2015 is a critical year for the future of our world. In September, leaders will gather in New York to sign up to a set of ambitious Global Goals, such as ending extreme poverty and making sure every child has access to education by 2030.
If this sounds idealistic, just consider what’s been achieved in the last 15 years: thanks to global economic development and the galvanising effect of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), we’ve seen a halving of poverty, a halving of the number of out-of-school children and a halving of preventable deaths of under-five year olds.
We don’t often hear about this good news, but it’s true. And it’s an amazing foundation on which to build.
Finishing the job
Now the successor goals, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aim to finish the job. Having gone half way, and proved we have the wherewithal to challenge the status quo, it’s simply not acceptable to leave the other half behind.
"The new goals can help make sure that no child is left behind just because of their gender or where they are born"
Take child survival: for me, in my role at Save the Children, whilst we’ve made important progress on reducing under-five child mortality rates across the world, in too many countries inequality is worsening. Ending this lottery of birth is a defining challenge for our generation.
The new goals can help make sure that no child is left behind just because of their gender or where they are born.
But the goals will ultimately be judged on what they deliver by 2030. To make sure they move from paper to practice, everyone must know about them and every leader must feel the pressure of millions of people around the world to implement them.
That’s where two really exciting initiatives come in – action/2015 and Project Everyone.
Action/2015 and Project Everyone
Action/2015 is a coalition of people all around the world who have come together to fight for an end to poverty, inequality and climate change. From grassroots networks to some big household names like Save the Children, Amnesty and Avaaz, we want to ensure we get ambitious agreements and that they’re delivered on.
On 24 September – the eve of the official launch of the goals – action/2015 will bring together thousands of people across the world at rallies and events so that leaders know the world’s expecting them to deliver.
To make sure leaders know we’re watching, we need to make these goals world famous – enter Project Everyone. The brainchild of film director Richard Curtis the project was quickly backed by a stellar cast of celebrities and businesses, including Standard Chartered.
"Get the message on every website and billboard, in every school, on every TV channel and radio station, in every cinema, on every community notice board and on every mobile phone"
The idea is to get the goals to 7 billion people within seven days of the launch. That’s right – the entire world population! How is that possible? Well, think about it: 6.9 billion people have access to a radio and 5.6 billion to a TV, there are 7 billion mobiles in the world, 5 billion people see brand and media advertising and more than 3 billion go on the internet every day.
We’re going to have to get the message on every website and billboard, in every school, on every TV channel and radio station, in every cinema, on every community notice board and on every mobile phone.
Picking from a shared creative toolkit of messages about the goals, you can text them to your friends, sing them to your families, wear them on a T-shirt, debate them in your village, share them at your school, email them to your colleagues, Instagram them with your pet – whatever it takes to tell everyone.
"Don’t miss out on the action. Get involved in the Global Goals campaign"
Of course, making the goals famous is just one part in ensuring they turn into reality. Really ensuring that no-one is left behind will demand partnership, investment, political will and prioritisation. With all the knowledge, tools and technology we have at our finger tips today, we can be hugely optimistic about achieving this change and, ultimately, a better world.
Don’t miss out on the action. Get involved in the Global Goals campaign and stand with action/2015 on 24 September and help light the way to a better future.