SDGs for the Generation Z
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted in 2015 as the universal call to action to end poverty and hunger, protect the planet and ensure inclusion, peace and prosperity for all by 2030. Agenda 2030 is playing a very important role in shaping tomorrow’s living conditions. However, without active individual involvement the program by itself is not capable of delivering wide scale impact. Therefore, understanding of SDGs and actions towards achieving them should be integrated in everyday lives of ordinary people, starting as early as possible. While adults have a chance of encountering SDGs through media, our future generation - youth - has less chances of getting familiar with it.
Instead of trying to intensively advertise or create extensive, however, exhaustive, new databases, we should identify why is a young person is searching for something to interact with. Then explaining to him or her how this subject will answer one’s why, and finally encouraging them to express thoughts and reflect on what was it all about. The whole process is based on a so called Reframing model (by T. Wedell-Wedellsborg) and Jobs to be done theory (by C. M. Christensen, T. Hall, K. Dillon, and D. S. Duncan). By having a new psychographic approach towards youth education on Agenda 2030, according values will find relevance in young pupil’s everyday activities.
The new generation Z lives in the access economy; thus, they do not rely on owning things. Success by their standards is measured in how involved one is in a world community, how effectively connected to various information sources, and how many planet’s problems is he or she solving. This change in mindset should be addressed accordingly. The situation has different layers shaping how 17 SDGs should be presented. Following the horizontal priority to becoming even more appealing for young generation’s needs and lifestyle, education on Agenda 2030 should involve at least three actions:
1. integrating SDGs into familiar and interesting themes: popular cartoons, online games etc.;
2. delivering on-demand access: responsive and interactive digital platform with constant gamification;
3. engaging individuals with challenges: creating various exercises around 17 SDGs.
Wanting to reach the youth audience in a way that speaks to them, we should offer content in a form that is familiar, yet challenging. It should integrate learning activities from school curriculum, such as geography and math, and social skills, such as emotional intelligence and environmental awareness. In the end, it should not interrupt what and how they like to do things but simply make them actively engage.
Author: Dominykas Karpovic / Homo Eminens