World Economic Forum Impact Summit to Accelerate Partnership for Successful Achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

06 Sep 2017

Fon Mathuros, Head of Media, Public Engagement, World Economic Forum, Tel.: +41 (0)79 201 0211;

· The first World Economic Forum Sustainable Development Impact Summit will be held in New York on 18-19 September

· Through 30+ working sessions, Summit aims to deliver immediate impact towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Paris Climate Change Agreement

· Over 500 participants from more than 60 countries and 160 organizations will focus on scaling up successful solutions and identifying opportunities to advance progress through the application of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies

· Successful achievement of the SDGs will require historic levels of cooperation between the public and private sectors. Some of the initiatives are the Global Deal, Fourth Sector Development, Global Battery Alliance

· For more information, see and follow the conversation at #wefimpact

Geneva and New York City, 6 September 2017 — The inaugural World Economic Forum Sustainable Development Impact Summit will take place in New York on 18-19 September 2017, with the aim of scaling up solutions and accelerating the deployment of technological innovations in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Paris climate agreement.

The two-day Summit will bring over 500 leaders from government, business and civil society together with those from social entrepreneurship and high-growth technology businesses, as well as leaders representing younger generations. The 30+ programme sessions will focus on three priorities: Increasing the impact of current multistakeholder initiatives, Catalysing new partnerships and alliances, and Exploring how the advanced technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution could be better leveraged for sustainable development.

The backdrop to the Sustainable Development Impact Summit is a belief that, despite strong initial support for the SDGs and Paris Agreement from governments and businesses, considerably more can be done by leveraging the power of public-private collaboration, especially by deploying the emerging technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“The Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Change Agreement represent a big step forward for international cooperation. Their success depends on the resources of the public and private sectors being deployed on a scale never before seen in history. The technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution have yet to be effectively harnessed for sustainable development or the protection of our planet and its resources. Collectively they possess the potential to deliver a new global transformation process built around inclusivity and humanity,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

To provide a framework for the outcome-oriented Summit, programme sessions will be built around the Forum’s 14 System Initiatives. Each System Initiative addresses a specific challenge that the Forum has identified as having the potential for breakthrough transformation through public-private cooperation. With each System Initiative serving as a platform for collaborative action on the part of government, business, international organizations, civil society and other actors, the Forum System Initiatives are highly supportive of the SDGs and the Paris Agreement. (Mapping of Forum System Initiatives vs SDGs)

Leaders participating in the Summit represent nations, organizations and businesses at the forefront of public-private cooperation. They include top-level representatives of United Nations, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Food Programme (WFP), the World Bank, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Inter-American Development Bank. The countries of Bhutan, Denmark, Iceland, Mauritius, Norway, Slovenia and Sweden are also represented. Businesses sending top-level participants include Bharti Enterprises, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Deloitte, Ericsson, Mozilla, Royal DSM, Royal Phillips, Salesforce and Unilever.

Representatives from civil society include the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Climate Group, NetHope, Oxfam International, PATH, Save the Children and United Way Worldwide, as well as labour leaders from UNI Global Union and the International Trade Union Confederation. Given their crucial role in promoting the Sustainable Development agenda, spiritual leaders and faith-based organizations are also participating in the Summit. They include the Baha'i International Community, the Forum for Peace in Islamic Societies, GreenFaith and World Council of Churches.

Leaders from the Forum communities of Global Shapers, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, Young Global Leaders and Technology Pioneers will participate with the aim of identifying how public-private cooperation and innovation could have a larger systemic impact in the areas in which they work.

The Co-Chairs for the Sustainable Development Impact Summit are: Marc R. Benioff, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Salesforce Inc., USA; Afsaneh M. Beschloss, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, The Rock Creek Group, USA; Ameenah Gurib-Fakin, President of the Republic of Mauritius; Marianne Eve Jamme, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, SpotOne Global Solutions, United Kingdom; Stefan Löfven, Prime Minister of Sweden; and Feike Sijbesma, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Managing Board, Royal DSM, Netherlands.

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All opinions expressed are those of the author. The World Economic Forum Blog is an independent and neutral platform dedicated to generating debate around the key topics that shape global, regional and industry agendas.

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