How can we achieve a minimum standard of living for the world’s growing population, while reducing our carbon emissions to curb climate change and limiting our impact on the planet’s ecosystems to stop the current mass extinction? How can we protect and manage our natural resources such that people across nations and generations have a more equitable access to them? How can we create a more inclusive and pluralistic society that provides equal access of opportunities to all of its members? These are some of the questions that we have posed ourselves as a society as we work to reduce poverty and inequality, acknowledge the impacts that we have had on the planet, and develop strategies to correct them and move forward.
“Cada cabeza es un mundo” (“Each mind is a world of its own”) says a Mexican proverb — each of us is the primary actor of our own life with our own dreams and struggles. Yet there are over 7 billion of us and counting, and we have realized that our collective actions can have global consequences — both good and bad. We have created an interconnected world where we can often forget that physical, political, and language boundaries exist, but we have also breached many of the planet’s environmental boundaries leading to worldwide consequences. This is why on September 2015 the United Nations agreed on a set of global goals to which we shall strive in the upcoming years: the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs. An improvement from the Millennium Development Goals, they acknowledge the importance of framing these issues in the context of a planet with limited resources, whose climate we can affect, and that is inhabited by many other living beings aside from us.