Speak Up: On Ideas, Initiative and Impact

Towards a sustainable future

In September 2015, the end of the United Nations General Assembly in New York seemed to bring with it a ray of hope for the future, a bolt of excitement and anticipation. 195 world leaders had agreed to the Sustainable Development Goals and committed to work towards a better future for the planet. For the first time in a while, we had something invaluable to help in our efforts while moving forward: a concrete plan. A set of targets that, if achieved, would finally mean the end of many long-standing problems which threaten life on the spinning globe of magic we call Earth.

Real progress is a tricky thing though. It doesn’t simply happen by adopting initiatives and hoping for the best, nor is it built on plans that we don’t follow up on. Progress, in its essence, is all about commitment. It’s about small, but purposeful and continuous actions that add up to big results. It’s about all of us deciding to take a stand and speak up about what matters, knowing that the outcome will decide our future. 

Let’s speak up together

This is exactly why we’re curious. As we mark the five-year anniversary of the plan for sustainable development, we are eager to hear from the very ones who hold the power to shape a different future. We’re interested to know more about YOUth. And we want to take it further than we’ve ever done before.

Why? Well, because in times such as the ones we happen to live through, it is vital to remind ourselves that what ultimately brings us closer to the SDGs, to change, are individuals. People who make an effort every day in order to raise awareness, to promote understanding and to inspire action in their communities. 

Because we know that, no matter what, we can not create progress without being inclusive. What we need is a deep awareness about everyone’s level of knowledge, everyone’s reality. And that is exactly what we want: to find out more – about your ideas and processes, about the hardships you face and about the way you are perceiving your environment. We want to give you a stage to showcase your thoughts. To shine a light on what it means to be a young person in 2020. Then, we want to use it to show what you can really do.

Consider this an open call: whoever you are, wherever you are, we want you to speak up. If you’re working to make the Sustainable Development Goals a reality, or if you’ve never heard about them, we want to know about it. If you’re among the ones dreaming of a better world for everyone, we want to tell your story.

SPEAK UP and share your opinion by participating in the YouthSpeak Survey. It’s high time for the youth of the world to take the rains and make their voice heard.

Written by Ioana Varga