UNLEASH talents produces podcast on the SDGs

Author: James Armour, UNLEASH 2019 talents and co-host of SDGTalks

In 2019, I flew from Copenhagen, Denmark to Shenzhen, China with a lot of excitement and high hopes. I had been lucky enough to be selected for the third edition of UNLEASH. At this point, I didn’t know anything about the person I was going to share a room with for the next 5 days let alone that I would meet my now podcast co-host Kevin Sofen, but I knew I was in for a ride. Over the next five days I was going to work together with 1,000 global talents hand-picked from around the world brought together under one common banner: UNLEASHING innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals.

Days were long, and we spent time in our teams from sunrise until well after dark ideating and sparring around our potential solutions. Amongst the havoc of these days, we would find mental respite over buffet lunches with our peers. However, even during these times I ended up finding myself working on a different idea. What started as a small idea to promote individual work around the SDGs has grown into a running platform with weekly stories and this is something we never anticipated.

Our initial idea was simple. We wanted to develop a speaking platform for great SDG talents to share their amazing stories and efforts. We saw a physical space where local communities could gather, and the power of the internet could broadcast these stories from around the world. But our road to this dream required the development of the community and the development of the appetite for these stories, which is where our podcast was born and SDGTalks began.

Each week we bring in something new, having taken on Water Technology with Muhammad Miqdad (SDG #6) to Indigenous Voices with Thiago Jesus (SDG #11). In a recent episode, we invited on zoologist and filmmaker Deya Ward to discuss deforestation, orangutans and SDG15: Life on Land. Deya delves into the drivers behind the loss of habitats for these species in Indonesia but also the quirky stories of what’s being done to help, such as the work of non-profit ASRI which has set up a clinic on the border of the significant Gunung Palung National Park to provide villagers with near free healthcare for villages which stop logging. These villages can then pay any fees through non-cash options including seedlings or reforestation labour, to avoid the resortion to illegal logging to afford medical fees. The full episode can be found here and the main page links all the other episodes we have released through Apple and Spotify.

Now we would like to grow this platform further and reach out to even more amazing stories from you talents. If you or a friend would make a great story around the UN SDGs, SDGTalks wants to hear from you! Let’s grow this SDG community and accelerate the road to 2030 together. Please find us at [email protected] if you would like to get involved.