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The Sustainable Development Festival

The Sustainable Development Festival (Festival dello Sviluppo Sostenibile) is a national awareness-raising campaign launched by the Alliance every year to promote and spread a culture of sustainability among the Italian society. ASviS organizes the Festival together with its members and with the support of its partners, over the course of 17 days, as many as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) envisaged by the 2030 Agenda. The initiative constitutes a single large-scale, inclusive and widespread event.

Find out more about the 2017, 2018, 2019 editions here:

The Sustainable Development Festival 2019


The annual Sustainable Development Festival is the greatest event in Italy dedicated to the 2030 Agenda, with the aim to raise awareness among increasingly large sectors of the public on the issues of economic, social and environmental sustainability, in order to promote a cultural evolution in individual and collective behaviours, and to encourage bottom-up proposals that exhort the country’s leaders to respect the commitments taken in 2015 in the United Nations.

The Festival is organized by the Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development (Alleanza Italiana per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile - ASviS), together with its members and with the support of the partners, and it aims to offers a platform for citizens, business, local and national institutions, universities and civil society to foster dialogue and share best practices on the 2030 Agenda, The contribution of all these actors will be necessary in order to make sustainable development a priority in the national debate, both on the political and economic levels.

The third edition will take place from May 21st to June 6th 2019, for a total of 17 days, the same number as the Sustainable Development Goals, during which hundreds of initiatives will take place all over Italy. These will include conventions, seminars, workshops, cultural events, exhibits and shows, to produce a single widespread and inclusive event. Thanks to the recognition acquired with the success of the first two editions, and to the growing mobilisation of Italian society towards sustainability, the Festival will be a further step towards the full accomplishment of the 2030 Agenda in our country. 

In addition to the hundreds of initiatives all over Italy, three main events will be directly organized by ASviS and a dozen of "national events” will represent the focal points for discussions on the integrated nature of the SDGs.


The innovations of the new edition

The 2019 Sustainable Development Festival will take place at a crucial moment for the future of the country and of Europe. At the end of May, the citizens of the EU will be voting for a new European Parliament, and at the same time several Italian regions will hold elections. The Festival will therefore represent an opportunity to raise awareness among all candidates on the 2030 Agenda, with the goal to have the EU place sustainable development at the centre of its policies and to provide assistance in the creation of local sustainable development strategies in the Italian regions.

Building on the success of the first two editions, the 2019 Festival will be more ambitious, aiming at transforming the growing awareness of the unsustainability of the current development model into action and encouraging a public debate on decisive issues for our future. This will include influencing the decisions of political leaders, of businesses and public administrations, as well as strengthening the network that is already promoting sustainable development in the country.



The events programme



Conventions, debates, book presentations, exhibitions, film reviews, guided tours, flashmobs: these are the initiatives of the over 200 members of ASviS and of other civil society organizations that are active in Italy, aiming to raise awareness on the various aspects of sustainable development in line with the spirit of civil society involvement promoted by the United Nations. If you want to organize an event within the Festival, please register here.

The Festivals within the Festival

Numerous initiatives took place across the country thanks to the involvement of the “Cities for sustainable development”. Many Italian cities have in fact organized “Urban Sustainable Development Festivals”, opening their squares and other public spaces to sustainability. Bari, Bologna, Milan, Parma and Turin were the main actors of this great mobilization.


The Sustainable Development Festival 2018


After the success of the first edition, the Sustainable Development Festival returned from May 22nd to June 7th 2018, with over 700 events across Italy, to spread the culture of sustainability and mobilize Italian society to achieve the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda in our country. The 2018 edition was even richer than the first, here is an overview of the most relevant initiatives:

The events programme

Conventions, debates, book presentations, exhibitions, film reviews, guided tours, flashmobs: these are the initiatives launched by the over 200 members of ASviS and of other civil society organizations that are active in Italy, aiming to raise awareness on the various aspects of sustainable development in line with the spirit of civil society involvement promoted by the United Nations. For the complete calendar of the 2018 Festival activities, click here.

Events organized by the ASviS Secretariat

May 22nd at the MAXXI Auditorium of Rome - The opening event of the Festival entitled “Italy 2030. Innovating, requalifying, investing, transforming: ten years to achieve a sustainable Italy”. The Conference aimed at emphasizing the need for a decade of deep and persistent economic, social and institutional innovation, a vast renovation of material and immaterial infrastructures, a multi-year cycle of investments, both public and private, a complete transformation of the current development model, and a critical reflection on the meaning of the “culture of sustainability”, in order to bring Italy on a sustainable development path and to reach the SDGs by 2030.

May 31st at the UniCredit Pavilion in Milan – International Conference on the theme “SDGs, Climate and the Future of Europe”. The event, organized in collaboration with a network of European civil society representatives, focused on the future of Europe, at a crossroads between confirming its role as the “world champion” of sustainable development and risking isolation and protectionism. The debate with international and European guests aimed at developing a new narrative for future European Union policies based on the SDGs.

June 13th at the Aula del Palazzo dei Gruppi parlamentari of the Chamber of Deputies in Rome – The conclusion of the second edition of the Sustainable Development Festival. ASviS presented the proposals and results emerged throughout the 17 days to political institutions. The closing conference was an occasion to discuss the next steps to undertake in order to guarantee the achievement of the SDGs and secure a future for this generation and those to come.

The national events

Each day of the Festival saw a national event dedicated to the key themes of sustainable development and to the various Goals of the 2030 Agenda, in order to draw the attention of the public and of the press. Rome, Palermo, Milan, Taranto, Turin, Bologna, Parma, Naples, Salerno and Bari were the cities that hosted the national events of the Festival.

The Festivals within the Festival

Numerous initiatives took place across the country thanks to the involvement of the “Cities for sustainable development”. Many Italian cities have in fact organized “Urban Sustainable Development Festivals”, opening their squares and other public spaces to sustainability. Bari, Bologna, Milan, Parma and Turin were the main actors of this great mobilization.

Other projects within the Festival

Art, culture and sports

  • With the project ToWARD 2030: What Are you Doing?, the city of Turin, Lavazza and ASviS launched an open-air project to talk about sustainability: the walls of the city became canvasses on which each artist – from Turin, Italy and abroad – interpreted a Goal of the 2030 Agenda in his or her own style.
  • The Peggy Guggenheim museum in Venice and the MAXXI in Rome offered paths in which the artwork of their permanent collections was reinterpreted according to the 2030 Agenda and the 17 SDGs.
  • In Parma the art exhibition “Il Terzo Giorno” (The third day) offered a new and unexpected view on the theme of sustainability, to better reflect on the environment and the relationship between humans and nature through an evocative and poetic narrative.
  • On the weekend of May 26-27, Sky Cinema dedicated one of its channels to a marathon of films and documentaries on sustainable development.
  • Thanks to the collaboration with the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) and the Serie A football league, various initiatives were dedicated to bringing together the worlds of sports and sustainability. Among these, on the last day of the Serie A Championship (May 19-20) the banner of the Festival was brought in the stadiums by children just before the start of the games, while the video of the campaign “Senza di te lo sviluppo sostenibile non c’è” (without you there is no sustainable development) was shown on the screens of the stadiums. Communication activities regarding the Festival were also launched in occasion of the 2018 Golden Gala of athletics in the Stadio Olimpico of Rome.

Collaborations and partnerships

  • The “FORUM PA 2018 Prize”, promoted by Forum PA in collaboration with ASviS, was awarded to innovative projects and solutions for the Public Administration and the territory on themes that recall the 17 SDGs.
  • Earth Day Italy and ASviS launched “Objective 2030”, a platform aimed at mapping the organizations involved in achieving the SDGs in Italy, favoring networking and encouraging the diffusion of ideas and projects.
  • For the Festival, Punto Sud launched the European project “NOPLANETB” in Italy. The initiative will award 100 thousand Euros to finance sustainable development projects in Italy.
  • Ongoing collaborations with Alitalia, CONI, European Sustainable Development Week, FICO Eataly World, Laterza, Seeds & Chips, Trenitalia further enhanced the Festival’s visibility.

Responsible consumption

  • An “ethical Cash Mob” organized by NeXt, Coop and ASviS was launched in 12 Coop supermarkets throughout Italy to raise awareness on sustainable consumption and place sustainable development considerations at the center of consumers’ purchasing choices. 

Training & Edutainment

  • The Alliance launched the e-learning course “The 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals”, on its website to explain the 17 SDGs in easy and accessible terms.
  • In collaboration with the Regional Information Center of the United Nations (UNRIC), ASviS produced the Italian version of the “Go Goals!” board game to familiarize children with the SDGs from an early age.

Opportunities for the young

  • The second edition of the MIUR-ASviS contest, “Facciamo 17 Goal” (Let’s score 17 Goals) was launched, involving Italian students of all ages to promote knowledge, the diffusion and the adoption of the lifestyles envisaged by the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
  • Youth in action for SDGs” was the second edition of the call for ideas directed at young adults under 30 years of age and promoted by Fondazione Italiana Accenture, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei and Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli in collaboration with ASviS.
  • ASviS participated in the contest “Lavazza and Youth for SDGs”, a competition open to university students and their proposals regarding a sustainability project to be implemented in a country in which the Lavazza Foundation is present.
  • In collaboration with Fondazione Enel, Leonardo, the Sustainable Development University Network (RUS), UN-Sustainable Development Solutions Network and the University of Siena, ASviS launched a Summer School on sustainable development to offer high-level training. The Summer School took place in Siena in September 2018.


The Sustainable Development Festival 2017

The 2017 Festival represented the first experience of its kind in Italy, stretching across all national territory for 17 days, one for each Sustainable Development Goal, from May 22nd to June 7th. The success of the campaign was made possible thanks to the efforts and contributions of ASviS’s network of civil society institutions and organizations as well as of its own Secretariat: a truly extraordinary endeavour, which drew public attention to the 2030 Agenda by calling upon the participation and enthusiasm of all segments of society.

The 2017 Festival featured 221 events that scattered across the peninsula, touching upon big cities and small towns and villages alike. A massive turnout of people joined us in conferences, workshops, seminars, flash mobs, games and shows. The Festival involved a total of 2300 speakers, including the Italian Prime Minister, and saw the participation of high-level representatives such as the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella and the President of the Chamber of Deputies Laura Boldrini. Italian citizens were also extremely active and responsive online, since the Festival’s messages reached over 4 million users on Twitter and Facebook, while this website and the one dedicated to the Festival were accessed by 110 thousand people in little over two weeks.

The Festival truly left no one behind. Not only did it give voice to experts and professionals, but it also appealed to the younger generations with over 80 events organized by the Italian Network of Universities for Sustainable Development (Rete delle Università per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile, RUS) and a national contest for students, “Let’s score 17 goals. Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, organized by ASviS and the Italian Ministry of Education (MIUR), which involved more than 200 schools. ASviS also supported the contest “Youth in Action for Sustainable Development Goals”, organized by Fondazione Italiana Accenture, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei and Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli to reward young innovators under the age of 30 for the most original projects contributing to the achievement of the SDGs.

Among all of the events, three were organized and directly managed by ASviS’s Secretariat. The first took place in Naples at the Royal Palace’s Court theatre and was addressed to civil society. The conference “2030 Italy: leaving no one behind!” drew attention on the fight against all forms of inequality and saw the participation, among others, of the Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, the Minister of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, the Minister of Labour and Social Policies and the Minister for Territorial Cohesion and Southern Italy.

The second event “Business and finance: the engines of sustainable development” took place in Milan at the UniCredit Pavilion. The conference focused on the private sector’s contribution to the achievement of the SDGs and saw the participation of the Minister of Economic Development and the Minister of the Environment and Protection of Land and Sea. During the event, a number of representatives of the Italian business sector signed a joint declaration, “Italian businesses united for the Sustainable Development Goals”, committing to the achievement of the SDGs for an equitable and inclusive economic growth.

The Italian Chamber of Deputies hosted the Festival’s closing event, “2030 Italy: a sustainably-developing country”. On that occasion, ASviS handed the results of the Festival to the Government and national institutions in the presence of the highest-level Government officials. It is worth mentioning that, in presenting the contents of the soon-to-be-approved National Sustainable Development Strategy, the Prime Minister endorsed many of the Alliance’s proposals concerning the governance of the Strategy, such as the driving role of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers over such a cross-cutting priority for the future of the Country.

The outcome of the first Sustainable Development Festival went beyond our own expectations, proving that the Italian society is ready to join forces to shape a better common future. This gives us the enthusiasm and inspiration to persist in raising our voices for sustainable development and to continue celebrating and advocating it at least until 2030, leaving no one behind.


Updated: October 2017


Alleanza Italiana per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile - ASviS
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