When you hear Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the first time, what do you think of it?
In my experience as a SDG storyteller in the Asia-Pacific region, as I raise such questions in front of multiple groups of societies, most of them shrugging their shoulders and say nothing in return. Completely, the questions about SDG bring more confusion rather than Confucius (a great philosopher) to the lives of many people. It means that many of us have not received any insights from the so-called “global agenda” that has penetrated our lives for 5 (five) years.
Today’s world with its multifaceted innovations (still) does not respond effectively towards global issues. One solution in the economy becomes another issue in other sectors, such as the environment due to unsustainable business practices.
More than ever, we need a solution that is effective enough to respond to the current crisis, while it is also adaptable (visionary) to the upcoming crisis in the future.
In 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were born. SDGs also known as the global goals become “that solution” to initiate a better world for today’s generations and more to come. A massive euphoria was created, since for the first time the world’s leaders made it official to realize our long-standing hopes and wishes, from dreams into solid action plan. SDGs are called ambitious for a reason. Since the established goals aim to tackle all world’s crisis through its 17 universal goals. SDG is globally-agreed and locally-applied since it contains 169 targets, 200+ indicators, and comprehensive strategies to put an end to many issues ranging from poor access to quality education in remote areas to human trafficking that occurs in countries across regions. Ultimately, the world needs leaders that fully grasp the spirit of sustainability and completely incorporates SDG into their country’s development plan. Therefore, SDG was enacted as a guideline to promote a set of initiatives that are country-led and individual-driven to solve local issues that also meet the global agenda.
Drawing from my humble background, I knew too well how frustrating it was to “minding our gaps” without proper support. “Minding our gaps” means that we are tackling all limitations that separate us from our goals. At heart, SDG rises to “filling this gap” by promoting a spirit of leaving no one behind. Harnessing this spirit while also implementing SDG as a universal call that blends borders across regions and embraces diversities, SDG should be adopted as a guideline in every development plan. SDG is not a pipedream, it is a genuine dream that demonstrates our hopes ranging from solving conflicts to ending human trafficking. SDG for ALL, ALL for SDG, and therefore SDG becomes one goal to rule them all.
10 (ten) years left before SDGs end in 2030. Unfortunately, many societies have never heard about the goals. How we expect people to contribute to a mission that they are not familiar with? On the other hand, youth as the driving force of transformation in societies have demonstrated SDG’s spirit. However, due to poor expertise on how to translate their initiatives into an action plan, these initiatives have not received proper feedback that shall amplify their message and upscale their contributions. As a result, most youth work in silence and hope to be found.
Dominating the world’s population does not necessarily cause youth to lead effectively. Indeed, youth is a unique group of societies. They have everything to drive a transformation in societies. Everything but wisdom and resources. They have passion, grit, and mind-blowing ideas. However, it is a huge cost that they have to pay, in order to realize their passion for a mission: time. It means that a young person must sacrifice his/her time from enjoying youthful experience (hangouts, having a crush, proms, and etc) into contributing to a world’s mission.
SDGs rise as a Fast-track for youth to be able to contribute to the world’s mission. Equipping youth with extensive partners, a complete package of tools and resource kit has enabled SDG to become a perfect platform for youth to kickoff their mission. Once again, SDG becomes one goal to rule them all and youth drives the goal to achieve an exponential change that we have dreamed of.
If this topic was of interest to you, read: [How to contribute to the SDGs individually] and [Soaring from Pandemic – Build Back Better with SDGs].
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