Sharks visit the UN

Pin to Areas of Work
Shark Tank at the UN

For the first time ever, the cast from the award-winning television series Shark Tank came together from around the world and met at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to learn about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how they can #ActNow on the most pressing challenges for people and planet.

The Sharks’ visit was filmed and aired in the U.S. series finale on Friday, 3 May 2024. The U.S. Sharks - investors Barbara Corcoran, Mark Cuban, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John and Kevin O’Leary - were joined by the stars of six other versions of the show globally, from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Finland, India and Thailand.

While at the UN, the Sharks were briefed by leading global experts and high-level UN officials who impressed upon the Sharks that they, as business leaders and entrepreneurs, have the power to make a real difference achieving the SDGs, the blueprint adopted by world leaders for a better future, peace and prosperity for all.

“I guess you think about your kids and their future kids and the world you want to leave behind for them,” Mark Cuban, reflecting on the challenge laid down to the Sharks to help spur action on the SDGs.

By investing in and supporting innovative solutions to positively impact the planet, the Sharks have power to directly impact the planet and to inspire others to do the same. “Private sector leadership is essential,” Melissa Fleming, UN Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, told the Sharks who were briefed in particular on tackling climate change, achieving gender equality and spurring economic development.

Cassie Flynn, Global Director of Climate Change at UNDP, underscored Fleming’s observation. “To solve the climate crisis, we need bold ideas and action. I was honored to speak with ABC’s Shark Tank about climate change. The Sharks (and Lions and Dragons from the international shows) and I talked about the vast opportunities for business solutions to change the world for the better. Now is the time for investors, entrepreneurs, and innovators to align with the Paris Agreement. Shark Tank is critical for setting the example,” she said. 

“To me the whole day was a wakeup call,” said Barbara Corcoran. “What we learned today is that we have more power than we thought to make a difference in business. Now I’m going to choose different products, different businesses.”

But you don’t have to be a Shark to make a difference. During their time at the UN, the Shark’s rallied behind a major social impact call-to-action encouraging the show’s hundreds of millions of viewers around the world to do their part by taking individual action on the SDGs through the UN’s ActNow campaign. To date, more than 20 million actions have been taken and recorded by people around the world as part of ActNow, representing collective action that is having real and measurable impact.

You too can join the global movement for change by joining ActNow!

Learn more about the SDGs.

About Shark Tank

On Shark Tank, entrepreneurs pitch business ideas to a panel of six investors, or ‘sharks’, as they are called on the U.S. version of the show, who decide whether to invest in their business ventures. Shark Tank originated as a television series in Japan but has spun off 45 different versions around the world, some of which are called Dragons’ Den and Lions’ Den.

The segment on the visit to the UN will air on other national versions of the show in the coming months.