The Sustainable Development Festival, an initiative of the Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development (ASviS), is a unique experience that mobilizes millions of people in Italy across all sectors of society raising awareness on SDGs since 2017. The Festival wants to give voice to citizens, businesses, public administrations, universities and civil society in order to foster dialogue on the 2030 Agenda, stimulating an unprecedented reflection on the future.
In 2020, for the first time the festival became global as a result of collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the network of Italian embassies, together with international organizations and foreign embassies based in Italy. The festival included over 800 initiatives and over 75 events in Italian embassies in over 30 countries and five continents. The call to action was #oradiagire (“It’s time to act”), highlighting the importance of transforming promises into concrete action to foster a resilient recovery from the pandemic. The festival took place in hybrid format, with speakers present on location and viewers connected via livestream reaching millions of people. The events included conferences, concerts, cultural events, exhibits, documentaries and much more to offer a greater reflection on the future we want. Over its first 4 editions the Festival reached more than 81 million people through social media and over 200 million contacts through national television.
The awareness raised by the Festival has contributed to bring sustainability at the forefront of the national dialogue, both in people’s everyday lives and in the political discourse: the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, the Governor of Bankitalia and many others attended the various editions and took into consideration the proposals that emerged from the Festival to shape national policies – showing that even through the pandemic, the Festival is mobilizing civil society. The next festival will be launched with the annual ASviS Report that assesses how Italy performs in the implementation of the SDGs. Moreover, in order to involve younger generations far from the institutional mood, it will showcase national-level concerts engaging artists across all sectors as SDGs Ambassadors.