Goals

Bill Gates was talking about Goalkeepers.

To me this means football. Or soccer as the Australians call it.

But Bill wasn’t talking about football.

He was talking about the Global Goals and they are something that we should all be interested in. There are 17 of them in total. Global Goals Week is observed in September each year, and this year, it was held between 18th and 26th September.

The 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) to transform our world:

GOAL 1: No Poverty

GOAL 2: Zero Hunger

GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being

GOAL 4: Quality Education

GOAL 5: Gender Equality

GOAL 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality

GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

GOAL 13: Climate Action

GOAL 14: Life Below Water

GOAL 15: Life on Land

GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal

What a list!!

It’s a bit overwhelming to read the list from top to bottom, to try and comprehend the enormity of the list.

A common way to read the list is to choose a top three, and focus on them.

I am planning to ask my staff which three are important to them. I hope that I don’t sway their judgement, but I am going to list my top three.

From a professional perspective I believe that no 10 – Reduced Inequality – resonates with me. As an organisation that supports people with a disability, we strive every day to break down the barriers that enable inequality. Although reducing inequality for me is so much broader than that.

There is continued inequality in so many places where it has no place:

  • Inequality in pay between men vs women and those who are LGBTQI;
  • Inequality between people because of their Race or Religion; and
  • Inequality in wealth between people and countries.

There are so many other examples that I could mention – that makes me choose this as my primary goal.

Goal 14 – Life Below Water – is important – because I am truly concerned that the ocean is the earth’s regulator. Obviously, the trees and the sun play a huge role, but the ocean is the earth’s lungs.

When we were sailing in remote Indonesia – there was a small atoll. It looked magnificent in the blue ocean – the ring of white flecked sand. It was about a kilometre away when we plotted our course to it.

Blue water. White sand. Paradise.

It was as we approached that we realised the flecks were plastic. It was not paradise on earth. It was sad. Plastic waste washed up in a circle on this small atoll in the middle of the ocean.

The reason for my concern is my fear that Life Under Water will never recover. I am convinced that we need to find a solution and hope that someone can solve this ever-increasing issue.

But whilst both Goal 10 – Reduced Inequality and goal 14 are worthy to strive for – nothing can take away the fundamental importance of Goal 1… NO POVERTY.

If we can reduce poverty, then EVERYTHING else will be easier to achieve. One of my hopes is that a positive of the COVID pandemic – is that there is renewed interest in a minimum acceptable income for ALL.

This may be different, between different countries – or regions – but we must strive to alleviate poverty – which will then:

  • Reduce hunger;
  • Improve education;
  • Reduce inequality;
  • Increase opportunity; and
  • Improve water quality and health,

and so on and so forth.

How to achieve an egalitarian spread of income and wealth – well I am not sure I am that smart – but it would be amazing if we did all pull in that direction – and if I had my way – I’d ask Bill Gates!


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