Small things make for a long term

A couple of months ago, I posted about the Wildlife Aid Foundation (WAF), an animal charity based in Leatherhead, UK, who at the time were closing in on a fundraising target to help build a new housing unit for the care of wild animals in the UK. Since then, I’ve been following WAF and starting this year, they have launched an awesome initiative that has resonated with FutureSphere – it’s called iDot.

What is iDot?

It stands for I Do One Thing. The concept is simple: find out about the nature around you, then do one small action, each day, to benefit the natural world. If enough individuals do their one thing, the combination of your actions will add up to something very powerful.

Wildlife Aid Foundation

Just as described, how very simple this concept is. In truth, this ideology already exists in the minds of many people today – the idea that if we all made little changes in all of our lives, collectively, we could make a big difference, mo matter what subject field.

WAF have been caring for British wildlife for decades now and have established themselves as pioneers in driving sustainable development in the UK, specifically SDG 15 Life on Land. The relatibility to the wider public is what makes this initiative so effective There isn’t a specific thing that they are asking people to do. Rather, they are giving the public an opportunity to reflect on their own lives and identify the ways in which they can individuallymake an impact.

Going beyond the typical “please donate £X” campaign, WAF have innovatively inspired a community through the actions of its individuals. The result? A community that is growing and refining its focus to create a bigger positive impact on the planet. This principle, of sharing positive impact with effect of generating more positive impact in return, is one that FutureSphere can really get behind and support fully through our own, similar principles.

Some simple iDots suggested on WAF’s website:

  • Say no to plastic straws
  • Pick up litter
  • Tell your friends about iDot

What’s great is that WAF have also launched this campaign with an added focus of inspiring school children with iDot initiative material that are tailored for schools.

Addressing the sustainability crisis with a simple yet powerful initiative, WAF are driving this through the right channels, like schools, where the collective small actions can visibly add up to tangible positive impact for the surrounding environment. In so doing, they have once again proven why they should continue to be recognised for their efforts in progressing sustainable development, in particular SDG 15 Life on Land. A huge thank you to WAF for their continued efforts in creating a more sustainable FutureSphere for us and for those yet to come. Excited to see more and more iDots becoming posted on their site and seeing the impact this has!

Please check out the iDot initiative, share it with those that you know and get involved to make even the smallest difference! My iDot is to pick up litter in my local park but also to share the iDot initiative with as many people as possible! You may be inspired by other people’s iDots on the WAF website too – take a look!

Latest iDots from the WAF Website

Links:

WAF iDot Webpage

Taking Refuge in the Code

Migrants wait to be rescued by the Aquarius rescue ship run by non-governmental organisations (NGO) “SOS Mediterranee” and “Medecins Sans Frontieres” (Doctors Without Borders) in the Mediterranean Sea, 30 nautic miles from the Libyan coast, on August 2, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Angelos Tzortzinis Source: Bloomberg.com

By the end of 2016, nearly 5.2 million refugees and migrants treacherously reached European shores, leaving their war-torn countries rife with prosecution and misfortune. That number, 4 years on, is still rising and there’s no indication of it stopping and that’s due to the plethera of ongoing crises that continue to inundate many developing countries.

This migrant crisis is not a new one. It’s not something you haven’t heard of before. It’s become something that we have accepted, even in its excessive form. The growth of this excessive form is undoubtedly going to start affecting our lives more and more. At the moment, however, for the majority in developed countries, the impact of such high numbers of migrants doesn’t affect day to day lives directly. At some point it will and I’m certain it’s then, only then, at the brink of collapse, will the crisis be given the attention it truly deserves. Though, it isn’t the responsibility of public individuals to manage the migrant crisis, it’s the duty of our governments. It’s still not hard to see why public individuals do nonetheless want to get involved in resolving this growing crisis; the government are limited in what they can do for migrants when they arrive, either by cruel choice or brutal necessity; take your pick. So knowing there is an influx of people on the way with a potential lack of warmth by the home crowd, what do you start to think about? How do you flip this into a good situation? Here’s one way.

PowerCoders is a coding academy specifically for refugees, who take part in a 13 week coding bootcamp, followed by a 12 month internship. Founded in Switzerland, PowerCoders is a not-for-profit organisation dependent on volunteers to drive their mission, along with the support of the Swiss government, foundations, companies and people. With a second centre in Italy, along with the flagship Swiss centre, the PowerCoders community continues to grow in its support by volunteers and respectively in its impact of training refugees and getting them into IT based roles.

Mission
Giving people their independence back, reducing social welfare costs and addressing the shortage of talent in the IT-industry.

Goal
The permanent placement of trained refugees in IT-companies and IT-departments.

PowerCoders
Source: PowerCoders

PowerCoders are actively addressing the growing influx of refugees and migrants by giving them an opportunity to learn and develop a skill set which will then land them a decent job and positively impact the economy. The understated benefit of such a concept is the genuine happiness that the refugees will feel after previously facing such turmoil where they came from and to then be given an opportunity to create a real and sustainable future for themselves.

PowerCoders embody the approach needed to progress SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth – finding opportunity in crises. Unlike many critical opinions of the migrant crisis, PowerCoders stands out as a pioneer, reshaping the economic and employment landscape by giving unique opporunities to refugees, all of which pays its due in happiness, employability and inevitable economic return. Bundles of respect and admiration to PowerCoders for such an inspiring and purposeful business concept – one that helps those who truly need it most, in ways that nobody else currently can!

We’re here.

On 25th September 2015, 193 countries of the United Nations’ General Assembly adopted the 2030 Development Agenda – “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. Amongst the 91 paragraphs in this Agenda, 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 assosciated targets were defined.

United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Photo Credit: un.org

The 17 SDGs replaced the 8 Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) that were set up in 2000, to be achieved by 2015, and focused on human capital, infrastructure and human rights. The new SDGs define more broadly what we need to focusing our efforts and resources on in order to prolong the habitable future of our green and blue sphere. They are a major improvement on the MDGs, even just as targets, putting aside the achievement of them for now.

United Nations’ 8 Millenium Development Goals. Photo credit: http://www.mdgmonitor.org/outline-of-the-mdgs-notable-challenges/

FutureSphere is dedicated to raising awareness and supporting the individuals and businesses who actively push us closer to achieving any of these 17 SDGs, particularly given that a recent report from the UN states we are off track for their acheivement in 2030.

If you hadn’t heard of these 17 SDGs before, and even if you have, check out the links below and learn more about the movement that must be successful if we have any hope of leaving a habitable FutureSphere for our descendants.

We can sit and wait for the world to inevitably burn or we can support the few, who fight the fire against all odds, to become the many.
-FutureSphere.

Links:

SDG Homepage
https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/

SDG Dashboard – awesome and insightful metrics on each of the goals and targets
http://www.sdgsdashboard.org/country/null/1/5af15a2ecd59ab4800cbbedc

First Global Sustainable Development Report prepared by the Independent Group of Scientists appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General 
https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/24797GSDR_report_2019.pdf

SDG progress ‘in danger’ of going backwards without change in direction, new UN report reveals
https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/09/1046132

UN’s Youtube Video on SDGs – “Do you know all 17 SDGs?”
https://youtu.be/0XTBYMfZyrM