Sustainability in a Covid-19 World
Our 2030 Sustainable Development Goals: what can we learn about them on Earth Day 2020?
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) came into our lives several years ago in order to create a clear path and an ability to measure these actions in the view to push forward a better future for our planet. As these goals were set by the United Nations, it wasn’t clear exactly how and who should be adopting these goals.
Were they set to monitor countries and policy makers? Were they focused on giving guidelines to the public or the private sector? In the end of the day, who would be accountable for reaching the goals or missing them?
During these last years we have seen think tanks and social entrepreneurs such as Greta Thunberg, the Rockefeller foundation and others try to push these goals forward by creating a civil movement around issues like impact, climate change and other initiatives. We have also seen private sector investors and corporates embrace these SDGs into their vision and mission in order to promote a better future. However, in a world where Covid-19 will become a part of our lives, should all players in public and private sectors start working on more detailed actions in order to reach these goals – possibly before 2030?
These past few months have shown to the world that, not only do policy makers have to push them and private sector corporations need to adopt them, but that there is also a real opportunity for technology and entrepreneurs to give solutions that can radically change our day to day and create a better planet for us all.
As an example for these we will review a number of SDGs and show how this new world has already generated ways of achieving them, in a very short timeframe.
Good Health and Wellbeing – SDG 3
With the outbreak of the Covid-19 global pandemic we are witnessing a huge rise in technologies that are fundamental, not only in combating this virus, but that are also ensuring good health and wellbeing to growing parts of the population. Technologies that allow remote diagnosis, electronic health records and remote patient monitoring will become more and more available to all of us and will be able to grant better and more efficient health care at a lower cost. But it is not just healthcare, this crisis has demonstrated the need for digital services that can allow our wellbeing, both mental and physical during these times. Endless online programs and services are now available with an ever growing number of users that are seeking these solutions during their individual lockdown and hardship.
Quality Education – SDG 4
This crisis has proven that technology solutions can also be at the aid of providing quality education, remotely. We are still a long way from providing this to all segments of the population, but now it will be up to decision makers and corporations to make these available to larger audiences. Across the globe we are already seeing initiatives providing computers, tablets and accessories to those who need access to the online platforms. Technology companies need to translate these remote needs into cheap, open sourced, quality content to ensure that our younger and older generations are not left behind simply because they are at home or are unable to reach the education they deserve.
Responsible consumption and production – SDG 12
After the initial over consumption we saw across the globe at the start of this pandemic, we are now seeing a more responsible consumption on behalf of consumers all over the world. Startups and food services are able to provide consumers with “just what they need” reducing food waste and waste in general. These services seem to be here to stay as customers have been able to realize that mass consumption is no longer a need. However, with this more responsible consumption we are also seeing a rise in plastic waste (used to deliver and store food, much more than before the pandemic) and the challenge now will be to continue and develop solutions that will reduce the plastic use and waste to a minimum. This complicated task will be one of the major roles of the food production companies moving forward assuming that the policy makers will continue their legislation towards plastic free services and regulations
All in all the globe is moving into a more conscious state. With all the changes that we are witnessing during this pandemic, it will be the responsibility of us all to reach these 2030 goals. The difference in the quality of air that we are witnessing in large cities due to the lockdown will not remain this way if we will simply go back to the same behaviours we had before the pandemic. Technology will have to move fast in order to ensure that all this will not go to waste, so to speak. (SDG 13: Climate Action).
The world is changing at a fast pace and on this 2020 Earth Day, it is clear that the future of our planet, now more than ever, depends on the ability of corporations, policy makers, entrepreneurs and tech creatives to collaborate and work together – which is our SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goal.
We will be discussing all these points and the new role of corporates together with Accenture, Blu 1877 (Barilla), Coldiretti, Electrolux, Gambero Rosso, Future Food Institute, Lavazza, Livekindly, Unilever and Var Group on April 22nd during our virtual summit (tickets available here).
Let’s not wait to see what happens in the next decade – Let’s make it happen – together!
Corporate Transformation Senior Strategist and Envisioner
Talent Garden Italy
Noa Segre is the Corporate Transformation Senior Strategist and Envisioner in Talent Garden Italy. With an extensive background and experience in technology and innovation, starting from the technology unit of the Israeli Army, to startups and over 10 years in one of Israel’s leading Venture Capital funds, Noa brings to the team a global view on trends and technologies. As part of her role, she leads the efforts of the discovery of new ecosystems and technologies, connecting corporates on all levels to the most innovative and change-making scenes as well as envisioning with them their journey of innovation.