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Promoting the Sustainable Development Goals for Progress, Peace and Prosperity

Fri, October 26, 16:00 to 17:30, Palm Beach County Convention Center, 1C

Session Submission Type: Panel Discussion

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Short Description

We will explore how the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are being met by organizations, businesses, and individuals who are seeking progress, peace, and prosperity while recognizing the finite resources of our planet. The goals are all interconnected, meaning none of them can be delivered in isolation, and apply to every nation and every sector. All of us are being challenged to act, but for many it's not clear how to participate in achieving these goals. This panel will provide guidance on the significance of the goals and share actionable practices that contribute to achieving the goals.

Detailed Abstract

At the UN Sustainable Development summit in September 2015, 193 governments agreed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) covering all aspects of sustainable development. These goals are ambitious but vital to a future of progress, peace and prosperity around the globe, taking into consideration the needs of humanity and the planet. The agenda seeks to pursue a holistic strategy that combines economic development, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability.

As the preamble states:

"This Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom. We recognize that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. All countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership, will implement this plan. We are resolved to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want to heal and secure our planet. We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path."

The goals are operational through 2030, subject to a set of 169 detailed targets and agreed to by most of the world's nations. They reflect the fact that the benefits of global development are not equally shared; the challenges in making progress, peace and prosperity real, are complex. Their achievement is not guaranteed and the engagement of leaders from all walks of life is vital to their success across the globe.

Effective implementation of the goals depends on us. It includes mobilizing a wide range of stakeholders and building an appropriate knowledge base. These are areas that educators, public servants, consultants and innovators specialize in and have the expertise to accomplish.

In this session we seek to expand engagement with the SDGs and empower participants to support the achievement of specific goals while discussing available options for action.

The session will be structured in three parts:
1. A succinct introduction to the SDGs, the background to their formulation and the current status, emphasizing their role in environmental and social impacts locally and globally.

2. Brief descriptions of how the panelists participate in achieving the goals in their sphere of influence and fields of practice, highlighting specific goals and areas where engagement is possible. Examples from the panelists' experiences include:
A case study of an NGO, through its organization Fairtrade International delivering on the SDGs through partnerships (Goal 17) and other goals.
The completion of a pilot study commissioned by UNDP, Kazakhstan to examine the gender-related practices evident within one key part of formal curriculum -- course syllabi - as part of plans for additional ways to address Goal 5 in Kazakhstan. The results will be presented to government officials at a UNDP-sponsored round table in March 2018 along with plans for other ways to address SDG 5: achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
How to engage middle and senior managers and officials in broad questions of progress, peace and prosperity, by means of the SDGs, whether or not their organisations embrace the SDGs. With this focus there is particular concern with goals 4 (education), 5 (gender), 16 (institutions), and 17 partnerships.
Developing young leaders in their college experience by introducing the SDGs and the broader environmental sustainability agenda in accordance with Target 4.7 that calls for ensuring that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development. This is carried out by incorporating the SDGS into coursework via the development of case studies exploring the context and results orientation of specific goals and their relevance in practice and across cultures.

3. Opening up the session for participants to suggest action steps, provide information on networks and forums to build knowledge and share resources and offer additional opportunities and experiences for involvement and leadership to further the goals.

The overall objective is to inform and inspire; we seek to help others take leadership to help achieve the goals in their own roles and responsibilities.

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