From 20 – 22 March 2013 the UNESCO hosted the Progress Kick-off Meeting at their Headquarters in Paris. The synergies between UNESCO and Progress were apparent throughout all sessions. UNESCO has been advocating for a more socially responsible and ethical model to govern scientific research and innovation globally and Progress aims to provide a strategy to promote socially desirable goals. Progress partners and advisors from all continents joined the meeting in Paris to exchange ideas about pro-poor innovation, broader impacts of science, guiding funding to address grand challenges, Chinese and Indian strategies to integrate innovation with societal concerns as well as questions such as what is responsible research and innovation (RRI), what are the main ethical issues in our case studies (synthetic biology, nanotechnology and ICT), how can we involve industry and end users in our debates, how can be collaborate with our EU-funded sister projects and how we disseminate our findings most effectively. The meeting ended with commitments from Progress and UNESCO to continue working together fruitfully.