Have you woken up to the problem with the SDGs?

You want to “build back better” post-COVID, right? And to attain the SDGs by 2030? Sure you do. 


But there’s a problem. And unless that problem is fixed, the SDGs will never be attained, let alone by 2030. 


What’s the problem? Fragmentation. 


Or put another way, lack of critical mass: the people, companies, nonprofits, governments, tech-for-good platforms and other stakeholders taking action pursuant to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are fragmented across thousands of online and real-world communities. No one has successfully brought it all together. Yet…


As a result, both individually and collectively, we’re spreading ourselves too thin across Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp groups, members clubs, societies, nonprofits, diversity and sustainability networks within our organisations and more, as we seek to build momentum to drive the change needed to attain the SDGs by 2030. 


Fragmentation of our communities and our energies is dissipating our potential impact.


This lack of critical mass matters: a 2019 study by Harvard scientist Erica Chenoweth demonstrated through data that if you want to generate lasting positive change on a social or environmental cause – from climate and sustainability to ending poverty and hunger, from Black Lives Matter to gender equality and beyond – you’ll have a 100% success rate if 3.5% of the whole population actively participates in non-violent action that is aligned to that desired change.


So to #buildbackbetter – and to unlock the USD12 trillion of economic opportunities and 380 million job opportunities represented by successful attainment of the SDGs by 2030 – we need to better come together and lead as a community of positive changemakers. 


Social media has a key role to play, as do new platforms such as SustpostIt’s about collaboration, not competition. Information sharing, not information hoarding. Together, we are stronger and more impactful, hence SDG 17: partnerships for the goals. 


We need to find ways to more effectively connect, communicate and collaborate, at scaleWe want real-time information that we can trust. We want to inspire and be inspired. We want to be able to engage with information, rather than simply be a passive consumer of news. We want change. And we need new technology to help drive that change, as the existing tools have not proven fit for purpose, otherwise that change would already be here.


There is a significant prize availablethe lasting legacy of having successfully pulled together and empowered the critical mass needed to drive transformative positive change, as envisioned by the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.


This success is within our grasp, if we can just motivate enough people and organisations to take enough action, together, to make the difference. It all starts with you. It starts now.


Simon Puleston Jones is the Founder and CEO of WokenUp (https://www.wokenup.com), the new global social media platform for social and environmental change, with the SDGs at its core.

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