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Project Everyone Aims to Engage 7 Billion People in the UN Development Goals in 7 Days

In September, The United Nations will launch its post-2015 Development Agenda, which outlines ambitious targets that include ending extreme poverty, promoting equity within and among countries, and addressing climate change on a global scale by 2030.

Project Everyone wants to ensure that every person on Earth is aware of these new global sustainable development goals. A venture initiated by Richard Curtis, filmmaker and founder of Comic Relief, Project Everyone aims to share the goals with seven billion people over seven days. From September 25th to October 1, 2015, the goal is "to get a snappy explanation of the goals onto every website, TV station, cinema, school, radio station, newspaper, magazine, billboard, newsletter, noticeboard, pinboard, milk carton and mobile phone.”

I asked Project Everyone co-founder Gail Gallie to tell us a bit more about its mission and ways we can all get involved.

What was the inspiration behind Project Everyone?

GG: Richard Curtis felt that an informed world stands a better chance of tackling the major problems facing our generation: poverty, inequality, and combating climate change.

How will spreading awareness of the UN Development Goals help to accomplish them?

GG: Mass awareness will provide a rich territory for our partners, such as Global Citizen, ONE and Save the Children, to engage people to take campaigning actions, That means different things in different territories, from showing support on Facebook, to joining a march, to signing a petition holding a leader to keep their word.

Which brands are already behind the project, and how are they planning to spread word of the goals?

GG: Virgin Group, Google, Pearson, Kodak, Aviva, Standard Chartered, The Royal Mail and Vodaphone are just some of the brands already behind the project. Brands can support by sponsoring content, carrying the goals on their assets and advertising, engaging their employees; anything and everything is welcome.

What does it mean to make the goals “culturally and locally engaging”? How is this accomplished in wealthier nations, where people may not feel they are directly affected?

GG: We have set up a network of hubs all over the world to make sure we are presenting the goals from a relevant perspective. What matters to people in India is different from what matters to those in Brazil, and how people feel about government’s ability to affect change also differs wildly, from enthusiasm and confidence, to outright cynicism. Our campaign is bottom-up as well as top-down, and as such should feel local as well as global.

How can people become involved in and contribute to Project Everyone?

GG: Project Everyone needs everyone! Personally and professionally you can help us spread the goals. Look at the website and see whether there is a pillar you can contribute to, or sign up to become a global citizen with our partners from the Global Citizen Movement.

Importantly, the project is currently recruiting leading brands to help spread the word. On May 18th, ‘Camp Everyone’ will convene brand communicators and “creative mavericks” for a two-day workshop to develop ideas and tools that make the goals accessible across cultures and geographies. Using the Swarm 'hive' method, a collaborative experiential learning program, participants will co-design the Project Everyone launch, prototype concepts to build the movement, and develop creative communication and collaboration skills. The ‘hive’ event, from the 18th to 20th of May will be held at the stunning West Lexham a couple of hours east of London. We are also planning a possible NYC version of the event in June.

Email me at [email protected] to register.

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