By Yuvraj Singh
“The spirit of Revolution should always permeate the soul of humanity, so that the reactionary forces may not accumulate to check its eternal onward march. Old order should change, always and ever, yielding place to new, so that one “good” order may not corrupt the world.”
With the eloquent words of Indian philosopher and revolutionary Bhagat Singh in mind, the United Nations adopted 17 new global goals in order to achieve a more prosperous tomorrow. The recently presented agenda of sustainable development presents an array of opportunities for technological disruptions and political collaborations across interests to achieve constantly improving governance.
While these goals are broadly set, the focus on specificity of measurement and evaluation of progress observably indicate the sense of seriousness and accountability surrounding the planned course of action. Vital factors to the success of these goals include large-scale public awareness and involvement of non-government entities such as corporations, civil societies, and local individuals. The fact that these goals are being communicated so aggressively and actively via the Internet and mass media demonstrate the growing interest of a highly philanthropic and concerned generation. And with this initiation of public attention, we take our first step forward to success.
Corporations and NGOs are giving up mutual discomfort to work together; governments are pledging to enhance transparency through information sharing; policies are becoming increasingly dependent on open source data rather than traditional prejudices; and more than 1 billion people are expected to come online within the next five years. These events point at the strength of commitment and confidence in practicality of these goals across the board.
The campaign took off with a grand convention of global leaders, change makers, and enthusiasts witnessing promising statements that led to futuristic ambitions and idealistic hopes. But the question now is can we carry on this exciting energy and enthusiasm for these goals over the next 15 years? As new issues and concerns arise, this task may seem difficult; but with the right approach and a transparent and concise timeline, this energy is very much achievable.
Critics’ paranoia might lead them to term these collaborations as collusion and may hint at commitments being overshadowed by hidden business interests. While we cannot immediately dismiss these conspiracies, we can hold onto the belief and hope that humanity presents. While we live in a world that has constant and easy access to the Internet, businesses will surely try to sell more merchandise for profit gains, but at the same time, people have readily available resources such as Wikipedia and ‘Khan Academy’ to self-educate themselves. Companies might prefer to spend money on marketing rather than social good, but then realize that using their supply chain to deliver vaccines and contraceptives to remote areas of the world will outscore any ad campaign. Governments might retreat from some initiatives midway, but there will always be NGOs and activists like Kailash Satyarthi championing the cause of empowerment through education.
This summit has set the foundation for giving life to a world with prosperity, equality, education, and justice by concentrating the global efforts to a mere 17 point agenda. It attempts to disturb the status quo and let the spirit of revolution induce the idea of unattainable yet essential perfection “in its eternal onward march.” Long Live Revolution!