My passion are the Sustainable Development Goals. I knew they were something I needed to be involved in. They address all the issues I have been an activist for for years – and I no longer have to choose among them. But what are they?
The Sustainable Development Goals, in short SDGs, are a UN initiative. That means that they have been initiated by the UN, but 193 countries signed and accepted them in The Paris Agreement. They promised to do what they can to achieve the goals and their targets!
Sounds like a lot? All it is. The ultimate goal is to end poverty, fight global inequality and save the planet. Some look at the goals skeptically. The UN is a political instrument and its political power is limited. There are no sanctions if countries do not meet the goals they set. Nevertheless it is a huge step for all countries to agree that change needs to happen and to collaborate. Countries alone can only do so much. Each decision, each purchase we make has an impact too. This is why each one of us has to step in and has the potential of being involved and make them a reality.
The Goals may seam complicated, arbitrary or not to have a connection to each other at first. But once you realise how much one goal affects the others, you can’t stop seeing the benefits. Whatever you buy has an impact on where it was produced, where the materials came from, how it was transported – and an impact on every person who was involved in all of these processes. Were they paid well? Is the workplace safe? Can they afford to send their kids to school? Were woman treated equally? Did they have affordable housing?
If you need some visualisation and some numbers to give you an idea of what the targets might look like, have a look here:
One of the leading economists, who worked on the Goals together with the UN, Jeffrey Sachs, inspired me to become a fan of the goals and if you listen to him. His way of explaining the goals, emphasising the necessity of sticking to them and getting you to want to jump on board is something I try to follow. I hope you can hear the spark in his voice and that he truly believes we can turn the future around.
Instead of seeing what we can’t do, I see them as a huge inspiration of what we can achieve. I have met so many people with different passions working on these goals without knowing it.
Human Rights Activists, Gender Equality Conferences, Waste Management Symposium, Biodiversity Scientists at a Zoo, Gentrification Skeptics, Affordable Housing Rallies, Co-Op Conventions, Alternative Economists Panels, Social Innovation Start-ups and so many more!
They all work on the Goals.
So could you.