In September 2015, world leaders agreed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  They provided a shared blueprint for setting in motion, worldwide peace and prosperity and triggered an urgent call for action by all countries, from 1 January 2016, to create a better future for everyone by 2030.  The aim was, through a global partnership with everyone working together – governments, businesses, civil society and the general public – to end poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change.

This transformation was to be propelled by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

We all have a part to play in this vision.  The Story You Are Shaping, a short film, premiered at the closing session of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in 2015.

In April 2016 The Future Starts Now was released, depicting the lead up to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the journey ahead.

It was clear, we all needed to do things differently.

The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”   Socrates

Schools were encouraged to teach children about the SDGs and so in September 2016, in readiness for the new academic year, the Human Values Foundation published some guidance and materials for Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education schemes of work and Citizenship in primary schools in England.  These values-themed resources proved helpful for teachers aiming to prepare their pupils for life as global citizens.

They prompted the questions:

  • How old will you be in 2030?
  • What kind of a world do you want to be in?

As the years began to roll by, the United Nations released a series of three short, motivational films for schools – the World’s Largest lesson.  While watching Part 3, consider the role of values in identifying what is important, shaping decisions, steering the thinking about making changes for the better and driving the movement forward.

We are halfway through the 15-year global effort to improve the lives of people everywhere through the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

What will happen between now and 2030?

For the past seven years, the United Nations has issued an annual report giving a worldwide perspective of the progress being made to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  Global and regional progress has been tracked, backed up with in-depth analysis of the selected indicators for each of the 17 Goals.

The July 2022 report reviewed progress using the latest available data and estimates.  It provides the whole of humanity with a reality check on the devastating impacts of a confluence of crises, dominated by COVID-19, climate change and conflicts, and how they are affecting people’s lives and livelihoods.  It details the reversal of years of progress in eradicating poverty and hunger, improving health and education, providing basic services, and much more.

The 2022 report highlights the severity and magnitude of the challenges we face and areas that require accelerated, global-scale action and commitment to rescue the SDGs and deliver meaningful progress for people and the planet by 2030.

Consider the ramifications of the current storm as depicted in this visual summary The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2022.

What is important to us?

What do we value?

What are our priorities as individuals and collectively?

What is our part in shaping the story of humanity and the world we inhabit?

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