New gamified digital tool showcases UNCTAD’s work on global goals

10 September 2021

The Wheel of Purpose is an online educational tool for people to quickly and easily learn about different areas of the UN trade body’s work on sustainable development.

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© Henry St. John

A collaboration between UNCTAD and SAP has yielded a new digital tool for exploring how UNCTAD’s daily work contributes to sustainable development.

The Wheel of Purpose, launched today, puts sustainability and learning side-by-side in a digital environment.

Created by SAP, the Wheel of Purpose encourages a global audience to spin a digital wheel and take a quiz on UNCTAD’s work related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Players must then select the correct answer to a question posed about the SDGs. The wheel is a new tool for sustainable development communications, says UNCTAD.

“Sustainable development is a complex challenge, but it is a responsibility shared by everyone,” said Arlette Verploegh, UNCTAD chief of communications and external relations.

“We need tools that humanize and explain different pathways to sustainability. The Wheel of Purpose does that. Applied to UNCTAD’s work, it showcases what we do in a simple, gamified way. The wheel is at once educational and inspirational to our audiences and reinforces our commitment to the 2030 Agenda.”   

Purpose-driven public-private partnership

Hosted on SAP technology, the Wheel of Purpose presents an interactive user experience to engage in and learn about sustainable development efforts in an easy-to-understand manner.

SAP, a global software and technology solutions provider, underscored the power of innovative technology to create tangible impacts for the SDGs, and to rally greater support for the vital cause of sustainable development.

“Our collaboration on the Wheel of Purpose with UNCTAD provides a powerful example of a purpose-driven partnership between the public and private sectors,” said Daniel Schmid, chief sustainability officer at SAP.

“We are excited to amplify the reach of this exciting digital showcase and inform others about how UNCTAD and SAP engage in meaningful efforts to accelerate the UN’s global agenda.”

Spin the wheel of purpose

Players are encouraged to play the game by spinning the “wheel of purpose”, the colour wheel associated with the 17 SDGs.  Players can answer up to three multiple-choice questions to test their knowledge of UNCTAD, depending on which SDG the wheel lands on, before starting again.

The multiple-choice quiz revolves around the work of UNCTAD and partners worldwide to make the future of trade and development more sustainable.

“UNCTAD’s core work covers seven of the 17 SDGs, but our daily work touches all the goals,” Ms. Verploegh said.

“Spin the wheel to find out about the known and many unknown areas of UNCTAD’s sustainability and trade work.”

The Wheel of Purpose will be included in the virtual programming of all UNCTAD’s upcoming events for 2021. This includes its quadrennial conference, UNCTAD15, slated for 3 to 7 October, various side events and forums associated with the conference, and the World Investment Forum scheduled for 18 to 22 October.

These events will bring together governments, the private sector, civil society, youth and key stakeholders to forge a new development path, and a better recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

UNCTAD delivering on the global goals

Adopted by world leaders and UN member states in 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a shared blueprint to achieve a more peaceful, prosperous and equitable future for all.

At the heart of the 2030 Agenda are the 17 SDGs seeking to address a host of global challenges confronting humanity – poverty, inequality, climate change, peace, justice and more.

The SDGs, or "Global Goals", are deeply interconnected as a universal call to action by all countries. More important than ever, they also serve as a critical framework for COVID-19 recovery.

With a broad mandate on interrelated issues including trade, finance, investment and technology, UNCTAD implements a range of programmes globally to support progress on the economic, social and environmental fronts of sustainable development.

Explore the wheel to find out more about how UNCTAD supports the economic dimension of the 2030 Agenda and works towards the goal of building prosperity for all.