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Global Goalscast: A sustainable future is a multi-trillion-dollar opportunity

A recent United Nations Development  Programme (UNDP) report claims that reaching the Sustainable Development Goals could unlock a $12 trillion opportunity for the private sector. In the latest episode of the Global Goalscast, Edie Lush pairs up with Mustafa Alrawi, assistant editor-in-chief of The National, to discuss that opportunity in the wake of The National's Future Forum initiative in Abu Dhabi, which looked at how advancements in technology and societal developments are likely to change the future.

Listen to this episode on Stitcher

The Better Business Better World report claims says that $12 trillion in opportunity is located across four economic systems: food and agriculture, cities, energy and materials, and health and well-being, representing around 60 percent of the real economy. 

Edie Lush and Mustafa Alrawi asked their guests to give their key takeaways on that opportunity and where to look for it. 

Ruben Abraham: CEO of IDFC Institute

EMBRACE URBANIZATION: "We need to appreciate and understand the fact that [cities] are important and they are with us and they're here to stay and the planet is urbanizing. And in that process of urbanization, it actually allows us a window to solve problems because by concentrating people in places that actually allows you to concentrate problem solving. To just highlight the importance of spatial density is in Manhattan, where five zip codes between 41st Street and 59th Street have 600,000 jobs paying on average $100,000 each. I think that fact gives you everything you wanted to know about the centrality of cities and why people want to live in cities."

Mona Hammami: Senior Director, Office of strategic affairs of the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi

CLOSE THE GENDER GAP: "Estimates show that if you were to mimic the best performing country in your region in terms of participation of women, you'd be adding $12 trillion to the global economy if women participate in the labor force."


Is it possible to change the world? Can we still make the planet a better place for us all to live? UN special adviser Claudia Romo Edelman and Hub Culture executive editor Edie Lush -- hosts of the Global Goalscast -- believe the answer is a resounding 'yes,' and that everyone can play a part. Subscribe to the podcast here.