side events. The complex themes of the week touched on issues facing both the private sector and government, including humanitarian crises in multiple countries, the role of business and of the UN, and next steps for partnership and possibly reform.

  1. Development continues to be viewed through the lens of the new U.S. administration, with caution and hope.
  2. The UN General Assembly is at the halfway point in global negotiations toward two different compacts on the treatments and response to refugees and migrants. The thorniest issues of state’s responsibilities and other defining vocabulary are still to come.
  3. Humanitarian organizations are spread thin, and continue to work toward the root cause of conflict.
  4. Private sector events throughout the week sought innovative and meaningful ways for business to be involved with achieving the SDGs.
  5. Breaking down traditional silos was a welcomed trend, and the week showcased how organizations within the UN, the private sector, and civil society are partnering for the Global Goals.
  6. While seeking innovative ways to be involved, business is also seeking innovative partnerships.
  7. Talk of UN reform was heard during the week, as U.N. chief Antonio Guterres opened his first General Assembly as Secretary General.

The Financial Times published a short article interpreting the actions and commitments of private sector leaders during the week, and compared business attitudes toward the 2000–2015 Millennium Development Goals to the current trends seen last week at the UN.

ImpactAlpha also gathered insight into the events of last week, capturing statements from private sector leaders on global development challenges.

Arif Naqvi, the founder of the Abraaj Group, is a thought leader in this space of business supporting sustainable development. The Abraaj group organized the Scaling Impact Investing Forum that took place during Global Goals Week, and Naqvi spoke at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum. Last week, Naqvi authored a blog for Reuters that outlined his roadmap for effective business investment in the SDGs, a respective shared throughout Global Goals Week.

Private Sector Forums & Summits

During Global Goals Week, a selection of events were held in response to the discontinuation of the Clinton Global Initiative, an annual forum held during the UN General Assembly that brought together government leaders and CEOs to discuss sustainability and announce commitments. The events that were held this year, focusing on cross-sector collaboration to achieve the Global Goals, include the Concordia Annual Summit, the World Economic Forum Sustainable Impact Summit, the Bloomberg Global Business Forum, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Goalkeepers report and event.

We highlight quotes and announcements from three of these events at Global Goals Week: the Concordia Annual Summit, the Bloomberg Global Business Forum, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Goalkeepers.



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