It is about to be 500 years since man first circumnavigated the globe.
500 years of globalisation, with positive effects and inevitable consequences to evaluate, reflect on and improve, in order to leave a legacy that belongs to future generations.
Economic, industrial and technological development has improved the way of life of millions of people all over the planet, with its inefficiencies and imbalances, but contributing to the development of peoples and nations with a clear improvement in the quality of life.
Today we need to go a step further, to redesign and rethink our framework of behaviour with nature and with the rest of the species that, together with mankind, inhabit planet Earth, and which are as essential an element of the same ecosystem as we are.
We also need to rethink the model of relationships between fellow human beings, between humans, the forms of work and trade relations between peoples and countries.
In short, it is necessary to bring together a joint reflection on the Strategic Plan for Planet Earth. It is necessary to lay certain foundations of thought that will help guide our activities in the coming decades.
The First Round the World Voyage and the SDGs
The First Around the World voyage was a great challenge, it showed that the earth had no limits, nor did the human imagination, and that the impossible can be achieved with cunning, intelligence and passion.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) seek to challenge humanity anew. They are a call to all to act together, a call to drive forward 17 global goals that will transform our world. They are the trigger for Governments, Organisations and Peoples to start working together on the model of Planet they want for the future.
The proposal is encouraging and represents a great dream for humanity. Turning this dream into a plan is everyone's task.
Globally, we are in the best situation that society has experienced in recent decades, with a lower level of poverty, a higher life expectancy and a higher rate of schooling. However, there are significant imbalances that limit the sustainability of global development, 750 million people live in conditions of extreme poverty, 3 out of 10 people lack access to drinking water from their homes, 1 in 10 people still live without electricity, to name but a few (Source: World Bank, UN, WHO, ILO).
Spain and the promotion of the SDGs
Great challenges that we must all tackle together, and I ask myself, what role does Spain play at a global level in the promotion of the SDGs?
We are not leaders. Spain ranks 25th globally in its efforts to achieve the SDGs (Source SDG Index).
The good news is that despite having reacted late, we are still on time. Although we know that we are specialists in saving games at the last minute - remember the 12-1 win over Malta - we should not wait until that moment to implement the strategy that will make us win this game, because this time, it is about something a little more transcendent; it is about forests, their flora and fauna, biodiversity, air quality in cities, oceans and marine ecosystems. It is about a range of realities, which also belong to future generations.
Businesses, governments, citizens in general, you the reader, we have brilliant minds, but we need to go one step further, we need brilliant minds with great humanity.
Don't just sit back and do something, whatever you want, doing something is always better.
If you need inspiration, I encourage you to visit Los18.org where people from all over the world are proposing ideas, concrete problems that humanity should address. At the moment there are already more than 300, from more than 30 countries. I encourage you to propose yours, I encourage you to be part of the plan, because history does not repeat itself, history improves itself.