News / Global Goals Centre

New Bristol venue dedicated to envisioning a better future

By ellie pipe, Friday Jun 5, 2020

Plans are afoot in Bristol to build the world’s first visitor experience dedicated to the creation of a more inclusive, sustainable future.

The project was first conceived in 2016 as a response to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which have been described as “the closest thing the world has to a plan to end poverty, inequality and climate chaos by 2030”.

The aim is to develop an interactive visitor centre in the city to engage people of all ages with these issues, and the charity behind the vision is after children and young people to help shape what the new venue might look like.

There is no site earmarked for the Global Goals Centre yet but startup funding to develop the project has been secured, enabling those behind the idea to set up a charity, enrol trustees and engage with partners across the city. It is hoped the centre will be ready to open by late 2021 or early 2022.

“Now is an ideal time for children and young people to think beyond the current crisis to imagine a better way of living; some of this has come to the fore during the pandemic, such as local community action and protecting the most vulnerable,” says Jenny Foster, project lead at Global Goals Centre.

“We know young people care passionately about the planet, as the local youth marches for the climate and the Greta Thunberg rally demonstrated. We want to capture these positive stories and use that enthusiasm, vision and passion to help us design this incredible resource for Bristol.”​

This plan is to build the Global Goals Centre in Bristol, but the team want it to be the first of many around the world, with resources and innovation models of engagement that can be used by teachers, charities and other organisations.

Mya-Rose Craig is a patron of the charity behind the plans. Photo by Ellie Pipe

Mya-Rose Craig, a nature lover, ornithologist and environmental campaigner who became the youngest Briton to receive an honorary doctorate in February this year, is patron of the charity and will be introducing the challenges.

Anantha Duraiappah, the inaugural director of the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development is also a patron.

Jenny says the competition, in which young people can write, film or draw their ideas for how to engage others with the issues that matter to them – from climate change to inequalities – is just the start of many opportunities to co-design with the centre team.

Children in Barton Hill pose with some one the Sustainable Development Goals – photo by @JonCraig_Photos 07778606070

The best ideas will receive an award from mayor Marvin Rees, who has committed to using the SDGs as a framework for the city’s recovery in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

He says: “I’m excited to see the entries for the Global Goals Centre Design Challenge, to hear ideas from our young people that can be used in this unique project.

“Bristol is leading the way in working to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and we need as many local people as possible to be involved, to help make Bristol an inclusive, sustainable and healthy city – a city of hope. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the challenge.’’

There are two challenges; for people in the nine-13 age bracket and the 14-25s. Anyone interested in taking part can visit www.globalgoalscentre.org/join-in or contact the project’s education lead Manu Maunganitze via manu@globalgoalscentre.org.

Main photo by @JonCraig_Photos 07778606070

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