Sustainable Development Goals for 2030: The Land Beyond Borders for our Planetary Youth

the land beyond, biomimicry, co-evolution, global education magazine

Interconnecting dreams in the land beyond borders. Photo in Vitsa, Greece.

Spanish version

Around the world, young people of both sexes look to the future, and question current socio-economic models that are based on the irrational exploitation of natural resources. While it is true that capitalist systems have brought enormous material benefits, their functionalist view subordinates everything to the maximum economic profit; promoting indiscriminate consumption at the expense of nature. The urgent commitment to comply with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 implies the emergence of a new paradigmatic scenario; one that is characterized by transnational co-evolution between the peoples of the Earth. A planetary consciousness whereby all cultural worldviews live together in peace and harmony with the environment.

SDGs pursue an ecological sustainability that requires deep and paradigmatic changes in the interdependent relationships that humans have with natural ecosystems. We need a global insight to awaken our consciences; and to cause a metamorphosis in the DNA intrinsic in the epistemological meta- paradigm of the current global civilization. There is an urgent need to strengthen transnational cooperation and intergenerational solidarity with the youth of the world, to go beyond the SDGs. Our actions have to walk in unison towards a new horizon, a sustainable civilization at one with the environment: the land beyond the borders. The current economic and ecological crises are a historic opportunity to reshape our value systems towards a true culture of peace, and one that results in sustainable development processes.

The World We Want requires youth civic engagement to develop an overview of the interconnectivity of the ecological problems affecting global citizenship. For the first time since the emergence of mankind on Earth, we have the opportunity to be informed of everything that happens in other parts of the world through the Internet. This makes us conscious and responsible; we cannot look away. The cyber-space-time continuum is considered the propitious level of reality in which to gradually participate in making decisions that affect us as a species on our planet. Global Citizenship Education (GCED) as proposed by UNESCO needs to use this virtual world to promote understanding of our human identity/condition in its planetary and cosmic context.

Knowing that the emergence of life on our planet is a cosmic miracle, is critical to transgressing the epistemic paradigm box that sees nature as a mere object to be exploited. It is important to include the transdisciplinary perspective of Big History in the SDGs and GCED because it integrates the origins of the universe, the emergence of life on Earth and the birth of mankind. This is an indivisible and coherent perspective of all the processes of co-evolution that are establishing networks of living and non-living organisms in Gaia over the last 4.6 billion years. Life has spent about 3.8 billion years on Earth, and its ecosystems are organized through strategies based on constant trial and error, hence we can learn many lessons for the building of a new human evolutionary phase capable of ending poverty, hunger, inequality between countries, gender inequality, irresponsible consumption, unsustainable industrialization, pollution of the seas and oceans, and so on.

To avoid an ecological disaster that we, as a global society are heading towards, requires a ‘civilization metamorphosis,’ one that reinvents the relationships between production and consumption, and their effects on the ecosystems of nature. As is well known to be the spiritual belief of many ancient, native and indigenous peoples, nature is a civilizational meeting-point that serves as model, measure, and mentor for the creation of new civilizational horizons, whose socio-economic systems are in harmony with natural ecosystems and therefore sustainable. Biomimicry is a strategy of harmonious reinsertion of human systems into natural systems, integrating the technosphere into the biosphere as it were. It is urgent that today’s youth reinvent democracy and promote the art of co-evolving as an individual society/species in a common and sacred natural space. We must restate our civilizational values in the short term: just one generation. The political framework for action of the SDGs are the last chance to ease the effects of a climate change that is already underway and could cost the lives of millions of young people, the future basis of humanity. Youth that are not just numbers or statistical data, but people with their own names: Paula, Elena, Irene, Benjamin, Damianos, Pyrros, Maximos, Alkmini…

Javier Collado Ruano

Director of Edition

This article was published on August 12, 2015, for the International Youth Day, in Global Education Magazine.

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