Wouldn’t it be extraordinary if we could end extreme poverty, hunger, disease, climate change and fight inequality and injustice by 2030? But fixing our world is an epic task.
The need for a shared vision has led to a move by world leaders described as “bold” and “lofty”. On 25 September 2015 the UN committed to 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development – marking a historic day for humanitarian action. And a far more momentous one in 15 years time.
Ranging from No poverty to Partnerships for the Goals, they will set the United Nation’s development agenda and have the aim of galvanising a generation of bystanders to take action in an environmentally and socially responsible way. Ambitious, but achievable, success depends on the key message of #telleveryone. The more people share them, the more people join the sustainability conversation.
To gain a better understanding of how implementing the 17 Global Goals can improve the future for 7 billion people, explore these 17 Atlas projects from all over the world.
1. No poverty
In Columbia, Northeastern Urban Integration Project has improved the quality of life for approximately 170,000 residents experiencing severe social inequality, poverty, and violence. Medellin is on the up through a miracle of reinvention.
2. No hunger
Described as ‘American Idol for rural farmers’, Digital Green is creating viral superstars in India’s farming community by screening how-to videos on local practices in local languages so agricultural production rises
3. Good health
We Breathe What We Buy raises awareness of the relationship between everyday buying decisions and air pollution in Singapore, aiming to stop the haze
4. Quality education
Education isn’t just about the physical classroom. The Khan Academy features over 400 million video lessons in 40+ languages, and is the world’s largest interactive online classroom.
5. Gender inequality
Skateistan is an award-winning development programme combining skateboarding, art and education to generate opportunities for all 5-18 year olds in an Afghan society that is rigidly restrictive of women’s lives.
6. Clean water and sanitation
Kenya’s Fresh Life Toilets are ‘digital toilets’ that sanitise urban slums to give dwellers access to the fundamental human right of good sanitation and an alternative to pay-per-use pits.
7. Renewable energy
In Sweden Ripasso CSP are providing energy without wrecking the planet with the most efficient solar energy dishes in the world. What a superlative use of sun.
8.Good jobs and economic growth
Taking advantage of the growing demand for spoken Arabic classes, NaTakallam is a way for Syrian refugees living in Lebanon to support themselves and their families by teaching street Arabic via Skype.
9. Innovation and infrastructure
The Nigeria Innovation Cluster Map works as a long-term enabler of economic growth by curating and mapping Nigerian data beyond minerals, making it easy for entrepreneurs to connect with investors.
10. Reduced inequalities
Technovation Challenge Brasil is an annual global technology entrepreneurship competition that encourages Brazilian girls to create technology and use it to solve global problems.
11. Sustainable cities and communities
More people live in cities than not, so it’s time they became more environmentally sound. From Spain, Fab City aims to build a sustainable new world – collectively – through the opening of digital fabrication makerspaces.
12. Responsible consumption
In developing communities, more than 50 per cent of computers are illegally shipped to dumps, giving a massive waste problem. Made in Togo, within ‘Africa’s first space for democratic technology’, W. Afate is the first 3D printer made from e-waste.
13. Climate action
EcoCasa has built 9,000 energy-efficient homes in Mexico, which has made a dramatic commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 50 per cent below 2002 levels by 2050 – and plans to transform the Mexican housing market.
14. Life below water
Providing a solution to the fact that the world’s seas could soon run out of fish, Aquapods are giant, free range fish farms floating deep under water, that have . Our oceans are the planet’s last great frontier.
15. Life on land
Parque Patagonia is a former huge sheep ranch that is being rewilded and combined with adjoining nature reserves to span an unusual range of habitats, providing critical room for species to adapt to a changing climate in Chile.
16. Peace and justice
If there’s one political topic that has dominated our collective social consciousness in the last decade, it’s terrorism. Terrorism and its partner-in-crime – peace – are the go to topics for most social media politics arguments. The Global Peace Index is an important project as it aims to quantify the degree to which nations contribute.
17. Partnerships for the Goals
Tackling the challenges facing the future of the Brit’s beverage of choice – climate change, water shortages and rural de-population – is too big a task for just one organisation. Tea 2030 brings together the big players an unlikely multi-stakeholder coalition.
Democratising the future calls for humanity to come together worldwide, as reflected in the final ‘Partnership for the Goals’. And that’s why the Atlas has partnered up with Collectively to spread the word. The global digital platform (think of them as ‘Nice Vice’) is designed to “make sustainability the new normal” and brings people and organisations together from all sectors to make a faster progress towards a world we all want to live in. We chatted with editor Chris Bourn at the beginning of a great relationship for the future. And afterwards, he chatted back to us.
Why is it important to connect with other people who are raising the profiles of the people and projects creating a new future?
“First and foremost because these are people – the innovators, social entrepreneurs and visionaries on whom our future relies – who everyone needs to know about. Great ideas and awesome enterprises can be fragile things, especially in the start-up phase, and they need exposure and noise around them so they get the support they deserve. We don’t want to miss out on something that could have changed everyone’s world just because it wasn’t being talked about.
“At Collectively, our ethos is that the collective approach is really the only way to go when it comes to championing projects for change. Very often the thing that truly inspires in these projects is the deep sense of common interest and fellow feeling that’s driving them – like the people-before-profit spirit behind TOMS Shoes or the powerful empathy that guides the work of Israel artist Adi Yekutieli. So if we want to inspire change ourselves, we should be demonstrating a similar approach in the way we tell stories. Linking up with platforms like Atlas of the Future, who share our values and are working towards the same vision is vital if we want to get that future to happen, and happen sooner rather than later. You can’t have a party on your own, basically.”
What are Collectively doing to ‘Tell Everyone’ about the 17 Global Goals?
“For the past month since the UN announced the Goals, we’ve been running stories that demonstrate the goals in action. From widescreen world-changing ambition – like this guy who looks like a character from a Wes Anderson film but has worked out a way to remove just about all the plastic from the ocean – to projects seeding change at the micro level like dinner-parties that strengthen community bonds or the leadership school turbocharging the prospects of women in Rwanda. See more of our coverage here.”
Why is spreading the word so important?
“We asked film director Richard Curtis the same question just as the Goals were being announced – with his Project Everyone group he’s been leading the charge to broadcast the message of the Global Goals to 7 billion people. Richard told us that if poverty, hunger, peace and justice were going to be issues ‘solved in this generation, we should find a moment to really focus again. It occurred to me, and so many others, that the goals in 2015 were something we should have a go at making famous and well known… It also means people who feel passionate about an issue know that when they’re fighting for the things they believe in, they are actually fighting for a promise that politicians have already made. You can’t fight for rights unless you know what they are.'”