In a semi-casual group conversation a few weeks back, it became evident how my friends and I (and by extension our individual networks) strongly desired to get involved in helping to achieve one or more of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I was happy to realize how much my friends wanted to do when it came to making our world more fair, and how much of their time, efforts, and resources they are willing to invest. But how? What activities constitute or count towards achieving a target of one of the SDGs for example? Does volunteering count? We thought so. Collectively, we thought how crucial and universal all 17 of the Goals are, ranging from food security and health and well-being to gender equality and decent work and economic growth. But we wanted to know how exactly each one of us could contribute within our small communities to create a more sustainable and just world. Below is what I think could be done towards the achievement of the SDGs, both at a professional level as well as a personal one.
As a current fellow serving at IMPACT 2030 (check out this awesome video https://youtu.be/ihAzRQVn9AI), I want to bring the attention to how the corporate world can help us achieve the SDGs and how it been transforming the way products are made and services are delivered. One way to play a role in impacting the SGDs is by participating in your company’s employee volunteer programs. At IMPACT 2030, we are bringing together companies from around the world to help educate and inspire employee on the SDGs; promoting avenues for companies to collaborate across-sectors and industries to create more scalable and sustainable impact; and developing a framework to measure the impact on the SDGs by employee volunteers. For me the most important aspect of the SDGs is that they are applicable to every country and provide a common language and a common framework covering the societal and environmental challenges facing our world. At IMPACT2030 if fact we are mobilizing millions of employee volunteers to help advance the SDGs in the communities where they live and work.
Away from work one can still have many opportunities to impact the SDGs and ‘make it personal’ by getting involved within your community. For example, you can engage with local hunger relief organizations, schools, libraries, and recreational centers amongst others to help the underserved and the environment. To me, it all adds up to helping attain a more just and sustainable world, starting from one’s very own community. There is no limit to how big of a contribution you can make to achieving the SDGs.
I would love to hear others thoughts and inputs as to how they have/are contributed(ing) to help achieve the SDGs. What activities and strategies do you carry out? What are the needs of your community and how would you address them? What can local actors do more to support efforts towards the achievement of the SDGs?