🏆 Meet the Finalists of the UN SDG Action Awards Class of 2023

UN SDG Action Campaign
5 min readJul 15, 2023

The UN SDG Action Awards shines a spotlight on initiatives and individuals mobilizing, inspiring, and forging connections to work towards a brighter future, fostering a collective commitment to a sustainable world.

Imagine a future where the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals is within our reach. Our imaginations hold tremendous power, and when we harness our creativity and embrace our diversity based on trust and solidarity, we unleash the potential to work together and shape a sustainable world.

With this vision in mind, the UN SDG Action Campaign launched the UN SDG Action Awards to recognize and celebrate the efforts of initiatives and individuals.

This year’s ceremony on 24 July 2023, held in partnership with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, promises to be a momentous event where we will honor these remarkable individuals and initiatives which are mobilizing, inspiring and connecting people worldwide.

In 2023, a global call to action went out to the SDG action community worldwide, seeking initiatives and individuals who embody the spirit of mobilization, inspiration, and connection towards a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world. The response was overwhelming, with over 5,000 applications and nominations pouring in from 190 countries, showcasing a global commitment to positive change.

As we await the unveiling of the winners at the UN SDG Action Awards Ceremony, let us take a moment to recognize the incredible achievements of the 2023 Finalists. Their stories are not only inspiring, but also a testament to how much individuals and initiatives can change our world:

Mobilize Finalists

Empowering Women Entrepreneurs across Africa

ImpactHer addresses the gender gap in entrepreneurship in Africa, empowering over 7 million women across 53 African countries since its launch in 2017. Their efforts dismantle barriers, enabling women to contribute significantly to economic growth and sustainable development.

Joining Forces for a Cleaner World

World Cleanup Day, which began in Estonia as a local cleanup with 50,000 people in 2008, has evolved into a global movement. Over the past five years, an astonishing 70 million people have rallied for the cause, mobilizing in a united front for the SDGs. Their collective action demonstrates the power of people coming together to create positive change.

Inspire Finalists

Empowering Citizens for Climate Action

Inspiration can be a catalyst for positive urban change. Buenos Aires Climate Action engages and empowers citizens in climate action, envisioning a carbon-neutral, resilient, and inclusive city by 2050. With a reach of over three million people, they inspire individuals to make sustainable choices and actively participate in mitigating climate change.

Revolutionizing Urban Landscapes

Green Obsession represents a new urban philosophy that goes beyond design. Through transformative urban forestry strategies, they are shifting perspectives on the future of the global cityscape. Their work is an inspiration, reimagining the way we interact with nature in urban environments and promoting sustainability worldwide.

Connect Finalists

Bridging Divides for Empowerment

The International Rescue Committee’s Signpost initiative turns divisions into unity by connecting information providers with communities impacted by crises. By allowing communities to drive and control the content they receive, Signpost has reached 58 million people in more than 18 countries and 13 languages, empowering those most affected to access critical information.

Empowering Youth Voices

The Youth Parliament by Instituto Terroá in Brazil is breaking traditional boundaries and embracing the potential of every young person. By fostering inclusive youth participation and amplifying their voices, the Youth Parliament is driving positive change across the country. In just three years, they have reached five cities in different Brazilian states, impacting thousands of individuals and inspiring a generation to create a better future.

Changemaker Finalists

Empowering Youth Through Art

Changemakers are the driving force behind transformational change. Nazir Atul and Emmanuel Mushy empower talented youth in underrepresented African communities, transforming their skills into sustainable income opportunities. Through uniting people, fostering dialogue, and igniting creative expression, they inspire individuals to take action and make a positive impact.

Uniting Voices of Venezuelan Refugees for Change

Through her Voices of Venezuela initiative, Nery Santaella has reached thousands of Venezuelan migrants. Her ambition is to unite people to drive change and create a more equitable, efficient, and impactful humanitarian ecosystem. Through her efforts, she is empowering individuals to overcome challenges and contribute to a better future for all.

Honourable Mention

Championing Global Food Security

This year’s Honourable Mention goes to an extraordinary power couple who have not only achieved worldwide recognition as celebrities but have also dedicated themselves to ending world hunger and food insecurity. As UN IFAD Goodwill Ambassadors, Sabrina Dhowre Elba and Idris Elba advocate for sustainable food systems that cater to the needs of both farmers and consumers. Their voices have raised the profile of solutions to today’s challenges, mobilizing support for agricultural development. We honor their commitment to making a lasting impact on global food security.

Meet the UN SDG Action Awards Class of 2023

Judging Panel

The 2023 UN SDG Action Awards Panel of Judges consists of distinguished individuals from various sectors and backgrounds, including UN leadership, government representatives, grassroots activists, civil society, creatives, and impact-driven business champions.

Meet the 2023 UN SDG Action Awards Judges

UN SDG Action Awards Ceremony 24 July 2023

Tune in for the live broadcast of the UN SDG Action Awards Ceremony, an evening of celebration and performances, on 24 July 2023 at 18:30 CET where Finalists will be recognized and winners will be announced at a live ceremony in Rome, Italy.

Join us in celebrating the Finalists’ achievements and commit to creating a more inclusive, peaceful and sustainable world by 2030. United, we can make a difference!

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UN SDG Action Campaign

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