I would like to address the dire issues our world is facing today that are confined not just to a single nation but affect humanity as a whole. I duly endeavour to create worldwide awareness through this message to create a better world which requires the participation of every individual on this planet as a global collective. All we need is developing a global mindset, human conscience, and a good start.
We are going through an exceptional yet fatal time in history. Power-hungry governments, chemical, nuclear & biological warfare, scientific breakthroughs, smart technologies, and global transparency are the attributes of the world today.
While we stand on the brink of the Fourth Industrial Revolution which has intrinsically changed the way we live, are such world-changing ideas benefiting our society and planet as a whole?
What have we done to eradicate poverty, gender inequality, discrimination, large-scale conflicts, corruption, money’s influence on politics, food and water plight, high oil and food prices, lack of education, unemployment?
Moreover, unforeseen climate change, natural catastrophes or a single earth-shattering meteorite has the power to exterminate human species. The peril is real and the things will get uglier.
In the last ten years, natural calamities have resulted in $1.4 trillion damage across the globe. In over forty years, there has been a 60% slump of wildlife. 170 million hectares of unabated deforestation will take place by 2030. In the last thirty years, 50% of the world’s coral reefs have disappeared. Plastic and hazardous chemicals in the seas are poisoning the food we eat. According to the latest reports by space agencies, the level of carbon dioxide on earth has surpassed all previous years records.
The Lost Value Of Biodiversity
Biodiversity – the complex web of life maintains our ecosystems to meet the needs of society by providing access to raw materials, goods, and services. Its decline is a threat to human life and economic development. Ocean assets account for an estimated value of $24 trillion and are one of the world’s largest economies. Needless to say, industries and businesses need freshwater for a variety of purposes, the scarcity of which will have a direct impact on bottom lines.
Scientists have calculated that we need 50% more earth to sustain the economy at the current speed. In other words, we have to spend 50% more than we earn which is going to leave us indebted every year. Can we rely totally on science and technology to transform the existing economy into the one which is knowledge-based, highly efficient and solar-powered to support the lives of 9 billion people in 2050? Earth is a system and operating a system beyond its limits will only break it down and not do any favour. Should we wait until the crisis hits the economy?
Development Goals To Achieve In 50 Years
A human-centric and rights-based approach to end all forms of poverty
Promoting sustainable agriculture, reducing food waste, focusing on malnourished groups
Improving nutrition and availability and access to quality foods
Unlocking significant investment based on the public-private association in bringing advancements in telemedicine, precision medicine etc. to ensure healthy living for all age groups with cost-effectiveness
Enhancing the content and quality of education with an emphasis on critical thinking and vocational skills development
Adapting practices broadly in designing a level playing field in awareness of the gender gap by the government, workplaces, and educational institutes
Scaling wastewater treatment solutions through disruptive technology, financial mechanisms, and partnership models to create reusable sources of water
Overcoming financial challenges by making investment systems scalable and bankable to enable energy systems to become affordable and sustainable
Transparent institutions to keep nepotism and corruption in check. A stable business environment fuels investment creates productive employment and expedites the production of high-quality goods or services.
Enabling inventiveness to build a resilient infrastructure to not let technology replace humans.
Giving economies opportunities to drive growth inclusively and equally to all financial systems to upraise ethical value in businesses and public spheres
Creating smart cities with intelligent infrastructure which includes a smart economy, smart planning, and smart environmental management
Reusing resources and turning linear-supply chains into value-adding closed loops to transform a DUD model to a circular economy with the cooperation of technology and government
Taking needful actions in low-carbon growth to combat climate change
Forging new forms of native and global governance to manage fishing, acidification, waste and marine transport in oceans which are the source of 50% of our oxygen, 20% of our proteins and 30% of our oil and gas
Managing the landscape-level ecosystem, weather-proofing agriculture, scaling land use planning, empowering rural people, enforcing a law for trafficking endangered animals, multiplying investment in rural development
Implementing accountable organizations to cultivate peaceful societies by providing basic human rights and justice to people
Changing the economics of banking through new technologies to serve under-served communities in developing nations
We are smart but are we conscious?
Isn’t it time to invest in the protection of our planet for the sake of future generations? It makes sense for corporations and the government to start doing it on a global scale as joint ambitions. They have the expertise, knowledge, and capacity at all levels to bring this grand transformation. In what ways entrepreneurs can support sustainable economic growth?
Sustainability industry demands innovation. It provides ample opportunities for entrepreneurs to help and capitalize alongside.
Can cutting-edge solutions in technology help in the mission in the coming years?
Designing A Simplified Future With Machines
Automated vehicles can reduce greenhouse emissions, save lives and transform mobility, thereby slowing down pollution and environmental damage.
In healthcare, the use of renewable energy substantially lessens GHG emissions, thereby preventing global warming. Greener equipment and efficient products will significantly reduce the mass of the hazardous waste.
AI can identify deforestation and can predict the energy crisis through mining big data
Research in genetic engineering can help overcome the devastating consequences like El Nino effects on climate
Some Entrepreneurial Sustainable Energy Ventures
Offering electricity to households through off-grid solar-powered solutions.
Developing efficient cookstoves to prevent exposure to open fires that releases lethal smoke.
Our next breed of generation deserves a cleaner, sustainable, peaceful and secured world. It is supremely important for entrepreneurs to lend a helping hand with a big heart through CSR and apply their organizational experience towards tackling the world’s most critical issues.
How Companies Can Integrate With Government?
To include government-related issues on their agenda
To collect knowledge on government actions that have a direct influence on their company
To understand the government’s social, political and economic objectives
To share information about government actions systematically among all business units
To build strong relationships with major government stakeholders
To quantify the potential effects of government plans and their impact on the economic value
To provide stakeholders with the analyses with facts on how government plans affect the company
How Other Companies Can Help?
They can invest in tree plantation and some projects to reduce their residual carbon emissions.
Housing developers can invest in enlisted projects of habitat creation in a cost-effective way.
Infrastructure providers can help through investing in flood management projects to improve resilience.
Product and supply chain management can allow the production of goods meeting certain environmental standards and secure their access to markets which would also help generate consumer awareness.
Businesses can collaborate with each other to provide a healthy atmosphere to their employees meeting environmental standards.
Tourist companies can allow visitor contributions to support projects to protect and maintain beautiful landscapes.
Government In Action
The government must build an agenda to set up aggressive policies and plans to
Build inclusive societies and structural transformation
Fight rising inequalities, violent extremism and humanitarian crisis
Collaborate with multinationals. micro-enterprises, cooperatives, philanthropic organizations etc. to mobilize financial resources and capacity building for the utilization and distribution of environmentally sound technologies
International response to climate change, to address the threat decisively posed by environmental degradation and find out relevant resolutions
Measure soil health, the functioning of ecosystems, human health benefits with the pollution-free environment
Design more sustainable patterns of production and consumption
Protect forests and enhance productive capacities and employment, financial inclusion, sustainable agriculture, industrial development as well as transport systems, reliable as well as accessible energy services and resilient infrastructure
Build dynamic and people-centred economies for the empowerment of women and youth
Policies to provide quality healthcare to extend life expectancy
Form revitalized global partnership to eliminate poverty, malnutrition, hunger through social protection systems by devoting resources to most affected, poorest and vulnerable regions
Establish carbon offset mechanisms to encourage private sectors to develop markets for domestic carbon sequestration
Work with partners to understand the value of natural environment impact capital
Manage biodiversity and develop new techniques to track illicit wildlife trading through remote sensing and earth observation satellites
Establish a green business council for them to suggest the appropriate conditions to trigger environmental entrepreneurism
Raising Children As Responsible Global Citizens
The well-being of our future generation will be affected by the decisions we make today. As crucial enablers of sustainable development, we need to inculcate intercultural understanding, mutual respect, shared responsibility, valuing the nature, ethics of global citizenship and tolerance in them.
The challenge is how to get teenagers back on track to infuse global nationalism when in today’s advanced era they are surrounded by technology!
Is technology doing any harm to them?
It’s important to make them realize that there is a beautiful world outside their favourite video games and social media posts.
Passive use of technology induces attention to self in a negative way.
Addiction to the internet can severely retract their critical thinking skills.
A much comfortable, sedentary and less-interactive life will only make them fearful in future.
What’s our responsibility as a parent to build a world-aware generation?
They must be taught to develop a critical eye for all the information they consume.
Access to information or entertainment through gadgets should be in control.
They must understand the interconnectedness of lives across the nations and the globe.
They must learn to develop a relationship with nature as their home and how to take care of it.
Parents must know that their kids have an enormous potential to bring a change to the world.
Parents can find out that their kids may have some interests aligned with solving a specific problem of the world.
Parents should allow them to come out of their comfort zone without being overprotective.
A conversation about current political, social, economic and environmental events and issues must be encouraged at the time of leisure.
As children absorb lessons from their parents’ actions, parents must reflect a kind, gentle and thoughtful behaviour they want to see in their kids.
Children of all age groups deserve an educational environment that inculcates global responsibilities and intercultural friendliness to offer bright hope for the future that produces world leaders and influencers with a concern of humanity.
Some classroom activities that can help stimulate global citizenship in children are:
Using powerful statistics such as 0.5% of the world’s population acquires one-third of global wealth, nearly 50% of the world’s population lives under $2 per day for survival would evoke their conscience to think.
A group discussion or a speech on recent disasters, democracy, global warming or pollution would help them collect, know and understand the issues.
They can be asked what change they would like to see in the future world and how they can help in the same.
They should be taught to think critically and dictate on a random topic like how would they survive without technology? or if given a chance what one thing would they change from the world?
A basic set of human rights regarding global inequality, lack of education etc. must be taught in school and explored.
They can be indulged in environmental studies and taught to change their shopping habits, engage in volunteering acts like planting by turning education to action.
Our planet is a wonderful green home for us all. We have a choice – degrade it or preserve it. It demands the efforts of every entrepreneur, every engineer, every artist, and every individual to work collaboratively to improve the environment.