Stories - Impact Hub

The UN Needs Us To Help Hit 17 World-Changing Goals. Let's Do This.

Written by Helaina Hovitz | Dec 1, 2017 1:26:58 PM

What’s greater than 16,000 people across the world united with the common goal of making a positive impact on the world through their life’s work?

Being able to communicate a set of 17 goals to all 7.5 billion of them.

 On Giving Tuesday, Chrysula Winegar, Senior Director of Communications & Special Initiatives at the United Nations Foundation and leader of the Global Moms Challenge, spoke about the ways in which we are all responsible for looking after our planet.

After all, she said to her Impact Hub New York City audience, so far, we only have one.

“People need jobs, opportunity and education to lift themselves out of poverty, and when it comes to peace, when people are in low health conditions, you find conflict is the genesis of why they’re experiencing it. Partnerships are all about how people can get involved,” she said.

Winegar spoke about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Partnerships for the Goal that are, in short, about the partnerships forged by individuals, organizations, and businesses that seek to reach 17 specific goals that fall under the category of The Five P’s: Peace, Prosperity, Planet, Partnership, and People.

Each of the 17 SDG’s play a vital role in the major goal at hand. For example, something as simple as getting a vaccine to a child requires specific improvements and action around infrastructure, quality of transportation, and other elements.

In the last two years since SDGs has been put into action, the U.N. has found that there are 12 million fewer children younger than five dying each year. This gives them a greater chance at survival once they pass that critical age. Additionally, they also found that 1,000 less women are dying in childbirth every day, and 2 billion people were lifted out of extreme poverty—and that’s just where People are concerned.

But how do you communicate 17 goals to the entire planet?  

There’s something in there for all of us, says Winegar. The goals are for every country, and, over the next 15 years, the focus of this new sustainable development agenda will be on initiatives surrounding quality education, responsible consumption and production, and affordable clean energy, to name a few.

To reach these goals, it’s crucial that governments work together with private sector organisations as well as individual, everyday people, because it’s going to take all 7.5 billion of us to make these goals a reality.

“As we change how we eat, how we dress, as we look at more sustainable transport and living solutions, companies are going to have to step up, because people are making choices with their wallets,” she says. “Once we change our behaviors and make a commitment to change our patterns, that becomes a long term thing.”

Fortunately, speaking to the Impact Hub audience, Winegar was having a conversation with people who stand for the same values and are working across communities and continents to come together to find solutions to some of the planet’s most pressing problems.

As part of the Mash-Up series that’s been connecting ideas, people, and speakers on social issues for years, Impact Hub streamed the talk live globally, in North America, Europe, and for the very first time in Africa. By sharing these goals outside of the Impact Hub Network as widely as possible, you’ll be working towards the goal one tiny action at a time.

You don’t have to be a social entrepreneur or a social activist to make a change, either—to her fellow moms, Winegar says that motherhood is a “key tipping point for connectedness.” Winegar shared her experience connecting with a mother in Tanzania on the common ground of the experience of carrying a child. We can pass along our conscious way of living to our children, and, furthermore, find commonalities among people from all walks of life, no matter how far of a walk that might be from our own home.

What’s most impressive about the list is the fact that all 193 members states of the United Nations negotiated and agreed upon these goals together, making them official in 2015 and looking to reach them all by the year 2030—which will sneak up on us sooner than we realize. Regardless of who you are and what you care about, she says, don’t be afraid to allow these emotional connections to happen.

“Tell someone about the goals, then pick one that your heart connects to, whether it’s Gender Equality or Life below Water,” says Winegar. “There are so many ways we can spark ideas about how to put our energy and time into a cause of campaign that makes sense to us around that goal.”