WRITTEN BY NIKOLAJ SVEISTRUP
– SPEAKER AT PRIX BLOXHUB INTERACTIVE SYMPOSIUM 21-22 MAY 2019 – LINK

The sustainable development goals have reached broad recognition – by countries, cities and organisations. They speak to all ages and levels in society, and many school kids know what they stand for. They are versatile and include all aspects of life in a broad sense. And since they were released in 2015, more and more private and public entities have integrated them in their strategies, as this is seen as necessary if we want to make a change.

The fact that the goals are versatile is their biggest strengths. If we want to make a real change for our future, we must include all aspects of life in our actions. However, within this versatility also lies a weakness: As the goals are made to include all countries on a global level, it is difficult to translate some of them into a local context. That’s why we have to work with the goals and indicators in a meaningful way – and to make real change trough local transformation. We have to rethink what we do in our daily business, to make a change and to improve citizens’ quality of life.

The translation from strategic goals to local transformation, demands strong strategic and practical urban leadership on a local level. This is necessary in order to set a strategic direction, to continuously secure a holistic overview of the 17 goals and their interconnectedness and to make local.

Technology is one of the most fast-changing factors in our society, and it is a tool that leaders around the world needs to include strategically in working with the SDGs. That’s why I think PRIX BLOXHUB INTERACTIVE is a necessary and important initiative.

However, in order to succeed in working with the SDGs both on the strategic level and the local level, it demands leaders that knows how to balance existing low-hanging fruits, technological possibilities, long-term strategies and the ability to be adaptable along the way.

Moreover, strong leadership involves the ability to think strategically in the long term, while at the same time being flexible and adaptable along the way in day to day decisions. Flexibility and adaption are key to success in our-day society, where we are surrounded by fast-changing factors and game changers.

The gamechanger here is not the SDG’s, but the changes of the planet. That’s what make a call for strategic and practical urban leadership. Now.