The Global Festival of Action was organized by the UN SDG Action Campaign, with the support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the German Federal Foreign Office. The Festival brings together the global community acting to make the Sustainable Development Goals a reality. During the Festival, I (from SDSN Youth - Turkey) and Aybüke Aydın, who is the member of the board of SDSN Academy in Tobb University of Economics and Technology, represented Turkey.
The Festival had a great atmosphere which includes incredible people who are willing to take responsibilities and action for SDGs from everywhere and great sessions to learn and implement the SDGs!
Even on the first day, when I stepped into the conference hall, I knew that I was going to witness a historic moment and that when I back home, I could say '' I was there too ''.
So, what makes this festival extraordinary?
It has not just regular panels or conferences in the conference center. It is many interactive events in every area; art, music, talks. If I wanted to, I could even write and sing a song about gender equality with my beatbox team. In addition, there is no paper waste, everything is in an app about Festival! That’s the spirit of solidarity and acting together. Because everybody has an understanding that SDGs do not hurt anyone and our priority is leaving no one behind, that’s why we are all there as representatives - we were not just people, we were also Country, Culture, Citizen and Voice of people’s stories who are in our hearts.
What have I done with my new global family who participated in my sustainable life?
In an era when the world was more connected than anything, I had the opportunity to meet countless people and learn all about their willingness, thoughts, and stories. I saw how they are working in interconnected but different areas, like SDGs. SDGs are in every area of our lives. I understood that better when I saw that people who were representing from UNICEF, Translation Company to Solar Electric worked with determination to save the world.
The sessions were really immersive. We watched SDG movies made a new 360 cinema format, and I really felt like I could touch those people's lives. There was a film about the different life of 3 children, which made me feel solidarity with these people and help you in this life as a religion. I also had the opportunity to meet Dimitri Moore, who introduced this technology, his wife Naomi Moore, and their wonderful child Skylar.
Another unique session was the beatbox session. Thanks to Kaila and Yogi, we wrote a song to the SDG we had teamed up with people who participated in this session, and we did not even need the musical instrument that offered it. We were the rhythm, the creator, the change we were. Here is a brief excerpt of this song about Gender Equality, which we still have in mind:
‘’ We all want gender equality
Who puts ‘’in’’ inequalities?
It’s all about diversity.
Let’s create some opportunity’’
Another event that impressed me the most was the drums session. Everyone chose a musical instrument in the accompaniment of the great musician Pedro from Chile. We did not have to know how to play. Just as the heartbeat was adapted to the body, everyone began to steal with great enthusiasm, complementing each other. Pedro's commands and the moment people play in harmony, we were a huge family. I lifted my head while I was playing my own drum, and when I looked at it, everyone was playing an instrument with a joyful smile and their eyes glowing. It couldn't have gotten any better. Because music does not recognize any obstacles in the world. At that moment I wanted to take that energy to my own country. We could create a common melody even if we did not share the same beliefs and thoughts without speaking the same language. That’s the magic of music. Because an exuberant rhythm and melody take up much more space than words in the brain. Music will be my definitely one of the new tools to achieve SDGs from Global Festival of Action.
Apart from that, I can say that Morocco Representatives are my new wonderful family. With Morocco’s young people, just like Aybüke and myself, have decided to share our views, achievements, plans and decide to start a collaboration project together.
One of the most interactive and favorite events is the workshop of World Benchmarking Alliance whose theme that ‘’Which SDGs should achieve first? ’’. I should particularly mention here that I defend Quality Education. Because I see quality education as the most important step for us to build our own lives and create our own chance to sustain it. Because if life is a blank slate, Quality Education is security to protect your life!
I have world problems to solve with my new huge, energetic, diverse global family until 2030. Thanks, Global Festival of Action!
Buket Altınçelep is a 3rd-year student of International Relations at Tobb University of Economics and Technology, with a full scholarship. She also graduated from Pamukova Anatolian High School with Second Place and has been working at Yaşamartı (an Institution about Personal Development Psychology) for 2 years now. Buket has been with UNSDSN-Youth since 2015. In addition, she has also worked at The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey.
Buket is proficient in French and English, and her main interests are in International Law, International Organizations and Sustainable Development, Foreign Policy Analysis, International Economic Politics. Her hobbies also include riding horses, tennis, trekking, attending seminars, conferences, receptions, festivals; being active and spending time with friends.