Unusual Partnership for Unusual Times

It’s considered unusual to find an activist and an investment banker working together. Normally you’d find the two of us on entirely different sides, but these are not normal times. With growing inequality, billions living in poverty and entire ecosystems collapsing, we’re living through the most important period in human history, and we need an entirely new approach to partnership. That’s why Goal 17 is so important.

You may ask yourself, with such an expansive to-do list including 17 “Global Goals” for Sustainable Development, how can world leaders, who are to adopt the goals at a Summit in New York starting tomorrow, realistically achieve them? The truth is, they cannot. Not alone, anyway. Ending poverty, fighting inequality and protecting the planet will require unprecedented collaboration and we have to act urgently — Goal 17 is about how we make this happen, by “creating a global partnership for sustainable development and strengthening the means of implementation.”

However, amidst all the dialogues taking place in New York this week about the Global Goals, we cannot forget the struggles and inter-linked challenges facing ordinary people — that is what the new sustainable-development agenda is all about.

Three billion people, almost half of humanity, survive on less than $2.50 per day. Inequality has reached frightening levels. According to Oxfam, by next year the combined wealth of the richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent of the world’s people — with the top 80 individuals sharing more wealth than the poorest half of humanity. Over a billion people still live without access to electricity, and one in seven will go to bed hungry tonight.

Yet, we can solve this. Providing the additional calories needed by the 13 percent of the world’s population facing hunger would use just one percent of the current —> Read More