SDG

The 4th UN Sustainable Development Goal relates to education and change. How to implement inclusive and quality education for all, and promote lifelong learning, to build a fairer society.

Children in Pakistani School. Photo: UNDP

Malala Yousafzai was only 12 years old when she wrote a moving blog article about her life in Pakistan under the Taliban regime. Her bravery almost cost Malala her life – she was shot by a gunman and had to flee her country to remain safe. Things have changed for her since. Her voice was now heard and she became famous in global media for advocating education for girls in her country. Last summer, Malala received the news that she was accepted at the prestigious Oxford University. She’s a good example that education can change people, build dreams, move the world.

Like Malala in her early years, many children have poor or no access to education. According to the UN, 57 million children are out of school. Half of them live in conflict-affected areas. Even when they do go to school, it is often not enough to provide them with the basic education: 103 million youth lack basic literacy skills, and more than 60 percent of them are women. The most vulnerable groups are persons with disabilities, indigenous people, refugee children and poor children in rural areas.

Some progress has been achieved in the last 17 years – more schools have access to computers, and schooling is growing; yet the numbers are unequal and can’t always equate with quality. «Even though more children than ever are going to school, many do not acquire basic skills in reading and mathematics», said a recent assessment report published by the UN. Teachers do not have proper training and the poor conditions of schools in many parts of the world jeopardize quality education prospects.

Funds for infrastructure and training are needed, as well as public policies that prioritize quality education. Many non-government organizations have acted tirelessly to improve the situation, especially in the most affected regions and with the most vulnerable groups.

Girls education is a critical issue for our society. Photo: Ma belle école

On the Horyou platform, the NGO Avante – Educação e Mobilização Social, based in Brazil, provides empowering education to children in poor and socially vulnerable communities. In addition to funding teacher training and tech inclusion in schools, it promotes citizenship, encourages gender and racial identity debates with children, their families and social actors and train them to become community leaders.

The association Ma Belle École works within school inclusion projects in developing countries. Through individual sponsorship programmes, it provides children with regular access to school in conflict-affected countries like Syria and Mali. It also helps their families, providing them with food and other basic resources, so children are not forced to abandon education and thus be used as cheap labor.

If you wish to support this SDG, you can do so through Horyou. Go to Horyou platform and choose an NGO or project that helps promote education in your region or anywhere in the world. Your support can be made easier and more effective with Spotlight, our digital currency for impact. Check it out and start using it to engage in any cause you feel concerned about. Be the change, be Horyou!

An exhibition inaugurated this week in Barcelona discusses the influence of human behavior on Earth and casts a different light on our world

It’s 2100 and we have a very, very different world. There is no food for all and water is an overpriced good. Lands are dry – well, not all lands. Cattle and fertile farms prosper in Siberia, Greenland or Alaska, but big parts of Latin America, Africa and Europe are now desertified. Does it sound like a nightmare or a prefiguration of the future? Or is this the beginning of the end of the world as we know it?

On Wednesday 25th of October, the «Despŕes de la fí del món» (After the End of the World) exhibition was inaugurated at the Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB), Spain with a selected audience that was invited to participate in an “Artists’ Talk”, an event whereby a number of artists shared their work and views of the world.

Iron mines in Australia. Source: Daily Overview from Benjamin Grant

Benjamin Grant, the founder of Daily Overview, a project which explores the power of high-resolution satellite photography and which made him a popular social media personality, was one of the talking artists. His idea is to offer a different perspective on our planet, either by sharing beautiful landscapes such as the Amazon rainforest and the Florida Everglades or the ugly impact of mining and of the refugee crisis worldwide. Some of his work bears a strong resemblance to that of Piet Mondrian and Ellsworth Kelly. «There is a lot of thinking behind my work. I want to raise awareness of our planet by showing how it’s changing through perspectives we can’t have in our everyday lives», he said.

The artists and expeditionists Kate Davies and Liam Young presented Unknown Fields, a nomad study that shows the shadows of the contemporary city. In their expeditions around the world, they uncover the impacts of industry and consumption on nature and human lives. The “forgotten ones” – that is the hidden workers of the fashion industry or the cargo ships that travel the world endlessly to deliver goods – are integrated with our daily lives in unexpected and surprising ways.

Unknown Fields Division Showreel 2013 from liam young on Vimeo.

The amazing transformation of Singapore is the topic chosen by Charles Lim. Using maps and telling local stories, he exposes how rapidly the landscape of his country has changed – through land reclamation from the sea, elimination of hills, and renaming islands, Singapore has lived through an intense land revolution, still ongoing.

The collective Rimini Protokoll, from Germany, shared a surprising experience with Documental Theatre. One of the ‘plays’ invited an audience of 500 people to be part of an imaginary Conference of the Parties (COP) whereby they are asked to make decisions for each country and try to reach the 2020 target on greenhouse gases emissions. It is an exercise of awareness and commitment that changes the perspective of normal citizens on climate change.

«Després de la fí del món» is an exhibition that explores Earth in 2017, a planet irreversibly transmuted into Paul J. Crutzen’s Anthropocene after many centuries of the influence of human behavior. Yet it is also an exhibition that forecasts the second half of 21st century and determines our generation’s responsibility to future generations.

Every baby taking its first breath is a potential actor of change. Every teenager living in a healthy environment has the potential to create a stable and happy family. Every woman with access to a safe childbirth is potentially a loving mother. Health is an essential condition to change the world for the better.

Photo: UNDP

What would the world be like when deaths are not caused by neglected or badly treated diseases anymore? The UN Sustainable Development Goal number 3 aims to ensure healthy lives and well-being for all at all ages.

It does not mean that we would no more have diseases and deaths, but that we would minimize avoidable mistakes and negligence. Global maternity mortality ratio, for instance, would be reduced to less than 70 per 100,000 and epidemics of infectious diseases would end by 2030. Road accidents, tobacco-related illnesses and other health conditions caused by lack of access to treatment would not be part of our daily lives either.

According to the UN, many advances have been made on the health front worldwide since 2000. Yet we still have to face realities such as the ones we find in sub-Saharan regions whereby only 53% live births are assisted by skilled people and mortality among children under 5 years of age is 84‰, almost twice global rates. Part of the solution is to prevent early and unintended pregnancies by fighting child marriages and spreading reproductive education; but there is an urgent need to invest and train in skilled care and sound health policies worldwide.

Infectious diseases are yet another challenge to face – HIV, tuberculosis and hepatitis B epidemics continue to plague many countries -, and the solution lies in prevention. Vaccines, sanitation and hygiene, as well as sexual education are to be improved. The same applies to premature deaths caused by depression, alcohol and tobacco, all of which are taboo ailments in several regions.

Many of these health risks are directly related to poor quality medical assistance and lack of health coverage and funding, especially in underdeveloped regions. Available data from 2005 to 2015 indicate that over 40% countries count less than one physician per 1,000 people, and around half have fewer than three nurses or midwives per 1,000 people. Almost all least developed countries count less than one physician and fewer than three nurses or midwives per 1,000 people.

Many organizations and social projects did produce some improvement. Child Family Health International, an NGO that is active on our Horyou platform, is one fine example of community-based global health education programs for students and institutions that aim at empowering local communities. CFHI acts on undergraduate medical schools curricula and publishes papers and publications on global health safety on a regular basis.

Based in Cameroon, Ascovime, yet another active member of the Horyou community, runs educational health campaigns and provides free medical consultation and surgery to isolated communities throughout the country. Ascovime was founded by Dr. Georges Bwelle, a surgeon at the Central Hospital in Yaoundé and a CNN Hero.

If you wish to support this SDG, you can do so through Horyou. Go to Horyou platform and choose an NGO or project that helps promote health and well-being in your region or anywhere in the world. Your support can be made easier and more effective with Spotlight, our digital currency for impact. Check it out and start using it to engage in any cause you feel concerned about. Be the change, be Horyou!

La communauté Horyou soutient la prise de conscience sur le changement climatique. Le SIGEF à Marrakech lors de la COP22 est un signe de l’engagement de Horyou en faveur de la mobilisation internationale et de l’espoir pour la durabilité et la préservation de notre planète. Nous sommes heureux de partager avec vous un article de Achim Steiner, Patricia Espinosa et Robert Glasser, de l’UNDP, UNFCCC et UNISDR.

Patricia Espinosa
Patricia Espinosa

De Miami à Porto Rico, en passant par Barbuda et La Havane, les ravages de la saison des ouragans, cette année, dans toute l’Amérique latine et les Caraïbes est un rappel que les effets du changement climatique ne connaissent pas de frontières.

Ces dernières semaines, des ouragans de catégorie 5 ont réduit à néant la vie de millions de gens dans les Caraïbes et sur le continent américain. Harvey, Irma et Maria ont particulièrement été dévastateurs. Les 3,4 millions d’habitants de Porto Rico essaient par tous les moyens d’obtenir des produits de base, tels que de la nourriture et de l’eau, l’île de Barbuda est devenue inhabitable, et des dizaines de personnes sont portées disparues ou décédées sur l’île de la Dominique classée au patrimoine mondial de l’UNESCO.

Les conséquences ne se limitent pas à cette région. Le niveau record d’inondations enregistré au Bangladesh, en Inde et au Népal a rendu la vie pénible à quelque 40 millions de personnes. Plus de 1 200 personnes ont péri et plusieurs autres ont perdu leurs maisons, des cultures ont été détruites, et de nombreux lieux de travail ont été inondés. Parallèlement, au cours des 18 derniers mois, l’état d’urgence provoqué par la sécheresse a été déclaré dans 20 pays en Afrique, avec d’importants déplacements observés dans toute la région de la corne.

Pour les pays les moins avancés, l’impact des catastrophes naturelles peut être sévère, privant de moyens d’existence et retardant les progrès dans la santé et l’éducation ; en ce qui concerne les pays développés et à revenu intermédiaire, les pertes économiques d’infrastructures seules peuvent être énormes ; pour les deux catégories, ces évènements rappellent la nécessité d’agir face au changement climatique dont la menace de catastrophe est non seulement plus fréquente mais plus grave.

Le typhon Rammasun (Glenda) traverse la province de Laguna avec des vents de plus de 120 km/h en 2014 en Philippines
Le typhon Rammasun (Glenda) traverse la province de Laguna avec des vents de plus de 120 km/h en 2014 en Philippines

Un signe (inquiétant) avant-coureur ?

Les effets d’un climat plus chaud sur ces récents évènements climatiques, tant pour leur sévérité que pour leur fréquence, ont été révélateurs pour beaucoup, car, même la grande majorité qui accepte la science a reconnu que le réchauffement de la planète est le fait de l’homme.

Si la catastrophe silencieuse de la mort prématurée de 4,2 millions de personnes chaque année à cause de la pollution ambiante, davantage liée à l’utilisation des combustibles fossiles, est relativement peu médiatisée, l’incidence des gaz à effet de serre qui capturent la chaleur sur les phénomènes météorologiques extrêmes, elle, fait l’objet d’une attention croissante.

Comment pourrait-il en être autrement quand, les impacts de ces évènements météorologiques sont si lourds. Au cours des deux dernières années, plus de 40 millions de personnes, notamment dans des pays qui contribuent le moins au réchauffement climatique, ont été forcées d’abandonner leurs foyers soit définitivement soit temporairement à cause des catastrophes.

En Mongolie, à cause de la froideur, il y a un phénomène que nous avons vu deux fois au cours des dix dernières années. Il s'appelle "dzud" où vous avez une sécheresse en été et un hiver extrêmement froid.
En Mongolie, à cause de la froideur, il y a un phénomène que nous avons vu deux fois au cours des dix dernières années. Il s’appelle “dzud” où vous avez une sécheresse en été et un hiver extrêmement froid.

Un consensus se dégage clairement : la hausse des températures augmente la quantité de vapeur d’eau dans l’atmosphère, entrainant des précipitations plus intenses et des inondations à certains endroits, et des sécheresses à d’autres. Certaines zones vivent les deux, comme ce fut le cas cette année en Californie, où des inondations record ont succédé à des années d’intense sécheresse.

TOPEX/Poseidon, le premier satellite à mesurer avec précision l’élévation du niveau de la mer, avait été lancé deux semaines avant l’ouragan Andrew qui avait touché la côte de la Floride il y a 25 ans. Ces mesures ont observé une augmentation globale de 3,4 millimètres par an et depuis lors, un total de 85 millimètres sur 25 ans, ou 3,34 pouces.

La hausse du niveau de la mer et son réchauffement contribuent à l’intensité des tempêtes tropicales dans le monde. Nous continuerons à subir les conséquences anormales et souvent imprévues des niveaux existants des gaz à effet de serre dans l’atmosphère, au cours des nombreuses années à venir.

En 2009, la Suisse a publié à nouveau une étude de cas portant sur les comtés de Miami-Dade, Broward et Palm Beach, qui envisageait un scénario de montée du niveau de la mer pour les années 2030 correspondant à ce qui s’est déjà produit aujourd’hui. Si une tempête de l’ampleur d’Andrew avait frappé ce coin riche des États-Unis aujourd’hui, les dégâts économiques auraient varié entre 100 et 300 milliards $ US. D’après les estimations actuelles, les pertes économiques liées à Harvey, Irma et Maria pourraient dépasser ces chiffres.

Climate Change small

Le typhon Ketsana (Ondoy) a chuté de 455 mm (17,9 po) de pluie sur la ville de Manille en l'espace de 24 heures le 26 septembre 2009.
Le typhon Ketsana (Ondoy) a chuté de 455 mm (17,9 po) de pluie sur la ville de Manille en l’espace de 24 heures le 26 septembre 2009.

Réduction des risques de catastrophes maintenant, lutte contre les changements climatiques à long terme

Miami fait tout son possible pour développer son programme de protection contre les inondations ; 400 millions $ US ont été alloués au financement des pompes à eau de mer, de routes améliorées et de digues. Cependant, ce niveau de dépense est hors de portée des pays à faible revenu et à revenu intermédiaire qui risquent de perdre une bonne partie de leur PIB chaque fois qu’ils sont frappés par des inondations et des tempêtes.

Si l’Accord de Paris a mis le monde sur la voie d’un avenir faible en carbone à long terme, ce chemin n’en est pas moins hasardeux, ce qui reflète un pragmatisme et des réalités propres à chaque pays. Or, s’il est prévu que les émissions de dioxyde de carbone diminuent à mesure que les pays atteignent leurs cibles déclarées, les effets du changement climatique pourraient se faire sentir pendant un certain temps encore, ne laissant d’autre choix au monde que d’investir, simultanément, dans des efforts pour s’adapter au changement climatique et réduire le risque de catastrophe naturelle. Les avantages de telles actions se justifient sur le plan économique si on les compare au coût de reconstruction.

Ceci nécessitera une coopération internationale à une échelle jusqu’ici sans précédent, alors que nous nous attaquons à la tâche la plus ardue qui est de faire de notre planète un lieu plus résilient face aux effets à retardement des émissions de gaz à effet de serre que nous continuerons à vivre pendant les prochaines années. La restauration de l’équilibre écologique entre les émissions et la capacité d’absorption naturelle de la planète est un objectif à long terme. Il est important de rappeler que la réduction à long terme des émissions est LA tactique de réduction des risques la plus importante dont nous disposons, et nous devons parvenir à cette ambition.

La Conférence des Nations Unies sur les changements climatiques, qui se tiendra à Bonn, en novembre, présidée par la petite île des Fidji, offre une opportunité non seulement d’accélérer la réduction des émissions, mais aussi de soutenir le travail sérieux consistant à s’assurer que la gestion du risque climatique est incluse dans la gestion des risques de catastrophes dans son ensemble. La pauvreté, l’urbanisation rapide, la mauvaise utilisation de terres, la dégradation des écosystèmes et d’autres facteurs de risques accroissent les impacts du changement climatique. À l’occasion de la Journée internationale de la prévention des catastrophes, nous demandons que des mesures soient prises à cet égard de façon holistique.

Achim Steiner est l’Administrateur du Programme des Nations Unies pour le développement, www.undp.org

Patricia Espinosa est la Secrétaire exécutive de la Convention-cadre des Nations Unies sur les Changements climatiques, www.unfccc.int

Robert Glasser est le Représentant spécial du Secrétaire général pour la réduction des risques de catastrophe et le Chef du Bureau des Nations Unies pour la réduction des risques de catastrophe, www.unisdr.org

During the week of September 18 to 24, New York City hosted an annual Climate Week, which has been taking place since 2009. This year it happened simultaneously with the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly. This event is devoted to debate the scale of global climate action and how to ensure jobs and prosperity for all segments of the society. It attracts attention of the most influential leaders from United States, cities, businesses and non-governmental organizations from all over the world. Various activities have been taking place in the course of the week. One of the most notable events is the Media for Social Impact Conference, which took place at United Nations Headquarters, on 14 September 2017.

The Media for Social Impact Summit took place in New York
The Media for Social Impact Summit took place in New York

The Media for Social Impact Conference 2017 gathered a diverse group of speakers, artists, celebrities and even astronauts. The speakers were, among others, Dan Thomas, Media for Social Impact 2017 Master of the Ceremony, Liba Rubenstein, Social Impact at 21st Century Fox, Christie Marchese, CEO of Picture Motion, Ahmed Musiol, Executive Producer at Wayfarer Entertainment, Jill Cress, CMO at National Geographic Partners and Ariana Stolarz, Global Chief Strategy Officer at MRM/McCann. They took the podium to discuss how the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals could be achieved by 2030. Indeed, with 169 targets, the SDGs may be seen as an ambitious agenda. However, most speakers noted that some progress had already been made in the world for reaching these goals.

The Conference focused on ways to move forward in implementing SDGs by encouraging various stakeholders, such as NGOs, Corporations and Media Companies to adopt social good campaigns incorporating the SDGs. Many speakers believed that with sustainable development goals we could re-frame the larger context of our future, the image of which we always have to keep in mind. Many expressed optimism that by 2030 there would be notable improvements in health metrics and innovation in technology, among other fields.

However, the progress achieved so far is uneven. There is a dire need to lift people out of poverty. According to statistics from DoSomething.org, over 1.3 billion people live in extreme poverty and subsist on less than $1.25 a day. Furthermore, UNICEF determined that almost 1 billion children worldwide are in poverty and 22,000 children are dying every day due to poverty’s acute negative effects. Providing everyone with sanitary and safe water, clean and affordable energy sources will contribute to attenuating poverty. As Dan Thomas, spokesperson of the UN General Assembly indicated, the resources are available, but we have to be mindful of the planetary limitations that we have while encouraging sustainable consumption. Echoing the main theme of the climate week, many speakers voiced strong concerns about climate change and urged world leaders, states, businesses and private individuals to be actively involved in addressing this major problem.

Perspectives of businesses with regard to SDGs were also discussed. Some participants noted progress that certain businesses have made in contributing to the sustainable development agenda. For example, progress could be seen in relation to industry, innovation, and infrastructure (SDG 9), sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11), as well as responsible consumption and production (SDG 12). Businesses were urged to inspire customers to engage in social good causes with a view to contributing to sustainable consumption. This could be done through call-to-action in social good campaigns and investments in advertisements focused on social good. The close alignment between business and consumer preferences may be more tangible for the youth subcategory of consumers. The youth segment was noted as particularly influential for the sustainable development agenda. The causes that the brands support, many thought, are important for consumption of the brand’s products by youth.

The conference is devoted to debate global climate action and how to ensure jobs and prosperity for all segments of the society.
The conference is devoted to debate global climate action and how to ensure jobs and prosperity for all segments of the society.

In this context, Jill Cress, CMO of National Geographic, stressed the importance of constantly reinventing and reinvigorating brands. The panel “Documentaries Impacting the World” discussed National Geographic as an example of a brand that has been present for many decades and is most followed in social media. Indeed, more than 60 million people worldwide viewed the documentaries created by National Geographic. These films reinvigorate the brand by telling smart and compellingly bold stories that have strong impact on people. Thus, National Geographic has been able to establish a diverse group of devoted viewers.

Brands are seeking to launch social good campaigns of their own to engage with the world more thoughtfully and more strategically. They do so for the purpose of building up not only larger audiences, but also more receptive and influential ones. The participants of the conference encouraged the audience to speak up to SDGs and connect closer with consumers that increasingly demand social justice. Targeted marketing campaigns, surveys, and polls could be several of the many ways of achieving this improved connection between the consumer and the brand.

Several speakers were of the view that some business models could be re-oriented around health-related qualities of products, as health appears to be one of the themes that resonate with certain audiences in relation to sustainable development goals.

In the panel on digital transformation of social impact, it was noted that a social good campaign should be moving “in the right direction” rather than “in some direction.” Such campaigns could be beyond impressions count and should incorporate concrete decision making based on data analytics. In addition, communication is important in not only achieving commercial success, but also in terms of helping people understand the social good causes that the brand is supporting. This is why comprehensive examining of consumer behavior becomes crucial. Accountability and measurability are both significant for companies to have an influence on their clients.

Partnerships in general are crucial for reaching target audiences to more effectively communicate the stories and see a much larger impact. They help a social media campaign reach a much larger audience than it would have reached independently. Creativity in delivering global issues and creating action around such issues was also stressed at the conference. In this respect, Horyou, the social network for social good, could be seen as a good example for a platform to channel creativity within its members.

Using the platform to amplify musicians’ works was also highlighted. Music can inspire a large and diverse audience to take action for social good. Moreover, art plays a vital role in the story and thus has the capacity to change and shift perspectives. For example, well known singers Aria and Miou along with other famous artists, regularly post about their art pieces for social good on the Horyou website.

Immediate and concrete action on the SDGs was called for. Bringing people together and motivating them around the SDGs is a very important step. For instance, presenting the SDGs in unique and captivating manner was considered useful. The example of using comic books for this purpose was highlighted by Sean Southey, co-founder of Comics Uniting Nations who pointed out that “comics play a significant role because we can reach people in a very engaging way.”

The ultimate goal of the modern society is to prepare the world for the next generation. Dan Thomas in his opening speech said: “It’s all about the future.” Many participants of the Conference explored ways and means to inspire the next generation to adopt the causes that we feel strongly about. All agreed that driving next generation to play an active role in supporting social good was crucial at this time. Leadership is important, both in the family, as well as in the community. Certainly the Media for Social Impact Conference was a very interesting event, and it was worth attending.

Written by Elena Tarrassenko

On 17 of September, I attended the Social Good Summit 2017, which took place at 92 Street Y Club in New York. A diverse group of speakers and performers got together and vividly presented in nearly 40 panels what social good means to society. All of the panels were thought provoking and inspiring. Some put forward incredible performances for a diverse audience, which consisted of acting, singing, cooking and displaying innovative medical devices.

Social Good Summit 2017
Social Good Summit 2017

I particularly enjoyed Erika Ender’s panel called “A Conversation with Erika Ender.” Erika Ender, a famous singer and songwriter is from Panama. She performed several songs in an inspirational show. One of the strong messages of her truly moving songs was about young people growing up in modern society and needing more support and better opportunities to become productive members of society.

Madame Gandhi, a singer, activist from Los Angeles, as well as graduate from Harvard Business School, put on a video aimed at inspiring various segments of the society, especially young people, to work for social good, to which she dedicated her entire career. Madame Gandhi expressed the strong belief that social media is one of the most powerful tools to be used to motivate people to work towards achieving the U.N. sustainable development goals.

Benj Pasek, an American songwriter and composer pointed out that music can be a tremendously influential force in the society. He is a strong believer that music helps people of all ages, and the youth in particular is strongly influenced by music. Similarly, art can be very powerful in leading the young generation. Aaron Huey, National Geographic photographer stated that art is more than beauty and decoration. According to him, art can be a weapon and a shield, and it can be used as a compass for children, guiding them into the future.

The importance of the focus of the society on youth resonated throughout this incredibly moving and artistic gathering. Notably, according to the UN studies the youth group of age 15-24 was portrayed as key in terms of their potential to make a difference for the world and its future and help the world achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

It is interesting to note that the Social Good Summit in New York was echoing concerns that were expressed at the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum organized by Horyou, the social network for social good, in Astana, Kazakhstan on 5-7 September 2017. At SIGEF 2017, Yonathan Parienti, CEO of Horyou pointed out: “we live in a world of exacerbated consumption at all levels that is seriously hindering the implementation of critical sustainable development goals. SIGEF 2017, is set to explore, define and share new ideas that advance social innovation and social good for a sustainable growth for all. It is clear that the involvement of the younger generation, that everywhere is acting for change, alongside stakeholders of all ages, is a positive indication that we are moving forward in the right direction of shaping better times to come.”

Many speakers at the Summit in New York echoed this positive message. No doubt, the youth can become truly productive members of the society if society invests in their education. Education for youth was one of the key themes in the Summit.

The statistics in relation to education worldwide demand urgent action. Statistics are one of the important indicators of progress highlighted in SDG 4, Education. According to statistics shared at Social Good Summit, half of the young people in the primary school age group regrettably are not in primary school, and nearly ¾ of youth in the secondary school age group are not in secondary school. In order to achieve the sustainable development goals by 2030, there is an acute need for urgent action. At the Summit, youth was portrayed as being key innovators to drive forward new products and designs. This age group is often receptive to and friendly with new technologies and trends. Hence, youth can influence United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 9, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.

Certainly, young people are significant in terms of influencing businesses. They look to companies for the latest trends, and companies, in turn, look to influence youth. Many speakers noted progress in achieving the sustainable development goals for businesses. The great majority of youth seem to care about the causes the business is supporting. Young people are also key drivers of innovation.

Youth may even be able to influence economic growth by becoming loyalty customers, long-term customers to the various brands. This will help shape the formation of businesses in terms of their demand patterns and various preferences in product selection. Customers who value the brand for the causes it stands for are likely to be both early adopters of new products, as well as loyalty customers, as they feel connection with the brand. As such, they will be a driving force behind the brands and thus contribute to both industry and economic growth, foreseen by SDG 9 and SDG 8, respectively.

Many speakers expressed strong views that to achieve the sustainable development goals youth and other sectors of society need proper housing, food, and affordable health care services. In regards to proper housing, SDG 11, it was pointed out that nearly 15 million children are currently on the move and lack permanent housing means. Being often on the move makes it difficult for them to complete school.

Poverty concerns figured highly on the agenda at the Summit. According to statistics shared at the meeting, while overall poverty levels have declined since 1990, a substantial part of the world still lives on less than 1 dollar per day. In this connection, many participants stressed substantial ongoing hunger in the world, while there is also a lot of food waste. This food could potentially be distributed among those who are in need in inexpensive and effective ways. One speaker expressed a particular view that billions of dollars can be made by alleviating hunger and providing other sustainability resources to people in acute poverty.

In regards to inadequate access to sustainable energy sources, it was stressed that twenty percent of people worldwide do not have access to electricity at all.

There is no affordable healthcare in many parts of the world. More than 400 million people still lack access to healthcare worldwide. This problem is substantial. Whoopi Goldberg eloquently stressed the particular problem of having people turned away from hospitals when they are ill. Some were in favor of universal healthcare coverage, as is the case in many countries, and argued that it would allow for more affordable healthcare.

Global warming was also stressed. Many urged to take proactive action on this important issue. While some highlighted that solutions have been constantly put off, others were alarmed that even one degree of warming is significant.

All agreed that it is important to give people a sense of worth through education, jobs, poverty reduction and access to various energy sources, pursuant to relevant Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. The Social Good Summit is an event that happens annually, and it is worthwhile attending it.

Written by Elena Tarrassenko

Horyou is the Social Network for Social Good, which connects, supports and promotes social initiatives, entrepreneurs, and citizens who help the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals to build a more harmonious and inclusive world. Horyou is also the host of SIGEF, the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum, taking place in Astana, Kazakhstan during the EXPO 2017, from 5-7 September. We invite you to Be the Change, Be Horyou!

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