In order to be able to reach a world of Sustainable Development, we need to take into account the following two key elements.
The first one is that the concept of sustainable development is also closely related to human rights, human values and human responsibilities. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone document of the UN proclaimed in 1948, mentions in its first Article the main ingredients of our rights, values and responsibilities.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Each of these ingredients is important and lie at the core of Sustainable Development. Let’s take for instance the definition of “dignity“: the state or quality of being worthy of honour or respect. This means that each of us is worthy of honour and respect, and is therefore directly linked to the essence of Sustainable Development and the respect towards our needs and those of other people, be it in the present or the future.
But what does this exactly mean for our lives and life styles? Are we aware of the interconnection of our actions on a global level? How can we take steps towards this future?
My answer stems from the second main aspect of Sustainable Development which is the name of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Transforming our World. To take steps towards a better future, we need to transform our world, and to transform our world we have to start with three concrete areas:
This is of course a very personal issue. And not necessarily an easy one, but surely a very fulfilling one. To transform ourselves implies many steps and probably may start for each person at a different point, but I am quite sure that, for all, it implies greater awareness. One aspect which helps to gain this awareness is knowledge and a broader view of the world. The data and stories you will find here are intended to assist in achieving this broader worldview. This has to go hand in hand with a change of our mental structures and our habits, certainly a process we have to commit ourselves to. A process that becomes easier when we start to be conscious about the challenges we are facing and that we actually can do something about them.
Companies are one of the global players that have a huge impact on the SDGs. Many already know this. Many are starting to take action to help improve the situation. Many are not sure where to start. And many are actually unaware of the SDGs. The same as in the case of transforming ourselves, the integration of SDGs is a process. First, of course, we need to be aware of their existence. Once we start to be committed to implement a change, Design Thinking and Lean Methodologies offer great tools to start the journey together with others.
Education is already undergoing a profound transformation since we are realising that the structures that were implemented in the past, do not serve our children to face the challenges of the future. New methodologies such as Project-based Learning, cooperative learning, or theories, such as the importance of emotional intelligence, are turning students into active participants of their own learning process. Sustainable Development includes new knowledge that has to be integrated into the curriculum and linked to what children are learning and their daily experiences, to empower them to live in the future that is waiting for them.
To be able to take the adequate steps and learn along our journey, I will share the main ideas and insights we can extract from the SDGs and how to integrate them into our lives. Let’s start the journey!