It goes without saying that 2020 has halted our plans. From key events such as the World Oceans Summit, Generation Equality as well as the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) through to our overall progress towards the Global Goals. And while these important conferences and key moments can be postponed to 2021, our focus and efforts towards reaching the Global Goals for Sustainable Development cannot wait nor be postponed.

The world was already behind on achieving these Goals but now, COVID-19 threatens the progress we had made even more.

But in order to turn it around for both people and planet, we need everyone – from individuals to leaders to civil society organisations and businesses – to come together and take action towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

One plan that was not delayed was the Wiki Loves SDGs edit-a-thon which took place 19-26th September. This edit-a-thon brought together volunteers from around the world to work together and get accurate information about the Global Goals on Wikipedia. Before September, we learnt that only three of the 17 Global Goals had their own dedicated Wikipedia articles, and the existing articles needed much improvement. As we approached the fifth anniversary of the Goals, we decided to bring these volunteers together to help close this information gap.

During Global Goals Week in September 2020, more than a hundred volunteers from around the world came together to create new and improve existing Wikipedia articles about the Goals. With their help, we were able to democratise knowledge and educate more people about the Global Goals through the world’s most comprehensive encyclopaedia. Because of their contribution during this edit-a-thon – referred to as Wiki Loves SDGs – volunteers not only indirectly contributed to the Goals by sharing vital information, but also directly contributed to Goal 5 (Gender Equality) by helping to close the gender gap of Wikipedia editors who are predominantly male as almost half of volunteer editors identified themselves as female.

And thanks for these dedicated Global Goals Factivists, 517 Wikipedia pages were improved and over 3,300 edits were made in the space of seven days. This just shows how much we can achieve in a short period of time, even from a distance. Because of this Global effort, you can now easily learn more about each Goal and their progress – such as emission levels decreasing during COVID-19 under Goal 13 – on Wikipedia.

The contribution of these volunteers was so valuable that key figures such as Deputy Secretary General of the UN, Amina Mohammed and Wikipedia Founder, Jimmy Wales came together to show their appreciation for these volunteers in the event’s closing ceremony.

But to quote the Deputy Secretary General, ‘the work is not done, and we are saddled with homework from this event’. It is our hope that the Wiki Loves SDGs edit-a-thon will become an annual tradition of Global Goals Week, with more volunteers joining to share even more vital facts.

Prior to this project, majority of the volunteers involved – as well as many of our Wiki Loves SDGs team members – had no experience to Wikipedia editing. Since then, many enjoyed the experience so much that they now view it as a starting point in their journey towards making the Goals a reality. You can also join these dedicated factivists by joining the Wikimedians for Sustainable Development group or by finding and joining a local group.

As Jimmy Wales stated in the Wiki Loves SDGs closing ceremony, ‘quality knowledge and information is at the heart of everything we need to accomplish the Sustainable Development Goals’ and with your help, everyone, everywhere can get access to this information.

This blog was written by Kiana Alavi, Policy and Campaigns Manager at Project Everyone.


A new campaign released today – Choose Life – calls for meaningful and ambitious climate action from the UK government as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic

2nd October 2020: Project Everyone and The Climate Coalition (TCC) have today launched a new social good platform – Choose Life – featuring an eye-opening film to encourage the British public to sign a Declaration putting pressure on the government to commit to meaningful and ambitious climate action for people and planet – and ultimately in doing so, Choosing Life.

The science has been consistently unambiguous for years now: the world is facing a planetary emergency which is threatening to turn into a climate catastrophe without urgent action. With the Covid-19 crisis still changing by the day, along with its economic, political and social impacts, it has highlighted how fragile countries and global systems are to major shocks. The campaign film taps into these issues and looks towards the new choices and opportunities that can be taken in the UK’s recovery from the pandemic.

Directed by award winning British film maker Adam Smith (Show Director for the Chemical Brothers live shows, Director for TV dramas including Skins, Dr Who and World on Fire, Director of feature films Trespass Against Us and Don’t Think) and written by Scottish poet Mike Benson, the film references the iconic opening of the classic British film Trainspotting, designed to send a very clear message to the UK government: Now is the time to do the right thing, and take advantage of these unprecedented times to avoid reverting back to our old ways.

“The aim of the film was to deliver a message of hope and empowerment that collectively we can do something about this issue, when we take action,” Adam Smith says. “For the Choose Life film we “recycled” obscure and contrasting archive including unseen Chemical Brothers concert visuals and varied contributions from Directors and Artists (including JR and Gecko Theatre)”.

In line with the Trainspotting theme of the film, it has been narrated by Trainspotting actress, Kelly Macdonald. But the star power doesn’t end there, writer, film director and UN Sustainable Goals Advocate Richard Curtis has also supported the creative delivery of the film and broader Choose Life campaign as Creative Director.

Richard Curtis says, “We set out to be optimistic and energetic in the face of the climate crisis. We want to rally the British public at a time when the UK government has some huge choices ahead about how it shapes the future of the country. And we want to pay homage to an iconic two minutes of British cinema and harness that spirit of rebellion towards the most important issue of our time.”

The film and subsequent online platform encourage the general public to call for bold climate leadership ahead of the UK hosting the UN Climate Summit – also known as COP26 – next year. The platform provides educational resources and guides on the many ways to Choose Life, from writing to MP’s to finding local Extinction Rebellion groups. The platform also joins forces with The Climate Coalition, the UK’s largest group of people dedicated to action against climate change, to host a vital Declaration pushing for a healthier, greener and fairer future for all.

Signatories of the Declaration already include Tesco, Sky, BAFTA, Selfridges, Liam Gallagher, Ellie Goulding, Annie Lennox, Sunetra Sarker and Luke Evans. These are alongside member organisations of The Climate Coalition including the National Trust, WWF, RSPB, the WI, Oxfam, Tearfund and Islamic Relief. Together they are asking the government to ensure the nation’s recovery from Coronavirus protects the health of people and the planet.

Amidst a global crisis, Choose Life calls for governments, leaders, businesses, activists and individuals to recognise the tipping point our planet faces and consider the political and personal interventions that could transform our world over the next ten years. The film, declaration and educational resources should inspire us all to not choose to return to the old ways but to build a better world that is guided by the Global Goals – and Choose Life.

Watch the Choose Life film now: