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Thursday 24 January 2019
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Changing the World with just 17 goals

Everyone has an innate desire to leave a legacy of sorts, to impact a life or two positively if not entire continents. Some dream of their names visible for all the world to see and others opt to shake the world silently. Despite being different in breed, a world changer is just that; someone who sees their life as having purpose beyond themselves or their society and its limitations. I have networks whose world changing ambitions have challenged me immensely to dare and dream as well as others who I am at times tempted to just throw cold water on and perhaps ruse them from dreaming so little. We live in an era where anything is possible, if we but apply ourselves.
 
Donald Trump is running for President and whether I like it or not, my children will one day discuss him as a case study in either a history or political science class. That alone should stress how easy it is to become a world changer or noise maker in his case but this article is not about Trump.
 
What type of change one desires to bring into this world has a lot to do with who you are and your passions, however real change has to do with moving the world from point A to B, with B being the better place. It is leadership basics one on one to say the least and it requires big dreams as well as a willingness to work with other people. No one has accomplished anything great as a lone wolf.
 
Temporarily maybe but all great men and women who have shook the world moved in packs. The biggest frustration for big dreamers is often lack of direction or clear strategy. Where to start, who to connect with and when to passionately throw caution to wind and just push for their dreams are but few of the limitations faced by world changer. This is a personal strife of mine actually, however I have come to learn that sometimes there is no need to reinvent the wheel at all. It is far fruitful to see what is already in place and apply myself because to change the world requires collaborative efforts because after all, there is only one world to change, so we might as well all just work together towards a common goal or goals in this case. World leaders are convinced that it will only take seventeen goals to change the world. These goals, or Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) were adopted over a year ago by all Member States of the United Nations.
 
The goals include fighting poverty, hunger, gender inequality, ensuring good health and well-being, quality education, access to clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, responsible consumption and production, industry, infrastructure and innovation, preserving both life below water and on land, promoting peace, justice and strong institutions as well as securing partnerships to achieve the said goals. The SDG’s are summarily a call for mobilizing efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change, whilst ensuring no one is left behind.
 
This basket of global goals shows clearly that there is room for everyone to apply themselves and the good thing is that they all come together beautifully for the sake of the world. The challenge is to identify a goal that speaks to one’s passion and work towards partnering with the rest of the world on it. One need not even look far on home ground because scrutiny of the SDG’s show threads of similarities to our own Governments Plan for National Prosperity ‘Harambee’. I believe it is about time we redirect our energies from constant criticism of government and perhaps ask ourselves how we can cooperate. Not that I don’t believe in check and balances, however we tend to lean heavily on pointing out what is wrong and sitting back waiting for the Government magic wand to sort things out.
 
I once asked a friend of mine after we drowned in many of our deep talks on everything under the sun, I asked her how changing Namibia will look like when there is so much that looks impossible and in all her wisdom she took me on another drowning expedition centred on equality and access to basic needs. Point is, yes I am aware of the challenges we face nationally and globally; however, we have seventeen global starting points and a national plan that is aligned to the said global goals. It is then up to the individual to pick a goal or two and run with it whilst personally I have a dream that my entire generation (#BornFrees) will stand up and respond to the call.
 
Rakkel Andreas is currently an MA Development and Governance candidate at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany. She holds an MA European and International Studies from Centre International de Formation Européen (CIFE) in Nice-France as well as BA in Media Studies and Political Science from the University of Namibia



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