UNDP and HEART 17 launch platform to unite youth, artists and business to drive action on sustainable development

A new global initiative called HEART 17, launched in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), to bring together young people and the creative and private sectors to fight poverty, inequality and climate change.

HEART 17 will focus on building connections between youth, artists, creators, business leaders and changemakers to amplify voices and drive action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Power of Us digital platform of HEART 17 provides a space for people to collaborate on ways to take action on the issues that matter most to them. For one HEART 17 changemaker, Majd Assi, the platform is an excellent way to reach other activists to spur collective action.

“HEART 17 enabled everyone to become part of a global movement of hope and action. It also empowered us – the youth – to transcend our voices to inspire others worldwide,” Assi said. “The community motivated me to make positive changes in both my personal and professional life, which was so fulfilling to me knowing that it contributes towards achieving the SDGs and making a better future for humanity.”

“With fewer than 10 years to achieve the SDGs by the 2030 deadline, we need concrete action, especially in the time of the coronavirus pandemic, which threatens to turn back the clock on our development gains,” said Ulrika Modéer, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy, UNDP. “Having a platform to bring together youth and other leading voices from around the world and across different sectors is vital during this Decade of Action toward combating climate change and eliminating poverty and inequality.”

Launched on World Creativity and Innovation Day, HEART 17 partnered with the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm to kick off the initiative together with Sweden’s art and business world.

“It’s time for a new story. A story of hope. HEART 17 is a global initiative that celebrates human creativity and innovation to accelerate the Sustainable Development Goals. We unite people and aim to amplify voices of youth leaders, artists, business leaders, and other changemakers from across the globe,” says Anna Ryott, founder and chairperson of HEART 17.

With initial support from private sector partners H&M Foundation and EY, HEART 17 aims to grow its collaboration with global brands, leveraging their reach and creativity to inspire action and create real and lasting change around the world.


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