Hogan Lovells participates in Global Impact Forum marking the 75th session of the UN General Assembly

Earlier this month pro bono associate Rhian Lewis spoke on a panel moderated by the UN Youth Envoy, Jayathma Wickramanayake, at the Global Impact Forum, to mark the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

The Panel, comprising Young Sustainable Development Goal Innovators from across the world, discussed the question, "How might we promote and support youth to lead and innovate for the Sustainable Development Goals within their companies?". After watching two videos created by Irene Cortez and Mashook Chowdhury, the five Young SDG Innovators (Jerome Sanders, Morenno de Macedo, Oğuzhan Çelebi, Tshegofatso Kole and Rhian Lewis) explored barriers to innovation.

At the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, or "SDGs", a set of 17 goals which aspire to eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities and tackle climate change. These goals need to be achieved by 2030. Based on the current rate of change, these goals will not be met.

Rhian spoke about the need to move away from working in silos in order to create true impact on the SDGs. Exponential change will happen when we join together networks of people who are passionate about sustainability, and give responsibility and accountability to all individuals in an organisation to contribute to the SDGs. It will make the SDGs core business.

The group explored ways of communicating to young people in order to increase their participation in SDG innovation. From hackathons to comics about the rule of law, Hogan Lovells has participated in innovative ways of widening access to justice. The possibilities are endless in order to engage with young people about the SDGs. They will be formative if we are to achieve the Global Goals by 2030.

The Panel also discussed their experience of being United Nations Young SDG Innovators. Starting in 2019, the Hogan Lovells team, Rhian Lewis, Amy Cleaves and Fabienne Gress, took part in the UNGC Young SDG Innovators Programme, alongside over 300 innovators from businesses across the world.

During the programme the innovators learnt how to use the SDGs as a catalyst for positive change and collaborated with colleagues, under the mentorship of partner Alex Sciannaca, to develop a solution unique to the firm that will help drive the fulfilment of the SDGs through core billable work. They were given the opportunity to speak at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit this year, which was attended by over 20,000 people. 

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