Join the UN75 Conversation: Here’s How!
It’s our world. And our future. So it’s time for everyone, everywhere to talk about what we want our future to be.
To mark its 75th anniversary in 2020, the United Nations is igniting a people’s debate, UN75. Launched by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, it promises to be the largest and furthest-reaching global conversation ever on building the future we want.
In a world of dramatic changes and complex challenges, from the climate crisis to population shifts to the unknown course of technology, we need collective action more than ever before. Through UN75, the United Nations will encourage people to put their heads together to define how enhanced international cooperation can help realize a better world by 2045, the UN’s 100th birthday.
At this pivotal moment in history, UN75 asks three big questions:
Anyone can join the conversation. Online and offline, in formal and informal dialogues, UN75 will involve as many people as possible, ideally in all 193 UN Member States. Together, they will share their hopes and fears, assess current and future risks and opportunities, and source solutions for global cooperation.
Parallel global opinion polling and media analysis will provide statistically representative data. Consolidated views and ideas will be presented to world leaders and widely disseminated.
For the United Nations, UN75 will be a year of listening and learning. UN organizations, country teams and key stakeholders will have pivotal roles in taking three actions:
This toolkit shows how to get the conversation started.
Mark your calendars: A timeline for UN75
24th Oct 2019
2nd Jan 2020
26th June 2020
UN Charter Day
21st Sept 2020
24th Oct 2020
UN Day Close
31st Dec 2020
Bring together diverse groups, especially those not often heard, to shape a new global dialogue.
Starting late 2019, all UN country offices can gear up for UN75. There is no time to waste: As many people as possible should participate in shaping our hopes and ideas for the future.
Anyone can get involved in UN75. Some general categories of participants include:
Some tips for making dialogues successful
Open channels for people to talk and be heard!
As the biggest-ever global conversation, UN75 will amplify the voices of people online and offline, in communities, schools, cities, boardrooms and parliaments, across countries and generations. As people imagine future scenarios based on their own experiences and perspectives, they will source solutions for collective action.
How to join us?
There are several ways to join the conversation, from a social media campaign to a simple one-minute survey to a more formal focus group discussion.
Some potential options include:
Post the UN75 video on your social media platform, and ask your friends, partners and networks to start making plans. Click here for a full set of communication assets and ideas.
Take and share the UN75’s short survey:
beta.un75.online transfer this to a short SMS if available in your country.
Organize an informal conversation: These can take place anywhere. It may be convenient to link to existing meetings and conferences or something more social like a team event, lunch or coffee morning. If organizing a meeting, consider using live-streams as an easy way for participants in different locations to watch, listen and participate in real-time.
Social media chats: Start a simple Q&A using Twitter, Google Hangouts, Facebook, etc. These are easily discoverable by a vast audience, and can encourage them to contribute to the consultation. Chats and Q&As are also useful at live events.
Online discussions: The UN75 team is developing a comprehensive online platform to host and facilitate digitally moderated dialogues. Alternative digital platforms may also be available to UN country teams and stakeholders for online discussions.
Formal focus groups: These are aimed at producing more rigorous, structured research that can feed into global findings. If selecting this option, a more detailed feedback form will need to be completed. Further guidance on conducting formal focus groups can be found in Annex 1.
Framing Questions to spark the conversation
What would your ideal world would look like in 25 years - the UN’s 100th anniversary? What is different from the world you see today? Describe a day in that world you envision 25 years from now.
- What kind of future do we want to have created with and for our children and grandchildren?
- How do science and technology impact everyday life? Are all people treated fairly and equally? How do countries work with one another ?
- Do you think your children, grandchildren, will have fewer or more opportunities than you had? Will they be better or worse off - when it comes to education or job prospects for example?
- Do you think you/the next generation will be more or less mobile, socially, economically, physically?
- Do you expect to live in a more or less healthy natural environment? How might the environment be different?
Please pick one or more or add your own and discuss as a group.
- Climate change and environmental issues (e.g. pollution, deforestation)
- Poverty and inequality
- New technologies (e.g. social media, artificial intelligence)
- Population changes (e.g. population growth, ageing populations, migration, urbanisation)
- Security threats (e.g. armed conflict, cyberwarfare, crime and violence)
- Breakdown of trust between governments, and between people and governments?
What action should we take now to make a better world for future generations?
- What can you do as an individual to create the world we want? What are you doing for a better world?
- Who has to take action to manage these trends? What should be the role of governments? Businesses? Civil society? Individuals? Others?
- What forms of action and collaboration might be needed at the local, national and international levels? What type of role might the United Nations and other international institutions have in facilitating this? how can they improve ?
Tips for moderators
In informal conversations as well as more structured focus groups, a moderator plays a crucial role. Some broad guiding principles are:
Resources to get started
Check these short fact sheets to refresh on some of the most pressing issues from the UN75 team:
Technologies can make our world fairer, more peaceful, and more just, but they also threaten privacy, facilitate autocratic control, and fuel conflict and inequality. While future technologies may seem ominous, they need not be. Like generations before, we – governments, businesses, and individuals – have a choice to make in how we harness new technologies. For good, or for bad?
The nature of conflict and violence has transformed substantially since the UN was founded 75 years ago. Conflicts are less deadly but longer, and more often waged between domestic groups rather than states. Homicides are becoming more frequent in some parts of the world, while gender-based attacks are increasing.
Separately, technological advances have seen the weaponization of bots, drones, and livestreaming, cyberattacks, ransomware, and data hacks. Meanwhile, international cooperation is under strain, diminishing global potential for the prevention and resolution of conflict and violence in all forms.
The world has made significant strides in reducing poverty: over the last three decades, more than one billion people have lifted themselves out of extreme poverty. Yet the income share of the poorer half of humanity has barely shifted over this period, despite global economic output more than tripling since 1990. Inequalities undermine economic progress, which in turn exacerbates the social divides that inequalities create.
Inequalities driven by income, geography, gender, age, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, class and religion – determining access, opportunities and outcomes – continue to persist, within and among countries. In some parts of the world, these divides are becoming more pronounced. Meanwhile, gaps in newer areas, such as access to online and mobile technologies, are emerging.
Climate change is the defining crisis of our time and it is happening even more quickly than we feared. But we are far from powerless in the face of this global threat. As Secretary-General António Guterres pointed out in September, “the climate emergency is a race we are losing, but it is a race we can win”.
No corner of the globe is immune from the devastating consequences of climate change. Rising temperatures are fueling environmental degradation, natural disasters, weather extremes, food and water insecurity, economic disruption, conflict and terrorism. Sea levels are rising, the Arctic is melting, coral reefs are dying, oceans are acidifying, and forests are burning. It is clear that business as usual is not good enough. As the infinite cost of climate change reaches irreversible highs, now is the time for bold collective action.
The world’s population is expected to increase by two billion people, from 7.7 billion at present to 9.7 billion in 2050, before reaching a peak of nearly 11 billion by the end of the century as fertility rates continue to decline. During this period, the global population is projected to become more and more urban, while children below age 5 will be outnumbered by persons aged 65 or above.
Half of global population growth between now and 2050 is expected to come from just nine countries: India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Indonesia, Egypt and the United States of America (in descending order of increase). The population of Sub-Saharan Africa is likely to double, while the population of Europe is likely to shrink.
Meanwhile, people are on the move. While the percentage of international migrants has remained around 3 per cent of the global population over the past two decades, their number has increased by more than half since 2000. At the same time, the number of people forced to flee their homes has risen sharply due to protracted conflicts and could increase further due to climate change and environmental degradation. The vast majority of refugee and migrant flow are to countries in the global South.
Provide feedback, and share and advocate solutions.
Connecting people and amplifying their voices leads to one primary goal: inspire action for a better future. The ideas generated during UN75 are expected to:
- Inform public debate
- Be taken up by national and international decision-makers
- Inspire broader civic engagement
- Deepen global cooperation
Each conversation is an opportunity to encourage individuals to take actions in their own lives in line with what they have heard and learned.
Both formal and informal dialogues can yield insights and evidence that national and international organizations can apply. Findings may inspire new programmes, investments, partnerships and
campaigns, among other options.
A global platform to illustrate key outcomes of discussions is being developed by the UN75 team.
The views and ideas that are generated will be presented to world leaders and senior UN officials at a high-profile event during the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2020.
Documenting the evidence
- Data on who participated and how they were selected
- Relevant demographics
- Video and audio recordings with testimonials from people who have participated
- Photos and/or stories generated from the consultation
- Social media data
- Reports from rapporteurs
- An analytical summary with key findings
Validating the results
Both feedback forms and the UN75 website will offer opportunities to validate results and raise suggestions or concerns regarding the process.
Validating findings can also involve other simple steps, such as sharing meeting reports or survey results, and requesting additional inputs. Some validation can take place during focus groups and meetings by using visual methods for instant feedback on what participants are saying.
Communicating far and wide
Compelling communications will be critical throughout UN75, within individual consultations as well as on all forms of media. People’s faces and stories will make the issues come fully alive, influencing public debates that can galvanize action. In documenting and validating dialogues, keep track of people, stories and social media threads most likely to make an impact. Work with communications teams to make best use of their power to influence.
For reference and to build out national communication strategies, see the global communication strategy and UN75 communication assets.