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The Good Life Goals: sustainable development gets personal

Yesterday saw the launch of the Good Life Goals – a set of actions individuals around the world can take to support the Sustainable Development Goals – by the global change agency Futerra and the 10YFP Sustainable Lifestyles and Education programme.

Peter Repinski / Published on 26 September 2018

When the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted in the UN General Assembly in 2015, it was meant as a guide for concerted action by humanity. Yet the focus so far has been on action taken by governments or major businesses.

The Good Life Goals, launched at UN Headquarters in New York yesterday to mark the 2018 Global Day of Action, are meant to bridge the gap between the 2030 Agenda and the sustainable lifestyles movement and to inspire individuals to participate in the conversation and act on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their everyday lives.

The Goals are primarily designed to be used by policy-makers, business, civil society, creatives and educators who want to communicate about the SDGs. Specifically, the Good Life Goals aim to:

  • Increase recognition by decision-makers about how vital individual action can be in reaching the SDGs
  • Provide a clear link between the SDGs and sustainable lifestyles
  • Offer an inspiring tool for those seeking to engage the general public in making tomorrow better than today.

The Good Life Goals came out of a collaboration between the initiative’s core partners, Futerra, the Sustainable Lifestyles and Education (SLE) programme under the 10-Year Framework of Programmes for Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP) – which is co-led by the governments of Sweden and Japan, represented by SEI and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) – UNESCO, UN Environment and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Members of the SLE programme’s Multistakeholder Advisory Council (MAC) also gave valuable input.

Good Life Goal 12

The suggested actions for Good Life Goal 12 – from the Good Life Goals flash cards.

The Goals

The Good Life Goals suggest actions that individuals can take to support each of the 17 SDGs, goal by goal. The actions carefully aligned with the targets and indicators for the corresponding SDG.

Each Good Life Goal follows a similar structure: a simple headline goal (and an associated emoji), followed by five actions. The first action is always a “learning ask”, suggesting individuals find out more about a specific topic related to the goal. For example, “Learn the causes of poverty at home and abroad” for Goal 1 (“Help end poverty”). This is relevant even for children or those with limited control over their own lifestyles.

The next three actions relate to habits and behaviours – for example, “Waste less food and use leftovers” for Goal 12 (“Live better”). The final action is always about advocacy, about demanding change from political, business and community leaders.

The Good Life Goals are an invitation for each of us to take part, backed up by clear and concise actions relevant to lifestyles worldwide and in different cultural contexts.

Good Life Goals toolbox

A set of tools has been developed to help users communicate and act on the Good Life Goals. This includes:

  1. The Good Life Goals Manual, containing an overview of the work, all 17 Good Life Goals and actions, and key points for selecting stakeholder groups.
  2. A short video featuring individuals taking Good Life Goal actions
  3. An animation showcasing the 17 Good Life Goals
  4. A media toolkit, including social media assets
  5. A postcard
  6. A set of Good Life Goals “flash cards”
  7. A press release.

All of these tools can be accessed at the Good Life Goals Hub.

Animated film about the 17 Good Life Goals. Video: Futerra / YouTube.

Design and development by Soapbox.