Episode Zero: What are the SDGs?


Can we eliminate extreme poverty while curbing climate change? Can we have more equity and more economic growth? Put simply, can we make the world a better place for all?

This isn’t just some daydream you’ve probably had. It is the direct commitment made by 193 nations when they agreed to 17 Global Goals for the year 2030, 12 years from now. 

The Global Goals are ambitious, inspiring and daunting. They will require a level of cooperation and coordinated action unmatched in history—among governments, between government and the private sector and by millions of individuals holding leaders to account and pitching in themselves. Reaching the Global Goals will require major progress on everything from migration to education.

This brief episode introduces you to the goals and to your co-hosts, Claudia Romo Edelman, Special Advisor for UNICEF and expert on Marketing for social causes , and Edie Lush, journalist and communication coach.

“We are the first generation that can end extreme poverty,” Romo Edelman explains “and the last generation that can curb climate change.” Learn about this master plan for the planet’s future. “There is no plan B,” Romo Edelman reports. 

“Because,” Edie Lush adds, “there is no planet B.” If you want to be a part of changing the world you can start by listening to Global GoalsCast.

Featured guests

Caleb Tiller

Caleb Tiller is the United Nations Foundation’s Executive Director of Communications & Public Affairs, and brings over a decade of experience in communications, marketing and public relations to the position. He helps manage an award-winning team of more than 30 communicators, shaping the conversation about the Foundation’s work to connect people, ideas and resources to help the UN take on the world’s most pressing challenges.

Previous positions include tenures in the travel industry, the non-profit sector, and membership associations. Just prior to the UN Foundation, Caleb worked as Sr. Director, Marketing and Communications, for the Global Business Travel Association, an organization where he served for over six years. In his last position at GBTA, Caleb oversaw all of the organization’s event marketing, media relations, social media, and membership communications, for operations in North America, South America, and Europe. Caleb started his career as an educator, working for four years as a high school English teacher and college-level tutor.

Caleb lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, two children, and dog. He has been known to call himself music head, and has admitted on occasion that he is a terrible Twitter user.


00:00:00] P1: She could not understand what that even means. What does it mean to have a dream. One lady is literally says no one’s ever asked me what my dream was.

[00:00:13] P2: Last year we recorded the hottest day measured by NASA in the history of the Antarctic.

[00:00:15] P3: I could really see myself in these kids and I couldn’t imagine these kids not being in school, and being in a dangerous situation. We were gonna change this.

[00:00:24] P4: I just couldn’t believe that some thing so simple & so ordinary like a uniform had such a huge measurable effect and an impact.

[00:00:33] P5: We can make some differences. We need to make those differences.

[00:00:37] P6: And will mean, some girl, somewhere getting an education that otherwise she wouldn’t have been…

[00:00:40] P7: The list of 17 very ambitious goals. Let’s eliminate poverty, let’s eradicate hunger, let’s educate everybody, let’s ensure that everyone has access to good health, lets protect the environment…

[00:00:52] P8: Our individual progress and our collective progress, depends on our willingness to roll up our sleeves and work.

[00:01:09] EL: This is the Global GoalsCast.

[00:01:10] CG: The podcast that asks: ‘Can we change the world?’

[00:01:14] EL: Welcome. I’m Edie Lush.

[00:01:16] CG: And I am Claudia Romo Edelman.

[00:01:17] EL: And this episode we’re going to introduce you to what the Sustainable Development Goals are and who we are…

[00:01:23] CG: And this is actually our Episode 0 which is quite amazing because we want to tell you what are the Sustainable Development Goals or global goals and why should you care.

[00:01:32] EL: They are a plan. They are the world’s to-do list.

[00:01:36] CG: And the master plan for the future of the planet and its people and the reason why this is so historic, it is because you took actually 193 countries to agree on what are the real steps that we need to do and change so that we can provide everyone with what they have the right to have which is education, health, a future in which people can smile and see a river…

[00:02:00] EL: With clean air, clean water.

[00:02:03] CG: The promises Edie of the Sustainable Development Goals and we are going to call them the Global Goals in this program are three basic fundamental issues that are behind those 17 goals which are, first of all this is the first ever generation that can eradicate extreme poverty for the world. The second one is that this is the last generation that can stop and mitigate the impact of climate change. And lastly but really importantly that we can elevate the playing field of the world for all not only for the few and that’s the promise of the Global Goals and that’s why we’re so excited about this plan. And by the way Edie, this is the only plan that we have, we have no plan B..

[00:02:48] EL: Because there is no planet B

[00:02:50] CG: There’s no planet B either. So what we’re going to be having here is talking about the people that are making the progress that were advancing these Sustainable Development Goals started in 2015 and they’re going for 15 years. So are we going to be telling you the stories of those companies, individuals and corporations that are making progress there are, you know like, working day and night to make sure that we have a better gender policy on everything and the rights for everyone. And some people, as you mentioned, have done these things but never knew that they belong to something called the SDGs].

[00:03:23] EL: And that’s what I think is amazing and as we’ve been preparing these first couple episodes, I’ve gotten to interview the people who are out there working in the field, they’re working in the places where there is the most extreme poverty in the world. People like Jeanetta originally from Oregon who now lives in India and she’s the co-founder of the Shree Nityanada Education Trust which works with rural people on getting clean water, on educating girls and boys and keeping them in school. So when I spoke to her she hadn’t actually heard about the Sustainable Development Goals.

[00:03:57] CG: And it’s great to know if we are able to connect through this podcast the people that are doing their work, the organizations that are doing the efforts and actually put them together and understand that this is part of a global master plan, there is going to be a more like yeah we belong to a movement of changing the world and making it better because it’s possible. So why are we doing this podcast and what is it that we want to achieve?

[00:04:20] EL: Yeah! This is what we’re not. We’re not super boring in fact we are not boring at all.

[00:04:25] CG: Not at all.

[00:04:26] EL: We’re super interesting and fun and we’re going to tell you three things that you really need to know about each one of our topics so when we get to migration we’re going to tell you the three most interesting things that you need to remember about migration, something you’d want to go to a dinner party or tell your grandmother or your best friend about.

[00:04:41] CG: We are not a propaganda too of the United Nations or any country either. We are not NGOish, boring, sleeping pill but we are fun, music, entertainment and rigor applied to making sure that people understand why these issues are so important. So why did we start doing this podcast?

[00:05:00] EL: So I met you in fact at the World Economic Forum in Davos last January and I interviewed you and it was one of the greatest experiences I have had because I actually had never heard about the Sustainable Development Goals until I had interviewed you. And after that Stan Stalnaker, who is the founder of Hub Culture, said ‘you guys should do a podcast’ and that’s where this started.

[00:05:23] CG: And it triggered me because there is a great deal of progress in the world and there is a great deal of people that voices need to be heard but there was no platform and I think that everyone in the world is sick of hearing bad news and actually getting all dark and everything that we’re not doing right. But guess what? There is a great deal of beauty and there’s a great deal of hope that is out there and there are a great deal of people that are trying every time hard. And what we’re going to be doing is providing that platform, telling that story, telling those stories and allow people to listen from each other because it is so important to feel that what you’re doing, you’re not doing alone and that little flame in your heart that says like ‘I want to do more, I want to get engaged myself but am only one individual, how do I do it?’ Well guess what? There’s a thousand people like you that just need to know what are the things that you can be doing today? And also as governments are trying to implement these humongous challenges they need public support to commit to action because this world will not change if we don’t commit to action so that’s actually the promise of this podcast.

[00:06:32]EL: We’re going to tell you important things you need to know and we’re also going to tell you exactly what you can do about it. So we’re going to give you actions that you can go out and implement for each one of our episodes, for each one of our topics whether it’s migration, education, climate change.

[00:06:49] CG: Those are the Global Goals, this is the podcast. Who are we? I’m going to introduce Edie Lush, my co-host. Edie Lush is a journalist from America that lives in London so it makes it fun to actually have to find the time in which we can record together. She is a coach and a trainer and I love that aspect of Edie. That’s one of the things that started making me fall in love with her. It’s so interesting to see how many people have you changed their life through your coaching and your training by telling them how to tell stories, what to be a storyteller so Edie is a business journalist & entrepreneur herself that specializes in entrepreneurship and tech and we together have to create that website called WheresEdie.com because I never can find her.

[00:07:31] EL: And also I will mention that quite often you call me from some very interesting and fun places, when I’m at home in the rain in London. So just so that I can introduce Claudia as well. She started off as a journalist and she’s also been a diplomat and she also has worked for the World Economic Forum for the United Nations and her specialties have been children refugees and public health. I think it’s also worth pointing out that we are both migrants, we’re both mothers, we spend a lot of time with our families as well as out there working.

[00:08:02] CG: So, mother, migrant, entrepreneur and we met in the activism world to make sure that we created a female-led podcast called the Global GoalsCast that will have 24 episodes, twice a month launching in January. Thank you for listening.

[00:08:17] EL: And if you want to make sure you never miss a show subscribe to us at our website GlobalGoalsCast.org, iTunes or where ever you get your podcasts. And please follow us on Twitter Instagram and Facebook @GlobalGoalscast. We’ll give you the latest news and developments.

[00:08:34] CG: I am Claudia Romo Edelman.

[00:08:36] EL: And I’m Edie Lush, the Global GoalsCast.

[00:08:47] Thanks to all our U.N. and NGO partners. We are also grateful for the support of Hub Culture Freuds Communication, SAS, Saatchi & Saatchi and CBS New Digital.