2. Our Common Future

The Sustainability of Everything

Life is a complex system of systems. Life connects the living with the dead and the non-living based on diversity, reciprocity and temporality. According to the Gaia theory there is only one purpose to life, sustaining and growing life. Sustainable development to us - the people - is about sustaining our lifes and wellbeing. The ancient wisdoms tell us that to sustain ourselves we will have to do our share in sustaining it all. Following Tim Ingold sustainable development is about the sustainability of everything.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals

Our Common Future a.k.a. The Brundtland report dates back to 1987. It described our world being in peril and in need for sustainable development. Bringing balance between the ecological, the social and the economical. 28 years later, in 2015 the global community agreed upon 17 Sustainable Development Goals  to be achieved by 2030. Only 8 years away from now.

The 17 goals are not just 17 seperated goals. The goals interconnected and form a coherent vehicle to sustain our world. The 17 SDGs and the 169 indicators are exhausting in their complexity. This comprehensive systems approach is unmanageable in daily practice but on the other hand it is crucial to our common future to achieve the goals.

The Way Forward

From an anthropological and educational combined perspective, the way forward is pretty straight forward. First it is important to create context in which the goals are relevant to daily life and work. And secondly we have to overcome the complexity by simplifying the journey from awareness to societal impact.