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SDGs Training for Multipliers – Year 1 in Review

from Migrant Communities to Social Innovators

The Sustainable Development Goals have been carefully developed through a three-year process involving UN Member States, 83 national surveys engaging over 7 million people, and thousands of actors from the international community, making it the biggest consultation in UN history. A people-friendly language was adopted at the very beginning of the process to enable the mass global participation invoked at the inception of the Global Goals.

Convinced that the SDGs should not be separated from the global community who forged them, Gaia Education, in partnership with UNESCO GAP Secretariat, developed educational tools – the SDGs Flashcards and SDG Multipliers Handbook – and the associated SDG Training for Multipliers to ensure their effective use.

The SDG Training for Multipliers was designed to support SDGs education. It builds the capacity of facilitators to teach SDGs and hold the vitally important conversations on how to implement the 17 SDGs and their 169 targets at the local and regional scale, in ways that are carefully adapted to the biocultural uniqueness of each location.

In one year, from Hamburg to Santiago, UNESCO GAP Secretariat and Gaia Education have conducted 20 trainings, reaching over 1,000 people. Participants explore the 17 SDGs in question-focused small group conversations, to collaboratively identify actions and solutions aimed at implementing the global goals in ways that are relevant to their lives, communities, cities and regions.

“The SDGs training gave me a highly practical base for the implementation of these methodologies in a variety of contexts. Exceeded my expectations.”

“Great interactive sessions, came out with a much better idea of the SDGs and how to apply them.”

UNESCO Week for Peace and Sustainable Development

During the UNESCO Week for Peace and Sustainable Development: The Role of Education in Ottawa, a workshop was conducted for the community of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Citizen Education educators and GAP Partners. Amongst them, there was a real consensus that SDG 4 “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” could unleash the power of all the other 16 Goals. A similar seminar, led by the UNESCO GAP team in Argentina during the Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Workshop, was given to more than 170 city representatives from over 40 cities and 20 countries, including mayors and deputy mayors, experts, authorities and practitioners.

“I will use them in Town Hall meetings, related to local zoning and natural resource use and to all future projects. The cards can help to frame conversations from housing and renewable energy to agricultural practices and how we can organise ourselves collectively and democratically.”

From Migrant Communities…

The highly participatory small group work and question-centred trainings engage local communities in a process that turns what might be perceived as a remote international agenda into meaningful projects that are locally relevant and can be collaboratively implemented by the communities themselves.

“It way exceeded my expectations. The interactivity, the discussion groups, the physical interaction of forming groups, the spatiality of the work, the dialogue.”

In Sicily and Denmark two communities of migrants engaged in meaningful conversations on the distinct applicability of the goals between their countries of origin and of destination. While prioritising the goals both groups identified SDG 16 of Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions as the goal needing utmost attention in their countries of origin. For them the decisions we make, the governance of our natural resources and the management of our conflicts all happen through strong institutions promoted by SDG 16.

“It was a very well-thought out programme, far more engaging than I expected.”

…to Social Innovators

Innovators mingling at SDGs Training in Chile
Chinese woman and Monk holding up SDGs cards

The final seminar of the year took place during the fiiS Santiago, the most engaging International Festival of Social Innovation in the Americas. Over the last five years fiiS has become a movement of young innovators and organisations generating progressive changes in society in surprising ways. Combining Latin American music, passion and strength, thousands of innovators between 16 and 34 years old gathered in the Park Araucaria to join workshops, talks, conversations, and to enjoy local food. The Multipliers workshop ignited their ecological imagination and their commitment to the implementation of the SDGs, at community level, one at the time.

“I will use the cards with my university’s gardening students group and in the area I live, for the creation of a new gardening project.”

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and their 169 targets come with a powerful mandate from the people and name the destinations we must reach to ensure a regenerative future for humanity. This task could seem overwhelming but the SDG Flashcards and SDG Multipliers Handbook are Gaia Education and UNESCO GAP’s inspired and practical contribution to this future by providing a clear map to guide the way and support SDGs education. By asking clear questions, the cards help teaching SDGs and break the journey into manageable parts, no matter who is using them – from migrant populations to social innovators, from rural communities to city planners… and beyond.

“It is already impacting my work as an artist. It clarified for me the range of the potential impact of my work and has reshaped some thoughts and plans for projects that are just getting underway.”

Having been translated into six languages – English, Spanish, Arabic, RussianFrench and Portuguese, the SDG Flashcards will continue to encourage people all over the world to teach SDGs and take the actions needed to make Agenda 2030 a reality.

Header photo copyright: Marc Beckmann, BMW Foundation

Upcoming Training of Multipliers

The SDGs Trainings for Multipliers support SDGs education worldwide. Gaia Education regularly conducts trainings, to help implement SDGs in UK and everywhere else on the planet. You can view all our past and upcoming SDG workshops or contact us to organise a training at

Gaia Education is Chapter Lead for SDG 4 “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”, to Measure Up SDGs in UK with UKSSD.

Raise awareness of the SDGs among local and national actors

Download Our SDGs flyer

This highly interactive and participatory SDG workshop invites participants to engage in progressive conversations about the local relevance of the SDGs based on a set of SDGs Flashcards containing more than 200 questions relevant to the four dimensions of Gaia Education’s whole systems approach to sustainability, and the associated SDG Multipliers Handbook.

The SDGs Flashcards seek to raise awareness of the SDGs in UK and worldwide, among local and national actors. It also aims to create an enabling environment for the localisation process, to support SDGs education, local ownership, and to ensure SDGs integration in sub-national strategies and plans.

Help us to spread the word. Download the flyer and share it with the world!

Upcoming Trainings of Trainers

Meet the Gaia Education Certified trainers

Gaia Education Certified Trainers

Gaia Education Trainers are leading-edge experts in their respective fields, with experience in training and facilitation on rural and urban settings, from the Global South to the Global North and everywhere in between.

Gaia Education Certified Facilitators and Trainers are equipped with the skills and methodologies to facilitate transformative learning environments and host multi-stakeholder conversations that enable collaborative action.