Some award ceremonies are less about red carpets and more about red threads, and the United Nations SDG Action Awards is precisely this kind of event. Held every year it celebrates the people and initiatives that are driving positive change in the world. And in doing so, it brings them together, building a global network of passionate people doing remarkable things.
“There was zero competition in that room, only people coming together to learn from each other and to celebrate each other's success,” reflects Muhammed Muheisen on an inspiring weekend. The event saw Muhammed take to the stage in Rome to present Sabrina Dhowre Elba and Idris Elba with their Honourable Mention Award but also participating as a judge. And as founder of the Everyday Refugees Foundation and longstanding Canon Ambassador, he was the perfect fit to take the helm of the Canon ‘Leadership in Action’ workshop, held ahead of the awards. Through this, he helped to provide a space of reflection for both award finalists and judges in the run up to the big event. “That's the importance of such experiences, they bring all these changemakers into one place, which inspires and motivates many others.”
The Sustainable Development Goals (Or SDGs, as they are more commonly known) were adopted by all United Nations Member States as a means to reaching a more sustainable and equitable future by the year 2030. But these goals are by no means restricted to the actions of governments and the SDG Action Awards speak to the part we all have to play in uniting to act for our collective future. It is a place where those who are creating world-changing initiatives in the name of the SDGs are recognised and championed on an international stage. It was more than appropriate then that this year, as well as being part of the awards ceremony, the finalists and judges were invited to join Muhammed for a taste of the Canon Young People Programme, learning the essential skills of photography and storytelling.