This year of isolation has led me on a journey of innovative exploring. I’m not going to lie, the loss of travel in my life felt nearly impossible. New places and new experiences would have to wait, so I focused a lot on new learning. My racial identity, white supremacy, and regenerative ag-business-leadership practices are a few of the topics I dove into. I’m grateful for the path that unfurled in front of me and I will continue this journey past the pandemic.
Another focus of my curiosity that has had a profound impact on my work are the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This year of inward contemplation has resulted in a renewed global interest. My area of study in college was international human rights. I wanted to be a human rights activist when I grew up. I guess, I still do! So I have been thinking a lot about how to better align with and contribute to these critical goals that build a more peaceful and prosperous world.
I reflected on the work of some of my current clients. Bullying Recovery Resource Center, for example, working to embed policies in school districts that equitably define and address bullying and reduce the alarmingly accelerating suicide rate among young people. I would argue that the work of BRRC includes Goal #3: Good Health & Well Being; Goal #4 Quality Education; and Goal #16 Peace Justice and Strong Institutions.
I think it is not only beneficial, but essential that service organizations look not only at the immediate impact on the person or community that is served, but also the global impact that is generated through their work. The United States may be the wealthiest country in the world, but it has the largest wealth gap. We have work to do. And by connecting your organization's mission to the UN Sustainable Development goals your organization becomes a part of a dynamic global partnership.
I created this exercise, Connect Through Impact, a number of years ago for a presentation on board engagement. It is a simple exercise, but if you are struggling to see how your local organization fits into the global picture, it may help you identify a goal or two to connect with.
Happy exploring my friends!