Barefoot in Bonn: Lighting up the Global Festival of Action for the SDGs

What do Thomas Edison and Regan Leahy have in common? American heritage, yes. But something else. They were/are ideas people. Thomas Edison once said "the value of an idea lies in the using of it". Regan Leahy, as Assistant Manager in the Citizenship team, had an idea, and she used it. Having seen an advert for the Global Festival of Action for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on social media, Regan saw an opportunity for the firm and Barefoot College – our Global Citizenship partner – to get involved and showcase the incredible things we have achieved together so far within our partnership. Another thing Thomas and Regan have in common? A passion for light – Thomas as an electrical engineer, Regan as a member of our global Citizenship team that actively works with Barefoot and supports their efforts to train solar mamas to produce clean, renewable light for their remote communities.

The Festival, organized by the United Nations SDG Action Campaign, took place in Bonn, Germany and was the largest ever of its kind. It brought together more than 1,500 participants from 150 countries, including activists, politicians, ministers and high-level business representatives. The aim? To offer a dynamic space where participants could share different perspectives, test and accelerate new ideas, and really focus on the SDGs and what still needs to be done to promote and embed them around the world. You can read more about the Festival here.

The Hogan Lovells team - Gill McGreevy, Sabine Reimann, Regan Leahy, Vanessa Luke, Beate Kittlaus and Meagan Fallone, Bata Bhurji, and Lila Devi from Barefoot College worked together to create tailored content for the event, which included:

  • An Innovation Booth, where the team could speak to attendees about our partnership
  • A film screening of our award winning partnership documentary Flip the Switch
  • A SDG Action Talk by Meagan Fallone of Barefoot College about systems leadership
  • A Solar Lantern Building workshop with 50+ attendees. When asked what they learned one attendee said, "[I learned that] sustainable cooperation with the private sector can accelerate social transformation."

Hogan Lovells was the only law firm in attendance and the festival provided a unique opportunity to raise the profile of our partnership and to build new relationships with other like-minded organizations. We talk a lot about our culture and being Ambitious, Innovative, Supportive, Committed, and Responsible. The organizing team showcased all of these qualities and more. They brought Barefoot's vision to life and highlighted the true meaning of a shared value partnership.

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