The Millennial’s Generation and Sustainable Development Goal
Youth and technology are inseparable. Youth today are even more connected compared to a few decades ago and they also have the capability and capacity to use the technology to promote and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) right at their fingertips.
The role of youth as agents of change in promoting, disseminating information and achieving the SDGs depends on creativity, commitment and the use of technology. Thus, youth need to be empowered to inspire change.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres emphasizes how youth are the vanguard of progress. “All of you have the talent, energy and ideals to prevent conflicts, defend human rights, secure peace and realize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”
No matter how big or small the initiative is, it must involve youth, regardless of their age, gender, sexual orientation or political background. Moreover, efforts should be made to include those marginalized and prone to be left behind in achieving the Goals. Youth should always be at the center stage.
Science, technology and innovation are tools that can help achieve the SDGs. At universities in Indonesia, students are introduced to the Tri Dharma Perguruan Tinggi or The Three Pillars of Higher Education, which consist of Education and Teaching, Research and Development and Community Service. All these seek to develop the young people to be responsible and give back to their communities in any way possible.
The question to be answered is how can the youth play a pivotal role in the development of communities. The answer is easy. Use the knowledge, skills and experiences. For instance, students majoring in community health service can share information on the importance of washing hands with soap before eating and provide simple facts on the benefits; all related to SDG 3- Good Health and Well-being. Those who have knowledge in agriculture can share with the community optional crops that are easy to grow to supplement staple foods to contribute to Goal 2- Zero Hunger. There are many other easy ways to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs.
Let us not forget the value and potential of young people to achieve the SDGs.