More than 1,000 business leaders, policy-makers, leaders from international and civil society organizations, innovators and social entrepreneurs will meet at the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Sustainable Development Impact Meetings to be kicked off on 18-22 September in New York as part of initiatives driving progress on specific SDGs.
They will build momentum for supportive multistakeholder action on achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
With the world facing a challenging economy, geopolitical tensions, and the deepening effects of the climate and nature crises, achieving the SDG targets set out in 2015 are currently not on track. According to the UN, progress on more than 50% of the targets is weak, stalled, or backsliding. The private and civil sectors must play a key role, alongside governments, in supporting and accelerating sustainable development, said the new report of WEF.
“In order to achieve the SDG targets by 2030, significant innovative efforts are still required”, said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum. “Through the Sustainable Development Impact Meetings, which bring together governments, business and civil society, we aim to make a tangible contribution for creating a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient world”.
Participants will convene in person and engage in a series of carefully curated discussions to advance the communities’ work on specific areas of the 17 SDGs. The robust programme includes key areas such as accelerating the reskilling revolution, harnessing artificial intelligence (AI) for better jobs, improving access to nutrition, advancing the energy transition, responding to the climate and nature crises, supporting the social economy, advancing gender equality, and promoting digital and data-driven health.
The meetings will inform the next steps of key initiatives such as the First Movers Coalition, the Edison Alliance and the Reskilling Revolution, as well as see the launch of new coalitions on food security and investment in frontier markets ahead of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2024 in January in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.
Several sessions will be livestreamed to share key insights with members of the media and the public. These can be accessed on the Forum website and include a special session on strengthening food value chains in Africa with William Samoei Ruto, President of Kenya; Janet L. Yellen, Secretary of the Treasury of the United States; Samantha Power, Administrator of USAID; Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank (AfDB); Nathaniel Scott, Deputy Director, Rural and Economic Development Office of USAID; Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Minister of International Development of Norway; and Børge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum.
The meetings will also see the release of new insights, including a report on critical sectors for a nature-positive economy, the impact of generative AI on jobs and the Chief Economists Outlook, as well as feature a virtual reality space on climate tipping points through the Global Collaboration Village to catalyse action.