Walking on the path of Sustainable Development

 

 

I will use this space to give some of my reflections on “What it may take (to the world) to transit from the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals.

2015 ECOSOC theme: “Managing the transition from the Millennium Development Goals to the sustainable development goals: What it will take”

And of course – I will be a little specific- when I speak on issues of Energy & Sustainability- but most of my observations may also be quite handy and applicable for the other themes and goals (17) in the proposed program.

First of all- I would like to share – that I am excited. Excited by this UN program, and excited by the opportunities , the new hopes and new realizations this program may actually unleash.

As the program touches “a new order of human enlightenment” in it’s program orientation goals

Let’s build the World We Want.

Let’s build sustainable societies for all

How are we going to live together- as 9 billion people- sharing one planet?

I look at the program of Sustainable Development – as a new pact, a new opportunity- between the nations, the governments, companies (business community), academia and society.

In the East and in the West, The North and in the South.

I look at this program with new hopes and dreams for the poor and deprived, the working middle-class AND the elites of this world.

As this program- when done well – can actually unleash the best in us. It can shine and bring new radiance in ourselves and in our societies. A new radiance of caring and sharing. Of shared stewardship. Of hope. Of can do.

The program- and when done well- can and may help to change or transform today’s gridlock and sometimes competitive trenches in the geopolitical arena, and may empower and nurture the more hopeful and healthy dialogues and mind-sets between ourselves:

Of collaboration. Of crossing borders and cultures. Of listening and caring. Of giving and sharing. Of diversity and inclusiveness.

Yes- Let’s unlock the best in humanity. Let’s improve the ways we are going to relate, and Let’s resolve some of the most urgent and pressing issues facing mankind (or of our living together).

As such- I and my practice is full-hearting-ly in.

Let’s look at the individual section queries – and let me share with you, some first and very brief observation on our opportunities therein:-

Policy choices and mindset change for an integrated agenda

What are current examples of an integrated approach to policy-making and what is their degree of success? What are the existing tools and approaches for operationalizing an integrated approach at different levels?

What are the approaches to, and changes in behaviour required for integrated policy-making for the new agenda? What kind of communication strategies are needed for changing this mindset?

What are the potential complementarities and synergies involved in the pursuit of a universal agenda at the national, regional and global levels?

Required adaptation by institutions, structures and individuals

What types of changes and adaptation in institutions and structures will be needed at the national, regional and global levels to facilitate a smooth transition to a post-2015 era? What are the necessary corresponding changes in the roles and responsibilities of all partners?

To what extent are existing global institutions and policy frameworks ready to adopt and implement a more integrated approach to development? What adjustments may be needed to ensure that governments, the UN system and other partners respond to the universal and unified agenda and deliver equitable results for everyone?

What are the institutional and individual capacities required to facilitate a smooth transition from the MDGs to the SDGs?

Brief Observation(s):-

My practice works from the belief and understanding that our organisational forms determine to a large degree also our abilities to execute and deliver on our vision and strategies.

Function follows our Form“.

As we are transiting from the MDG towards the SDG- and we acknowledge that we are shape-shifting from an agenda solely focussed on the “bottom of the pyramid” towards an agenda focussed on the “whole of the pyramid”- it is clear that we may have to change our organisational form (of function deliveries) as well.

As the order and magnitude of the program is so much “bigger and all encompassing”- we may want to spend a little time in re-thinking of how we approach this massive new change challenge- as it will require new working pacts between and in businesses, governments, academia, and society.

Globally, regionally and locally.

And these working approaches and organisational forms may be different in the East and in the West, in the North and in the South.

Surely- this work has been done- in the many working groups preparing for the goals and the agenda- but as with everything- the conversion from vision/strategy to reality and realisation- in and over time- does need a little creativity and imagination- beyond the machinations of bureaucracy and our todays working styles.

Earlier I have given a brief and presentation- on what may be needed in the field of Energy & Sustainability. At UN Level, and at the national and energy corporations level.

If of interest- I encourage you to read my briefing papers- Go to UN SDSN briefing papers– or to contact me in person.

For this note, and this conversation- I will stay a little generic.

The transition from MDG to SDG’s – actually asks and invites us to Re-write, Re-form and Trans-form some of the existing beliefs, rules and experiences.

As we have the opportunity to make “room for the new”- to better listen to understand- we also can iron-out some of the inequalities in power, inequalities in communication and understandings, some of our sources of conflict, some of our unhealthy and unsustainable practices in our present industrial system.

Firstly- I would like to share a little video -presentation from Prof. Kotter.

Go to YouTube video

I think – and in this video-cast, he gives a good insight of what kind of new organisational dynamics we may want to aspire and organize in order to attain “living organisations” – who can adapt and transform to what we need.

This video-cast is applicable to individual corporations, but also is valid and applicable for administrations (UN, government) as well for the work between business, government, academia AND the people!!

On the issue of Capacity and Capability building- on achieving the 17 goals- I would say and share the following, and based on my years in large-scale program and project portfolio management within the Shell Group:

The magic happens when the “vision and story” is compelling- and binds and passionates people, all people and member nations, to contribute and deliver.

The magic happens when the self-interests can be part and integrated in the whole.

The magic happens when we know-how to combine our vision with a workable strategy, manageable execution (delivery) operation and a (human) organisation that ticks.

The magic happens when we keep trusting, keep deeply respecting the human dignities, the cultural nuances and the differences in perspectives we may have.

The magic happens when we are able to stay out of trouble, and collect and celebrate our early wins.

The magic happens when we keep loving what we are doing and keep serving the higher goals.

Now- surely- and in our modern days and ways- I know also the following:

Discipline and Fun in our Organisation and our Deliveries are not each other enemy:

In other words: in order to realize and walk the path from vision, strategy to realization- we need good, compassionate and disciplined program management.

The kind of (executive) program management- business and industry is used to do.

Managing and monitoring such an extensive portfolio and integrated program- requires also perhaps some new management system(s) – beyond today’s experiences within the UN.

To that end- I would like to propose a new, open and shared integrated management (governance) system, between government, business, academia and society- and which enables member countries and regions (e.g. Africa Union, EU, India, etc.) to self-assess, plan and share their organisational abilities to deliver and perform.

To conclude :

We have an extra-ordinary opportunity to do well. To raise the aspirations, to bring new hopes and help our human civilisation to a next realm of realization (maturity).

Our choice is if we are willing and able to open-up, to build and cross the various bridges, to be creative and imaginative on the roads ahead, and to be able to organise ourselves for success.

That choice was rather simple for me and my practice to make.:

I wish that same choice to all people, organisations and nations.

Adriaan Kamp- 2015