Global Goals

The ends and beginnings of calendar years are always good times for some reflection on what’s just past and looking forward to the new year. Due to a heavy travel schedule, I missed blogging some end of the year reflections as I have done the past few years, so this year I am combining some year end reflections with a greater emphasis on the moving forward into a new year.

  • Global Goals – If our increasing global ties were ever in doubt, 2015 brought them clearly into focus. From the distressing series of terrorist bombings spanning the globe and affecting us all, to the adoption of a new climate change agreement and the Global Goals the events of 2015 have underscored more than ever how dependent we are on each other and what ‘global’ truly means. Even more than the Millennium Development Goals that ‘wrapped up’ in 2015 the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs or Global Goals) can provide a way to focus sometimes disparate activities into common goals and directions. This guide provides some more background and useful ideas on how you or your organization might engage with the Global Goals.
  • New approaches – We’re getting better at sharing innovative approaches across disciplines and sectors. In 2015, my explorations included ideas from the world of design thinking & design action; Data & Evaluation; and Social Labs. I see innovation as not just a ‘new thing’ but as a new approach or way of moving forward, which may include some new things but also incorporate what has worked well in the past. Social Labs are a good example of this as I reflected in a Social Labs framework blog on how the new approaches built on my historic experiences of exploration. Looking forward, as we get better at using various social media and other sharing tools available to us, I anticipate varying approaches to innovation to bubble to the surface and our sharing and collaboration around these approaches to increase.
  • Partnerships – There has been a continuing re-evaluation of the nature of partnerships; from north to south and across sectors. I expect that these discussions will continue in 2016 and that we may see some significant new initiatives from the changing nature of global-local connections/partnerships to collaboration as not just a ‘nice to do’ but a competitive advantageHere is a useful report on learning from existing multi-stakeholder initiatives that came out towards the end of 2015.


Additional resources – Some trends colleagues are watching:

Communications trends to watch from Guardian’s Global Development Professional’s Network

Trends and Predictions in Philanthropy

Predictions for International Development from BOND

Conflict and Global Health from Tom Murphy for Humanosphere

Consumerism and technology from the World Economic Forum


What trends and directions are you monitoring as we start the new year? Wishing us all a year of positive change for our shared global community.