As the world begins to take sustainability more seriously, the time has come for individuals to step up and tackle issues in their own regions in order to better the future for the whole world.

Global Goals Jam is a two-day workshop that uses design thinking to tackle regional challenges relating to SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). The first event took place in the Netherlands back in 2016, and ever since then it has been held every September in cities around the world. So far, the event has seen more than 200 participating cities.

Anyone can participate in the Global Goals Jam, including those who do not know much about SDGs or design thinking. The hands-on workshops and prototyping are there to both introduce SDGs to individuals, as well as to deepen the knowledge of those who are already aware of the movement.
The main aim of the event is to broaden the understanding of SDGs so that individuals can better adopt them into their lives, and use them to tackle everyday issues in their own regions, which in turn will hopefully lead to a more sustainable future.

The Global Goals Jam 2021 will be accessible online this year, with events taking place at various cities across the globe. For those of us in Japan there are three events taking place in Japan to consider getting involved in.
The events are co-sponsored by FabCafe and Loftwork Inc. – two organisations who work on implementing SDGs across different regions. Both groups have participated as Global Goals Jam organisers since 2017, and have been working closely with the SDGs headquarters in the Netherlands.

Since the start of Global Goals Jam, designers, creators, business individuals, researchers, students, and other people from a variety of fields have participated in the workshops. Together they have built new networks and started successful and ongoing projects relating to SDGs.

Currently, the event is recruiting participants for this year's event, which will be held online so as not to contribute to the spread of COVID-19. Because the themes and target audiences of the SDGs vary from region to region, the event organisers recommend joining the online events according to personal interests and awareness of issues.

Each event of this year’s Global Goals Jam Japan is introduced below.
Some events will be conducted in English, and others in Japanese.

Theme: Regenerative Cities
Participating city: Tokyo

Dates: 18 September, 19 September 2021
Language: Mainly in English
Event application URL:

Theme introduction: How can we design a future Tokyo which is unbound by city systematic standards? How can we build a city which has a healthier and more sustainable relationship with nature? How can urban systems and communities become cyclical? How can Tokyo, the world’s largest city, face the challenge of becoming a renewable city?

Even up to this very moment, Tokyo has proven to be an adjustable city, having gone through repeated changes in the wake of various crises such as the Great Kanto Earthquake and the wartime air raids. Most recently, the Olympic Games challenged the ideas of what the city should be like today.
This endless cycle of change makes Tokyo a great example for this year’s Global Goals Jam Tokyo theme, which looks at regenerative cities.

Theme: Beyond-human-centered-design *Junior and senior high school students only
Participating city: Tokyo (Bay)

Dates: 25 September, 26 September 2021
Language: Mainly in Japanese. English Support is available
Event application URL:

About: In this event Junior and senior high school students are invited to come together and discuss climate change and environmental issues. The theme, ‘Beyond-human-centered-design’, encourages discussions such as; What sort of designs can work closely with nature and the environment? as well as, What kind of design can you provide?

Similar events following the same theme of ‘Beyond-human-centered-design’ will be held jointly online by Fabcafe Bangkok and Fabcafe Kuala Lumpur for 12 to 17 year olds on the 25th September, 26th September and 2nd of October 2021.

Theme: Translocal
Participating cities: Fukuoka, Kyoto, Yamaguchi, Oita, Kagoshima, Kuala Lumpur

Dates: 18 September, 19 September 2021
Language: Domestic assignments will be conducted in Japanese, and Kuala Lumpur assignments will be conducted in English.
Event application URL:

About: Jointly organised by the faculty of Kyoto Sangyo University, Kyushu University, and Yamaguchi University and the FabCafe team, this international event focuses on the theme of "Translocal". Participants will be involved and work on issues from actual projects taking place in the six cities. The issues tackled will be quality education, waste disposal and sustainable cities and communities.

By - Connie Sceaphierde.