“Images transcend language, are universally understood and highly evocative.”
— Susan Smith Ellis, Chief Marketing Officer at Getty Images
The Global Goals for sustainable development have the potential to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and fix climate change. But what does this look like? And how do you get that message to transcend culture and geography?
“Imagery brings these causes to life, offering a window into global issues,” said Susan Smith Ellis, Getty Images Chief Marketing Officer. “We don’t have to look at a picture and worry about translation. Images are the lingua franca of our time.”
Here’s how we envision the 17 Global Goals in images, the universal language:
Goal 1: No Poverty
Award-winning Getty Images photographer Mario Tama is based in Brazil, where he documents life in the Favelas and the country’s “slavery road,” along which thousands of people are trafficked and made to work without pay.
Goal 2: No Hunger
Women selling vegetables in Central Market in Kota Bharu, Malaysia, by Getty Images Prestige photographer Jesse Warren.
Goal 3: Good Health
This photo by Ramesh Lalwani shows a young girl receiving anti-polio vaccination drops.
Goal 4: Quality Education
Award-winning Getty Images Reportage photojournalist Paula Bronstein captured this image of schoolchildren in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan in 2005. The children are beginning their first day of class in a makeshift school, two weeks after a devastating earthquake killed more than 50,000 people in the region.
Goal 5: Gender Equality
There’s an inspiring story behind these images of maritime engineers, as told by Getty Images Prestige photographer Thomas Barwick and award-winning Getty Images Senior Art Director Amy Lehfeldt.
Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
Getty Images Prestige photographer Anne Henly captures Indian schoolchildren washing their hands and faces at their village school outside Bandhavgarh.
Goal 7: Modern Energy
Wind turbines by Maria Wachala represent modern energy and sustainability. This image is one of many included in a toolkit the Global Goals team has put together so people all over the world can make the goals famous in schools, organizations, workplaces and communities.
Goal 8: Good Jobs and Economic Growth
This clever take on a graph line made from everyday objects is a creative way of illustrating the concepts of business and finance. Photo by Getty Images Prestige photographer JW LTD.
Goal 9: Innovation and Infrastructure
The image we chose to represent Innovation and Infrastructure also represents a trend in imagery we predicted for 2015, called “Future Unknown.” It’s a creative revolution finding image makers rejecting nostalgia and designing a new visual aesthetic: a technology-centered future.
Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities
A fun take on a serious concept by photographer Dimitri Vervitsiotis, illustrating togetherness as much as it represents equality.
Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
Getty Images Prestige photographer Tim Robberts re-imagines New York City covered in trees in this conceptual image.
Goal 12: Responsible Consumption
This photo by Getty Images Prestige photographer Hiroshi Watanabe illustrates concepts of consumption, environmental conservation and sustainability in a fresh way, using CGI technology and the “streets” of Tokyo for inspiration.
Goal 13: Protect the Planet
This Global Goals message from Professor Stephen Hawking uses Getty Images video to deliver a powerful message: The more people know about Global Goals, the more likely our leaders are to stick to them.
Goal 14: Life Below Water
The turtle in this photo by M. M. Sweet looks like you can reach out and touch it — an approach which is visually on trend. As our Creative Research team has noted, we are in an age of perpetual “Wonderlust,” with enduring fascination with the boundless beauty and unpredictability of nature’s mysteries. This image captures that essence.
Goal 15: Life Above Water
Award-winning Getty Images Reportage photojournalist Brent Stirton often focuses on conservation issues, and his images of a slain silverback gorilla in the Democratic Republic of Congo are a particularly strong example of his work. “Those pictures caused a bit of a stir,” Stirton said. “We managed to raise over $50 million for gorilla conservation.”
Goal 16: Peace and Justice
This image by Getty Images Prestige photographer Randy Plett is simple and beautiful, using children’s feet to illustrate concepts of togetherness, friendship and connection.
Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals
Getty Images Prestige photographer Henrik Sorensen’s image is an artistic way to say that partnership, cooperation and international support are key to making the Global Goals a reality.
Learn more about the Global Goals for sustainable development and how you can get involved. Do your part and #telleveryone.