Nomination fields for Groundbreaker category

To help plan your nomination, please review the nomination form questions below. If you would like to access this information in other languages, please use the translate option on the page.

About the Groundbreaker Nomination Category:

Groundbreaker: Outstanding individuals who have demonstrated revolutionary leadership in the development, delivery and implementation of a novel SDG program approach with a proven and considerable impact.

How to Nominate

To nominate an outstanding individual for the Groundbreaker Award Category please prepare a response to each section of the nomination form. All sections and questions are mandatory, except for those marked as ‘optional’. Only complete applications will be considered by the selection committee. Please note that the strongest entries will offer clear supporting evidence, such as photos and videos and endorsements from participants in your initiative.

This form has been prepared to assist applicants to prepare their application before submitting via the online application form if needed. For applicants encountering challenges with access to the internet, this form can be completed and sent in by post. Please see the instructions at the end if you need to submit a postal application.

1. Contact Information

Information you provide in this section will not be visible to the public.

  • Contact information of nominator:
    • Focal Point Name:
    • Focal Point Email:
  • Contact information of ‘Changemaker’ (if known):
    • Name:
    • Email: (optional)
2. Basic Information
  • Country where the nominee is active
  • City (optional)
  • Social Media handles of nominee:
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Instagram
    • Linkedin
    • Tiktok
    • Other
  • Link to nominee’s website or other digital platforms related to their work (optional)
  • How did you hear about the SDG Action Awards?
    • Social Media
    • UN SDG Action Campaign Newsletter
    • UN SDG Action Campaign Website
    • Word of mouth
    • Recommendation from a colleague/partner
    • Newsletter from a network you are a part of
    • Other
  • Which of the SDGs does the nominee’s work focus on?
    • List of SDGs 1-17
    • All SDGs
3. Story of the Nominee and their impact
Flip the Script is the idea of doing things differently to achieve real impact.
  • Pitch us your nominee’s story: (up to 200 words)
    • What is the aim and purpose of the nominee’s work?
    • How and when did it begin, what was the challenge they wished to address?
    • What is the impact/What has the nominee achieved?
    • How is the nominee’s work innovative/transformative?
    • Has the nominee’s initiative been replicated elsewhere and increased its reach?
    • How has the nominee demonstrated outstanding leadership?
  • How is the nominee ‘Flipping the Script’ and rewriting the story on what is possible? What new narrative does it have the power to create? (100 words)
4. Review criteria
  1. Impact: What is the impact of the nominee’s initiative? (e.g. numbers of people impacted, mobilized, number of sectors involved, policies/legislation/budgets influenced, tangible shifts in behaviors and in SDG achievement) (200 words) 
  2. Approach: How innovative is the nominee’s strategy? Is it a breakthrough idea, is the nominee approaching things in a totally new way? Does the nominee engage those at risk of being left behind? (200 words) 
  3. Scalability/Replicability: Does the nominee’s initiative have the potential to be scaled up and/or be replicated in other contexts to accelerate the achievement of the Goals? Is there any evidence that scaling up or replication is already taking place? (200 words) 
  4. Demonstrated leadership: How has the nominee demonstrated remarkable leadership? How has the nominee’s unique approach helped drive the impact achieved? (200 words) 
  5. How do you believe the nominee’s influence and impact would be affected, if they were to win an SDG Action Award? Has the nominee already received recognition or awards? (200 words)
5. Supporting Evidence & Documentation
  • Supporting Evidence: Please share links to articles, photos, videos, social media feeds, letters of recommendation or recognition, any public recognition or public comments that confirm the impact of the nominee’s initiative. Please ensure that any video and/or photo links are open access. (textbox)
6. Terms and Conditions

I consent to my personal data being stored and processed for the purpose of SDG Action Awards program. The contents submitted in this form may be used for public promotion, however personal data will be protected. I also consent to my data being used by the UN SDG Action Campaign for establishing contact. I will be given the option to unsubscribe from future mailings unrelated to the SDG Action Awards. My data will not be used for commercial purposes. I may withdraw my consent to the use of my personal data at any time by contacting

By submitting this form, I agree to the above-stated Terms and Conditions.

Now that you have prepared your nomination – please submit your responses here

Offline applications may be submitted by applicants in cases where access to the online application form is not accessible to individuals experiencing bandwidth limitations.

To submit an offline nomination please send all documentation by post to the address below before the nomination deadline. Only nominations which are postmarked on or before the nomination deadline will be considered by the selection committee. Please note that all postal fees are the responsibility of the applicant.

Nomination Deadline: 1 May 2022, with the application portal closing at 23:59 EST.

Nomination Mailing Address:
United Nations SDG Action Campaign
SDG Action Awards
Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1
53113 Bonn, Germany

Amina J. Mohammed

Deputy Secretary-General
Executive Office of the Secretary-General (EOSG)

Ms. Amina J. Mohammed is the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group.

Prior to her appointment, Ms. Mohammed served as Minister of Environment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria where she steered the country’s efforts on climate action and efforts to protect the natural environment.

Ms. Mohammed first joined the United Nations in 2012 as Special Adviser to former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with the responsibility for post-2015 development planning. She led the process that resulted in global agreement around the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the creation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Ms. Mohammed began her career working on the design of schools and clinics in Nigeria. She served as an advocate focused on increasing access to education and other social services, before moving into the public sector, where she rose to the position of adviser to four successive Presidents on poverty, public sector reform, and sustainable development.

Ms. Mohammed has been conferred several honorary doctorates and has served as an adjunct professor, lecturing on international development. The recipient of various global awards, Ms. Mohammed has served on numerous international advisory boards and panels. She is the mother of six children and has two grandchildren.



Mame Balla is a Senegalese singer, songwriter, and music producer based in Europe who sings about peace, environmental issues, the experiences of growing up in West Africa and more.

Mame Balla has worked with Bouba Ndour, producer and brother of the famous singer Youssou Ndour, with whom he released two internationally successful albums. Between his solo career and the former music groups Dancehall Masters and Darou Salam, Mame Balla has partnered with international artists of different music genres such as Senegalese pop singer Viviane, dancer Ndeye Geye, hip hop group Gokh-Bi System, and Dutch-Albanese rapper Jon Tarifa. He has also partnered with Polish and German artists for a jazz project, and performed with Congolese afrobeat singers in the Netherlands. Between 1999 and 2004, Mame Balla and his former group Dancehall Masters received awards as Best New Group and Best Group in The Gambia; and also received the prize Prix de l’intégration at a Senegalese hip-hop awards. Mame Balla took a course in music production at the State of Mic Studio in The Gambia. Performing with Pape Samory and Issa Ndiaye. 

Katlego Kai Kolanyane-Kesupile


Katlego Kai Kolanyane-Kesupile is an international award-winning cultural architect, communications specialist, performance artist, development practitioner and human rights advocate. OkayAfrica named her one of the 100 Most Influential Women of African Descent in 2018. Her accolades include being nominated for the US State Department’s International Women of Courage Award, a TED Fellow, Queen’s Young Leader, Chevening Scholar, Mandela Washington Fellow, and OutRight’s UN Religion Fellow. She holds a Sociology Masters in Human Rights, Culture, and Social Justice, with a focus on Disability Rights and Public Space Design, from Goldsmiths University of London, UK. Her published writing spans theatre, academic texts and policy analyses. 


Ms. Ponti is the Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign since July 2018.
Prior, Ms. Ponti served as Global Deputy Director and Regional Director for Europe for over a decade and was at the vanguard of innovative campaign initiatives, building multi-stakeholder coalitions, mobilizing resources and forging long-term partnerships between civil society organizations, local government, parliamentarians, media, the private sector and the UN.
Ms. Ponti served as an advocacy and resource mobilization specialist with UNICEF and the UN Secretariat. She also was Chief Operating Officer of Catapult -a girls and women’s right crowdfunding platform and as Special Advisor on post-2015 during the final negotiations of the Agenda 2030 for the global network Social Watch.
Ms. Ponti holds an MA in Political Science from the University of Milan and has completed an executive education programme from INSEAD in Global Management, Finance and Partnerships.

Ulrika Modéer

Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy (BERA) United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Ms. Ulrika Modéer officially began her role on 20 August 2018 as UNDP’s Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy. In this role she leads the organization in nurturing and growing key relationships with Member States, and new and emerging partners, as well as lead UNDP’s communications and advocacy, as it works to realize the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals. Ms. Modéer previously served as Sweden’s State Secretary for International Development Cooperation and Climate and has been instrumental in reshaping the country’s international development cooperation to support the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. She combines a strong policy background with parliamentary and civil society experience and has had several assignments in Latin America (Bolivia, Guatemala) and Africa (Mozambique/South Africa). Ms. Modéer holds a BA in International Relations from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.



Tolu Olubunmi is a Nigerian-born, American-raised chemical engineer turned political strategist, social entrepreneur and public speaker. She is the founder and CEO of the social impact venture, Lions Write. In 2018, Tolu was tapped by the Director-General of the UN Migration Agency (IOM) for a special appointment as Advisor to the UN Department of Global Communications and Manager of the Climate Action Campaign ActNow.  Tolu has established and led numerous NGOs and campaigns focused on education, migration, economic inclusion, sustainability, and climate change. She has worked closely with leaders in government, the private sector, and civil society to shift culture, influence public policy and build strategic and mutually beneficial partnerships – she served on the World Economic Forum’s Migration Council, co-founded Immigrant Heritage Month, and has helped draft and implement U.S. immigration policies.  

Tolu sits on the Board of Directors of the Anti-Defamation League, Board of Directors of USA for IOM. In 2015, the World Economic Forum named her one of 15 Women Changing the World and an Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur. Her inspiring personal story and work have been profiled by several media outlets, including BBC, MSNBC, TIME, CBS, US News and World Report. Tolu is an inaugural Leadership Institute Fellow at the Center for American Progress and holds a chemistry-engineering degree from Washington and Lee University. 

His Excellency Mr. Khalifa Jassim Al-Kuwari

Director General

Qatar Fund for Development

Since 2014, Khalifa Jassim Al-Kuwari has led the establishment, strategy-setting, partnerships, and funding programs of the Qatar Fund for Development in developing countries. Previously, Mr. Al-Kuwari was the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director – Joint Venture and International Business of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). He has been appointed to the boards of leading organisations, including: Harrods, Volkswagen Group, Fairmont Raffles Group, Songbird Real Estate, Qatar Exchange, Katara Hospitality, and Mowasalat. He holds an Executive MBA in Business Administration from the London Business School, an MBA in Accounting from Cleveland State University and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Qatar University. He graduated from the Leadership Development Program at Harvard Business School and Qatar Leadership Center.