Continuous evidence has pointed to the fact that global development goals will not be reached unless we concentrate on building resiliency in the most vulnerable communities. In recent years, several countries which were on track to reach their targets were derailed by humanitarian situations, such as war, natural disasters, and health epidemics. People around the world are unable to reach their full potential because of lack of education, health services, sanitation, jobs etc.
In September 2015, countries ratified the new Global Sustainable Development Agenda, with the target of creating a better world for people and planet and leaving no one behind. This presents the opportunity for renewed energy for global action to build a more equal and peaceful world. The United Nations will play a key role in coordinating new partnerships for action with governments, the private and public sector.
2015 is also the year when “Virtual Reality” (VR) technologies hit the consumer market. For the past year, the SDG Action Campaign (formerly known as the United Nations Millennium Campaign) has coordinated the Virtual Reality Series Project to bring the world’s most pressing challenges home to decision makers and global citizens around the world, pushing the bounds of empathy.
Building upon its mandate to amplify the voices of those who are often unheard, particularly the world’s most vulnerable, the project seeks to show the human story behind development challenges, allowing people with the power to make a difference have a deeper understanding of their world, and hopefully to act to make a difference.
In addition to showcasing the VR experience at high-level UN meetings, the SDG Action Campaign is working with partners to create advocacy platforms, awareness and fundraising campaigns. By sharing these VR experiences the SDG Action Campaign is searching for partners who similarly hope to inspire change that improves peoples’ lives and creates the world we all want.
On the eve of the Third International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria, Clouds Over Sidra was shown to top donors and decision makers. Commitments originally projected 2.2 billion USD pledged; the conference ended up raising 3.8 billion USD, 1.2 billion USD more than the year before.
UNICEF is pilot testing Clouds Over Sidra with its face-to-face fundraisers on the streets of 40 different countries to measure the effectiveness of Virtual Reality as a fundraising tool. To date, 1 in 6 people viewing the experience have made donations to UNICEF, twice the normal rate of giving.
Waves of Grace was integrated into the Secretary-General’s International Ebola Recovery Conference, which raised $5.2 billion in pledges.