Aim to achieve SDGs – Bringing the world together to solve global issues

The ‘Together We Project’ and the initiatives have come in to connect everyday citizens with what is important to them and their country’s stakeholders. Picture: SUPPLIED

The team at ListenGive Initiative and TheCreators2030 UN SDGs, Arts, Youth and Global Citizen Initiative has created a methodology that will help countries, especially Small Island Developing States (SIDS) such as Fiji, achieve their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The team is led by its co-executive director, Gail Davis-Carter.

Ms Davis-Carter has served as both a UN NGO representative, UN partner and private sector representative with the United Nations at their offices located in the United States, Asia and Europe and supporting countries in Africa and shares solutions for the United Nations SDGs.

She began these initiatives with a team of people in locations worldwide who came together with a mission and vision to connect the world’s citizens with what is important to them and each other – basically working together to solve global issues.

The team includes people from the diverse cultural backgrounds from around the world who are in the primary school age group right up to 70 years old.

To fully solve the global issue that countries faced, it was better for the team to take the 17 projects they had (which was one project per UN Sustainable Development Goal) and streamline it into one project that would deal with all 17 goals (that is given that the goals are interwoven and reliant upon one another).

As the goals were not connecting with everyday citizens, the team took it to all levels of society, industry and government bodies. Once the project was created from the prior 17 projects, it was then named “Together We Project”.

This project was born out of hearing one of the ministerial officials from the Small Island Developing States share the importance of the world understand what they were going through. As for the ListenGive Initiative and its co-initiatives, the Creators2030 UN SDGs, Arts Youth and Global Citizen Initiative, it began with the death of Ms Davis-Carter’s mother.

It was her mother who wanted to raise her in a world where all people and cultures came together. Ms Davis-Carter always had a dream of bringing the world together to solve global issues and connecting it to what was important in their individual lives.

That is what started her work with the UN in 1998. In 1998, the famous American record producer, musician and songwriter, Quincy Jones provided an opportunity for Ms Davis-Carter to volunteer with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and NetAid (an antipoverty initiative).

Through that, she transferred her grief of losing her mum to bringing the world together with the birth of the organisation. Today the ListenGive Initiative and TheCreators2030 UN SDGs, Art and Global Citizen Initiative team have created a methodology of actions to solve the UN SDGs with a pilot being carried out in four countries in four continents.

Now the initiatives’ team is putting solutions in the citizens’ hands to solve their countries’ most pressing issues while expanding their economies. When sitting at the UN, there are multiple solutions being created,” the team said.

“In attending UN meetings daily and travelling to countries worldwide, we saw solutions on the ground, but it was not permeating the entire country. “Our team realised from listening to every possible strategy from governments, civil society, private sector and citizens, we were not hearing about the actions people were taking to fulfil them.

“These parties were giving their best, but it takes everyone to come together. It was as though no one knew how to bring everyone together. “We saw the way through. We realised with each country having a different set of needs, it was important to have a methodology of actions that were able to be retrofitted as a model to support each country.”

This is what drove the team to start their project where they brought stakeholders together from Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. They went on to create a model of solutions and implemented it themselves.

As they began to test their methodology, those involved began to realise the simplicity it took to achieve the UN SDGs before 2030. “What if everyone turned off their lights every day when they were not using it?

These are the simplest actions we do not even think of,” the team said. Even though this information was out there, it was really not being enacted by people or citizens. Bringing stakeholders together is one of the key actions to solving the SDGs and ensuring each party benefits from the partnership while improving the well-being, infrastructure, quality of life and economics of a country.

The focus is to have this achieved in the Small Island Developing Nations. “The world overlooks the Small Island Developing States and does not realise they are the people that are most connected to the planet and maybe the key to empowering the rest of the globe in achieving the SDGs,” the team said.

“Creating our methodology required us to find what’s truly important to people. We looked at oceans, agriculture, women, health and other areas. “Everyone struggles either economically or mentally.

“Creating solutions is important, but the key is knowing what solutions will benefit that country. “Sometimes the solution to our most pressing issues is right in front of us.” The team said Fiji was a place that was diverse and connected to many of the issues that people faced daily worldwide.

“Fijians have the desire to expand their knowledge and take actions that will empower their country,” the team said.

“This is not understood across all countries or generations. “Other countries within Africa, Latin America and Europe are facing the same challenges. But their citizens are experiencing the situation directly and some are unaware of dealing with issues that affect their quality of lives, so they are not able to truly connect with the true impact of what’s happening.”

The team, through their project, has come in to connect everyday citizens with what is important to them and their country’s stakeholders.

The team through this project is working closely with communities in Fiji, too.

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