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On 27th September I attended the annual SDG Actions day. An annual event organized by SDG Nederland, a movement of 1250 organizations, varying from civic society organizations to municipalities who have decided to work together to advocate for more collaboration in order to achieve the SDGs. Besides various community initiatives that are being organized throughout the entire year, they annually hold the National Action Day where they collectively call for awareness for the SDGs. On the last day of this special week, SDG Nederland hosted a big event in the building of KIT, The Royal Institute, in Amsterdam. This year’s theme was “Turn it Around” and they invited inspiring speakers, such as the American Economist Jeffrey Sachs and the CEO of Dopper Virginia Yanquilevich, to share their vision on how we collectively come to action to reach the SDGs in 2030. Sachs held a heartfelt speech where he urged that without global cooperation there will be no sustainable development. In his speech he focused on how inequality is only increasing through the course of events that have happened since 2019. Where richer countries bounced back after the COVID -19 pandemic, the lower and middle income countries didn’t. He pointed out that the War in Ukraine and the climate shocks are mostly felt in those countries. He, therefore, rightfully claimed that in a “world of conflict we cannot achieve the sustainable development goals”. “There is no such thing as defeating Russia” he said. The answer lies in bringing parties together to the negotiation table and start talking and working together. Enable financial loans for those who need it the most and work together to achieve the SDGs.  

The call for collaboration was also made by more speakers that day such as Louise Vet, a professor Evolutionary Ecology at Wageningen University. In her speech about the importance of biodiversity for our survival she advocates for immediate cooperation, even with ‘unusual suspects’, as she calls it, because there is a urgent need for immediate action.  

This day inspired many to work together for system change, because that is what is needed at the end of the day. The time to talk about these issues is over, we need to collaborate, with each other and with our ‘enemies’.   

Hannah Postma
Hannah Postma

Hannah is based in Utrecht, The Netherlands. She holds a bachelors in Cultural Anthropology and a Masters in Culture, Organization and Management. Hannah believes that organizations can benefit if complex issues are being analysed through an anthropological lens. She started at Oxford HR as part of the post master program Advanced Master in International Development offered by Radboud University Nijmegen. With this post master she hopes to further develop her knowledge on the topic of International Development and apply this to her current position within Oxford HR. She aspires to further her expertise on organisational change particularly on the topic of leadership and how to detect future leaders in the For-Purpose sector.