UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development

UNESCO Digital World Conference, Berlin

Client: UNESCO, Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (Federal Ministry of Education and Research), Agentur Familie Redlich
Commissioned by: UNESCO, Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (Federal Ministry of Education and Research)
Date: 17th - 19th May 2021
Services:Audio, Video, Event-IT, Staging, Streaming, RSI
Project Manager: Marc Erhardt
Branch:Erfurt, Berlin
Special features:
  • technical implementation of the UNESCO World Conference with 2,500 participants, 100 live connections and 250 speakers as a pure Digital Live Event
  • highly complex audio signal distribution for simultaneous interpretation in 7 languages
  • provision of an own, secure 500 Mbps internet connection via direct radio link

In the middle of May 2021, the UNESCO World Conference "Learn for Our Planet. Act for Sustainability" – organised by the UN organisation and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research – was held as a Digital Live Event transmitted from the Berlin Congress Center (bcc). The three-day conference marked the official launch of the new UNESCO global programme entitled "Education for Sustainable Development" in the current decade, or ESD 2030 for short. Over 2,500 worldwide representatives from politics, science, business and civil society held a virtual discussion on potential solutions aimed at initiating a better anchoring of sustainable development in all areas of education – from early childhood learning, school, job training and informal learning through to further education. The event was opened by Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, and Audrey Azoulay, the Director-General of UNESCO. The agenda also included a video message from the German astronaut Alexander Gerst. Interested viewers could (and still can) stream many of the items on the agenda via the ESD portal

We were engaged by the German ministry, the UN organisation and the “Familie Redlich” communications agency – which designed the conference – to handle the technical implementation of this purely digital event. A focal point of our assignment was signal distribution – for Remote Simultaneous Interpreting (RSI), for example. The speeches were simultaneously interpreted into seven languages. Fourteen interpreter booths were installed at the bcc, and two N&M technicians linked the interpretation facility at the UNESCO location in Paris with the hub in Berlin. This ensured reliable implementation of the highly complex distribution of the audio signals and a language mix from Paris and Berlin.

In order to broadcast the conference, we installed a complete studio at the bcc with video and audio systems. Our clients also entrusted us with building the set. We then had to provide 16 individual streaming signals from the video control system with their own video and audio for broadcast via the platform run by the Canadian provider NextTec. We also realised other streaming sessions – including complete licence management – via the Zoom video conference platform in such a way as to allow five sessions to take place at the same time, each with around 1,000 participants and simultaneous interpreting.

In this way, we realised a total of over 100 live video link-ups over the three days of the conference. This involved contacting each of the 250 speakers shortly before their appearance to check the connection and make sure the equipment was working without a hitch – we also did this for simultaneous Zoom sessions. Using a 500 Mbps synchronous point-to-point microwave transmission line, N&M’s "Information and Communications Technology" (ICT) unit established a dedicated, secure Internet connection to Berlin’s TV tower for the World Conference; the ICT team was also responsible for creating a network of over 350 endpoints on site.

Last but not least, we also provided technical support for the filming of a music video at the conference with the young artist Dorin Ben David. We assisted her in recording three songs, which, within just 24 hours, were edited and then broadcast during the opening ceremony.


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