Friday, October 07, 2016

Something I wrote on LinkedIN this week, covers the TBL and International development for all of us.

Combined with some other links I placed on facebook, useful data and visualisations, just for reference: and all there free for all! As are other tools and data

Having recently had the opportunity to share 1:1 with other influential people my thoughts about what I've been busy doing over recent years and what I intend to do going forwards, its been an enlightening experience for me. It gave me the opportunity of listening to others listening to me. The latest person I spoke to on this encouraged me to share this experience across my friends and associates, so here goes!
Some listeners asked me "why don't more people understand this", "how comes it all ties together so clearly", but then we get to "if the picture is so big how do you focus in on the discrete activities that you as an individual can do to make a difference?". All very good questions and I wonder about them just the same!
So I thought how do I encapsulate those discussions, those idea's and principles, the big picture and the finer detail, in a succinct way to share and invoke wider discussion and collaboration.
Sure, while I've been busy with work in technology and health, I've been blogging since 2004, I've been active on social media since 2007 and a lot of what I have shared has deliberately been a combination of my business, science, development and altruistic interests, interspersed with personal details from my passion, my activities and my family. I hope this has always encapsulated and shone a light on a core theme behind everything that I do, my triple bottom line quest, to understand people, planet and prosperity and to examine the evidence of what is effective and to try and take pragmatic as well as strategic steps to participate and support the progress that is happening across the globe. Progress that is too often hidden but from time to time and in certain quarters shines through so clearly and brightly.
I start with the understanding that the world now is a better place for more people than at any time in history but we are not where we could be. So the opportunity to accelerate and catch up to where we should be is in part my quest and I see a lot of plans and progress towards that target, somehow a fifteen year target seems sensible, ambitious and realistic. So why 2030?
2030 is fifteen years way, as was the year 2000. A lot of progress in the last fifteen years teaches us what can be achieved in the next fifteen years. That achieved in the past was achieved without what we have today, the latest in understanding, knowledge, technology, resource and infrastructure, core persisting assets that are crucial to the momentum and acceleration.
If I look to the issues of our world, the people, the planet and the need for shared prosperity its not easy to miss that things have changed just in one lifetime, my lifetime and I've only just passed into my second half. As one of the generation who most likely can live to the age of one hundred, my second half is going to be as interesting as the first. I hope that is true for everyone around me.
I hope very much that others share in the interest and the progress, I see no reason why they wont especially when it is discussed and better understood. However I am aware that there are so many people who are not in the same position to help themselves in the way that I and others around me are, nor were they in their early lives. However the stepping stones for everyone are better understood now, with a combination or social justice, economic and environmental development and sustainability.
If in the last fifty years we've seen the reduction of the number of people living in extreme poverty from over 50% of the global population to now well under 25%, if we can take half of that population out of extreme poverty as we have done, then we only have to do it again and we will be close to eradicating extreme poverty in our life times. Extreme poverty at the $1 a day level isn't just a monetary notion, as much as anything its about people who have insufficient access to the basic stepping stones for human life and human progress. It is so clear now in my mind at least that without sanitation and clean water, food and nutrition, good health is difficult. Without good health and healthcare, life and learning is inhibited. Without education little real progress is made towards social development and economic development and so civil society misses out on the contribution of each essential citizen who can then participate. We all miss out on the potential of these people who can then demand fare participation for and by all.
Each of these steps contribute to the individual and the collective progress within communities and countries and as healthy, educated and empowered people work and grow they expect their leaders and their governance to grow. They learn to hold themselves and others to account, to provide better levels of accountability and transparency, better rule of law and better inclusion, opportunity and progress for all. They help lock progress in and ensure value persists and becomes a sustainable assets.
So stepping from water and sanitation to nutrition and health, education and gender equality, to work and commerce, law and order, governance and accountability these steps are all tangible and real. The timeline for some may be longer than for others, the progress will vary from time and place, but the linkage is clear both in the top down big picture but also in the bottom up detail of every day experience, needs, actions, support and progress.
Creating the persisting assets of healthy people and healthy supplies or food and water is well understood. Building the persisting assets of healthy and educated people coming from investment in healthcare and educational infrastructure, all link to the persisting assets of society, including commerce and trade in the form of roads and ports, power generation and utilities, these are the things that allow the poorest people and countries to move beyond a hand to mouth existence and to enjoy the progress that all other communities and countries have enjoyed over the last one hundred years of their own global and local development.
To take that to another level of detail, we see the progress from education, gender equality, human rights, economic development and inclusion and these are all founded on the need for sustenance from food and water but especially from good health. Eradicating health problems and diseases in one area not only lightens the load on the constrained resources there, it also prevents it from over spilling on others. That applies from everything from Malaria to TB, water borne parasites and infections to diabetes and heart disease. The health improvements of just this latest generation shows again that with the world population having doubled, the infant mortality rates have fallen (in relative and absolute terms) and the life expectancy for people everywhere has grown.
This is all good news especially when we look into the detail and see that with more education and more gender equality, then women are making the most difference, now and for the future. Their choices, more free and enabled choices, allow them to study longer, work better and start families later. When they do start their families they tend to keep the family sizes smaller and so the average family DNA footprint has reduced close to the known average of just over two children per parent pairing. At this stage if adults only leave the same number of children behind them then global population starts to reach a steady state and with the progress of an ageing population the planetary population will start to stabilise and level of at between ten and twelve billion by the later part of the century. That is clearly in everybody's interest when we consider the constraints on resources and the planet.
If anything is going to deal with the issues of scarce resources, global emissions and climate change, the inevitable movement of people and potentials for disease transmission or for conflict, it is these stepping stones to progress. Progressing together to help those suffering the most today and ensuring the progress of all people tomorrow. Tapping into a level of enlightened self interest, can leverage all the social, economic and environmental interests of people in diverse communities. People everywhere with talents and aspirations in their own unique fields driving progress in medicine and commerce, technology and learning, agriculture and arts, communities and nations.
You don't have to subscribe to any political or philosophical view to see that each persons own unique contribution to the state of their own society, their own environment and reaching out to help others with small individual contributions, aggregating up to huge collective efforts, both in terms of technological and educational development, but also in terms of economic investments and assistance, such as ODA and aid from tax payers through governments.
With increasing levels of accountability and transparency, better understanding not just of incomes but outcomes, clearer learning from good governance and stewardship, all area's from health and education, water and sanitation, inclusion, trade, asset management and infrastructure development, all these area's work together to support the local and global need and have helped people to focus on what is effective.
As community always do, emerging from their own narcissistic and nepotistic tendencies towards more developed thought and action, with clearer articulated strategies and progress, so, more concise and better understood narratives and discourse emerges. Conversation, collaboration and sometimes challenges between people of shared intend but perhaps always slightly differing insights, experiences and experimental intent, these need not slow things down. Quite the reverse. Policy differences and priorities are overcome with understanding, with data, with outcomes and results. Best practice drives innovation and learning. Effective is the key word for all. The alignment of the results and understanding, drives further shared intent for development and progress.
Whats not to understand! It clearly applies to every business worker and leader as much as any charity of government team. It applies to all adults and children and it applies to all people of ability or need.
Hence my interest in the triple bottom line of people, planet and prosperity. Hence my belief in the progress since the year 2000 with the MDG's, along with all global investment and progress. Hence my belief that the SDG's emerging from this learning, the Sustainable Development Goals are a great platform. The SDG's are already signed up to by all the nations of the United Nations targeting 2030, it makes perfect sense.
The proof of the pudding is always in the eating, so lets eat, lets take it in and lets work to apply it as individuals, as communities, as companies, as institutions and as nations. Working and learning for the good of our neighbours and fellow members of this small beautiful planet.
It starts everyday with and more people can learn each day online though so many platforms of which this is just one. Take a look at this post for 06/10/2016:
This Thursday! Join Professor Jeffrey Sachs for a live webinar session in our Meet our Leaders series. Ask questions, get answers. Learn about Prof Sachs' passions and personal journey with#sustainabledevelopment and the #SDGs. Join the live event by clicking here: 
Please dont just think about it, take a little bit of it, own it, learn about it and act on it for the good of all!!

Note: I chose not to reference all my sources due to my own editorial skills, but be sure they are out there. If you would like to have them please ask but in principle the links above and sites like and along with others, from individuals at the simplest of levels to communities at various they tell the same story and present the essential data, the facts, the evidence we need. I can also recommend a search on google for "the global fund" or "GAVI" or "extreme poverty" or just visit the UN, World Bank and leading NGO and development websites and business communities like


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