GLOBAL CITIZEN FESTIVAL
THE STAR-STUDDED CONCERT THAT INSPIRED MILLIONS TO TAKE ACTION!
The Global Citizen Festival united 60,000 festival-goers for a day of celebration and kick-started the UN’s Global Goals – 17 goals that we must all work towards over the next 15 years to help create a bright future.
The Global Citizen Festival was a day of true celebration – celebrating what our planet means to us and discovering how we can help build a better world for our children and future generations. The festival gave a voice to hundreds of thousands of Global Citizens and organisers confirmed that, by the end of the night, more than 92 million actions (digital acts of advocacy, such as Tweets, Facebook posts, online petitions and more) had been taken.
The festival set out to meet two very important objectives: to make the UN’s 17 Global Goals famous and to build a lasting movement to ensure they are achieved in the next 15 years. Under the leadership of Festival Music Curator, Chris Martin (lead singer of Coldplay), the festival line-up included support from global superstars: Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran, Pearl Jam and Coldplay.
A historic gathering of world leaders and prominent activists took the stage in-between the acts to help make the dream of ending extreme poverty by 2030 a reality. Lead by the attendance of US Vice President, Joe Biden; and US First Lady, Michelle Obama, speakers included Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Malala Yousafzai; UN Messenger of Peace, Leonardo DiCaprio; U2 lead singer and co-founder of ONE, Bono; UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon; and many more. In total, the commitments made will affect the lives of almost 100 million adults and children around the world.
Michelle Obama chose the event to announce her new campaign: 62 Million Girls, in partnership with Girl Rising and Edelman. The campaign, named after the number of girls around the world who are not in school, is the latest part of the Let Girls Learn initiative that the Obamas launched earlier this year. She urged supporters to post photos of themselves on Twitter and Instagram and share what they learned in school using #62milliongirls. The campaign gained unprecedented support from the public, with celebrities also Tweeting and doing their part to help spread the word.
Leading advocates from the private sector also stood with Global Citizen, including Unilever CEO, Paul Polman; and CEO of Gucci, Marco Bizzarri. 200 leading companies and distribution-channels have pledged to reach over 1.5 billion people around the world to spread awareness of the Global Goals and urge people to become Global Citizens and take action.
In Paul Polman’s address to the audience of 60,000 festival attendees (plus millions more around the world, watching the concert live via live stream) he spoke of the importance of businesses today, taking a sustainable approach:
“Business can be the biggest contributor to ending poverty or it can be one of the biggest causes of the challenges we are facing. There is no business case for enduring poverty. We need a new way: open, inclusive and sustainable. That’s the business model of the future.”
Admission to the festival was earned by people registering to become Global Citizens and taking several ‘Action Journeys’ on the Global Citizen website. These included making phone calls, volunteering, and participating in efforts to encourage up to 50% of the U.S. foreign aid budget going to the world’s poorest countries. The energy and enthusiasm of those who attended the festival was unparalleled. Their passion to incite change is the foundation to ensuring the 17 Global Goals succeed.
Backstage at the festival, celebrities and VIPs were also showing their support and helping to spread the word about the Global Goals. Actress, Camren Bicondova, backing Goal number 1 to end extreme poverty, said: “People should get behind these goals because they involve everybody; boys and girls, toddlers and adults.” Gary White, in support of Goal number 6: Clean Water & Sanitation, reminded us: "The number one reason why people should support Goal number 6 is because water is the foundation of everything!"
Unilever and our brands are already contributing to several of the goals through our Sustainable Living Plan and we were on site, ready to share our stories and explain how we are helping to create a bright future.
Lifebuoy was at the festival to explain about the importance of hand washing with soap and the role safe hygiene practices in saving lives. Indian Bollywood actress and Lifebuoy’s ‘Help A Child Reach 5’ campaign ambassador, Kajol, took the stage to show her support for the Global Goals. Along with Myanmar singer and actress Chit Thu Wai, VIP attendees were invited to pledge their support on our big ‘pledge wall’. Lifebuoy has already taught over 257 million children, mothers and health workers around the world about the importance of washing hands with soap to combat infections like diarrhoea and pneumonia - the top two causes of deaths in children under the age of five.
Domestos, in collaboration with UNICEF and WaterAid, invited VIP attendees to experience the ‘SeeThrough Toilet’ - a mirrored toilet cubicle with a difference. From the outside, it is a mirror but from the inside, you can see everything happening outside around you. This gave visitors the opportunity to experience what it feels like, sitting on a toilet out in the open, and brings home just how real the problems of lack of access to safe and private sanitation facilities are for the one billion people, who have to practice open-defecation. In support of Global Goal 6, and as part of our Sustainable Living Plan, Domestos have committed to help 25 million people gain improved access to a toilet by 2020.
The festival is over but it doesn’t end here! We believe the best is yet to come and this is the moment to act. It’s up to all of us to tell everyone about the #globalgoals for a #brightfuture. Visit: www.globalcitizen.org to get involved.