The SDG Lab and the UN Geneva Library & Archives have launched a new podcast mini-series on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) implementation in times of crisis. Titled “It Takes a Global Crisis…”, the four-episode series is part of The Next Page podcast, which is designed to advance the conversation on multilateralism.
Using the COVID-19 pandemic as its context, the podcast aims to highlight how certain pro-SDG policies and projects have accelerated because of the urgent social, economic and environmental needs and consideration that the global pandemic brought to the fore: some of these policies and initiatives were often talked about, but rarely implemented.
The series also touches upon some of the implementation challenges and other aspects that the international community has learned in SDG implementation that can be taken forward to supercharge delivery of the goals during this decade of action.
Each episode is structured as a conversation between experts on topics such as digitalization and connectivity, sustainable cities, resilience and the environment, and social protection. The series is moderated by Edward Mishaud of the SDG Lab with technical and content support provided by team members of the Lab and UN Geneva Library & Archives. At the end of each episode, listeners will be provided with a short “Spark”, providing an additional opportunity to dig deeper into case studies related to the topics addressed.
Episode 0, the introduction, is already available. Episode 1 launched on Friday, January 7, and the subsequent episodes will be released at the start of each month until April.
Episode 1 – Digitalization and connectivity to accelerate the SDGs
For decades, the role of digital and connectivity in society have been increasing. It is now possible to communicate from all around the world via different platforms, and with billions of people. People are connected for leisure and work. Digitalization has helped to make progress on many of the SDGs, but it involves resources that are not available everywhere and has sometimes accentuated existing inequalities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are stuck at home. Connectivity allowed millions of people to exchange from home, but some do not have access to technology. This episode is about how COVID has accelerated digitalization and connectivity and touches upon some of the major challenges in this domain. Listen now
Episode 2 – Environmental and social resilience
The connection between nature, the environment and human health has been known, discussed and analyzed for some time. The current global climate crisis and biodiversity loss, and the parallel global health crisis, reminds us of the links between our environment and our own wellbeing. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, environmental and social resilience have become a topic of widespread public attention and importance. The episode zooms in nature-based solutions and environmental sustainability as pathways to deliver jobs, economic prosperity and lift people out of poverty; contributing to several of the SDGs. Listen now
Episode 3 – Social protection in times of crisis
For nearly two years, the global pandemic has changed the relationship of governments and populations to health systems. More and more citizens are in need of care, but poorer and inadequate public systems have had to adapt quickly, often overnight. This theme is continuously at the heart of international debates and issues of rivalry between governance models. The triple health, economic and social crisis pandemic has accelerated some progress in terms of expanding social protection. While significant steps have been made in the short term, one of the major challenges of social protection is, and will be, sustainability. This episode will focus on how social protection has been brought to the forefront and what lessons are being gathering to inform and shape current and future initiatives. Listen now
Episode 4 - Cities of the future for a sustainable world
Restrictions on travel, lockdowns, ‘stay in place’ orders, and other containment measures have kept most people around the globe confined to their villages, districts, towns and cities. On the one hand, and depending on where one lives, a new renaissance of urban life has emerged with citizens taking up pro-SDG and sustainability practices in droves—from cycling to community gardens, to telecommuting and reclaiming unused or inaccessible public spaces, highlighting the importance of health and well-being in the city. Yet, on the other, and depending on where one calls ‘home’, COVID fighting measures have reduced civic space, limited access to health services and programmes, and resulted in unprecedented levels of unemployment and precarity, especially in the informal sector. This episode will take a look at how cities are central to SDG implementation and accelerated measures that are SDG-aligned. Listen now