SDG exhibition: Facing up to the big global challenges

The British Council is currently hosting an exhibition in its London headquarters – and online – about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Adopted by the 193 member countries of the UN in September, the SDGs comprise a new set of 17 goals that are designed to end poverty, combat climate change, advance gender equality and make significant progress in a host of other crucial areas. 

Also known as the Global Goals, the SDGs set the world’s development agenda to 2030 and are also expected to help shape the agendas and policies of each UN member state for the next 15 years. 

While responsibility for their implementation ultimately rests with governments, they represent a shift in thinking about sustainable development. The SDGs call for action not only from government and civil society but also from the private sector. They involve developing and developed countries alike. And they require action from all of us. 

In recognition, the British Council is raising awareness of the importance of the SDGs through these complimentary exhibitions.

The exhibits will take you on a journey through the events that have shaped global thinking on sustainable development

They also showcase some of the ways in which the British Council will support progress on the SDGs through our work, supporting opportunities for skills development and lifelong learning and promoting fair and inclusive societies. Below are several examples. 

One of the Global Goals (Goal 4) is concerned with ensuring inclusive and quality education for all and lifelong learning. In many parts of the world, one skill that is essential for access to meaningful employment is speaking English. ‘Teach India,’ our partnership with the Times of India and Indian NGOs, works with young Indians from disadvantaged urban backgrounds to develop their English language skills, vastly improving their chances of entering the workplace. 

The British Council is also employing less traditional means to address the world’s big challenges, such as mainstreaming social enterprise and social investment. This will help to achieve progress on Goal 8, which promotes sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all, and Goal 10 which seeks to reduce inequality within and amongst countries. Read here for more on the role that social enterprise can play on the SDGs. 

As the UK’s cultural relations agency we believe that intercultural dialogue is a powerful tool that can increase co-operation, improve decision making and leadership skills, and generate effective and sustainable social action.  Our Active Citizens programme has trained over 130,000 people in skills and knowledge needed to affect social change in their communities and connects thousands of like-minded people around the world who want to make a fairer and more inclusive society, the essence of Goal 16.  

How to get involved

Visit our Exhibition at British Council, 10 Spring Gardens, London, SW1A 2BN (near Trafalgar Square), open until 8 April 2016

Not in London? Then visit our online SDG exhibition (see link below). 

And tell us what you think by joining the conversation on social media #SDGs