SecondMuse is working towards the Sustainable Development Goals with the same approach we use to create positive changes in all of our work.
The annual United Nations General Assembly – which will run Sept. 14-30, 2021 – convenes world leaders to take stock of the state of the world and resolve ways to promote peace and security. This includes dissecting progress on the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals – and where urgent action is needed.
The Sustainable Development Goals are a set of 17 international goals to meet the major environmental, political, and economic challenges of our times – including climate change, hunger, political violence, and inequality. They were unanimously adopted by the heads of state of the 193 member countries at the U.N. General Assembly in 2015. The group resolved to achieve all the goals by 2030.
As the halfway point to the 2030 deadline approaches, the world is not on track to meet these goals. It’s true the goals are incredibly ambitious, but the consequences of not meeting them are devastating and even deadly. The COVID-19 pandemic, of course, didn’t help. Take the very first goal, for example: “End poverty in all its forms everywhere.” The World Bank estimated in June 2021 that the global health crisis pushed nearly 100 million more people into poverty in 2020 – an unprecedented increase in global poverty.
Healthy people, healthy planet
The core mission at SecondMuse is to bring diverse communities together to build economies that benefit people and protect the planet. It’s a mission that directly aligns with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to “secure the well-being of people, economies, societies, and our planet.”
“From building a thriving small-business community in Battle Creek, Michigan to tackling plastic pollution in South and Southeast Asia, we are doing our part to help the global community meet the Sustainable Development Goals,” explains co-CEO Carrie Freeman.
We know we can’t do this alone. We are working towards the Sustainable Development Goals with the same approach we use to create positive changes in all of our work. We always align strategic actors to work together around a common framework to achieve a collective goal. Below are all of our current work and how they create impact to meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Goal#3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages
The Headstream program supports innovators designing anti-racist digital spaces that support the health and well-being of teens – particularly teens who are LGBTQIA, BIPOC, girls, and within those intersections. For example, one young entrepreneur is designing a positive affirmations community platform for Black youth.
Goal #5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
The Gender Equality in Tech (GET) Cities is an initiative designed to accelerate the representation and leadership of women in tech through the development of inclusive tech hubs across the United States – from supporting women taking their first college computing course to receiving their first round of funding. The initiative, which launched in Chicago in 2020, expanded to D.C. earlier this year and will announce a third city in coming months.
Goal#8: Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all
Morning Light is a safety net offering coaching, technical assistance, and community support for early-stage entrepreneurs in Battle Creek, Michigan. The inaugural cohort included the owners of a dessert shop, a clothing and accessories company, and a design and printing business. The goal is to create a thriving small business economy that builds local wealth, jobs and community.
Goal #13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
The For ClimateTech initiative aims to help growth-stage innovators scale and support early-stage innovators to jumpstart their climate tech companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in New York State and around the world. Solutions from this initiative range from non-toxic polyurethanes and emission-free cooling systems to more efficient wind turbines and AI-powered software that reduces traffic.
Goal #14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development
The Incubation Network creates a highly collaborative community of investors, innovators, partners and programmes, working together to tackle key barriers to address plastic leakage and advance a circular economy in South and Southeast Asia together to stop plastic waste from polluting the world’s oceans.
Goal #17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
Space Apps COVID-19 Challenge, the world’s largest global hackathon, brought together 15,000 coders, artists, designers, students, and other participants from 150 countries to explore Earth observation data provided by NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). They used the open data to propose solutions to 12 different challenges related to the pandemic – from documenting environmental changes caused by COVID-19 to identifying patterns between population density and disease spread. One challenge was to look at changes in the monitoring indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals themselves.
Fighting inequality, demanding inclusion
The programs mentioned above are just a few examples of specific projects SecondMuse is involved with that align with individual sustainability goals laid out by the world’s leaders.
But the fact is that some of the Sustainable Development Goals apply to all the work we do at SecondMuse. Take, for example, Goal #11: “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.” Or Goal #10, which commits to reducing inequality around the world.
“At SecondMuse we are intentional about investing in entrepreneurs from historically marginalized communities, investing in solutions that represent and lift women and minorities,” says Co-CEO Todd Khozein. “We believe diversity and inclusion are fundamental to building resilient businesses, industries, and societies.”