To celebrate our first PeaceTalk of the year, we hosted our 30th PeaceTalk, Sustainable Development Goals - Realist or Idealistic? at the HiVE. We had an awesome turnout combined with a great line up speakers: Shannon Kindornay, Niki Soni, and Mike Simpson as well as our moderator, Peter Wood.
Shannon, a faculty member at Carlton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs began the discussion, touching on the transition between millennium developmental goals to sustainable development goals (SDG). She followed the quote “Leave no one behind”, and argued that if the most vulnerable people are not benefiting from our actions, then we as a whole are not succeeding, which left the audience inspired with awe.
Next, we saw the wonderful Nikunji Soni from the Pacific Institute of Public Policy. He covered topics from the differing perspectives held by the government and civil society, to where he referenced Shannon’s presentation on SDGs. He also provided some possible solutions and pitfalls we may encounter with the SDGs.
Our last speaker, Mike Simpson from the BC Council for International Cooperation urged the importance of SDGs. He stated, “We are the last generation to saving the planet”, where he placed concern on the indescribable amount of pressure that he been bounded upon our generation.
Mike asked the audience whether they believed we would be able to end poverty within 15 years, which lead to various comments and discussions. Half the audience was faithful, believing that the 15 year goal is possible, while the other half believed that ending poverty was not possible in that time limit. Mike pointed out that if did not believe that poverty could be solved within the next 15 years, then how could we even begin to solve it? He then talked about how change is definitely possible with reference to The Great Bear Rainforest. It was not a feasible project twenty years ago, but BC government finally agreed to safeguard 85% of the rainforest in 2016. Things are constantly undergoing changes; this opens up new possibilities that didn’t exist before.
To end the night off, we opened up a Q&A for the audience where audience members asked questions such as “How can we come to peace, when we are so close to coming to a third world war? Us countries do not trust one another.” Mike proceeded to answer this question and placed emphasis on the fact that we have to trust on another, otherwise we will all go down together. We will be left with no choice but to trust each other and help each other in order to thrive.
We had a wonderful outcome for our 30th and first PeaceTalk of the year and we would like to thank the panelists for speaking and for everyone who cleared the schedule to come to our event!
We hope that the audience left feeling inspired and motivated to make a difference in the world.