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Sustainably Wise Summary

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For individuals, organizations (including businesses), governments and UN agencies


In September 2015, the United Nations and its 193 Member States (almost all nations of the world) adopted  the universal agreement, Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. At the heart of this ambitious agreement are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets. These all share three aspects: society, the economy and the environment. Together, they moreover cover virtually every aspect of human activity. These goals were adopted in an attempt to ensure that the impact of the sum of all human actions would enable the Earth System to maintain those planetary boundaries that can support human life. And since we have exceeded those relating to climate change, the rate of biodiversity loss; and the rate of biogeochemical flows (Ph and N cycles), the successful implementation of the 17 SDGs and 169 targets is critical to the survival and well being of all people everywhere.
To successfully implement the goals:
  • Governments (local, national, regional) will have to adhere to their agreement to leave no one behind, while taking into account what their peoples need and the many ways they can build on the support provided by individual people, civil society (including businesses), their own governmental ministries and the UN System.
  • All people will have to recognize how the goals will affect their lives: what is likely to be actively encouraged or discouraged by public opinion, what will be rewarded, what prohibited by law, and what may no longer be available;
  • The United Nations and its Specialized Agencies will have to help to consolidate the global effort by ensuring that the invaluable resources they have built up since their individual inception reach governments and people everywhere. For each one houses agreements, vast sources of information, courses, best practices and inspiring examples. They are connected to most national governments worldwide and often work within individual nations. And each of the UN Specialized Agencies is rooted in the same principles—those laid out in the Preamble to the UN Charter. And these very same principles lie at the very heart of each of the 17 SDGs.

Sustainably Wise fosters collaboration and resource sharing to help humanity to achieve the SDGs.

Sustainably Wise—What Is It?

Sustainably Wise is a web based tool, that can be used as follows.

  • It is an aid for making and implementing plans within the context of the SDGs. It can help individuals to plan and implement their life’s goals; students to plan and work out projects for school; businesses, organizations and even governments and UN agencies to plan and implement sustainable development.
  • It enables all to tap into resources available for sustainable development, including those provided by the UN System, Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs), governments, civil society organizations (including businesses), and individual people;
  • It fosters horizontal collaboration between individuals, civil society organizations, governments at all levels with similar challenges and interests, departments within the UN and between the UN and its Specialized Agencies.
  • It encourages vertical alliances to form between the grass roots, governments, the UN and it Specialized Agencies.

How Sustainably Wise Works

It encourages you to complete a series of questions. You are asked your name, age, area of residence, and ways in which you can be contacted, so that Sustainably Wise can better connect you with people, resources, etc. that are useful as you develop your plans.
Then you are asked to visualize your plan, outline your long term goals and gradually break these down into manageable steps. As you outline what you wish to achieve, the wording triggers information provided by the UN and its Specialized Agencies and a few organizations that are providing materials specifically for planning related to the SDGs, such as the Global Footprint Network. The information could be on sources of renewable energy, regulations governing products derived from specific species, rules pertaining to migrant labour and ways of maximizing their remittances, how products using meat increase the size of ones global footprint; and courses and aid predominantly available through the UN and its Specialized Agencies. It also contains a planning tool for governments provided by the UN’s Development Programme to enable them to see the preferences of diverse groups of their citizens with regard to many of the topics covered by the SDGs. All this and much more is housed in Sustainably Wise’s Learning Centre.
Once you have completed the initial draft of your plan, you are asked: Is there any additional help you require? And as you specify your needs, a search engine springs into action and provides you with inspiring stories of others who are doing something similar, best practices that apply to the area(s) on which your project focuses, people/organizations with the type of expertise you need, people seeking to collaborate in the area you are working in, etc. This vast array of resources is housed in Sustainably Wise’s Resource Centre.
Finally, Sustainably Wise will ask you whether you have any best practices, informational or other resources, that you would like to make available for people to use. As you provide the relevant information, what you are offering is entered into the Resource Centre for others to find. Relevant resources are also made available to the UN and its Specialized Agencies as needed.
In this way, Sustainably Wise plays the role of a networking tool, market place and/or place for exchanges worldwide, based in large part on the principles of caring, sharing and community that tend to govern the fast-growing sharing economy.
Finally, Sustainably Wise houses a Governance Centre. This connects the grass roots and governments worldwide. Here are housed publicly available reports on what governments are doing to implement the SDGs, including where relevant their sustainable development strategies, the international Agreements on Sustainable Development they have ratified or signed, and invitations by governments for civil society to give input to their plans.
It also provides ways being made available by the UN System for people and organizations to give input to background documents being prepared for UN conferences, or to agreements being negotiated within the UN.
All the resources on Sustainably Wise are available to visitors of the web site.

How, Step by Step, We Intend to Promote the Use of Sustainably Wise Worldwide

I. Introducing Sustainably Wise via the educational institutions in each country has the following advantages:
1.Practically all nations have a Ministry for Education and these usually house listings of official formal educational establishments for purposes of national and international accreditation. Moreover, most countries are also members of UNESCO and have National UNESCO committees. So there are ready-made channels through which the uses of Sustainably Wise can be made known.
2. Formal educational establishments have the mission to prepare students to enter society and fulfill those tasks that will promote the economic, social and other well being of their nation. It is therefore essential that they prepare their students to take account of the SDGs, which are already bringing about new (inter)national standards. Using Sustainably Wise, schools can prepare their curricula, teachers their lessons and students their homework while the national re-educational process is getting underway.
3.From schools, interest in Sustainably Wise is likely to spread to the rest of the population. For young people are likely to discuss their schoolwork and the uses of Sustainably Wise at home and wherever they are employed. Those hearing about the new standards and rules about to be implemented, especially in the private sector that depends on public opinion and government regulations, are likely to want to make use of Sustainably Wise.
II, As a next step, we shall introduce Sustainably Wise to the private sector via the UN’s Global Compact, Chambers of Commerce, the International Association of Cooperatives and local authorities.
III.To make Sustainably Wise universally accessible:
1. we are promoting universal access to the Internet at the UN.
2. the UN might be able to train a few specialists from each UN Member State to use Sustainably Wise so that these, in turn, can then train facilitators in each of the regions of their countries to act as facilitators to help those who are (Internet) illiterate to use Sustainably Wise. Translation machines which are rapidly improving will initially play an important role.
3.Sustainably Wise will be a low bandwidth web site with a Mobile App Portal.
4. The first version is planned for completion by the end of the year.

For more information:  Lisinka Ulatowska (Dr. Lisinka Ulatowska, Coordinator Commons Cluster of the UN NGO Major Group,) CommonsActionUN@gmail.com).