THE VITAL ROLE OF INDIVIDUAL ACTION IN ACHIEVING THE AMBITIONS OF THE SDGS

Sustainability is everywhere in many forms, whether people know what they're talking about, or simply referring to acronyms and jargon building their woke status - it's something many people struggle to understand how they can contribute and help make a difference. It starts with one ….. you!

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Good Life Goals In the face of regulatory changes, geo-political risks, and capital market shifts. Sustainable investing has evolved considerably beyond the days of Ethical considerations and Socially Responsible Investment. The rising prominence of ESG considerations reflects a wider ‘sustainable transition’. As part of this transition, the ESG themes at the forefront of investment conversations are no longer limited to climate change, knowledge and action is further evolving to include the road to net zero. The social elements of ESG are now taking hold. Challenging our norms in health, diversity, inclusion, human rights, and our equitable right to, ensuring resilient and prosperous communities. The later propelled by the continuing dystopian events of the past 18 months and COVID-19.

As a society we can look on these with a sense of foreboding, often tying ourselves in knots trying to understand the ‘what’ and the ‘why’. This gives the added challenge of – how do we start?

I came across a really interesting article by Solitair Townsend, a Forbes contributor and Co-Founder of the change agency Futerra, back in 2018. The article was interesting in the sense it highlights the link between consumerism and the influence of brand and cause related marketing. But also referenced the Good Life Goals.

What are the Good Life Goals I hear you ask?

People around the world are becoming increasingly familiar with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but how many of us really know what we can do to reach them? The Good Life Goals represent an effort to answer this question and help a global audience to recognise the vital role of individual action in achieving the SDGs. The Good Life Goals lay out 85 ways WE as individuals can take this first step and contribute towards the huge, planet-changing objectives that sit at the heart of the SDG agenda.

 Who’s behind the Good Life Goals?

 The Goals have been shaped through a number of stakeholders, primarily though, a collaboration between Futerra itself and the 10 YFP Sustainable Lifestyles and Education program. An initiative led by the governments of Sweden and Japan represented by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES). As well as the UN Environment Agency, UNESCO, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

 Increasingly cause-related-marketing, sustainability or CSR activities of brands promote what the company is doing, portrayed as the change-maker as opposed to helping the consumer to make an informed decision. Relegating the public to mere ‘spectators’ and therefore not involved or inactive. Could this be part of the problem in taking action!

The 85 actions in the Good Life Goals remind us that people power matters as much as powerful people. And brands have a huge potential to unleash that positive impact. Brands can influence our behaviours, aspirations, our insecurities and even our definition of success and happiness. That creative power is potent. Yet we, the consumer should be responsible for our actions – and take action leveraging our consumer power and entrepreneurial activity for the Good Life Goals. We should call out poor corporate behaviour and demand the products and services that help consumers live a sustainable lifestyle.https://www.intalcon.com/magazine/the-vital-role-of-individual-action-in-achieving-the-ambitions-of-the-sdgs

Jon Kinnell

Chief Development and Strategy Officer, BST-Impact sarl

A philanthropy, social impact strategist, Jon has enjoyed the privilege of working with some of the most entrepreneurial and inspiring social investors, venture philanthropists and their advisors across the social finance spectrum. Utilising grants, lending, impact investment and ESG funds to design impact strategies aligned to more responsible capitalism at an individual and organisational level.

Following a human rights-based approach with a focus on international development, education and engaging marginalised communities, Jon has over 15 years’ experience operating at the interface of wealth management and philanthropy. Generating in excess of £140m in social capital for sustainable initiatives across the UK, GCC, Africa and Asia.

Holding senior posts within diverse global organisations encompassing Social Impact Agencies, Philanthropic Advisory, INGO’s and Global Donor Advised Fund (DAF) providers. Along with a focus on bespoke solutions advising on high value venture philanthropy, fundraising and alternative social financing. Jon adds a unique perspective bridging both sides of the funding journey. And the skill set to identify and build alliances that achieve long term social impact and systemic change.

Beyond sustainability, Jon also holds several board positions both as Non-Executive Director and Trustee for socially minded corporates and social enterprises. Is a member of the Institute of Directors, Fellow of the RSA and mentor with the Small Charities Coalition.

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