Next in line: The role of millennials in achieving the SDGs

on August 17, 2016.


By Guillermo L. Francisco II

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We, the millennials (born between 1980 and 2000), are poised to take an active role in the society. We are active and outspoken, and we are socially connected through the Internet using multiple devices and gadgets. We are the digital natives. Imagine if all of us will do our part in addressing the various issues in the society. Imagine the youth as key drivers of change and sustainable development.  

The Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by world leaders at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit last year. It is a plan of action for the people, the planet, and for prosperity. As it aims to eradicate all forms of poverty, everyone is encouraged to participate and collaborate in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Our critical role

Reports suggest that by 2020, we will form 50% of the global workforce and will be considered as the largest consumer class. Eventually, we will take critical roles in our respective fields – we are next in line. However, the millennials are dismissed as merely obsessed with selfies and social media. It is our responsibility to change this impression. We are critical thinkers, innovators, and leaders. We offer a wide array of new skill sets and talents. If empowered, we can be a powerful force for change in the next few years given our number and potential.

Being socially connected is one of our main strengths. We can easily communicate and tap people in our communities. We are capable of engaging people at the grassroots level. But as we take on the challenge of the times, our role doesn’t stop at being aware and being active on social media; we must actively participate in the different initiatives that seek to offer solutions to today’s pressing problems. It sounds like a tough task, but here are few ways for us to move forward:

Participate and be active.  Join youth organizations that advocate development and empowerment, and be part of their SDG-related projects. You can check online and search for organizations nearby. Don’t hesitate to send them a message on how you can contribute to the group’s cause. Aside from being able to contribute to a certain advocacy, youth organizations can also help you on a personal level by enhancing your skills that could eventually help you in the future.

Do your share. SDGs require collaborative effort. We are encouraged to act and share our ideas. Start with small acts such as conserving water and energy, taking care of the environment, and being a responsible citizen. It’s been said that “a tiny good deed can go a long way.” We ought to find our own ways and means in our own fields. Simple deeds can create a significant impact collectively.

In the long run, we will reap the good seeds that we have planted early on; and hopefully, the next generation will thank us for it. Ask yourself: will you be part of the solution or the problem?

 

About the Author: Guillermo L. Francisco II is one of the #AmbisyonNation2040 Organizing Team Members. He is taking up MA Development Policy at De La Salle University, and is currently working on his thesis on Urban Development and Metropolitan Governance.

Disclaimer: The view/s expressed in this blog are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Asian Development Bank, its management, its Board of Directors, or its members.

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