Aotearoa Sustainable Development Goals Summit Series

2 Day Summit Event: Collaboration for Systemic Change


Collaborating, connecting, and working together has never been more important than right now. SDG Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals, is our collective way forward. Join us for the next part in the 2020-2021 Aotearoa/New Zealand SDG Summit Series and see how by working together, we can create the world we want, and the world that we need.

You're invited to participate at a two-day cross-sectoral Summit event, focused on connecting, learning, collaborating, and taking real action on the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Held over two consecutive days (September 2 – 3) in Ōtautahi Christchurch, the 2021 SDG Summit is far from your ‘usual’ conference event. 

Summit Programme:

Thursday 2 September | DAY ONE


8:00 AM   Registration Starts | Activation Stations

8:45 AM   Mihi Whakatau | Welcome | Health & Safety | Scene Setting


Main Stage Plenary: Kōrero about the SDGs in Aotearoa

Dame Anne Salmond and Sacha McMeeking 

Dame Anne Salmond is a Distinguished Professor of Māori Studies and Anthropology at the University of Auckland, and a leading social scientist. She is the first New Zealander to be elected a fellow of both the US National Academy of Sciences and the British Academy. A former Vice-President (Social Sciences and Humanities) of the Royal Society of New Zealand and the first social scientist to be awarded the Rutherford Medal, New Zealand’s top scientific prize, she is also deeply involved in New Zealand’s public life as a scholar and communicator. Dame Anne also has a long-standing practical interest in environmental issues. Anne Salmond writes about climate change, the restoration of rivers, forests and the ocean, and has won an international reputation as an environmental thinker. In 2020 she was awarded the Blake Medal for leadership, and in 2021 New Zealand's top honour, the Order of New Zealand.

Sacha McMeeking (Kāi Tahu) is the Head of School, Aotahi - School of Māori and Indigenous Studies at University of Canterbury, Māui Lab Co-Director and Co-Director of Tokona te Raki, which heads up the Māori Futures Academy. Sacha brings a serial entrepreneur’s approach to working with and for Iwi Māori. From instigating United Nations proceedings to architecting a Māori social enterprise fund and leading commercial negotiations, she is known for solution-building that meets Iwi Māori aspirations.

Day One Morning Break | Activation Stations | Networking


Sector Based Kōrero | Facilitated Campus Walk


Day One Lunch | Activation Stations | Networking


Office of Auditor General's Report and the SDG Alliance


Day One Afternoon Break | Activation Stations | Networking

Day One Digest + Day Two Overview 

5:00 PM

Day One End | Networking | Travel to Community Feast Location

6:30 PM Community Feast

This is an opportunity to bring summit attendees into the centre of the city, to experience true manākitanga, and to expand the reach of the summit itself to people who may not otherwise attend.  This feast will feature foods provided through Christchurch food banks, a hāngi and foods gathered from Christchurch’s network of community gardens and urban agriculture projects, along with the option for non-summit attendees to bring food to share.


Friday 3 September | DAY TWO


8:00 AM

Attendees Arrive | Activation Stations | Packed Morning Tea for Field Trips

8:45 AM

Meet on Buses

9:00 AM Field Trips

Buses Leave University of Canterbury to Field Trip Locations (Facilitated Conversations)


You have the opportunity to see examples of the SDGs in action around the Waitaha Canterbury region. This action-filled part of day two starts at University of Canterbury and include three concurrent field trips for you to choose from: 

Field Trip 1 - Lincoln

Field Trip 2 - City Centre

Field Trip 3 - Lyttelton


**Packed Morning Tea provided

12:00 PM

Buses Leave Field Trip Locations to University of Canterbury (Facilitated Conversations)


Day Two Lunch | Networking

Project Showcase

A chance for participants to present their SDG Aligned project using 10 slides in 10minutes


Day Two Short Afternoon Break


SDG Summit Declaration + Next Summit Organisers Announced

4:00 PM Climate Change Commission Panel

5:15 PM Summit END | Networking Drinks



Thursday 2 September - Friday 3 September


C Block, University of Canterbury

Ōtautahi Christchurch


Interactive SessionS (Concurrent)

Rain Forest Retention:
West Papua as a Pacific Case Study

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Rainforests are our strongest defence against climate change and endangered species including rare marsupials and birds not found anywhere else on the planet. Right now these forests are being destroyed by palm oil plantations and these species are being pushed to the brink of extinction. The way of life and livelihoods of indigenous Papuan communities are being destroyed due to the impact of land stolen illegally and with excessive force by the Indonesian military.

In the session, Grant Rosoman will talk about his own long journey as a campaigner fighting for the last 20 years to protect these precious rainforests followed by an interactive workshop on how we can make progress towards achieving our SDG goals to protect these forests and give our planet a better future.

The Role of Tertiary Institutions
in Delivery of SDGs

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Tertiary institutions play a crucial role in the delivery of SDGs. In this session, the facilitators will explore two areas:

(a) Teaching and learning approaches that focus on delivery of SDGs and

(b) Institutional responses/approaches which focus on strategy around delivery of SDGs.
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How Critical is Collaboration in System Change and the Conditions Necessary for Success?

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Collaboration, does it really work? If so, how? The core element of any successful systemic change process is collaboration and wider engagement.

The core cultural and sustainability framework is best reflected in the Māori perspective “The wellbeing of the land and the wellbeing of people cannot be separated”. Business is under pressure to transform, requiring a critical evaluation of complementary instruments and approaches. Attendees at this session will hear from five Christchurch business sustainability leaders, charged with delivering sustainability programs in complex environments across interconnected Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs).

What works, what doesn’t, and the conditions you need to have in place for success.  Take advantage of lively lightning talks and nimble group workshops with active participation. Whether you are just starting your sustainability journey, challenged within a current project, or wanting to supercharge or catalyse your current sustainability program for systemic change, all are welcome.  Prepare to leave empowered; not only by their shared stories but with viable ideas and a future-forward action plan.  Motivated? – Go forth and collaborate for system change. 
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Waste and Circularity

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Minimising waste is a key sustainability goal that companies, councils, and communities are all pursuing with gusto. While we are all familiar with separating waste that can be composted or recycled, there's a new way of thinking about waste emerging. It involves something called The Circular Economy. Instead of our linear take-make-dispose approach to production and consumption, this involves thinking how we can design out waste and pollution, how we can regenerate nature, and how we can create new enterprises that keep products and materials in use.

In this session we'll think through these possibilities by looking at a selection of waste materials, exploring the possibilities for them to be replaced, to be reworked, or to help feed the earth and ourselves. We'll also discuss how this is already happening in and around Christchurch, and how you can get involved.

Interactive SessionS (Concurrent)

Utilising Systems Thinking to Address Waste Minimisation and Support SDG Localisation in Canterbury

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This session provides participants with hands-on systems thinking tools to explore the issue of concern (waste minimisation) and the associated SDGs (11, 12, 13) focusing on Canterbury region. 

Participants will have an opportunity to articulate the multiple goals that the system is trying to achieve, identify elements in the waste minimisation system, make connections between these elements, demonstrate the effect of feedback loops on system dynamics, brainstorm possible actions for influencing the system(s) and connect people with similar ideas, to stimulate forming collaborative groups.

Inclusive Organisations:
Crafted by Youth

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What if all courses and credentials had SDG16 as a compulsory component?

What if businesses were designed to liberate our humanity and creativity instead of manage our magic for the benefit of capital or country? What if education and business were in service to the flourishing of people, places and the planet? What if our youth ran the corporate world?

This session will provoke conversation about providing environments for youth where safety, inclusion, anti-racism, and celebration of diversity are not only an expectation but a requirement. Participants will be actively involved in using futures tools.
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Stats NZ’s Ngā Tūtohu Aotearoa
Wellbeing Indicator Framework

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Ngā Tūtohu Aotearoa – Indicators Aotearoa New Zealand presents the big picture of our lives as New Zealanders. More than 100 indicators have been chosen to measure a range of topics. These indicators aim to help all of us monitor progress around our social, cultural, economic, and environmental wellbeing. The indicators support the government's wellbeing vision to provide a more holistic view of wellbeing and sustainable development than a purely economic measure does. 

The indicators in Ngā Tūtohu Aotearoa Have been mapped to the 17 SDG goals and measures for each goal are provided. We see four paths ahead for the people at this Summit to engage:

  1. You can use the data on the website

  2. You can replicate the data on the website

  3. We can do it together

  4. You can help us improve it.


The aim of this session will be to explore how the Ngā Tūtohu Aotearoa indicators were developed, how they relate to the SDGs, and discuss how they could be used to monitor New Zealand’s progress towards meeting our SDG goals. We also want the indicators to be beneficial to people and are interested in how we can facilitate this.

Interactive SessionS (Concurrent)

Sustainable Community Living

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Many people are seeking connection and sustainable community living, but often we feel overwhelmed by all the information and knowledge we need to collect in order to work around regulations and restrictions.


The way forward is connecting with like-minded people to find the stepping stones for success. The group will gather and organise our collective wisdom and experience about community living, we will clarify together our ideal of community living, and the session will help people to work out their next steps to help it happen.


Our passionate team will set the scene for an interactive discussion among the participants. The workshop opens with telling 'our' stories and we encourage everyone to engage and think about a part of their own housing story.

⦁ What is the ideal of home, a place to live in the 21st century?

⦁ How does community housing look? 

⦁We explore some community housing options (eg Tiny house villages, and other examples)

⦁ What is hindering us from living that way?

⦁ How do we get to a more sustainable and connective way of living?


In the longer term findings from the session will contribute to developing a how-to resource, to help build community and environmental resilience for the present and future generations.

SDG 16 and Women, Peace and Security

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The session will provide an opportunity to strengthen the linkages between SDG 16 and WPS (Women Peace and Security). He maurea kai whiria. Speakers will unpack the statement that, there can be no peace without development and no development without peace.

The goal of the session is to provide, within the short timeframe, a discussion about solutions, successes, and challenges in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies in Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific. The UN Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security was adopted in 2000 was ground-breaking.

It was followed in later years by six complimentary UNSC resolutions. New Zealand had a National Action Plan for the implementation of these Resolutions from 2015-2019. The session will focus on the following: promoting good governance, the Rule of Law and anti-corruption; strengthening institutions and participatory decision- making processes; sustaining peace and conflict prevention; data and SDG 16 -measurement the key to tracking progress. Also, within our focus will be pandemics and climate.

Design for Conservation Toolkit

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Understanding the Treaty as a
Framework for the Future for
All of Us

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The session starts where people are and is non-confrontational. It is not only introductory, it is designed to refresh your understanding and to clarify what the Treaty means today including connections with the United Nations.

Consideration of ancestry, cultural difference and cultural safety, as well as pre-Treaty and post-Treaty history, issues of colonisation and current social statistics will highlight values-based and place-based new ways of thinking, living and working in 2020. Sharing stories of becoming tangata Tiriti - people who are committed to a Treaty-based future - will expose a shift from decision-making that relies on majoritarianism alone to right relationship with each other and nature, and with tangata whenua.
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Weaving in Creativity

Collaboration + Creativity = Change


Head on over to the Bead & Proceed activation stations and paint two beads in the Sustainable Development Goal you want to commit to going forward. One bead is yours to take away and serve as a reminder of your commitment and the other bead will be weaved into a stunning beaded mural.


This artwork will include every attendees bead and be a symbol of weaving our collaborative efforts and values together to achieve the SDGs. You are welcome to add a project, idea or initiative to the “action wall” to show how you will work towards achieving your selected SDG. Our vision is to add to the beaded mural every National SDG Summit, so when we arrive at the 2030 deadline, we have an artwork that visually represents the SDGs we care about and have committed to, inspiring us all to BEAD the change we want to see in the world for 2030 and beyond.