What’s your top Global Goal between now and 2030?
#5: Gender Equity, says Lori DiPrete Brown, Global Health Institute (GHI) associate director and director of 4W. “If we engage the hopes and dreams of women and men, we can imagine and realize the best possible future.
#15: Life on Land, says GHI Associate Director Tony Goldberg. “The terrestrial life of our planet is disappearing fast (life below water too, which was my close second choice). The health and sustainability of life on land came into the forefront largely due to the efforts of Wisconsin’s own Aldo Leopold, whose love of wildlife helped inspire his now famous land ethic. Oh, and by the way, humans are life on land.”
#12: Responsible Consumption and Production, says Claire Wendland, a GHI Advisory member and associate professor of anthropology. “Taken seriously and acted on creatively, it could help us move on many of the other goals.
World leaders will gather Sept. 25-27 in New York to officially adopt the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty and hunger, protect the planet, foster peace, and develop partnerships to accomplish the goals. In advance of the U.N. Sustainable Development Summit, Project Everyone launched an effort to share the global goals with 7 billion people in seven days.
“The more famous these global goals are, and the more widely they are understood by everyone—the more politicians will take them seriously, finance them properly, refer to them frequently and make them work,” according to Project Everyone.
We invite you to share these goals widely, and to let us know which goal resonates with your work. Send your response—and a photo of you with the goal you’ll champion—to firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet, including #GlobalGoals and @UWGlobalHealth in your message. Download and print your Global Goal Icons.
The goals are an international roadmap to a sustainable future and well-being for everyone on the planet. They’re especially relevant at the Global Health Institute, which established on the core belief that health and disease depend on complex, interlinked causes. These goals reflect many of the determinants of health that the GHI community is addressing.
With that in mind, we asked members of our community to let us know the goals that resonates most with them. Here’s what we learned.
“Ending poverty seems foundational to the success of many of the other Global Goals,” says Ann Grauvogl, GHI Senior Communications Specialist. “Having more resources would help end hunger, leave more time for learning, reduce the stress of everyday living, contribute to economic growth, and much more.”
“Hunger writ broadly would incorporate under nutrition, malnutrition and the immediate consequences of these—stunting and wasting, micronutrient deficiencies, poor cognitive development, increased susceptibility to certain infectious disease … the list goes on and on,” says GHI Associate Director Christopher Olsen, professor of public health in the School of Veterinary Medicine. “And, more indirectly, no one can properly learn or maintain their general health when they are under/malnourished. Food insecurity can also lead to mental/emotional health issues among individuals, domestic violence and societal violence.”
“As Florence Chenoweth, a noted international scholar on food security and former Minister of Agriculture for Liberia, once said upon a visit to UW-Madison: ‘Food is a basic human right.’”
“Without health, we have nothing to work with,” says Cindy Haq, a GHI special advisor and professor of family medicine.
“Health, both physical and mental, should be a human right, irrespective of one’s country, race, gender, sexual orientation or religion,” says Sweta Shrestha, GHI education programs associate. “A world where the most vulnerable people do not just live but have the opportunity to flourish and thrive is one that we can all be proud of creating together.
“This goal works towards ensuring that girls and boys alike will be able to complete a thorough, quality education so they may be empowered to achieve good health, work towards restoring the environment and be the next generation of goal seekers. Without education, none of the other goals may be completed, it is the foundation to success and improvement,” says Laura Block, GHI Global Health Intern.
“As a necessary element for life, clean water is just as vital to the functioning of the Earth’s system as it is to the human,” says Kim Santiago, GHI Development Specialist.
#9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
“To many people today, industry is seen as the enemy industrialization invokes images of smog and smokestacks, infrastructure means inefficiency, and innovation belongs only in Silicon Valley,” says Eric Obscherning, former Global Health Intern. “I think it’s time we acknowledge the power of industry and reimagine its role in helping drive sustainable and inclusive development. It’s time we reinvest in infrastructure that is more than simply efficient, but also equitable. It’s time we support research and innovation where the results matter most–in a Kenyan hospital, an Indian laboratory, or a Peruvian school. The key word in all these discussions moving forward must be ‘access’.”
“Our very own director of GHI, Dr. Jonathan Patz, has taught us that those that are the most vulnerable to climate change are the least responsible,” says Maggie Grabow, a complementary and alternative medicine research fellow in the School of Medicine and Public Health. “As the effects of climate change loom over us, it is our ethical responsibility as a world community to consider and assist these disadvantaged and marginalized populations where large disparities remain in access to health and education services and other assets.”
“A focus on cities as a means of making progress on broader sustainability goals seems natural,” says Jason Vargo, an assistant scientist in the Global Health Institute and Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. “They are the engines of economies, the seats of political power, they are caldrons for social and cultural values, and a confluence for materials from the support systems of the larger environment. Cities are the vehicles that will carry humanity into the next century, whether or not that future is a better one depends on where we steer them.”
“Climate change poses serious threats to health of populations across the globe,” says GHI Director Jonathan Patz. “Actions to address climate change will not only prevent these public health catastrophes, but offer enormous health opportunities today emerging from a clean energy society.”
“The world’s seas drive the climate and ecosystems that health on our planet depend upon,” says Monet Haskins, GHI administrative programs specialist. “Weather patterns, drinking water, the air we breathe, and human food sources, trade, and transportation all depend upon our oceans. Without water, we could not be.”
“The others will (should) fall into line when people care (or are held accountable for not caring,” says Sarah Paige, GHI grant writer and assistant scientist.
#17: Partnerships for the Goals
“Working together within and across disciplines, institutions, communities and countries is the foundation upon which all the other SDGs will be achieved,” says Cynthie Anderson, a GHI Advisory member and medical director of UW Arboretum Obstetrics and Gynecology.
“Partnerships are the most effective and important way to meet global health challenges in an efficient and respectful manner,” says GHI Associate Director James Conway, a professor of pediatric infectious diseases. “As we strive to improve the lives of individuals, it is important to improve systems and programs so that we can improve the health of populations more broadly. Using existing expertise is the most sustainable solution to challenges Collaborating with other interested groups is the most cost-effective approach, and most likely to find further efficiencies that can be leveraged.
Conway recently spent a week in Washington, D.C., working with the American Red Cross, U.S. Agency for International Development and Congress. “There are so many sectors, public and private, local and international, that can all contribute to improving this world of ours. We all need to get out of our ‘silos’ and find partners from a variety of disciplines to work with.”
By Ann Grauvogl/ September 23, 2015