The 18: History doesn’t repeat itself, history improves

How many Sustainable Development Objectives are there and which are they? What are they aiming for? Or what is the Global Compact? These are questions for which you do not always have a clear answer. Surely it sounds familiar to us, but we would not be able to explain what it is or what impact it has on our organizations.

It all began in January 2016, when the United Nations launches the Sustainable Development Objetives (SDO), a plan for people, the planet and prosperity with a view to 2030.

SDO that would make the world a better place:

1.- The end of poverty
2.- Zero Hunger
3.- Health and wellness
4.- Quality education
5.- Gender Equality
6.- Clean water and sanitation
7.- Affordable and non-polluting energy
8.- Decent work and economic growth
9.- Industry, innovation and infrastructure
10.- Reducing inequalities
11.- Sustainable Cities and Communities
12.- Responsible production and consumption
13.- Climate action
14.- Underwater life
15.- Life of terrestrial ecosystems
16.- Peace, justice and sound institutions
17.- Partnerships to achieve the objectives

The Global Compact is an UNO initiative that aims to support companies to achieve SDO. The possibilities are multiplying and alliances must take place, taking up the main reason of the Global Compact: “to give globalization a human face.”

Soulless Companies are condemned to die

Business success will not be achieved without a sustainable environment, and local and global development must go hand in hand with business. Social responsibility evolves because society demands it and that happens through SDO; In fact, big companies are including them in their agenda. Today more than 13,000 entities in 145 countries have joined the Global Compact.

However, organizations must commit to tangible actions and that is where the dilemma start. What SDO do I choose? Who decides? Of course, social responsibility is a strategic issue and should come from committees and top councils, so that it reaches the whole organization. But it’s not always like this.

That is where the possibilities appears, such as relating social actions that were already developed with some of the SDO or think of new lines not yet explored.

We must also consider whether we want corporate social responsibility to be linked to the core business. In most cases, a relationship is usually pursued, one that gives meaning and allows the organization to contribute with knowledge about a particular field to its social field.

Social innovation stems from IE

The 18 is a project born in IE and aims to combine these points, so you do not have to choose. This is an entrepreneurship adventure that was born from the Business Plan of a group of students of the Executive MBA and that is taking form of non-profit association.

The project aims to commemorate the 5th Centenary of the World Tour by Boat, repeating the same achievement in 2019, but for social purposes, because history is not repeated, it is improved.

Anna Maria and Hector, two of the sailors, comment: “we are interested in those who did not get it, because the past and the future does not only belongs to the ones who achieved it”. In The 18 we want to fight for those who were not so lucky, for those who caught the plague in the middle of the ocean, the same way we care for the most disadvantaged, so that we all have a life worthy in a sustainable world. That is why we want to promote local causes but have a global interest. ”

At people can raise the cause for which they want the boat to sail, relating it to one of the SDO. There are more than 130 applications from 25 countries. You can also propose a new SDO, the number 18, in tribute to that World Tour.

In 2019 a ship will sail the oceans and carry out 18 stops on 5 continents. In each scale it will work the most voted cause of one of the SDO to find solutions to local problems, seeking to be reachable and benefiting all.

The organizations will have an important role, as they will be the ones with economic sponsorship and know-how to sponsor every SDO and each scale. Corporate volunteering will be fundamental in the development of ideas, understanding that collective experiences are the most successful.

The scales will be joined by conferences about the SDO that will agreed in each case and will be an opportunity to know the local problems through organizations that operates there and the public administrations.

It will be fundamental to create alliances between the private sector, the third sector and the public administration in order to solve the problems that The 18 community is proposing.

The 18 is a reality, a change that is happening and we can all be part of it. In a dynamic world, ideas can go around the world and improve it.

By: Anna Maria Hurtado

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