Irene Vivas Lalinde
We are constantly receiving information through social media. Whether this data becomes a stimulus or remains as a gig, like, a comment, or a share depends on the awareness and empowerment of the receptor.
The seed of Proyecta Valencia is our passion for citizen’s participation and the acknowledgment of the transformative power of sharing information. We are a group of young people that, in our spare time, seek to involve our fellow citizens in the planning of a sustainable future: Emilio Beladiez (social entrepreneur), Rocio Corell (architect), Julia Furió (graphic designer), Jesus González (architect) and Irene Vivas (student) are part of the team.
Bioagradables, a youth-led initiative that gathers people monthly in the Valencian beaches with the premise of cleaning the polluted littoral, is the framework thanks to which we could start this project. One of its founding fathers is our partner, Emilio, an enthusiast about oceans, environment and people.
Back in summer 2016, when everything started, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were part of the international agenda and we identified the need of making all the Valencians aware of their existence and the opportunity to convince local organizations and the City Council to plan the future of our city for 2030 so as to have a sustainable and inclusive development.
Since September 2016, the Proyecta Valencia team has been running activities related to each of all 17 SDGs. For example we visited the Albufera – a protected natural area – to talk about water management (SDG 6), we experienced a workshop with education leaders to reflect about the challenges of the future generations (SDG 4), and we broadcasted a documentary about the CIEs (Centro de Internamiento de Extranjeros) to talk about inequalities (SDG 10).
It has not been an easy task, since all team members have other occupations too. We have received positive feedback since the start of the project through multiple audiences, a network of organizations, and funding opportunities at the international level (by the US Embassy, for instance), which strengthens our will to continue this project. The feeling that society must open its eyes and become interested in the environmental problems that it is already facing is another key driver.
Despite the complexity of our daily lives that often absorb us, stopping any long term approach to our realities, the SDGs are one of the tools that provide a benchmark to improve. A large chunk of Spanish society is still not familiar with the Global Goals, or even some of the basic concepts. This must change.
We like to the describe this project as the growth of a plant. Firstly, we wanted to raise general awareness and we will enter the next phase in March: reflection (irrigating the seed) in which we will draft a report with all the collected proposals in the workshops and the other activities.
We are committed to continue our work and find funding to be able to secure our network, provide guidance for the Valencia of 2030 and serve as a space of sharing and transferring knowledge about the SDGS between different stakeholders. Whether we will achieve this, or Proyecta Valencia will stay as a fruitful report, is still unknown. But we, as citizens and professionals, will still fight against climate change and inequality.
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Irene Vivas Lalinde
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