Posted by: henrymcghie | November 25, 2017

Have you heard of the 17 ideas to transform our world for the better?

Have you heard of the sustainable development goals? Wondered what they are? Who they are aimed at? The Global Goals (as they are also known) are the follow-up agenda from the Millennium Development Goals. The difference is that the SDGs relate to all countries, not just developing countries. They can be summarised as ‘transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development’, or, more succinctly, ‘the future we want’. ‘We’ means all of us, and there is a principle that ‘no-one is left behind’. So, if you look around and see injustice, intolerance, inequality, unsustainable use of resources, environmental damage, that is what the SDGs are concerned with addressing. The SDGs were agreed by the United Nations’ 193 member states in 2015, with the aim of achieving them by 2030.


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Now 17 is an unusual number: it suggests that a great deal of care went into working out what the goals are (17 isn’t exactly a round number, in fact it’s a prime number). The final goals and the accompanying targets were agreed in September 2015 in New York. Communicating the goals was part of ‘Project Everyone’, and resulted in a series of icons representing the goals. The goals are a terrific thing in that they relate to everyone, and everyone can play a part in achieving them, both locally and globally. The can’t be delivered by the UN on its own, and are an invitation to everyone to get involved.

If 17 is a lot to remember, the goals can be thought of more simply as falling into five groups. The goals can be approached separately, as can the actions, but should all be considered together too as action for one may have a negative impact on another.


I am super-interested in these as they are a terrific agenda for museums to connect with, and there will be a lot more to follow on this. Watch this space, and get in touch if you’re interested. How will the goals be delivered? Talking about them would be a good start.

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