The Sustainable Development Agenda of 2030 is recognized by the UN as one of the most important ways to manage and drive economic prosperity and social well-being while, at the same time, protecting the environment. The Agenda includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These Goals were the reason for the establishment of the HLPF, the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in an effort to boost the effect of these goals and achieve the desired results.
It was decided that the HLPF will meet every four years under the auspices of the General Assembly at the level of Heads of State and Government. The 24th and the 25th of September, 2019 will mark the first year of the HLPF meeting. During the meeting, there will be a follow-up and reviews on the progress on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda as well as the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
What are Sustainable Development Goals? (SDGs)
The Sustainable Development Goals are the plan to achieve a must better and must more sustainable future for the planet. There are global challenges that are affecting life as we know it and the SDGs are aiming at addressing those challenges to combat the problem and bring high-end results. It is worth noting that are of these goals are interconnected in order to leave no one behind.
These Goals must be achieved by the year 2030. Here is a list of the Goals as provided by the UN
- No Poverty
- Zero Hunger
- Good Health and Well-Being
- Quality Education
- Gender Equality
- Clean Water and Sanitation
- Affordable and Clean Energy
- Decent Work and Economic Growth
- Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
- Reduced Inequalities
- Sustainable Cities and Communities
- Responsible Consumption and Production
- Climate Action
- Life Below Water
- Life on Land
- Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
IED’s action to support the Sustainable Development Goals
It is no surprise for an organization involved in European projects to have contributed to some of these goals. Delivering results for all seventeen might not easy, but organizations that focus on specific sectors can easily say that they have given their contribution to helping achieve the 2030 Agenda.
Here at IED, we try to promote actions that help achieve some of the SDGs set by the UN.
Our most characteristic actions are our work on:
- Digital Transformation, promoting Goal number 9, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure,
- Entrepreneurship promoting Goal number 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth
- Social Inclusion promoting Goals number 5 and 10 Gender Equality and Reduced Inequalities.
iED and its contribution to Innovation
Digital Transformation is a journey rather than a one-time project. Depending on the culture and the business model of each organization, different paths can be used to enable the organization’s transformation and in the next step to innovation. iED is currently participating in 2 Horizon 2020 projects that focus on promoting innovation in the European area. Those Horizon projects are
The project identifies living labs as innovation concept for the rural business models that are currently in use and it will undertake socio-economic and competitiveness analysis to identify, describe and benchmark differences between the new living lab approach to make the rural regional economy more competitive, resilient and entrepreneurial with respect to traditional value and supply chain approaches.
The aim of INNovaSouth project is to provide dedicated SME instruments able to stimulate Southern European SMEs to implement new organizational models for the management of human resources and innovative solutions for the modernization of the workplace.
IED and its contribution to Decent Work and Economic Growth
Taking into consideration the needs of the market and the society, iED orients its activities towards innovation, targeting to countable results and impact. In the years to come, iED’s actions will be dedicated to take research forward and contribute to society’s need for innovative, realistic & user-friendly tools. Our pool of research ideas is constantly updated. Furthermore, iED has, until now, participated in 3 EU projects that focus to promote innovation in the European area. iED is actively promoting the idea of innovation. Those EU projects are
The project aims at developing a new model of entrepreneurship and social innovation by promoting the coworking processes and their transnational organization as a lever of smart and sustainable growth in the Mediterranean territories.
- Start-up Academy
The main aim of the StartUp Academy project was to develop, test and implement a supporting environment for unemployed youth with entrepreneurial ideas with special focus on those living in remote regions with limited access to education, training, and resources.
During the implementation period of the project, the Start-Up Academy online platform was developed aiming at providing training on entrepreneurial skills and competencies for young people.
- Structural Adjustment of Employees and Enterprises within the Economic Crisis
The project aimed for SMEs to develop and implement integrated structural adjustment plans responding to the new conditions created by the economic crisis. During the project, iED supported 500 enterprises, which employed less than 50 people, to receive consultancy, mentoring, training and ﬁnancial grants for their prosperous development.
IED and its contribution to Gender Equality and Reduced Inequalities
Social inclusion is at the heart of iED’s commitment, to build a strong, social Europe. We are slowly starting to witness economic recovery and growth across Europe. These two elements need to reach everybody, including the most disadvantaged of our citizens. Although the EU is far from reaching this goal, in IED we are proud to have implemented a variety of actions that promote social inclusion and connect it with entrepreneurship. Vulnerable groups such as refugees, immigrants and people with disabilities are supported through activities that integrate them into society.
Some of our most effective actions on Social Inclusion for Vulnerable groups have been implemented under the following projects:
- PAL: Fighting discrimination and anti-gypsyism in education and employment in EU
During the project implementation, we developed a toolkit aiming at providing tools and resources that support ROMA integration. We also implemented national ROMA inclusion strategies in the field of education and employment
- A new ENTRance: A new ENTRance Development of innovative instruments for promoting entrepreneurship of Roma
For this project we developed a toolkit that seeks, through adult education, to increase the entrepreneurship rate of Roma and by extension increase the number of successful business start-ups of Roma while reducing unemployment, social exclusion, discrimination, and poverty.
- SENTIM: Social ENTrepreneurship for Immigrants
The E-Learning Tool that was developed for the SENTIM project aims to:
· Detect Interest For Entrepreneurship and Explore Entrepreneurial Competencies of Immigrants
· Deliver Entrepreneurial Training
· Provide Additional Support to the Immigrants
iED and gender equality
In 2017 the European Commission launched various initiatives to advance gender equality. The EC adopted the 2017-2019 Action Plan to tackle the gender pay gap, declared 2017 the Year of Focused Actions to End Violence against Women and held the Annual Fundamental Rights Colloquium on the topic ‘Women’s Rights in Turbulent Times’. In that direction, IED is an active project partner and develops activities in EU funded programmes. Some of those activities were included in projects such as:
The project’s primary goal was to carry out activities that could help migrant women integrate welcoming communities and find their place in these societies. Also, it aimed to involve local and national bodies and entities, in order to create long-lasting relations of support and solidarity.
The project intended to raise awareness regarding equal opportunities especially in VET education and promote entrepreneurship education as a solution to the gender gap in the employment rate.
The project has many important deliverables that help support the project’s idea and add value to IED’s efforts and actions on Gender Equality.