What Millennials can do to contribute in achieving the 9th Sustainable Development Goal
This SDG, “Industry, innovation and infrastructure”, might seem like a “background” SDG; one that is not that immediately pressing, like “No poverty” or “Zero Hunger” are, one that is more secluded to the side, behind other SDGs, that might have a front row seat. Well, this is not true at all.
In fact, due to the lack of the necessary infrastructure, about 2.6 billion people in developing countries still can’t have access to electricity full-time; due to the same reason, other 2.5 billion people around the world don’t have access to basic sanitation services and almost 800 million people don’t have access to clean water; also, 1.5 billion people still don’t have access to reliable phone services. So, as you can see, industrialization and infrastructure, always in the respect of the environment, are essential to guarantee other basic services and SDGs, such as number 6, “Clean water and sanitation”, and number 7, “Affordable and clean energy”.
Therefore, the aim of SDG 9 is to build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation, in order to lead to economic growth, social development and action against climate change. In fact, all three of these goals are heavily dependent on investments in infrastructure. The problem is that basic infrastructure, like communication technologies, sanitation, transports, irrigation and electrical power, are still scarce, or not available at all, in many developing countries.
Not intervening to improve infrastructure would probably lead to poor health care, inadequate sanitation and limited access to education; meaning, the failing of other extremely important SDGs. Also, technological progress is fundamental to achieve environmental objectives, such as increased resource and energy-efficiency. Therefore, technology and innovation are essential to reach industrialization, and industrialization is essential to ultimately lead to development.
To this regard, industries and governments play a key role in addressing this matter, because they are the ones that can provide the necessary investments to improve infrastructure. However, don’t doubt that there are still a few things that we, as Millennials, can do to give our contribution. For example:
- If you are into technology, use it to advance other SDGs. Exactly like what GYV is doing. Whatever it is, use technology and innovation to spread awareness and take action to reach other sustainable development goals.
- If you have an entrepreneurial dream, pursue it. As a student, there are many entrepreneurship platforms that you can get involved with, that will help you shape your idea into reality.
- You can organize and participate in science events/fairs in order to rise awareness and interest of your peers in new technologies and industry. Furthermore, you can also elaborate creative solutions to cope with different evolution challenges and spread your knowledge.
- You can check out UNIDO’s Youth Entrepreneurship Curriculum Program (https://www.unido.org/) to read their stories and get involved with their projects.
- Another resource for young entrepreneurs is the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance (http://www.g20yea.com/), where they can find advice and inspiration for their business ideas.
As you can see, we can always find our own way to be helpful. It’s a big goal, but it takes every single one of us to achieve it. And, if you are already somehow working towards this SDG, please take a look at our website and join our competition here: https://goo.gl/5LUfP2 .
Cover cartoon credit: Sergio Algeri/GYV