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Virgin Unite's Global Goals Alliance Enlisting 'People Power' to Help Fight for SDGs

Images credit: Global Goals Alliance

The 17 Global Goals (also known as the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs) launched late last month by the United Nations (UN) aim to achieve three main objectives in the next 15 years: end extreme poverty; fight inequality and injustice; and tackle climate change. Since the launch, various companies and leaders have pledged to do their part to achieve the goals; now, the latest push is to build worldwide public awareness of the goals through various efforts to “tell everyone” (#TellEveryone), including support from scores of celebrities:

One of the latest initiatives to increase public engagement with the SDGs is a new campaign from Virgin Unite — the charitable arm of the Virgin Group — and digital agency AKQA called the Global Goals Alliance, which invites everyone to claim their digital superhero costumes inspired by the SDGs; Sir Richard Branson and his children Holly and Sam Branson have led by example with custom versions of the heroes for decent work and economic growth, quality education, and climate action, respectively.

The Branson Family Superheroes

“The superest power is people power,” proclaims the campaign, which invites regular citizens to become everyday superheroes in support of the SDGs via the website and free mobile app.

Virgin Unite explained that the campaign is to make each goal memorable and remind people that “we can all be everyday superheroes if we work towards making a better world and support the goals.” Once you have created an avatar, you can save it or share it directly to Facebook or Twitter.

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There has been a flurry of talk surrounding the launch of the SDGs, such as the need to adapt the role of business — but increasing engagement is the first step: Recent research suggests that many executives still are not convinced of the Goals' significance to their business. However, momentum is already building in the form of tools and resources such as The SDG Compass, launched last month by GRI, the UN Global Compact, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), to help businesses align their strategies with the Goals. Meanwhile, businesses are already starting to create disruptive models of production and consumption and forming strategic partnerships that are effectively creating positive change around the world. 


Hannah Furlong is an Editorial Assistant for Sustainable Brands, based in Canada. She is researching the circular economy as a Master's student in Sustainability Management at the University of Waterloo and holds a Bachelor's in Environment and Business Co-op. Hannah… [Read more about Hannah Furlong]

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