The Power of Coffee: Convening Geneva’s SDG Actors in 2022

During 2022, the SDG Lab convened nine SDG Community Coffees, bringing together some 180 participants and guest speakers from International Geneva’s vast network of organizations focused on bringing the Sustainable Development Goals to life.
The Power of Coffee: Convening Geneva’s SDG Actors in 2022

The SDG Community Coffee is a monthly event to network, get inspired, and converse with passionate individuals working towards the SDGs in Geneva and beyond. Speakers and participants at the monthly Community Coffees hail predominantly from the United Nations system (25%), academia (23%), and NGOs (21%)1.

The SDG Lab at UN Geneva, in partnership with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), convene the Geneva SDG Community to enhance the unique potential of Geneva’s ecosystem by: connecting its diverse SDG community; mobilizing knowledge and making it more accessible; and fostering innovation for policy and practice.

Studies have underlined the importance of networks, especially as they help catalyze linking knowledge with action, enhance collective action, and promote social learning.  

“We are all busy working on our respective parts of the sustainable development portfolio, and the Geneva SDG Community provides members with an informal and easy way to stay connected with colleagues and our common goals,” said Trine Schmidt, Manager of the Geneva SDG Community.

Although the SDG Lab through the Geneva SDG Community has been working on key cross-cutting enablers of SDG implementation – such as sustainable finance, data challenges and digitalization for the SDGs – these monthly gatherings present an opportunity to deep dive across numerous SDGs. This year’s monthly gatherings were centered on the various themes:

1.    The Art of Community Building (SDG 17)

2.    Partnering to Address SDG Data Challenges (SDG 17)

3.    Young People Driving Climate Action (SDG 10, SDG 13, SDG 17)

4.    2022 UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (SDG 4, SDG 5, SDG 14, SDG 15, SDG 17)

5.    Sustainable Finance (SDG 13, SDG 17)

6.    Fostering Innovation for the SDGs (SDG 9)

7.    Towards COP27 (SDG 3, SDG 13, SDG 14, SDG 15)

8.    Peace, Justice, and Gender Equality (SDG 5, SDG 10, SDG 16)

9.    SDG Action in 2022 (SDG 4, SDG 13, SDG 16, SDG 17)

Through some of the discussions that took place at these meetings, some partnerships were established and initiatives launched. For example, at April’s Community Coffee, the importance of data challenges for achieving the Global Goals emerged as a relevant topic that required further discussion and analysis by the community.

This led to the launch of the “Geneva SDG Data Forum” – an informal partnership manifested by panel discussions on practices, challenges, and futures of SDG data. The forum was convened by SDG Lab, the Graduate Institute of Geneva, and Deloitte, and is scheduled to continue in 2023.

“Before attending these events, I thought I had a good idea of who made up International Geneva and who was working on the SDGs,” said Monique Beerli, Executive Director and Research Affiliate at the Geneva Graduate Institute’s Global Governance Centre. “Turns out the galaxy of the International Geneva SDG space is far more expansive than I realized, and I have these gatherings to thank for bringing me to see that infinitude.”

Sign up to get notified on future community events here.

1 Individuals from the private sector (12%), independents (8%), government (5%), and other international organizations (6%) are also represented.

Partnerships For the Goals
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