UCL Institute for Global Prosperity


‘My Perfect Country’ at the United Nations

19 May 2016

‘My Perfect Country’ team at the United Nations

A blog by Constance Smith

Director of the UCL Institute for Global Prosperity Professor Henrietta Moore and a BBC radio World Service team were invited to open the May 2016 session of the UN Economic and Social Council, leading a discussion to introduce the themes of integration and innovation that will be vital to implementing the UN’s 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.

The session was recorded for a special episode of the radio series ‘My Perfect Country’, which will air on the BBC World Service on 2 July 2016. The programme explores global examples of innovation in relation to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. It is produced in collaboration with IGP.

This is the first time ever that a radio programme has been made in a sitting session of the UN, giving UCL a unique platform to contribute to global strategic discussions on how to make a more sustainable, prosperous and equitable world for all. The World Service has a global reach of 191.4 million people making it an unparalleled resource for research impact and accessibility.

We invited four participants from countries featured earlier in the series (India, Uganda, Estonia and Costa Rica), each of whom has pioneered innovative policies and projects that have tangibly made lives better in their country. These provided case-study examples of successful initiatives with positive results on sustainable development and inclusive social development. In her discussion and analysis Professor Moore draws out the connections with the UN’s own sustainable development goals, highlighting opportunities for new forms of global knowledge sharing and integration.

My Perfect Country is a threeway collaboration between UCL’s Institute for Global Prosperity (IGP), the BBC World Service and independent radio producers Whistledown. It looks at successful social and environmental projects around the world, asking how they have worked, and whether they can work elsewhere. The programme harnesses the diverse expert knowledge evident in UCL by featuring UCL academics and their research, both in the radio episode and through the online learning resource

UCL’s Institute for Global Prosperity aims to rethink pathways to an equitable, just, sustainably prosperous world. IGP uses innovative mixed methods that draws together cutting edge academic thinking with contributions from policy makers, communities, businesses and NGOs to fundamentally rethink how we will sustain human societies on this planet in a way that ensures the prosperity and wellbeing of all.

The United Nations Economic and Social Council (EcoSoc) is one of the principal organs of the United Nations, responsible for coordinating the economic and social work of 14 UN specialized agencies. EcoSoc has 54 global members who meet to discuss international economic and social issues, and to formulate policy recommendations for the UN member states and the United Nations system.

UN EcoSoc, My Perfect Country and the UCL Institute for Global Prosperity all share a commitment to finding new approaches to global change, and to learning not just from government but also from citizens, innovators and the world at large. The 2030 sustainable development agenda is global – all nations need to work towards the SDGs, in ways that work for their populations as well as for the planet as a whole.