Change the Goal – from GDP to the Doughnut.
Humanity’s 21st century challenge is to meet the needs of all within the means of the planet. In other words, to ensure that no one falls short on life’s essentials (from food and housing to healthcare and political voice), while ensuring that collectively we do not overshoot our pressure on Earth’s life-supporting systems, on which we fundamentally depend – such as a stable climate, fertile soils, and a protective ozone layer. The Doughnut of social and planetary boundaries is a playfully serious approach to framing that challenge, and it acts as a compass for human progress this century.
What has Covid-19 taught us about global equality?
Underlying global inequalities have been exposed by Covid-19. In the aftermath of the pandemic, what are the necessary steps for connecting voices across the world and tackling inequality?
| 4 min read
Ending poverty by 2030 is the number one SDG for the planet.
Inadequate access to food and water. Lack of healthcare and insufficient education systems. Injustice and vulnerability to natural disasters and disease. These are some of the challenges that those living in poverty face. Challenges that obstruct even the most basic human needs. And interlinked with poverty is inequality – sadly, you can’t really have one without the other. This means economic growth isn’t the only element required to improve quality of life. There also needs to be a strong commitment to equity and inclusivity.
Progress toward eradicating poverty has been reversed with the Covid-19 virus, and it is estimated that 71 million additional people will be pushed into extreme poverty (living on less than $1.90 a day) as a result. Not only has the virus shattered employment opportunities and incomes, it has also amplified pre-existing inequalities around the world.
Weak health and social protection systems in many developing countries are close to collapse and marginalised groups (such as migrants and refugees, indigenous populations and people with disabilities) risk heightened vulnerability to the virus. There are also devastating knock-on effects – for example, women and girls are suffering from heightened domestic violence and the burdens of unpaid care work.
‘Leave no-one behind’ Solidarity in the aftermath of Covid-19
Solidarity, empowerment and inclusion – necessary steps for connecting voices across the world and tackling inequality.
There are many different forms of inequality;
- Economic inequality (income, assets, wages)
- Social inequality (social classes, caste, gender)
- Cultural inequality (ethnicity, religion, disability)
- Political inequality (voicelessness, lack of rights)
- Environmental inequality (environmental protection, vulnerability to natural disasters)
- Spatial inequality (urban and rural disparities, remoteness)
- Knowledge inequality (disparities in knowledge and information access)
- And finally, digital inequality (lack of internet access).
That’s a lot to consider, isn’t it?
These ever growing divides between a multitude of people across the globe presents us with a massive challenge; to ensure that no-one gets left behind, and everyone has an equal chance at life. Now more than ever, there must be a stronger call to action to ensure changes are made for good. In the wake of Covid-19, not only is there a need for improved social and economic support and policies, there also needs to be greater solidarity around the world.
To mark its 75th anniversary in 2020, the UN has created #UN75 – a call for global dialogue, cooperation and action. The pandemic has brought a decline in public trust and inter country relations, but UN75 hopes to reverse that with a global platform of voices. Just because 2020 is over, that doesn’t mean that efforts to reduce inequality and poverty (and all the world’s problems!) should ever stop.
Evidence for optimised outcomes.
One of the aims of isgood.ai is to support organisations, on a local and global scale, to measure the performance of programs and enhance social impact for all members of society, providing evidence for optimised outcomes.
There is evidently asymmetrical access to life’s essentials such as food and water, education, healthcare and civil rights. But how can there be a flourishing future for all when so many people are forgotten? This impact area is at the forefront of isgood.ai’s mission to enable systemic change. We believe, with the passion of change-makers and great initiatives, it is possible to create a fairer and more inclusive planet.
Underlying global inequalities have been exposed by Covid-19. It’s disappointing that it takes extreme events, like pandemics and bushfires, to unearth and publicise such endemic issues. This is just the sort of challenge that isgood.ai is working to address; offering a new way to uncover hidden cause and effect relationships, and identify what is at the root of many of humanity’s wicked problems.
It’s not all doom and gloom though! It’s the UN’s Decade of Action so there are plenty of campaigns and initiatives to get involved with. Have YOUR say, and express any concerns or ideas you might have by filling out this survey: https://un75.online/
Be a part of the UN’s #decadeofaction
What to read next
Change the Goal – from GDP to the Doughnut.
Once countries accept that GDP does not give them the big picture of how society is doing, but only how much the economy is growing, then they will understand the importance of creating and implementing approaches that better captures its population’s needs.
The goal of 21st century economic policy should be to create regenerative and redistributive systems by design. The Doughnut Economics is a new framework and tool for transformative action.
The City of Amsterdam has incorporated the Doughnut Economics framework into the design of their recovery strategy with the goal to create a city where people and the planet can thrive.