Global change is something that must be done, and how do we go about that? The SDG's are a way to try to organize our globalized endeavors to #MAKEACHANGE.
We have so much going on world wide, from climate change, to the pandemic, and now things seem to be getting even worse. We needed act 20 years ago, and now we are a couple decades too late. Despite this delay there is still a chance to salvage our planet. Making sure everything is there for a better tomorrow.
The actions we take today, will forever impact our tomorrow.
Why are the Goals Important?
The idea behind the SDG's in the first place is to simplify the actions needed to improve the world. If we tell everyone all the things that need to change or be fixed in the world, it is natural for them to be overwhelmed. There also is no particular thing that truly has to come first, as the entire system is a wicked problem ecosystem.
One layered on top of the other so to speak, but there is the order in the SDG's (in my understanding) so that we can mentally list them out.
Even though it does seem to be a bottom up of the maslow hierarchy of needs, they really can be tackled at any order. Could start from the last one, or in the middle, whatever that can be done. The real beauty is that there are enough people around the world that we can do all of them at once, but they have to know about them first. Not only does the general population not really think about the goals, there is reason to believe they may not even know about them.
We need solutions to these problems yesterday, and the quicker we solve them the better.
What are they?
In this section I'll list out each of the goals, the links to their pages on the SDG website, as well as give my own thoughts on how it could be tackled. If I don't know/or think of a way, then I won't say anything on it.
Better yet I'll link out to an endeavor working on that goal.
Goal 1: No Poverty
Between the economic fall out of the covid-19 pandemic, there could be a drastic increase in poverty for the first time in 30 years. The overall poverty levels have been going down over the past few decades.
The world shouldn't have any sort of system where poverty can exist. There are enough layers, even in capitalism, that should solve these circumstances. The problem often is multi-faceted, and needs to be tackled from many angles.
Goal 2: Zero Hunger
The fact that the U.S. alone throws away between 30-40 percent of the food supply every year. That is truly ridiculous, and a dire change in the societal standards needs to happen. Especially since people around the world, even in the U.S. itself, are starving.
Having to go without food is going aganist our very nature, and we have to keep fighting to provide food globally. One of the biggest things we can do is improve our supply chain, and make it more circular. Letting it go around the economy, even to those less financially fortunate.
Goal 3: Good Health and Well Being
I just want to say I have never been able to afford or have health insurance, and so personally I have had to maintain my Four Pillars with an extra level of concern. If I were ever to get hurt it could be dire, and that is in this nation with a capable health care system. There are places around the world that don't have access to the best treatments, the right strategies, or even medicine like the Covid vaccine.
Goal 4: Quality Education
The term "quality" is rather interpreted in many ways, although most would think of both k-12 and higher education. Most of the time it is purely having access, but in other cases it is literally having it in the first place. The U.S. has not set a good example of what a quality educational system should look like.
Regardless if it is "3rd" world or "1st" world, there is an entire overhaul needed. One that could be applied to ever changing circumstnaces, such as in more rural areas. I think the internet can make a big difference on this front.
Goal 5: Gender Equality
When you look at the science of biology, and the history of how people of any gender have been able to accomplish; There are plenty of reasons to state that equality is not only necessary, but long overdue. Gender based wage gaps, societal pressures on dominance, and overall the terror of domestic violence should not be condoned.
Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
Across the global the fresh water supply is going down, as most of the Earth's quantity is hidden in the polar caps. The level of energy it takes to convert salt water into drinkable is too high for most countries, even the larger ones, and that doesn't even take into account the filtration of diseases.
Having a reliable and more importantly SAFE drinking supply is growing in need more and more. Luckily there are a few endeavors that are working on this now.
Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
Again another circumstance where one would be lead to believe that the U.S. is ahead on this front, but we are one bad disaster away from a complete shut down of the entire U.S. grid. The energy grids across the globe are based on old ways of transporting energy, and take multiple workarounds to even function. Most are on their last legs, and are running 100% capacity.
It is akin to running a firetruck power hose in order to water your garden. Not only is it dangerous, overkill, and wasteful; There is a high likelihood that the hose will break on you.
The fact that green energy too is taking so long to be adopted is something that may need to be forced. Or find some grand way to worth the while of the everyday citizen.
Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
The memes about how it was easier to get a job in the 60's/70's are rather true. The entire society has been let to believe that we need a degree, 10+ years of experience, and overall one skill set.
These limiting beliefs are causing the entire system to falter. Qualified professionals are not able to get basic entry level positions, and employers are not able to find the right candidates for their jobs. Even when both are staring right at each other.
People need to be able to learn new things, unlearn what they know, and relearn what they forgot. This growth mindset leads to better soft skills, employability, and cross-disciplinary work.
Goal 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
One thing that needs to change in the minds of the governments around the world, is that the Internet is a human right. It is the hive mind of all of our existence, and without access to it leads to poverty or worse even.
From the exponential possibilities of the web 4.0, to the 4th Industrial Revolution, we are in a time of growth. Let the online land grab be supplemented by innovation, and grow new systems on top of the physcial ones.
Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities
From finances, gender, societal caste, or even just beliefs, there is a concerningly growing gap between people. The rise to wealth is far too hard to get out of the cash flow race, and basis of society was made on old limiting beliefs.
From the religion your believe in, to the school you went to, they are markers of what is supposed to describe you. However anyone with empathy can tell you that these do not define a person.
Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
The fact that places like in Austrailia buildings are built thin and cheap (generalization), or in the states the housing bubble is just one example of failed allocation of resources. The circular economy comes to mind, but more importantly taking into account the population in the area, and what THEY need. Not what the companies making the buildings need in profit margins.
Additionally, the rise of smart technologies in the city structure. This plays into the digital energy grid, or internet access is human right. One idea I've been toying with is integration of street lights, 5G hubs, rain water collection, and the energy grid all playing into one system. A modular component based system that would act as channels for each: energy, plumbing, and internet fiber optic cables.
Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
As I said in the end hunger goal, the levels of food waste are staggerly, and if they only were sent to the proper locations rather than a landfill. Then it would solve a huge chunk of that problem.
This is where this goal comes into play, it is changing how our systems and habits come into play in our lives/society. Building a societal norm around recycling, and making it easier. Finding a way to make plastic more useful after being thrown out, or better yet making it recycleable.
Goal 13: Climate Action
Global temperatures and greenhouse gases are at record highs this past DECADE. We are two decades over the arguement of whether or not it is real, there is no reason to doubt. Even back in the 2000's I could tell something was changing each year, and since then it is even more apparent. In my own yearly life, let alone on a global scale, where I can't literally see.
We have to take Extreme measures in order to combat this crisis, and yet we are still wasting time on trivial matters.
Goal 14: Life Below Water
We have shockingly only explored 5% of our world's oceans, forget going to Mars, let's go to the bottom of the sea. Not only is there immeasurable amounts of life we have yet to even discover, but there is life we are killing through our wasteful lifestyles. From plastic in the oceans, to the temperatures rising, and even the coral reefs dying.
Goal 15: Life On Land
The human race has caused more damage to the natural environment than any disaster in history. That may be a bold statement, but we have literally caused an ecological cascade that is causing a new mass extinction.
Taking care of the various species on our planet is crucial to our own well being as well as a species. The food chain must be preserved.
Goal 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
Having rights, liberties, and safety is must for everyone. Setting a good example, and being there for other nations is crucial. I'm not speaking as a U.S. citizen, but rather a citizen of the world.
Like it or not we are a global civilization, and we just haven't realized it yet. Once we get to that stage for real. Then establishing a Type-1 Civilization will be an easy feat.
There should be a consistent layer of justice across the board.
Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals
Again with the last goal, there needs to be partnerships, and world unity. This was the main purpose behind the United Living Construct (my previous endeavor). As it became apparent that the world desperately needs to unite.
Personally I am not sure if the United Nations is the right organization to become the global leader, like in the show The Expanse for example. I think it would be better for it to stay a separate entity. They have already proven they have the right mindset with these goals!
What are the ones that PolyInnovator is focusing on?
Although I started the personal brand in a different mindset, the philosophy behind the SDG's, and the impact behind them align greatly with what I am trying to do.
I want to help the UN and the world, as much as I can.
#4 Through the Modular Degree
Changing education as a whole is not an easy task, and one that most people wouldn't even think about let alone attempt. For me however my perspective has been unique. Despite being a rather poor academic, I have always been that of a scholar, in more of an autodidact pursuit mainly.
I found traditional schooling to have failed me as a student, just as much as I failed to have the discipline at the time. After I left school I was able to learn exponentially faster, even spending literally 12 hours one day studying calculus. Not having discipline wasn't the issue, for it was apparent to me even at that age, that it wasn't worth spending energy and focus on the learning pathways in front of me. The rather archaic way of learning was hyper specialized, as we were told to only do one thing in life.
Not only did that go against my polymathic tendencies, but also isn't conducive to the growth of society. We need interdisciplinary thinkers to help with innovation, new age job fields, and cross disciplinary work.
The Modegree system I am creating is meant to solve two problems, firstly the lack of education out there for polymaths, and secondly to scale up the education system for a modern digital age. We need the ability to reach a massive amount of people, and provide a high standard of learning. We have the resources online, but lack a capable distribution and learning management system.
These are the problems that would be solved by the Modular Eduation Platform.
#7 The Digital Energy Grid
In order to change or archaic analog energy grid, there is going to have to be a complete system overhaul. There are a plethora of ways to go about it, from the source, transportation, to even the end result (such as your home or office).
Granted I have no current endeavors for this particular goal, but I am intending on working on it with a future phase of PolyInnovator. Presumably alongside the Smart City Development ideal.
I wanted to mention it as it is an area that I am quite passionate about, the fascination too of our analog grid has always perplexed me from a young age. I couldn't wrap my head around why poles with hanging cables was the "most efficient" way of transporting energy/internet. Just doesn't/didn't make sense.
Not only that it is rather a one way system, so if some household were to modernize their home, such as with solar panels and some other energy producing tools. They wouldn't be able to do anything with them, the only benefit would be less reliance (if any) on the local system. However some people have proposed a modern grid that works both ways, where if you are producing more energy than you need, then you could sell it to the energy company.
Providing an additional source of income to the family, as well as a more efficient grid. Transporting energy from one house to the one next to it for example that is needing more energy, is way more cost effective than sending it from a node.
The Digi-Energy grid also allows us to rethink how we not only structure streets, and how energy and water lines are routed, but also how we structure cities entirely. The random "block" based system deals with blocks of varying sizes, as well as old school ways of development.
If we could produce blocks in a factory, then build them out like giant lego sets, it can increase the quality of life and decrease costs.
#8 & #9 The Rise of Polymathy
Over my years of personal growth I have realized my multidisciplinary potential, and I have had to fight aganist a "specialized society" for all of it. The only reason why this way of mind exists is because of the 2nd industrial revolution. Where we needed workers who were more akin to a cog in the wheel, rather than independent thinkers who could innovate career fields.
Now that the internet has forever changed the company landscape, these companies are more and more searching/hiring these "unicorns"/"T-shaped"/"Generalist" workers.
Yet education, prior work experience, and society as a whole are failing to prepare people for this type of thinking. We are approaching this "modern renaissance" as some people refer to it as, and it is changing how we think about work as a whole.
The ideas explored with polymaths greatly align with our natural homo-sapien tendencies for being generalists.
#11 & #12 Through Smart City Development
One of the biggest reasons why I started PolyInnovator and my own Modegree, in the first place; Was because of the fact I want to work on Smart City Development in the future.
I had idealized this career, and searched across the globe for a degree that would help me in that pursuit. However even after looking at hundreds of schools I failed to find one.
Smart cities ARE the way of the future of urban development, and we are seeing that with Barcelona, Singapore, Seoul, Dubai, etc.
However these leaders in urban planning/development, are just basic representations of what is possible. There are far more possibilities we have yet to truly explore as a species, such as seasteading, Martian/Lunar cities, The Venus Project, and more.
These are what we need to create in order to work on these SDG goals.