The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out a transformative agenda linking human health and prosperity to environmental health and equity. They are the product of a multi-year process led by the United Nations (UN), including a series of global multi-stakeholder consultations. The 17 SDGs were adopted by all UN Member States in 2015 as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. These “17 Goals to Transform Our World are a call for action by all countries – poor, rich and middle-income – to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and address a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection.” The SDGs provide Sustainability in the Digital Age with a comprehensive framework that guides all our endeavours.
Listen to this original song about the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by Thalia Malaïka Urbani:
Imagine a new SDG – SDG 18: Ensuring the Digital Age Supports People and Planet
As detailed in a published op-ed by Amy Luers, senior advisor of Sustainability in the Digital Age, the Sustainable Development Goals’ holistic agenda is critical, but it is incomplete. The SDGs do not currently address the governance of one of the most powerful forces defining humanity’s future: the digital age.
“Today, digital technologies are shaping what we read and consume, our votes, and how we interact with each other and the world around us. Many risks and uncertainties are emerging, including threats to individual rights, social equity, and democracy, all amplified by ‘the digital divide’ – the differential rate of internet penetration and access to digital technologies around the world.
Along with the great risks of harm comes massive opportunities to leverage the capabilities of the digital age to steer society towards our common goals as expressed through the SDGs, including net-zero carbon emissions and a more equitable global society. In the digital age, power can be decentralized from the top to stakeholders, social norms of consumption can be shifted towards low carbon products, and society’s mindset shifted from fossil fuels to renewables.”
We need a new SDG – SDG 18 – that outlines clear targets for leveraging the transformative power of the digital age to benefit both people and the planet.