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Overview of CAUN SDG strategy

NOTE: this doc started with Jessie's collection of SDG strategy notes, based on observation of both what the UN's process included and left out, for intervening sustainably in a living system.   The main item to consider may be #5 Universality, and the general methodology for making"ideals" into a "success" when trying to engineer a complex natural cultural/economic/natuiral ecosystem…
4. Balancing ecological, social and political contexts of an SDG Framework
Listening to the SDG discussions at the OWG 1 & 2, CIVICUS, Harmony w/ Nature, ECOSOC and online Post2015 consultations of the UN this month… brought up lots of issues (leaving me a bit overwhelmed too…! 🙂
  • 16 wonderful aspirations  for the world SDG process, taken from the OWG-2 discussions hat seem to fit the way we idealize the commons approach!
  • 1.    “engage the private sector”
  • 2.    “promote partnerships”
  • 3.    “be people centered”
  • 4.    “be integrated and comprehensive” 
  • 5.    “offer goals for the future triggering action today”
  • 6.    “provide menus of recipes to choose from”
  • 7.     “be flexible and transformational”
  • 8.    “be multi-dimensional and adaptive”
  • 9.    “promote a pathway for conscious choice”
  • 10.   “come from deep understanding of aspirations and limits”
  • 11.   “provide early warning system”
  • 12.   “use a holistic approach”
  • 13.   “rapidly respond to the main threat of exceeding the planet’s capacities”
  • 14.   “offer tweetable goals tracked by diverse measures”
  • 15.    “prompt efforts that are mutually reinforcing and complementary”
  • 16.   “follow common aspirations with differentiated responsibilities”.    
  • A nice concept statement of our kind perhaps:
  • SDG’s should be truthful and mindful, and daring if that’s what it takes to be both.
  • SDG’s should be economic and practical, counting all costs, benefits and liabilities
  • SDG’s should represent a meeting of the minds both global and local
  • Above allSDG’s should begin our conversation with each other as part of nature’s world, recognizing growth as beginning something to care for, not an end.
5. Universality and SDG targets
Perhaps we can use Jesse's proposals?   But can we decide on 'ends' without some idea of the 'means', when that seems just what hasn't worked so well in the past? Like, for centuries GDP was the seemingly proven "all win" priniciple, and now we feel like discarding it, still not looking at what it measures… So, I think SDG targets seem not to be universal the way we'd like them to be. 
  • A list of Missing Principles of Ecological Thinking the UN discussions overlook, with #12 "Not using any practical method of ecological intervention. With most proposals presented without discussion of the real cultural, ecological and economic fit between "solution" and the whole ecological problem, and repercussions, as if never having been considered.
  • A practical method of ecological intervention would start by dividing the task between setting goals (SDG’s) and choosing investments (SDI’s).  Each would need professional certification and provide for accountability before political commitments are made.   The professions advising on the development of SDG's and SDI's would include experts in the appropriate analytical sciences and economics .  Still more important is the inclusion of appropriate ecologists, with expertise in natural, cultural, industrial and general systems ecological thinking.  That’s because it’s the systems thinking that is most missing from present UN deliberations. 
  • Maintain a precautionary approach in setting goalsWhere judging Positive Results also have a means of monitoring the global balance of effects, and the point where they would naturally ecome Negative Results by feeding negative consequences.  Having measures of the approach of that tipping point, necessitating a means of having measures of change and effect on the whole.
  • This proposes a substantial change in      the SDG approach.
  • Positive local results often feed into negative global results, such as by treating resource shortages as supply problems rather than associated with the ever growing      demand problems built into the standard practices of the world economy.
  • All SDG's should be materially achievable in a globally sustainable way, not just wishes for what would be socially desirable.
  • Long lists of other tentative SDG's may not fit these objectives and need to be studied to find the actually achievable and sustainable parts.
  • Practice in defining quantitative easures of impacts that are comparable to others over time would be needed.
  • For example, if seeking development goals for hundreds of millions of people, still working in a growth economy model, we'd create easily predicted run-away impact escalations…
  •  I wonder in how far these crucial points can be dealt with by insisting on adherence to the all-win principle: the well being of all people and nature?  By facilitating commons institutions, by facilitating professional collaborations? 
  • Beside this principle we must consider how this principle can be implemented if we are to actually come to grips with Jesse's points. Any ideas?  Maybe "a practical method of ecological intervention" guided by interdiscipliary professional systems scientists would make the "Ideal Model" idea work, for regional commons networks that develop their own goals and select from investment proposals.
6. Existing Goals and targets that can be incorporated into a proposal for SDGs
  • Lists of things that would particularly fit our interests
  • Global minimum standards for quality of human life would include access to knowledge and equitable treatment, along with standards of individual accountability.  All humans need to accept responsibility for living sustainably and taking part in a culture of responsibility, for things such as having children with the intent to care for and teach them to live well.   
  • A way to end growth that leaves a thriving economy in place of the ever struggling,  highly inequitable and highly unsustainable one we now have.
  • Recognition that wealth is created by collective collaboration between all the parts of economies investors are hardly aware of or involved with, and its concentrations in the hands of investors carry the natural obligation to be used to care for the whole. 
  • Financing of SDG's as investments in a sustainably profitable world worthy of human beings.
  • Promoting commons institutions, for public and private collaboration through business and community cooperatives and through more global networks of multi-stakeholder engagement in relation to the natural commons they share.
  • Ways to measure the whole effects of our choices, exposing their total economic, cultural and ecological impacts.
  • Ways to assure healthy economic responsiveness to change, the approach of destabilizing thresholds of economic, cultural and ecological well being, resource depletion and loss of community resilience.
7.Coherence and integration within the Post-2015 process
  • The ultimate coherence and integration of SDG's has to be cultural, as the whole diversity of society displays its responses.  The SDG's will present many choices none of our cultures are prepared for is one big reason this need to be done in both an intentional way, as well as given time to take place naturally, 
8. How should assessments of progress toward the achievement of the SDGs be 
     carried out at the global level?
  • Comprehensive indicators of economic values + environmental, social, and governance values (E+ESG) are being worked on in many places.  To standardize them globally there's a need for a reduced standardized universal set of such indicators, that everyone uses, along with specialized ones that different communities use.  
  • Once the principle that "the impacts of the green business person are part of the impacts of the green business"… the whole idea of "green" will dramatically change meaning, as we'll then have a clear and much more accurate way to measure whole business impacts, not prone to hiding 80% of business impacts in outsourced services not presently counted. 
  • Accurate whole impact measures would then allow future economic impacts of business practices, like CO2 and resource depletion, to be more accurately assessed and assigned to current business operations.  That would allow fairly comprehensive Pigovian tax penalties and rewards to be assessed on the profits of business investors.
9. Stakeholders participation in the SDG process
There should be participation of all stakeholders. This is already mentioned in the concept note on the HLPF. The UN has made a beginning by including us in its 11 consultations but the outcomes are limited by those that summarize them. ALso outreach to people w/o internet access is difficult.
  • As we've been learning, for stakeholders to learn each other's abilities and issues isn't always easy, and involves making bridges between languages by a discovery process that takes time and real effort.  So various approaches to enhancing difficult communications seem needed, as we were discussing in Jan & Feb
10 Principles underpinning the development of the SDGs
All Win PRinciple
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Rights of Mother Earth
Agenda 21
Natural commons principles

Discussion (2)

  1. Hi Jessie, docs (and therefore this one too) are automatically added to the docs list, accessible via the group navigation menu on the sidebar of groups. You will also notice that putting too many tags on a doc makes the list look a bit strange! I will check if this can be configured.

    Any comment you write in here, under the doc, will be visible on the Groups activity page, i.e. it's home page. So you will find this comment there too. And I am pretty sure and we can check right now that this message will also appear in the site activity.

    Indeed, each edit on a doc (and even its creation), and each step of its drafting will not automatically be posted. But when a group author or group of authors decide it, they can always post a comment to let the group know that something is available for their attention. I agree the fact that updates of docs not automatically logged in activity may seem counter productive and counter-intuitive, but in the long run, not having the noise of each comma addition or minor change appear and overflow the activity box may be a good thing. Also some people may want to work on a doc and wait for it to reach a certain degree of achievement before it goes out to a wider public.

    But I agree there should be an option on the edit page to decide if an edit should be 'announced' or not. Maybe this has been planned in a future version. In the meantime, just writing a comment under the doc does it.

  2. Actually Jessie, not only these messages under docs appear in the general Can activity page, but also the minor non announced activity. So this works at site level but not at group level. Interesting I will make the note in the report I was planning to do to support.

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