Every so often our minds surprise us by opening up doors to worlds we have never known or that we have been too busy, or focused on other things, to examine more closely…
In March I had the opportunity to take part in the World Summit Awards in Vienna. It’s an event on a global scale supported by the United Nations. What follows are a few notes on what I saw, learned and, particularly, what I discovered.
SDG – Sustainable development goals – In September 2015 the UN set 17 clear, measurable and achievable goals focused on better and more sustainable world to be created, one step at a time, by 2030. Each area within the United Nations is therefore measured on meeting these 17 goals and, as the UN represents the vast majority of countries, humanity itself is now being assessed based on its desire to meet them. Future generations will also assess us according to what we did and our ability to meet these goals.
I have to admit I’d never heard of the goals until last month. The road to humanity’s salvation, or at least the paths toward it, and I had no idea… Of course, I know about, keep up with, and have an opinion about what can and should be done to improve the world, but something so palpable, so easily measurable and so clear had so far evaded me.
A well-defined goal is the most important factor for success. If we don’t know where we want to go, we’ll never know the best way to get there.
These are the 17 goals:
If each one of us, every company, every town, every country, every culture guided our strategy based on these goals, or at least on some of them, I’m sure we could transform our planet into a fairer and more sustainable world to hand down to future generations.
GiftedMom Africa – An application that sends text and voice messages and proposes to save thousands of mothers and newborns. In the last few months of pregnancy or after delivery many mothers in underdeveloped countries are affected by a broad range of complications, which in many cases lead to death. Medical studies clearly demonstrate that proper monitoring by a medical team and attending regular maternal health check ups and/or taking medication can reduce the incidence of these complications by up to 90%.
Ashumanyi Ako Agbor is a doctor who, having followed this issue in recent times, has created a platform that receives information on the expectant mother and her phone number at the first pre-natal appointment. The platform then sends text messages, according to a set schedule, containing information or reminders to take medication or to go to the next appointment. Receiving this kind of information has dramatically increased compliance with these activities, and as a result has reduced pre- and post-natal complications.
A machine to send text messages… That reads a file and automatically send messages on a pre-set date… The understanding of the impact that even the simplest technology has in underdeveloped or developing countries is out of our grasp most of the time, and when do reach it, it’s like a punch to the stomach that wakes us up to the harsh reality that we are not doing everything we can with the technology we already have to change the world for the better. The digital transformation of the world is now a reality, not only in developed countries, but in underdeveloped countries, too.
These two examples, along with others that I learned about in Vienna last month, clearly show that it is within our reach to do more and better to create a different world. There can be no excuses or reasons for inaction.
Some might think we are beyond a solution, and that we can’t turn things back. I believe that today is the day to make sure that it is still possible, that there is a solution, and that we can do it.
By Pedro Pinto, CTO of InnoWave