Sustainability- It’s Complicated

Wroclaw, Poland (Image by me)

Did you know that you have made a commitment to solving the greatest challenges that face humanity…and all by 2030? That’s everything from providing access to clean water and sanitation for all, through to the production of renewable and affordable energy…

It was news to me too!

Just last year, I discovered the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG’s). That’s 17 goals that have been developed by some highly qualified people to create a world that serves humanity better and vice versa; and you signed up to them, as a member of the UN, back in 2015.

Some nay-sayers may argue that this is just a well marketed farce that will distract the world over the next decade…but they might want to take another look. The 17 SDG’s are made up of 169 targets that were developed and refined for years, around the root-cause of these major challenges. These goals are different to previous initiatives because they are universal, not just targeted at developing countries. This raises the question of whether inequalities at a political/ corporate level have really been considered in the development of these targets- because we all know a ‘one solution fits all’ approach is not very ..well, sustainable! The SDG’s are an accessible and transparent set of goals which call for governments, business and civil society to combine their scopes of influence to create effective routes of action. No, the SDG’s do not provide a framework for monitoring the global economy but they provide the ethos for every individual to adopt.

The goals and their targets are empowering, inspiring and yes, they are challenging! Unfortunately saving the world isn’t as simple as we’d like (it’s complicated, messy and interdependent), it’s not a pretty presentation full of pictures (but instead a series of long reports that have taken months of research but minutes to read), its going to take a whole lot of brain power before a whole lot of action (because building trust and achieving success is a long process and one wrong action could cause a series of unintended reactions)…but is that enough of a reason not to try?

So if you want to make an impact, leave a mark and contribute to progress…here is your chance.