In July 2017, I had a chance join Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Youth as a Network Coordinator.
Former UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon, launched UN SDSN, to mobilize global expertise in sustainable development, and in 2015 SDSN Youth was launched. SDSN Youth serves as a platform that aims to empower youth globally to create sustainable development solutions. SDSN Youth follows the UNDP's Youth Strategy Approach in defining youth, therefore focusing on both young people aged 15-24, and young adults aged 25-30 or even beyond according to regional contexts and based on specific issues (e.g. unemployment, education, political inclusion).
My predecessors are Tasya Kamila (2015-2016) and Ilman Dzikri (2016-2017). During Ilman's leadership, he gathered 30 youth-led organizations to join SDSN Youth membership. These organizations are powerful resources for SDSN Youth to achieve the SDGs.
It's important to note that sustainable development is an urgent issue because current development that meets the needs of the present should not compromise the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs.
SDSN Youth has a unique criterion that makes it different from other global platforms, they are:
Knowledge - SDSN Youth backs its activities with research and expertise issued by SDSN Thematic Groups.
Accountability - Working closely with the leadership of SDSN, ensuring that SDSN Youth projects uphold the values of the network.
Networks - By being a part of an extensive global network, SDSN Youth has the ability to draw on connections to expand into regions that other youth organizations might find difficult.
Multifaceted approach - SDSN Youth focuses on multifaceted and integrated approaches to sustainable development.
Credibility – the UN brand adds great value to SDSN Youth by providing a greater opportunity for engaging and cooperating with the UN family of agencies as well as other prominent groups.
During my leadership, I gathered these members offline. Together with SDSN Southeast Asia and Indonesia, we held "SDSN Youth Meet Up #1" on September 26, 2017. About 30 members from 17 organizations joined the meeting. We utilized this meeting to remind them all about the importance of SDSN Youth as a platform.
As an introduction, Mrs. Mari Elka Pangestu, former Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia, and now as a President of United in Diversity Foundation and Leadership Council of SDSN Southeast Asia and Indonesia, presented the history of SDSN in Indonesia. She noted that sustainable development became urgent, and there were many reasons why everyone should take action. She agreed that collaboration is the key to success in achieving the SDGs.
Mrs. Cokorda Istri Dewi, also from United in Diversity and SDSN Southeast Asia, added the SDSN Southeast Asia and Indonesia program plan for 2016-2020 period. In general, they will have a program on SDG localization and a dialogue forum on creating action, SDSN Youth network & development, encouraging & nurturing the Sustainable Oriented Solutions (SOS), and the mainstreaming of the SDGs to the society & the private business sector.
I then presented on SDSN Youth, my objective being to communicate three main goals to involve youth:
Educate young people about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and encourage them to prioritize their implementation.
We have a plan to conduct these program in a year ahead:
SDG Pyramid to Happiness Action
The Global Schools Program
SDG Academy (adding new approaches from our ideas: GRI Report Training for NGO and Executive Program on Sustainability Communication)
Integrate concerns and views of young people into the pathways for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
We also want to amplify local initiatives in a more grassroots level through the 'Local Pathways' program.
Initiate and support projects that are aimed towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Our program to achieve this goal through offline and online meetings. We have the plan for a 'Youth Dialogue Studio' event, and a 'Youth Action Forum' that will be held later this October.
As the first step of collaboration, during the meetup we had a workshop to map each member's activity towards the thematic SDGs. With the 17 SDGs, we had members working on goals:
- number 1 (No Poverty), number 2 (Zero Hunger),
- number 3 (Good Health and Well-Being),
- number 4 (Quality Education),
- number 5 (Gender Equality),
- number 10 (Reduced Inequalities),
- number 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities),
- number 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production),
- number 13 (Climate Action),
- number 16 (Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions), and
- number 17 (Partnership for the Goals).
We were missing just enough people to complete the SDG Pyramid (if you curious about this, please click this link, this is an awesome tool to understand SDGs)! In total, we have 11 goals to achieve and missed 6 more goals, however, we are not disheartened by this and take this as a challenge for us to complete all 17 goals, led by youth.
From 18 organizations attending the meeting, the majority worked on goals number 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), number 4 (Quality Education), number 16 (Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions), and number 17 (Partnership for the Goals). Adapting a world cafe method, they shared stories each other about the goals. Those stories and ideas must be followed up by real action!
The first meeting was great and we look forward to future collaboration. Upcoming meetings are scheduled and the spirits of the youth is high. Together, we will leave no one behind.
Rahyang Nusantara has almost 6 years of experience in environmental campaigns. He obtained a Bachelor of Agriculture from Padjadjaran University (2012) and is currently pursuing graduate studies in Paramadina Graduate School with a specialty Corporate Communication. He is currently working as the National Coordinator of the Indonesia Diet Plastic Bag Movement, a non-profit association of national scale that encourages the use of shopping bags wisely for a better environment. He is also a member of global organizations such as the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), the Plastic Pollution Coalition, and is currently a Network Coordinator of Indonesia for UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Youth.
His passion for writing encouraging Rahyang and his fellow volunteers to make a motion #1minggu1cerita in 2014 (and growing to this day) to encourage sharing through writing.