SDG Action and Music

SDGs and Music: Agents of Change in Action

The fifth edition of the SDG Global Festival of Action virtually gathered 20,000 people from across Europe to discuss SDGs trends as a way to create a response to a better recovery from the pandemic and share newly established practices. 

One of the many sessions that took place at the festival was the collaborative workshop entitled: Play Fair! Actioning Sustainability in the Music Industry. Where a panel of international music experts looked at and discussed a new angle of music and the music industry being one of the key partners in the implementation of the SDGs. 

Shain Shapiro, the Group CEO of Sound Diplomacy and Executive Director of Centre for Music Ecosystems, hosted this workshop and stated that: “Music can play a role in the advancement of the SDGs and music can play a role in making the world a better place economically, socially, and culturally.” 

Caroline Petit, Deputy Director of UNRIC, who has accompanied and supported this project with Dr Shapiro, as an active member of the UN SDG Media Compact, adds " the music industry is a strong network which connects with people across generations and can make a difference about the advancement of the global goals".

During the workshop the audience learned about the first ever comprehensive SDG Music Guide. Which had been, by the end of the day, downloaded more than 300 times. Proving the relevancy of the SDGs in the music industry and the important role music and musicians play in spreading awareness across all generations about the SDGs and with that greatly contribute to a more sustainable world.

One of the examples outlined in the SDG Music Guide is ending hunger (SDG 2), where the music sector can contribute by raising awareness, redistributing food at music venues, and creating urban gardens at stadiums and concert halls.

The expert panellist were all prime examples of how powerful a partner the music sector is to the SDGs, as they have already been independently doing work in fields such as gender equality, education, Life on land, etc. and seeing results in their communities. 

One of the participants, Jonathan Herzfeld, emphasized that the SDG message has not reached many of the world’s most marginalised communities, however, music is and has been an integral part of every single culture and is a foundation on which the SDGs can stand upon.

Ragnar Berthling, CEO of Musikcentrum Öst, added that music is a change maker and can foster environments where active participants can learn from each other and create models of change that can be transported around the world. 

The Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign, Marina Ponti, concluded the workshop quoting the Japanese musician Miyavi by stating: “I don’t think music can change the world, but music can change people, and people can change the world.”

SDG Music Guide is free of charge and here is download link:

For more information on the SDG Media Compact -

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