Impact on the ground: SDG training with Microsoft

Group photo at Microsoft
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a framework for eradicating the largest humanitarian problems facing civilization today. They focus on three core elements: end poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change. The SDGs were unanimously ratified in 2015 by all 193 countries and they are considered the “world’s must-do list by 2030.” 
 
Global Impact’s western region director, Carina Weyer, delivered an SDG training workshop at Microsoft’s Redmond headquarters during their annual GIVE campaign this past October. In our second installment of our “Impact on the ground” feature, Carina gives a firsthand look at the training and how it was received by employees:
 
Microsoft’s GIVE campaign dates back to 1983 and is part of the company’s employee giving program that takes place throughout the month of October. Each year between 250–300 employees lead volunteer efforts for their teams around the United States, create events, select causes to support and survey their peers to see where their passions and talents lay. It was my pleasure to visit during last year’s campaign and hold a training workshop for employees around the SDGs.
 
SDG workshop
The first part of the training explained what the SDGs are and how they came to be. We included ice breaker exercises that gave employees a chance to share what type of volunteer work they do and what actions they take to better their homes, communities and workplaces. Then we matched these actions to one or more corresponding SDG. 
 
The second part of the workshop was the focus group. This gave us the chance prior to the workshop to learn from employees about their understanding of the SDGs and to gather feedback and insight from them on what they believe can be done to further the message and mission of these goals. 
 
Takeaways
Participants felt empowered knowing their everyday actions contributed to such a globally recognized agenda and mission. They shared that it reiterated the importance of even the smallest daily actions they take, such as limiting their water use, bringing their own bags to the grocery store or turning off lights in rooms they are not occupying. 
 
The workshop concluded by sharing resources participants could use to personally promote the SDGs and discussing actions that contribute to these goals, such as social media templates and materials, “The World’s Largest Lesson” facilitator guide and presentation deck to lead workshops to students, and “The Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World” guide to help people make SDG conscious decisions in their everyday lives.    
 

This article first appeared in Global Impact's January 2019 Charity and Campaign newsletters.