Karoline Bredmose Thomsen

The SDGs, sustainable development goals, are the UN’s attempt to set an agenda and an outline for how to create a better world. A sustainable environment. Active citizens. Happy people who believe in the future for their children. All of this is admirable, but what do the 17 goals actually mean to people around the world? We asked people at the tool fair of the Ladder project what the global goals meant to them, and we got a lot of different answers:

“Local authorities & civil society organizations now have a tool for changing approaches to development mentality on societal issues and a spectrum for a better life.”
Theodora Avgoulidou, Greece

“The goals are nothing for the people, but for the actors. The goals are paper, but they can become reality. They’re a framework for acting within, but the value is in the content and gives a direction for the future.”
Nicolas, Greece
“The goals are a challenge for my professional life because I work on raising awareness. I try to achieve the goals and sometimes you are only doing a small thing and you can’t see the result but at the end small people making small things is achieving the change.”
Francesca Campana
“We still fail to see any connection between the goals and national development especially for MCDs. We have been in many discussions about them. The meaurent is unclear and developmental resources are given to the central government, which gives room for corruption. International development policies don’t give anything to people. They also resemble the milliiumin goals, which no one can say if where achieved, because they were very interpretable.”
Alexandro, Moldova
“They connect society to decisions of local authorities and are very important for development that give people a real voice.”
Elena, Belgium

“They have perspective and are goals to reach. They are the direction for the world and have the future views.”
Markus, Germany

“What does the king know about the suffering of the people? See, they have goals, but do you believe that everyone notices the people?”
Domik, Croatia

“They are challenging but relevant. Really, they’re guidelines that we should follow to make the world more sustainable and just. Ladder is doing really well because everyone does their own part to achieve the goals.”
Sofia Caiolo, Italy

“They mean a better world.”
Aldo, Portugal
What do the SDG’s mean to you?

Karoline Bredmose Thomsen

The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of the author, and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of ALDA and the European Union.