Sustainable development goals

Sustainable Development Goals

To find a balance between the planet’s limited ecological resources and the well-being of its population, 193 countries in the UN agreed in 2015 on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) until 2030, both at the state and international levels.

Since 2017, Shiftworks has been working with several partners to raise awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals in Estonia across various activities. The keywords of this action have been a caring digital culture, human-centric urban space development, inclusion of marginalised groups, gender equality and environmentally conscious behaviour. In 2022, as a response to Russia’s invasion in Ukraine, “Peace, justice and strong institutions” was added. Shiftworks focuses on environmental awareness and conscious living, mental health, and the resilience of the cultural sector. Our activities are also guided by an additional SDG that Estonia has taken upon itself – “The viability of the Estonian cultural space”, which aims at maintaining the continuity and vitality of Estonia as a nation-state through culture. The values, methods, behavioural models, mindset and lifestyle that the SDGs bring is a significant innovation in society that can be brought to fruition through culture.

Bringing together representatives from the music and culture sector, as well as institutions, community initiatives, businesses and researchers, during the TMW Conference and our other projects, we take a closer look at how the music and culture sector can contribute to working towards the aims set out by the SDGs.

We work with the following SDGs:

Mental health in the music and creative industry and among the youth, including uncertainty and anxiety, substance abuse, cyberbullying,  severe competition and irregular working patterns leading to mental and physical burn-out;

The TMW x Infohunt Youth Creative Hackathon was aimed at finding solutions to the mental health challenges that the youth are facing. The winning teams of the hackathon, which took place on 7 – 9 May, 2021 presented their solution at the 2021 edition of TMW.

TMW Talks – a series of public discussions. In cooperation with Telia, we launched the #suurimjulgus /  Greatest Courage campaign and held a public discussion for youth about cyberbullying and netiquette (2019). Another Talks series event (2020) included a discussion about depression among youth, anxiety caused by the pandemic and climate change, as well as the “sadness cult” trends in current popular culture. 

Related activities and news

Our programme aims at gender balance and we create opportunities for gender minorities to actively participate in music life. 

TMW is a member of the global Keychange movement, which aims at making the music industry more inclusive and supporting festivals and music organisations in reaching gender equality by 2024. To that end, the movement is active in creating more international performance and cooperation opportunities for women and underrepresented musicians and music industry specialists, as well as in tackling the structural inequality in the music industry.

One of the previous Keychange focus events unfolded within TMW 2018 when the TMW Creative Impact Conference became the first international conference in Estonia to reach gender balance. Currently, there is a key event planned for TMW 2024, during which participants and representatives of the project will meet with policymakers in culture to hold a broader strategy discussion concerning the music industry.

Within TMW there have been discussions and workshops to promote gender equality, at the lead of ShesaidSo, an international organisation aimed at empowering women in the music industry.

Related activities and news:

Social inclusion of underrepresented groups and less advantaged parts of town: inclusion of Russian-speaking Estonian habitats and other minorities (see also SDG5: gender equality). 

Through festival activities, TMW creates novel opportunities for the less integrated parts of our population – the Russian-language communities, the elderly, the youth and those with lower income – to participate in Estonian society. Through our networks and programmes, we also offer improved access to creative sector activities, education and training opportunities, and civil society initiatives. The festival also highlights regions that are farther from the attractive hubs and/or in disadvantaged situations (Lasnamäe, Kopli, Narva and Ida-Viru County). The festival is also accessible to those with impaired mobility and the free city stage events are open to all, regardless of age or income.

  • Tallinn–Narva Music Week. In 2022, TMW took place in Tallinn and the border-town Narva
  • Station Narva. Since 2018, Shiftworks and a team in Narva have enlivened the cultural and business life of Narva and the whole of Ida-Viru County, bringing a new public and positive attention to the border city with a majority Russian population.
  • Shared Space is an international project that we have initiated with three partners with a common goal – to open the doors to our organisations in a novel way and include underrepresented communities, increase trust, inclusion and tolerance. Partners within this EU project are TMW and Station Narva from Estonia, Tampere Hall from Finland, and WORM Rotterdam from the Netherlands.
  • Lasnamäe Sunday. In cooperation with the civic initiative Lasnaidee and other initiatives and organisations in the Tallinn district of Lasnamäe, we organise free city stage concerts, talks, film sessions and exhibitions in Lasnamäe’s community gardens.
  • Participation in charity initiatives:
    – “Lapsed söönuks” (2017) event with the Estonian Food Bank (Toidupank)
    – In cooperation with the record fair Plaaditurg, TMW and the cancer foundation “Gift of Life”: charity record fair to support cancer patients (2020).
  • TMW Talks: The new glocal cool
  • TMW Talks: Estonian Refugee Council presents: Human Library “Let’s Meet!”
  • TMW Talks: Appropriation versus appreciation

Related news:

Inclusive communities and public spaces; rethinking and restoring the pandemic-stricken cultural ecosystem and infrastructure, finding novel uses and a new life for urban environments through culture.

  • Tallinn–Narva Music Week. In 2022, TMW took place in Tallinn and the border-town Narva
  • Restarting Old Town Tallinn in cooperation with the Tallinn municipality, young architects, restaurants and city stages.
  • TMW 2017 garage hack
  • Finding new uses for districts and/or locations that have been left behind. For example:
    • the playroom, exhibition and concert space created in abandoned soviet garages in the middle of Tallinn in cooperation with students from the Estonian Academy of Arts (2017).
    • the human-centric main street action on the busiest Viru roundabout in Tallinn, with the support of the Tallinn municipality and partners Viru Keskus, Telia, Nordic Hotel Forum and Eesti Meedia (2018).
    • Promoting North Tallinn with partners from the Telliskivi Creative City and Koplifest.

Related news: 

The carbon footprint of festivals and cultural events, circular economy, raising awareness about an environmentally conscious mindset and habits. 

  • In 2021, TMW initiated a culture cluster in cooperation with the collaboration platform Rohetiiger.
  • The #hoolin (I care) campaign in 2017–2018 included activities to raise awareness about the SDGs, films about the environment, thematic discussions and a smart consumer campaign aimed at children and youth in the form of a video competition. The campaign was organised in cooperation with the Ministry of the Environment, the Estonian Environmental Investment Centre, Telia Estonia, the Representation of the European Commission in Estonia, the Government Office, the embassy of Sweden, the Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation (AKÜ), the Estonian Refugee Council, and the design studio Velvet.
  • “Trash Cooking“ dinners within TMW 2017, aimed at informing people about the smart ways to utilise food waste and more sustainable cooking. 5 euros from the proceeds of each dinner ticket was donated to the Estonian Food Bank initiative for children in poverty („Lapsed söönuks“). Partners: Solaris Keskus, Kärbes (Vaba Lava), Telliskivi Creative City, Toidupank, Umami, Mjuk kombucha + Heyday, the Solaris shopping center supermarket and various raw material importers.
  • Free city stage concerts for youth and a second hand clothing event at Uuskasutuskeskus (2017–2018).

Related activities and news: 

TMW promotes the position of the cultural sector in society and supports the right of all society groups to participate in and enjoy the benefits of cultural life and to improve the rights of minorities. We can all do something for peace and justice.

  • Tallinn–Narva Music Week. In 2022, TMW celebrated unity and solidarity with the joint festival in Tallinn and Narva, the easternmost city in Estonia.
  • TMW 2022 Opening Talk: The impact of music in crisis and conflict

Shiftworks and it’s flagship projects Tallinn Music Week and Station Narva support and protect Estonian culture by providing platforms for artistic expression, fostering cultural exchange, engaging local communities, and contributing to international recognition.