If there is any silver lining in the coronavirus cloud of Covid-19 it is an emerging awareness of change. Social distancing, lockdowns and remote working have altered our lives. People are beginning to see these changes as just the beginning of other profound adjustments we will see over the coming years as businesses continue to embrace new ways of doing businesses driven by exponentially charged technologies.
This got me thinking back to before Covid-19 hit the headlines and hijacked our lives. Back then, global warming and other aspects of sustainable development were fighting for our attention and focus. So what happened to sustainable development in 2020?
As you probably know, the 17 UN Sustainability Development Goals were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, to provide “a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future”.
The “UN sustainable development goals report 2020” was published in July of this year and it paints a bleak picture. In the words of UN Secretary-General António Guterres. “Now, due to COVID-19, an unprecedented health, economic and social crisis is threatening lives and livelihoods, making the achievement of Goals even more challenging.”
However it’s not all bad news and a more UN recent report “SDG Good Practices”, from December 2020 is a compilation of 16 “good practices” from around the world, projects that have been running for some time with good results.
At a more local level, it is clear that local communities are under pressure too, not just from Covid-19 but also from the consequences of self-imposed issues such as in the UK with Brexit. One insightful blog, from Bristol University Press, exposes related issues such as the impact of Covid-19 on domestic violence in lockdown situations or the impact of the consequences of Covid-19 (solidarity; fear; authoritarianism; and libertarianism) has on populistic politics.
So what can we do? The ordinary people? What can we do, in our own ways, to help contribute to society and integrate this into our daily lives as we move into a more progressive and optimistic 2021.
As a “Life Purpose” coach this is a topic close to my heart – how can I help people figure out how their contribution to society?
In my experience, some people have a clear focus on what aspect (or aspects) of society concern them. They have plans and are already committed to delivering against those plans.
For many, however, it is not so easy. Each of the UN Sustainability Goals is such big topic in its own right, and maybe not so relevant to you if your focus is on sustainability for your family, your local community, your parents.
So I’ve put together a few simple questions – to help you think through where your contribution to society might be. In a nutshell, I believe there are 4 steps to consider (scope, pain points, how you could help, life balance):
So what can we do? The ordinary people? What can we do, in our own ways, to help contribute to society and integrate this into our daily lives as we move into a more progressive and optimistic 2021?you belong to? A global initiative such as one of the UN sustainability goals?
What opportunity/pain points exist in that community area: Once you know your possible scope, what are the pain points? What is it that this group or person needs to improve their situation?
How you could help: what strengths, skills, assets do you have that could address those pain points or bring those opportunities into reality?
How you could integrate this into your life: What concrete steps could you take to contribute in a way that integrates with your life balance?
In the next posts I hope to introduce some further thoughts and ideas on this topic.
Meanwhile, I would really like to get feedback from you to help develop this into a dialogue.
”There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to its very core. However, we must hold firm in our convictions and not let the crisis derail our hopes and ambitions.” The sustainable development goals report 2020” United Nations.