Photo SDG Studio
UN Photo

The SDG Studio: a New Collaboration between the UN and the Netherlands

As it often does, it started with a challenge.

A few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, it was clear that the world would be communicating through virtual platforms.

From team meetings to summits—people started appearing in squares on the screen. 

Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed thought the United Nations could do more.

“She challenged us to find a better solution to engage with audiences,” said Annemarie Hou, Executive Director of the UN Office for Partnerships and Senior Communications Advisor in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General. “The Adaptation Summit in January 2021, sponsored by the Government of Netherlands really stood out as a high-level meeting that went beyond ‘squares’ to ensure that participants could speak with one another and with a wider audience about climate action.”

The Dutch team responsible for the Summit had a similar goal—to find a holistic approach to help audiences feel they were part of a conference, even virtually. 

“It feels like from the moment we reached out, the concept for the SDG Studio took shape,” added Ms Hou. “This co-creation breaks new ground for the UN and strengthens our collaboration to deliver the SDGs with the Netherlands.”

The Dutch team visited the UN allowing technical and content teams to come together to help fully realize a major convening space. The creative endeavor includes a modular set that was designed and built in the Netherlands. 

The SDG Studio was inaugurated by the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the Prime Minister of the Netherlands. And was crucial platform for several high-level events for the 2021 UN General Assembly including the SDG Moment that garnered more than 6 million views. The SDG Studio will a special platform for the UN Dialogues on the Sustainable Development Goals and for UN leadership virtual events.