To brighten the hard times, Finns came up with the Positiivisuusviikko when thousands of organizations from the country raise awareness about the good things around us.Since 1991, the week turned into a tradition. Moreover, every year, Finland selects and rewards the most positive person of the year (for example, it was Saara Aalto in 2017).
We're not going to guess the most positive person here, no. But what we can do is tailoring the tradition to the main idea of our platform - sustainability.
We'll look into the core idea of sustainable development and put the puzzle together:
- why did people come up with this concept ?
- what hope does it bring and how could it work ?
- why is it simple?
- what kinds of resources could be utilized better for the benefit of the environment without huge expenditures?
Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. ( World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987)
Somehow, many mistakenly think that ✖sustainability= solely environmental management✖.
The three main domains included in the concept are, as you can see from the picture, Economics + Environment + Society. The idea implies that they are interconnected, and improving one of the 'circles' increases the potential of two others. Later on, we'll give you three different examples starting at different points of initial focus.
But first, let's see what the UN defines as SD goals:
1) End poverty in all its forms everywhere
2) End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture
3) Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages
4) Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
5) Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
6) Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
7) Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
8) Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all
9) Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation
10) Reduce inequality within and among countries
11) Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
12) Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
13) Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts (taking note of agreements made by the UNFCCC forum)
14) Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
15) Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss
16) Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
17) Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development
Sounds unreal, doesn't it? Well, it's quite possible if we come back to the three different scenarios we promised to mention earlier. They are going to be simplified to point out the connection right away:
🌿 Imagine a country that managed to implement successful reforms in economics. The country's budget got more money to invest in (whatever actually) the needs of society. Here, it can go many different ways. More jobs, improved education, higher salaries, better healthcare - you name it. With improved education, for example, comes higher awareness of the problems and solutions, increases the number of the innovative future researchers, developers, well-informed decision-makers. While improving education already falls into the 4th goal of SD, it will also help raise awareness about the challenges nowadays. Higher salaries can make people more satisfied with their life and help them think more about their personal development and habits, gives opportunity to make 'investments' in long-lasting design we discussed here earlier, alternative enrgy, etc. More professionals, more people satisfied with their lives, opportunitites for enterpreneurship, more people able to travel and see how things are done in other countries, more room to think beyond the financial aspect for the basic needs - all create incredible opportunities for the environment. When people start developing more solutions or simply inhibit more sustainable ideas, such as shopping with reusable bags or giving preference to the growing number of local producers enabled by the recent economic growth. While, again (!) it adds to the country's economics where the budget can be further invested into different domains, the environmental conditions are slowly improving with the changing mindset of the society. In turn, better choices and the enabled development will attract more invesments into the country.
Economics-->Society-->Environment-->Economics...Change them any way you want. Start the story from any point and change the sequence we created - it gives the same result. You yourself can see the three start point scenarios from just one story above, or even more given the wide range of options and decisions👆
p.s. actually it's 6 scenarios if you mix&match the starting points in different sequences.
Finally, we found a video that can prefectly explain the alternative energy question (at least, in a nutshell). The world is not white&black, and the political reasons are not the only backlog. There's so much we don't know about the alternative energy, and while implementing it where possible is an amazing step forward, sometimes technological limitations and local climates make it less attractive. Watch yourself: https://youtu.be/RnvCbquYeIM 🌿 We'll surely get there ✊
The only thing to add is the economics perspective. As mentioned above, sustainable development includes THREE domains: economics, society, and environment. Let us say this first: the switch to alternative energy is inevitable and necessary for the future. But unfortunately for many countries, their economies are already so dependant on the fossil fuel-based energy, the economies might collapse from a drastic switch to the renewables (which is not that possible, as you can see from the video). Thus, it will take years for countries, such as Norway (extremely rich with oil), to make a switch gradually and provide new workplaces/special training for the people who would lose þe jobs. Why? Well, unemployment and economic crisis won't make it any easier for the environment. Funny and silly example? Less people will afford buying Teslas. It's an example of the three domains' interconnection from the sustainability point of view. If the society and economics make a change at the wrong time, when þey are not ready for it, it might have the reverse impact on environment from what was intended. From this perspective, renewables should increase gradually, fading the previous sources out step by step.
Now, we have to focus on creating the right conditions for the renewable energy: enable technological advancements, create special courses for the students, induce interest in every generation. Promoting renewable energy is definitely a good start, but knowing the current limitations is vital for creating the solutions faster...unless we know we need new answers, we won't start working on the answers...Energy saving = energy earning, think about that.
Many theories out there, many opinions out there...The world is so multifaceted that one answer or perspective is almost never enough 👐