#SDGAwards: a look back at those who inspire us

UN SDG Action Campaign
4 min readJan 23, 2019


We are loving the 10 year challenge! The UN SDG Action Awards are still young, but we want to join in on the fun by sharing the amazing stories from our current UN SDG Action Awards winners and finalists.

The #SDGAwards recognize every year the most innovative, impactful and transformative initiatives and organizations by individuals, civil society organizations, subnational governments, foundations, networks, and private sector leaders, who are working on building a global movement of action for the SDGs.

This year, there are seven categories: Mobilizers, Storytellers, Campaigners, Connectors, Visualizers, Includers, Creatives, and the People’s Choice Award.

The call for submissions closes on January 30th of 2019 and the winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony a few months later on the first night of the SDG Global Festival of Action, which takes place in Bonn on 2–4 May.

In the end, achieving the SDGs is not only about one moment, but a long-term commitment, and to make the community around them bigger and stronger every year.

We have already received hundreds of incredible applications for this year’s Awards, and we want to inspire more changemakers around the world to take a chance and apply for the #SDGAwards. What better way to inspire a new generation than celebrating our current winners, finalists, and their impactful and inspiring projects and organizations?

Let’s celebrate them!

Unreasonable Goals

First up is David Smith, who received the UN #SDGAwards on behalf of the Unreasonable Goals, a project that aims at including entrepreneurs in the creation of solutions to achieve the SDGs by creating networks and connections to governments and other stakeholders, and mentoring sessions in order to create sustainable models.

David Smith received the #SDGAward on behalf of the Unreasonable Goals, a mentoring and network project that will be running every year through 2030.

Get to know more about the Unreasonable Goals here:


Daughters of Bangladesh

Lucile Stengel received the UN SDG Action Awards on behalf of Lensational for their project “Daughters of Bangladesh”.

We recently caught up with Lucile Stengel from Lensational, winners of the Storyteller UN SDG Action Award, for their project “Daughters of Bangladesh”.

Since winning the awards, the organization has been scaling up, she told us. They’ve developed corporate projects that include partnering up with firms like Standard Chartered, Colgate, and Samsung. They are building a new mentoring program and trainings and have expanded their volunteer program. Lensational has also appointed their first Chief Operating Officer (COO).

Their award-winning “Daughters of Bangladesh” empowers daughters of garment workers by training them to direct and take center stage in a documentary about their lives.

Winning the UN SDG Action Awards in the Storyteller category gave a platform to the girls’ film, and helped inform wider audiences about the garment sector in Bangladesh, and how it affects women. It was also a confirmation that the work we do is important, and that there is an audience for it.

2019 seems to be building up as an exciting year for the current winners of the Storytelling category. They are launching new projects and programs:

We are launching our mentoring programs, which will provide long-term and continuous support to our photographers and videographers. We’re also launching our mobile photography strategy, which will allow us to reach more women on the ground. Finally, we’ve planned some excellent content releases — we’re releasing new photographs for sale, revamping the website to showcase these amazing products, and we are really happy to announce the launch of our very first photo book!

Get to know more about “Daughters of Bangladesh” here: https://sdgactioncampaign.org/sdg-action-awards-2018-finalists/daughters-of-bangladesh/

The Road to Rights

Ashan Perera received the UN SDG Award on behalf of his organization, The Road to Rights.

The Road to Rights won the People’s choice Award at the 2018 UN SDG Action Awards. This is a project that works on youth empowerment with a Human Rights approach.

Last year, Ashan Perera received the award on behalf of the organization and shared with us what it meant to be one of the winners.

Learn more about The Road to Rights here:


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Official account of the UN SDG Action Campaign, aiming to mobilize, inspire & connect a movement to #FlipTheScript for the #GlobalGoals