What do you know about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

Jun 23, 2021 | Diversity & Inclusion

Are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) only about the environment? This is an essential aspect, but their field of action is much broader than that. The 17 goals target many other areas where action is needed, such as poverty, health, climate change, gender equality or women’s empowerment. Want to learn more and understand how you too can have an impact?

What is the impact of the SDGs?

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals have an impact on our society. The SDGs were adopted by all 193 UN member countries in September 2015. In doing so, they have agreed to help achieve these goals by 2030.
Countries around the world face challenges that require action from all sectors – public, private and civic. The “5 Ps” shape the SDGs: people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnerships.
“I believe we need to include stakeholders from all sectors (public, private and civic), regardless of gender or age group, to shape a sustainable future that can also deliver better business opportunities for all of us. on the long term.” Renate Guenther, co-founder of Geneva Macro Labs .

What topics are covered by the SDGs?

The Stockholm Resilience Center has developed a hierarchical system, known as the Wedding Cake Model, which helps us better understand the 17 SDGs.

A practical example:

Take for example SDG 5: “Achieve gender equality”.
We still live in a world where discrimination is numerous and understanding the origins of prejudice allows us to act and eliminate the source. Among the many forms of discrimination, gender inequality is still widespread. Gender parity in education , for example, is still far from a reality in many countries around the world [1]. Not having access to education makes it very difficult to earn a higher income, which is one of the reasons why gender equality represented by SDG 5 is such an important topic [2] .

Our society’s new heroes are people like you and me who stand up and take action for the future, for our future.
Simple actions are sometimes enough to become the basis for transformative change. Let’s discover some measures that can easily be taken [3] regarding the 5th SDG:

  • If you are a woman, know your rights and defend them.
  • Gender equality starts at home
  • Encourage schools to offer scholarships to girls
  • Increase gender representation in leadership positions in the workplace
  • Use mentoring and coaching to help women build and develop their careers.
  • Gender equality must be part of training and education. Young people must be supported in choosing a career that promotes their future, regardless of their gender.

Inspirational figures in our society, such as Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, have shown impressive examples of courage. The 22-year-old fought against the Taliban who burned down girls’ schools in her country. It cost her an assassination attempt when she was 14, and made this young woman an icon in the world, fighting for women’s rights.

How to inspire action in favor of the SDGs?

A community of experts whose common goal is to influence decision-makers and public opinion can support actions in line with the SDGs. However, governments have not fully embraced the 2030 Agenda and many do not reference the SDGs in their national budgets [4]. Non-state think tanks can provide this space for future-oriented discussions. These think tanks advise policy makers as civil society entities.
As such, they are uniquely positioned to bring together stakeholders from different sectors, generate and analyze reliable bottom-up data, and promote evidence-based policy making.

Think tanks can inform public policy debates and contribute to the much-needed shift from rhetoric to action. Their interactions with policy makers and other stakeholders are crucial for the development of recommendations within the framework of the UN agenda. They therefore constitute a powerful mechanism for achieving the SDGs, which is far from being exhausted. Think thanks have the ability to provide particular expertise and insight on how to address specific challenges. They are agile players who transcend silos and can quickly adapt to a changing environment. More importantly, they can combine practice and theory. In fact, when they focus on greater stakeholder engagement and practice, they transform from think tanks to action groups. As such, they leverage collective intelligence to tackle tough questions.

The Geneva Macro Labs is a good example of such a Do Tank. By being inclusive and involving stakeholders in its solutions, Geneva Macro Labs avoids “business as usual” by translating aspirations into achievable goals for a better future for the current generation and the next generation.

“For me, the next generation includes those who will tackle the global challenges of the coming decades, as suggested by the United Nations’ sustainability goals. Especially in a digital world, anyone with access to the internet can engage in political structures and become an “influencer for a good cause”. I believe that supporting and taking seriously one’s responsibility in democracy as a civil citizen is essential in order to strengthen it and help shape a future best for many, in line with the SDGs.” Renate Guenther, co-founder of Geneva Macro Labs .

Examples of being a responsible and active civil citizen:

  • Share, don’t just like. If you see an interesting post on social media about, say, women’s rights or climate change, share it so people in your network can see it too.
  • Supervise the young people. It’s a thoughtful, inspiring and powerful way to guide someone to a better future.
  • Express your support for equal pay for equal work. Women earn 10 to 30% less than men for the same work. Pay inequality persists everywhere.

At 123 Next Generation® , we do what we can to promote and take action on the SDGs. Our values and our actions are inspired by it every day. We take seriously the impact we can have on the next generation. We want to equip companies with tools to facilitate change towards future challenges. We support companies to lead the change, to be the key to becoming active agents of change in a positive future, in line with the SDGs, in line with their corporate responsibility.

“It is legitimate to hold decision-makers in the private or public sector accountable for achieving the SDGs. However, individuals can and should also contribute to a sustainable future.” Renate Guenther, co-founder of Geneva Macro Labs .

Would you like to know more about Geneva Macro Labs ? You can visit their website.

Interested in learning more about 123 Next Generation and our culture, diversity and inclusion consulting, soft skills training and employer branding services? Email us at welcome@123nextgeneration.com or call us on 022 552 22 40.
More information on our website: www.123nextgeneration.com. You can also subscribe to our Linkedin, Youtube and Instagram channels under “123nextgeneration”. We look forward to seeing you soon.

[1] http://www.unesco.org/new/fr/unesco/events/prizes-and-celebrations/celebrations/international-days/international-womens-day-2014/women-ed-facts-and-figure/

[2] https://www.globalpartnership.org/en/results/education-data-highlights

[3] 170 daily actions to transform our world

[4] Sachs, J., Schmidt-Traub, G., Kroll, C., Lafortune, G., Fuller, G. (2019): Sustainability Report 2019. New York: Bertelsmann Stiftung and Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Available online: s3.amazonaws.com/sustainabledevelopment.report/2019/2019_sustainable_development_report.pdf