EUConsult’s Autumn Congress will take place just few days after the 1st UN Summit on Sustainable Development Goals: which is the role that the European Non-profit Community can play in advancing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals?
Robin: Running up to 2015 the European non-profit community was closely involved in setting the agenda for the Sustainable Development Goals. The UN listened to our voices and many of our issues are key to the success of the goals. We need to be ensuring that both our work, the work of our governments and the work of our partners in the public and private sectors is aligned with the SDGs and helping Europe to be the world leader in achieving the SDGs that it can be.
Are our clients in Europe aware of opportunities that lie behind the challenges of SDGs? Are there different degrees of awareness about these opportunities among European countries?
Robin: I don’t think that as consultants we are doing enough to raise the awareness amongst our civil society and social impact clients that the work that they are focused on is also important to the SDGs and that they can find or create opportunities for themselves by looking at their work in relation to the SDGs. I think awareness of the SDGs does differ greatly across the countries in Europe. In those states where civil society space is being squeezed and organisations are being pressured and persecuted, the focus is on survival and challenge to populist or extremist views rather than the SDGs. It is for those of us from countries with a strong civil society to ensure that Europe’s leaders are taking the SDGs seriously. For those European countries that are part of the EU, the EU should be acting as a catalyst for SDG-related change.
Why did you choose Scotland for the EUConsult Autumn Congress?
Robin: Scotland is a dynamic and vibrant part of the UK for both civil society and for the SDGs. We will be able to mix with some of the most inspiring people doing incredibly interesting work in our sector. Bringing our members to Edinburgh to experience this atmosphere of inquiry, discussion, philanthropy, diversity and equality will inspire them to take these principles home with them and into their own work wherever they are based.
Take a look here for full details on the Autumn Congress.