15i Dialogues, Ideas for a Sustainable World Beyond 2015” is an initiative of the SDG Fund, Instituto Cervantes and the Network of Universities Against Poverty. It will bring, in the lead-up to a new development agenda to be agreed on in September 2015, specialists, professionals, activists, entrepreneurs and academics to share ideas for a sustainable world. See past and coming 15i dialogues.

Dialogue 2. New Actors for a New Agenda

October 20, 2015 , 7:00 pm

Cervantes Institute, 211 E 49th Street, New York, NY 10017


The 2030 Agenda, the global roadmap for sustainable development set for roll-out in January 2016, will feature new players and will redefine the way actors interact with each other to build a better world. The success of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will depend largely on the ability to build partnerships between national governments, international organizations, the private sector, NGOs and civil society, and likely religious groups. In this context, the United Nations must play a catalytic role if we are to better engage and bring “everyone” to the table.

These were some of the insights from ‘New Actors for a New Agenda’, the second event in the series ‘15i Dialogues, ideas for a sustainable world beyond 2015’, hosted by the Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG-F) at the Cervantes Institute in New York, on October 20. During the session moderated by NY1 News anchor Juan Manuel Benitez, panelists shared their views on the how both public and private sector entities can play a role and how we can involve new stakeholders, make an impact on poverty and actually measure results.

After brief remarks by Ignacio Olmos, the Director of the Cervantes Institute, and Rebekah Kosinski of the SDG-F, economist Sonia Balcazar, Consulting Associate at Synergos, suggested that extractive industries which are traditionally seen as a source of conflict rather than opportunity can have a transformational impact on reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity in the framework of the SDGs. She noted that about 3.5 billion people live in countries rich in oil, gas or minerals, and that many of these countries also suffer from poverty and corruption from weak governance. Balcazar considers Agenda 2030 to be a useful framework to promote more transparent management of extractive industry revenues and to provide benefits for local people in respect of both community needs and the environment.

For Sergio Fernandez de Cordova, Chairman and Co-Founder of PVBLIC Foundation, the new Agenda represents a great opportunity to build stronger public-private partnerships. He explained that corporate culture continues to dictate better social practices and has made companies more conscious of the environment. However, more effort must be made to highlight successful examples of programmes and to attract a new generation of young entrepreneurs interested in global issues. To this end, he underscored the role of media and campaigns such as the UN Media for Social Impact to drive these partnerships.

Sustainable Development Goals for a new generation

Maggie Mitchell Salem, Executive Director of Qatar Foundation International, agreed on building partnerships between public and private sectors, NGO, academia and civil society to achieve the SDGs. She highlighted the need for “real receptivity” in discussions about funding for sustainable development, and the need to break stereotypes if we are to allow all actors to be part of the solution against poverty and inequality. Mitchell Salem considered it a mistake to view the rich as part of the problem and reiterated the need for education to play a key role for the Agenda 2030 principles –especially with new generations.

Raul de Mora from the SDG Fund spoke of the need for an expanded understanding of the goals. While people often refer to the SDGs as “Global Goals” particularly in media, the goals are first and foremost an agenda for local action. In fact, it’s important to recognize that local challenges can turn into global challenges, especially with issues such as climate change, the Ebola crisis, or the most recent refugee crisis. With this in mind, we need to create platforms where all relevant local actors can participate and like the SDG-F programmes, we need to incorporate national and local committees to better engage partners and manage activities. In addition, matching funds are important for national and local governments to help increase the programme’s sustainability and offer a greater potential to scale.

The SDG Fund in collaboration with the Cervantes Institute initiated the series ‘15i Dialogues, ideas for a sustainable world beyond 2015’ in an effort to catalyze some of the discussion on the new Agenda for Sustainable Development, bringing together specialists, professionals, activists, entrepreneurs and academics to address issues pertaining to sustainable development and to explore ways in which we can respond more effectively and efficiently to the ongoing challenges on the ground. The idea is to exchange innovative ideas and experiences on how to implement the universal plan for people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership. We hope to encourage open and equal debate and invite people to share their constructive thoughts and feedback pertaining to the implementation of the new development framework. It may be an ambitious agenda but it’s on that is definitely worth pursuing.

Join the conversation


Twitter: #15idialogues@sdgfund

To submit your questions and thoughts through Twitter:
#15idialoues @sdgfund
Web: newyork.cervantes.org / www.sdgfund.org

Dialogue 1. Development Cooperation – New actors, new challenges

September 15, 2014 , 7pm

Instituto Cervantes of Nueva York, 211 East 49th Street, New York, NY 10017


The world has progressed and changed substantially in recent decades. How to guarantee a world that is socially, economically and environmentally sustainable is a question that governments, specialists, academics, businesses, and citizens around the world are trying to answer. As part of this debate, the UN is working on a package of Sustainable Development Goals to be adopted in 2015 for fifteen years. With that goal, it has been launched a broad consultation process with the inspirational call “the world we want 2015”.

In this line, the recently created UN Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG-F, http://www.sdgfund.org) and the Instituto Cervantes will organize a set of open 15i dialogues throughout the year in which specialists, professionals, activists, entrepreneurs and academics will propose ideas for a more sustainable world. In the equation 15i, ¨i¨ stands for ideas, imagination, inspiration, but also for innovation, inclusion and interaction. 15i dialogues will be organized as a set of interactive dialogues where attendees, both face-to-face or virtually, will be able to engage on the topics discussed by submitting questions and posting their comments.

The cycle will start September 15 with a dialogue entitled ¨Development Cooperation – New actors, new challenges¨ that will set the stage for future dialogues.


  • Bruno Moro, Director, Sustainable Development Goals Fund. Based on a development career of more than 30 years at the United Nations, Mr. Moro will share how he sees development cooperation changing and what initatives have contributed to tackle problems such as poverty, climate change or exclusion in countries where he has worked.
  • Daniel Runde, director of the Project on Prosperity and Development and William A. Schreyer Chair in Global Analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C., will describe political and historical approaches to new challenges for development cooperation, including new priorities and new actors.
  • Jeffery Huffines, CIVICUS Representative in New York, will share how civil society is actively engaging in the post 2015 discussions and how civil society is evolving as a development partner and its role in this new development agenda.
  • Annette Richardson, from the United Nations Office for Partnerships, will describe how the private sector is finding new ways to participate in development initiatives that are inclusive and sustainable in the long-run.
  • David Ito, director of Tombo Productions and producer of humanitarian and development aid documentaries, will moderate this first 15i dialogue and will share his thoughts on how this new development landscape can be communicated and presented in a way that will encourage communities, governments and citizens to get involved and engage on these issues.

In future dialogues, 15i will bring ideas and experiences on how to achieve greater gender equality, environmental sustainability, reducing inequalities and using the worldview of indigenous peoples to better understand the challenges of development. If you are looking to be inspired, excited to get involved or even have your own ideas about how to build a more sustainable world, we invite you to join us and make a difference to the future.

Dialogues 15i will also be available online (www.sdgfund.org), where you can access the dialogues and participate in the conversations.

Contact information to register:

 RSVP: dialogues@sdgfund.org
To submit your questions and thoughts through Twitter:
#15idialoues @sdgfund
Web: newyork.cervantes.org / www.sdgfund.org

Do you want to suggest topics for future dialogues? Do you have questions for the discussion?

Write us at: dialogues@sdgfund.org

You can also submit your questions and thoughts through Twitter:

#15idialogues @sdgfund