September 25th 2015 marked the global launch of the United Nations 2030 Agenda. A crucial moment in history to have 193 nations sign off on a sustainable future for environment, society and economy. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) consist of 17 goals (listed below). But why is it such an important celebration? How do the SDGs help to give meaning to todays actions to create a sustainable future?
A global lockdown that changed the world
It is now 2021 and we couldn't have imagined the global lockdown of 2020 due to COVID-19. We just couldn’t have imagined what the world would look like with 8 billion people being hit by a virus, let alone the global (urban) population living in lockdown.
We’ve seen the positive effects of large and polluting factories shutting down and the sky becoming clear and clean. We’ve seen the regenerative power of rivers and oceans. We’ve seen how people started working together, signing and supporting medical staff, school teachers and municipal staff.
Parents became teachers and had to manage their priorities. Even the most career driven parents had to acknowledge that the work-life balance was better. Yes, we all had to make choices, look after our loved ones or, in some cases lost family, friends and colleagues to the Corona virus. My thoughts are with them as well. But if we look beyond the challenges and see what we as humans are capable of achieving once we start thinking about possible futures I have faith in the future that lies ahead.
To support the SDGs I'm volunteering on behalf of Teach the Future for a lesson in my local primary school in Driebergen, The Netherlands as part of a Dutch Initiative related to the global Act4SDGs events.
Imagine what the future will look like if we all had the ability to imagine possible futures and derive meaningful and positive actions from them in the now. Imagine what would happen if young people had the skills and the tools to develop their competencies to become futures literate? Think about skills such as creativity, curiosity, problem solving, collaboration, critical thinking, strategic thinking, empathy, awareness and communication. All soft-skills that help individuals to deal with change. And I know one thing for certain. Change is the only constant in life. The past six years have proven that resilience and futures literacy are key to work towards a shift in how we live, love, think and work.
Get on board the Sustainable Development journey
For me the question is no longer when do I start to change my behaviour and take responsibility for my actions to support the Sustainable Development Goals. For me the question is no longer if I have to change the way I live, travel work and raise my four children. For me the sustainable development goals have become a purpose in life and I'm on board!
What does sustainable development mean to you? What is important to you? How can you contribute to a sustainable future? What can you do to make a difference? Once you start to think about that your journey has started and that is good news.
The 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) to transform our world Click on each of them to :