With over 6000 responses to the #futurevote survey, our partnership in China has delivered outstanding results. We recently caught up with Bei Wang and Alex Wang, who have helped us build Chinese participation in our online consultations.
“As we come to the end of the project, I am extremely happy with the results which have gone beyond my expectations. I believe this shows that sustainability is very relevant for China, and I am looking forward to seeing how our partnership will evolve in the future. My approach to outreach was divided into two stages. I began by contacting several organisations who, due to the relevance and accessible nature of the content, helped to generate a buzz around the survey quite extensively. It was during this process that I contacted Alex Wang from YouThink; an organisation where I saw many similarities with the WBA in their mission and values to increase action in the key sustainability challenges of our time. When we initially designed the survey, I was eager to position youth as a key source for outreach. The younger generations play a central role in the growing momentum of sustainability in China and act as a bridge to the older generations.”
YouThink is a China-based organisation which aims to educate young people on global issues and opportunities, collaborating on projects which empower them to participate in and drive change at local, regional and global level.
“We believe that the SDGs represent a vision of the future – our future, as young people. YouThink helps to generate ownership of the future through creating meaningful action. We work with 17 partner organisations and connected with roughly 400 members and volunteers for this survey. I was eager for us to work with WBA’s #futurevote survey as I believe it signals the opportunity to start a global conversation on the future of our planet through the SDGs. The survey is very effective here in China. As Bei mentioned, the graphic design and simple layout make it easy for people to interact with the content, which in turn makes it easier for our YouThink volunteers to build public engagement. Our work was predominantly based online and utilised our vast networks of young people across China. I believe online networks are a powerful means to build and discover new SDG dialogues, and I am intrigued to see how the WBA can build on this as they work towards launching their first benchmarks.”
Screenshots of survey engagement and launch clippings on Chinese social media platforms
Our collaboration with Bei Wang and YouThink has been an effective learning opportunity for the WBA in terms of communication and outreach, specifying the value in approaching different geographies and populations with relevant engagement styles.
Aviva is one of the world’s largest insurance and asset management companies, its history tracing back more than 300 years. It has operations in 16 markets around the world, but through its investment portfolio, Aviva’s reach extends to a broader and larger group of consumers. The company is a LEAD member of the Global Compact; a founding member of both the UN Principles of Responsible Investment and the UN Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative. It is also a frontrunner in responsible investments, using its influence to support more sustainable business and ultimately a more sustainable economy and society. Aviva is an active contributor and user of different corporate sustainability benchmarks, including a founding member of the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark. Aviva’s CEO Mark Wilson is a member of the Business and Sustainable Development Commission (BSDC) and is personally committed to driving forward the sustainable development agenda and the creation of the WBA.
The Business & Sustainable Development Commission (BSDC) aims to make a powerful business case for achieving a sustainable, inclusive economy. Its flagship report Better Business, Better World, launched in January 2017, maps the economic prize for companies that align with the SDGs, and shows how to achieve them. The report includes the creation of SDGs benchmarks as one of the key recommendations. The Business Commission aims to make a powerful business case for achieving a sustainable and inclusive economy, if the UN Sustainable Development Goals are achieved. In its flagship report, Better Business, Better World, the Commission describes how business can contribute to delivering these goals. Chaired by Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, the Commission include 37 leaders from business, finance, civil society, labour, and international organisations from around the world.p>
Index Initiative is a centre of expertise in benchmarking corporate performance against stakeholder expectations. It seeks to propel the use of benchmarks to engage and bring purpose and clarity on the role of companies in contributing to the SDGs closest to their core business. A non-profit based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Index Initiative’s research and benchmarks are free and accessible to all. Index Initiative will conduct the global consultation on the World Benchmarking Alliance.
The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by philanthropic, corporate, government, and individual donors.