Inspiration Hub

A TEDx Talk about Destinations and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs)

A TEDx Talk about Destinations and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs)

Why our TEDx debut focuses on transforming mindsets

In November 2022, the organisers at TEDxBarcelona invited members of the GDS-Movement to talk about the work it is doing with destinations in relation to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

The GDS-Index and the UN SDGs

When brainstorming ways to design a TEDx Talk about the GDS-Index, we chose to focus on changemakers working within DMOs because, without them, meaningful change cannot take place in a destination.

The destinations featured in the talk

At the GDS-Movement we have a database of over one hundred best practices that we’ve identified in destinations working with us from around the world, such as the Changing the Menu for Good initiative by Belfast or the Closed for Maintainance programme from the Faroe Islands. We could spend hours speaking about these different fantastic projects, but given the limited time, we focused on these destinations:

– Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, which has saved tonnes of food from going to the landfill through the Food Waste Prevention Programme by training hundreds of hospitality and kitchen workers to measure, monitor, report on, and mitigate food waste taking place at hotels and venues;

– Irish destinations like Kerry, Cork, Galway, and the Shannon region, which have created schemes and supplier strategies to get their hotels third-party sustainability certified;

Glasgow’s legacy programme, which brought local cafes and horticultural therapists to the meetings space in order to create positive social and environmental impacts that leave a lasting legacy for the destination.

The passionate volunteers, the changemakers, and the green champions – here’s to you

Ultimately the talk was an ode to those creating change in their destinations. Year after year, we work with destinations of all sizes with budgets of all kinds, but nothing moves the needle of progress more in the desired direction than having the right people in the team. The right person is not only dedicated to promoting the destination but understands why the work they do is important for their communities and the planet.

Destinations, we see your profiles on LinkedIn light up with the results of the GDS-Index every year, but we see the other achievements, too: the community-driven events you partake in, or the online training or certifications in sustainability that you voluntarily make time to complete outside of your schedules. When we meet you in person, your passion is undeniable and infectious.


2022 GDS-Index Top 30

We cannot overstate the value these team members bring to their DMOs, and that the subsequent impact their projects make on the DMO’s brand and bottom line cannot always be measured.

While no DMO has yet achieved all the 17 UN SDGs and their 169 targets, together we’re seeing everyone do their part in greening the tourism and events space, and we cannot be prouder to be working in such good company. So, thanks to our changemakers around the world, thank you for working with us to make our destinations better places to meet, visit, and live in.


– Download the 2022 GDS-Index results report, Raising the Bar

– See the 2022 GDS-Index Top 30

– Here’s a template to help you hire the ideal sustainability manager

Go to Top