The exhibition, launching worldwide in 2015, will be linked to The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) initiative. The purpose of SDGs is to provide a framework for governments to work together to address the broad challenges of poverty eradication, environmental protection and sustainable consumption and production, and provide the foundation for a global green economy. The purpose of the exhibition is to bring these issues alive for students and a broad cross-section of the public, and to demonstrate that sustainable human progress is possible.

The outdoor exhibition is in two parts: it opens with Bob Dylan’s lyric, "A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall", illustrated with pictures that bring global challenges alive in a moving and unforgettable way (see Hard Rain). More than 15 million people on every continent have viewed it in universities, city centres, botanic gardens, and at the United Nations headquarters since its launch in 2006. One of the most successful photographic exhibitions ever created, it has attracted huge public and critical acclaim, along with the support and endorsement of political and environmental leaders across the world. Hard Rain is a vivid reminder of the price of inaction and draws visitors to the second part of the exhibition.

Whole Earth? offers solutions in the areas of climate, energy, fresh water, oceans and agriculture, but also in areas such as human rights and economic rule-making. It proposes some new ways of thinking. And it gets personal: it wants to know what visitors are going to do now that they understand the problems and know that solutions are available. Whole Earth? will be adapted to present the SDG initiative and highlight challenges facing the next generation of political and business leaders (see Whole Earth? and Making Peace with Nature). The display may be customized by each university to demonstrate what it and its students are doing to implement sustainable development. These initiatives will be shared on the Hard Rain Project website to help cross-fertilize sustainable solutions and encourage a wider range of universities to engage with the issues.

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