“The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.”
While we cannot cherry-pick SDGs and our team strongly believes that we can only achieve a safe and sustainable future if we work towards all 17 goals, we do believe that people work best towards a cause if it is close to their hearts and minds. Hence we chose one SDG each to focus on in the upcoming year and would encourage everyone who feels overwhelmed by the amount of tasks and opportunities ahead, to do the same. If we all focus on doing the best we can in our own small (or big) way, we can achieve all 17 goals together.
So without further ado, here are the SDGs that are most important to our team at engageability.
I choose the SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure as my SDG in focus. As a trained economist, Head of Knowledge and Technology of the NRP73 and founder and CEO of engageability, building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization and fostering innovation are my key concerns. Because SMEs represent more than 99% of companies in Switzerland and also create more than two-thirds of jobs, I am particularly focused on supporting these companies to create new, innovative business models that work toward achieving the SDGs. My team and I know however that all of this is only possible if all of us- individuals, SMEs and larger organizations- work together to create a future-ready Switzerland.
For me its all about the SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals. The SDG 17 is for me the foundation on which all other SDGs rest. As an International Development professional with a long track record of managing sustainability and human rights-related risks, I know that if we want to ensure that human rights are upheld across the globe, we must work together. To achieve the SDGs, we have to come together to create the sustainable future we envision. At engageability we work towards this goal by facilitating collaboration and partnership development, by engaging stakeholders and enabling co-creation, and through knowledge-building and strategic advice.
I strongly believe that education is the key to progress. We can only ensure an equal, safe and sustainable future, if we enable all people, regardless of socioeconomic background, nationality, health, sex, gender or sexuality to get access to an education that will enable them to live freely, safely and sustainably. Therefore my focus lies on the SDG 4: Quality Education, particularly on substantially increasing the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, so that they can support themselves and their communities. But education is also important top-down. At engageability we pass on relevant know-how to companies, stakeholders and business leaders across Switzerland.
All of us are constantly confronted with decisions about what and whether we consume. Sustainable consumption and consequently sustainable production are part of a behaviour on which we as individuals can exert a great impact – at home, at work and in our free-time activities. Supporting people in these decisions through incentives or gentle nudges and thereby achieving a tremendous impact fascinates me – that’s why SDG 12 Sustainable Consumption & Production is my favourite SDG.
My focus lies on SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. Quite beyond war, this SDG focuses on promoting peaceful and inclusive societies with effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. As a global citizen and former student of politics and international relations, the injustice of unbalanced access to and availability of security, rights and opportunities, resonates particularly strongly with me. With a rise in killings of human rights defenders and journalists, a focus on this SDG is as important as ever.
***BONUS ROUND- two of our Summer 2019 interns also picked their most important SDGs:
As a Master’s candidate in International Affairs with a focus on environmental politics and sustainability I am very interested in the human side of climate change. I understand climate action as a necessity for a political and societal tomorrow well worth living. That’s why my favourite SDG is the SDG 13: Climate Action.
Today, more than half of the world’s population already lives in cities. The number of megacities (cities with more than 10 million inhabitants) will rise sharply in the near future. What I particularly like about this SDG is that all three dimensions of sustainability have a high development potential. Cities must continue to assert themselves as economic drivers in the future. At the same time, the inhabitants demand smart and sustainable cities that offer affordable housing and nearby jobs for all. That’s why my favourite SDG is No. 11- Sustainable Cities and Communities.